Friday 7 February 2014


A bit of a strange poem this week. It came in three distinct parts and I have sown them together-and yes you can see the joins.

I had been looking at the work of Paul Klee and I was wondering what he would have made of the town I grew up in. This set me to writing and then Lowry wandered in to the frame-he had been to Widnes. There are a number of sketches of the place. Well later in the day I remembered that Corbusier had visited Bridgwater in 1946 for a conference [I’d found this riveting fact on line one day years ago], which led to the second part. About two days later when I was revising somehow it sparked this old idea for a poem I’d had about the Marx Brothers being in Liverpool.

It’s definitely a work in progress- but see what you make of it.

Klee in Widnes hunts for colours,
has to hobbles his palette to grey,
walks the red brick terraced streets,
awaits the building of the new bridge.
Bumping into Lowry by the Empire,
together bemoaning the films on show:
Too damn American, if you ask me.
End up in the Queens
Drinking bitter with the bus drivers.
Outside the sunset stops him short,
More colour than he has seen all day.
It’s all the muck the factories pump out,
Lowry tells him.

Corbusier in Bridgwater,

1946, a rebuilding Europe conference.
This higgledy-piggledy town of twisting streets,
an offence to the eye of a man in love
with the right-angle, straight lines and concrete cubes.
None of that cuts the mustard in Bridgwater,
they have the first concrete house,
A ruin to be truthful, but still history.
The Big C had the last laugh
when they pulled the place to pieces,

and speared roads through its heart.

The Marx Brothers in Liverpool looking to get laid,
hanging out on Hutchison Street,
Chico checks The Echo but
his horse has yet to finish yesterday’s race.
That rich boy cousin Charlie knocked about with
said Manchester was a better bet,
but they are off to Huddersfield tomorrow
-wherever the hell that is.
Eventually Groucho pays for it, again,
and hates himself all the more.

I’m not even sure that this is the end, but it feels like there is something there.

The allotment yesterday, flooded out again.
To end with today here is a clip from Duck Soup, my favourite Marx Brothers film. The timing is superb and Harpo never fails to make me laugh when I watch this.

No comments:

Post a Comment