This is my first (and possibly only) foray into spoken word, in a response to Mark Grist’s excellent ‘Girls Who Read’ poem, here. It obviously owes much of its structure and content to Grist.
‘So, what do you go for in a girl?’
On his fourth tonic and gin
Nods to where his mate waits,
“He’s all about a tight waist,
full lips and long legs.
Me, I beg for a slit that’s trimmed,
A dirty mind and a firm behind.’
He glances down, the gin swirls
‘What do you like in a girl?’
My collar’s a little tight,
it’s not that I like
to bait and mock
to flirt with a fight
but this man
is. a. cock.
“Well, if you must know
I like a girl who writes.
I won’t say you’re misogynist
I guess you’re just a bit too pissed
“I want a girl who writes.
Who devoured the poems and essays
The classics, the mags and the plays,
Who knows a literate life doesn’t pay,
Who’s read more than enough to quote, rough or smooth
In debates and in flirting, in making her move.
To show she’s as bright as far stars
Knows football’s best strikers and prototype cars.
Reading novels she always delights
But still has this urge to write.
I want a girl who stresses
Every word, every comma, on each noun she obsesses.
She’s gone through mum’s bookcase and wants more,
Exhausted the second hand store
Still she needs to create something all on her own,
multiple universes she can call home,
Her mind just can’t find a place to rest
in plush armchairs,
she needs that desk,
the papers strewn, the ancient runes
that dimming lamp and weird music from her amp,
a coffee mug to break the fug,
She’s bored with the library,
tried every genre
cried at the romances, baulked at the horror
she’s angered by Orwell and challenged by Marx,
bored of tired metaphors tied to sky larks.
The common touch is there,
for haircuts and dresses
said she might try out Heat’s latest caresses
She’s constrained by the brains of all authors before her
Terrified she’ll try and the world will ignore her
With all of her talents she knows she impresses
but she’s sure she wants more
the reader’s the lesser
and she wants better.
I’d like a girl who writes.
Crafts verse from written word
Dives headfirst through oblique and absurd
Makes you care for the man in the hearse,
the strife on the street and the army’s retreat,
the midnight tryst and the doomed final kiss
I want a girl who writes
Not a forgotten hobby but an ongoing strife
Notes on receipts and lyrics on envelopes
Word dot docs of rambling prose.
She just flows with her passion for creation, her lust
trusts in those aphorisms scribbled in margins
Because next week, she’ll try again.
I want a girl to fantasise
To forge new plots with smiling eyes
And explore her mind and mine her thoughts
For farewells cried at distant ports
Even for questions of morals and ethics
To meet fire with fire and stones with sticks?
What to do ’bout the pox, the occupation, climate change
A girl who writes can have such a range
as wide and long as any page.
She can stir up lust, tears or rage,
Yes, a girl who writes is the kind
with whom I wouldn’t mind
To reach a ripe old age.