Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Business or pleasure?

by Luke Bailey

Dolled up in self doubt Dolly returns
Her pad in her hand and a botox blush.
Steinbeck was right
I saw further than I thought possible
Simple callous bold and beautiful
Like cacti: a thousand shades of ways to survive.
This film is filled with failure
"It's my pleasure" she lies and she's off
To provide caricatural portions
For the copious conscientious diligent adulators
Smiling with the air of onions slicing.
The carnival, the fayre, the suns glare
Shoots from the sea; we tighten the skin about our eye
Squint at the outrageous
The Macabre and bizzare.
"See the electric lady" cries the Southern hurrah.
Slow palm rap gathers hands gathers claps
Gathers purpose gathers pace
Until a man races leaping the length
Of five. No seven. No ten, eight foot tall leather clad men
The crowd yell, the sea cracks, the sea flexes
Effervesces expectorate fizz and takes leave of the sand
My ears deafen the sound in a yawn and whine like static
We fade as bright as
Street lamps in the Manhattan night
They burn White through Amber through sunset red
Through my SLR lens
Soaking the asphalt in strips of neon puddles
Little Italy blizzard West on East
Jam jars of hot cinnamon cider in jazz bars
Jaunting bass buzz displacing the warm air
Waltzing my wooden bench and 
Climbing my spine
Soaring sax delicately drives
Dipida-dipida splash drums, cymbal, snare
Click of the sticks- te-te sst- high hat, and back...
Into the snow 
That wouldn't fall, just hung
Like a wall
Yet covered the indents of the night we led
Creaking like cotton wool in our fingers as we tread
In the road, on the night we ambled home

Added: 27.02.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


beautiful metaphors