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Rupert Loydell

 

YOU KNOW WHAT?

          for Martin Stannard

Martin, I’m not young at heart
and I don’t think I want to be.
Alan and I were emailing about
how you could have been big,
if not bigger, if only you’d
played the game and been
patient with that publisher.
But we all know you wouldn’t
have been and you like people
about as much as I do, so
you’d have cramped the
Bloodaxe publicity machine.

Tonight when I cleaned the bath
I managed to shower your book
with cold water, but it doesn’t
seem any stranger than what
goes inside your head and on
the page. I’ve never met
anyone else quite like you
whose world is a car crash
of the surreal and mundane,
even though you delight
in it all. Paul said he was
meeting up next week;
I’m jealous, haven’t seen
you for years, since the
workshop and reading
you gave down here.

Remember that small press
book fair in the Midlands
and how it suddenly turned
into an all day reading?
You and I were first
at the bar, Mike Shields
wasn’t far behind. It’s how
and where we met and
somehow we’ve stayed
in touch. You’ve upset
friends and writers I know,
aren’t scared to open
your mouth and say
exactly what you mean.
Neither am I, we all know
some poetry is crap and
even when it’s good
people are so serious
and boring about it all.

Martin, what are you doing
away in China? You went
for a term and never came back,
the years have drifted on
and now even my packets
from university don’t make it
through whatever kind of net
the security guys have in place.
I like to think you’re on the run
but I think you just fell in love
and have since got used to being
on your own in a strange place,
have forgotten to come home.
I’m glad you didn’t sell out,
it’s good to have your words.
Although, you know what?
I don’t believe a single one.

 

 

 

Copyright © Rupert Loydell, 2016.