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
then 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: 11.04.2011