The second verse is great, I couldn’t bring myself to type in the first stanza in its casual misogyny. Did it anyway, see bottom of post.
The poet is talking about a tipsy boy and shows in a lovely way their own tipsiness by the gaps between words. .
[…] lolling over that bus seat shouting
it’s a London thing. He is obviously a knob
but a happy one and that it seems to me
is the important though not localizable thing.
Girl with ridiculous earrings why do you bother
to slap the boy we all assume is your boyfriend
and is lolling over that bus seat shouting
What I did in the London month. Too. I love the humour of Agard talking about the little pidgeon looking on, Anansi the spider and the church’s promises on English ground. Ending with the day’s little pleasure strawberry.
Summer come, mi chill-out beside the Thames.
Spend a little time with weeping willow.
Check if den Trafalgar pidgeon still salute
old one-eyed one-armed Lord Horatio.
Mi treat gaze to Gothic cathedral
Yet me chant forget how spider spiral
Is ladder aspiring to eternal truth…
Trickster Nansi spinning from Shakespeare sky.
Sudden so, mi decide to play tourist.
Tower of London high-up mi list.
Who show up but Anne Boleyn with no head on
And headless Ralegh gazing towards Devon.
Jesus lawd, history shadow so bloody.
A-time for summer break with strawberry.
Cool video of the editor chatting about finding the poems! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qz4m6AVONE
Agard is Afro-Guyanese, Jamaican and British.
By Maura Dooley. This is how I remember London and the summers I spent in Tufnell Park Road with family friends. Curry the favourite dish, sambal on a sandwich, dog in the park, someone paid to clean the park, pale day light and shortcuts that sometimes ended up in a different place that only looked alike.
Smash the Windows.
OR, TEN SOUTH LONDON FIDDLE TUNES
1. The Misted Pane
2. Egg on a Bap
3. Knock at the Door
4. A Draught of Air
5. Turd on the Step
6. Fox in a Wheelie Bin
7. Toke on the Swings
8. Parakeet in the Oak
9. The Short Way Home
10. Glass on the Pavement
Homesick for London. Especially Tufnell Park and Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, Nando’s Charing Cross Road, National Portrait Museum, Southwark Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall…The Docklands.
From: London a History in Verse, ed by Mark Ford.