You claim not to dream.
But I know some nights,
during REMs anarchy,
your body jolts as if defibrillated,
your whimpers chill more than screams.
I do not wake you; in case you remember
If I had longer arms, I’d be a stripper.
We share the joke like a joint.
I think there might be a niche market for crip porn –
Always up for converting your handicaps into assets
you have already researched,
but are not sure if you could fake sexy,
still, an option should a bruiser of a bill loom.
What with my disorderly body ‘s two fingers
up to medical science, and yours failing to fully unfurl
in face of second generation thalidomide deniers,
we both regard our bodies as nature’s seconds,
attention seeking with their repertoire of symptoms,
miser mean with pleasure,
So, we will not be sorry to shrug off…
What are you up to tomorrow?
I am already spoken for, but,
could always be led astray by
naughtiest girl in the school mischief.
You are off to Whitstable, on a shop lifting binge
I windscreen wiper shake my head envisioning
local rag’s gloating headline
Retired teacher caught.
You were coached by a savvy cousin,
who supplements her own meagre benefits
with four fingered discounts,
using toddler’s buggy as poacher’s pockets.
Disability has given you the perfect cover with
arms delicate as sea horse wings, poppet stature.
So, wearing a larger bra, you stuff with mascara,
nail varnish to create an instant push up.
You don’t do it for the stuff though,
but the heart riot as you case for CCTV,
high of using teeth, deft as a mouth artist,
to pop tags with tool bought off eBay,
euphoria clearing the store with swag.
Have your standards though, never hit independent shops
but shrugged they can wear it, at Primark, Tesco. Boots.
Now no amount of ciggies or coffee will cure
your pacing need to shoplift score again.
Should you get caught, have contingency tears
you will work like a silent movie heroine.
Trumping store’s accusations, with your mental health card.
Because after a lifetime being the object
of bold stares, impudent questions,
with every stolen eye shadow,
you live up to your nature outlawed body.
He considered developers’ plans to dig up the gardens
philistine as shredding a Monet.
So wielded fame to see them off.
Now a sense he is still custodian beyond the grave,
as Majorelle becomes a Marrakesh must see.
We crane up at giant bamboo; stems thick as drain pipes,
pause to take in cacti arranged like installation art,
admire preening birds of paradise plants,
become figures in a living willow pattern as we rest on a pagoda bridge
observing red dragon flies hovering over lily encrusted koi ponds.
At each new feature, we must pause and wait though,
as the view is hogged by women with glad rags on,
who use the garden like the backdrop to a vogue fashion shoot.
We shake our heads as they deploy repertoire of poses
before cameras trained by doting partners.
The gallery of his couture is like entering another section
of the garden; a sartorial flower bed of vibrant colours.
I fizz over like a shaken coke at sight of legendary trouser suits,
gorgeous gowns, playful hats; shed a few tears as prototype bottle
of ‘Opium’ ambushes; my mother’s signature perfume.
Other visitors to the gallery skim outfits in silence,
not reverential more bored or piqued at photo ban.
My response is no faked orgasm, but daresay,
I am making a middle-aged spectacle of myself,
as eyebrows are raised and elbows are nudged.
Later, I ponder if this caffeine high response
is peculiar to me; then remember the middle- aged man
who on entering Manchester Science Museum,
Pirouetted on concourse at choice of exhibits,
Oh marvellous! Where to start!
*The former home of Yves Saint Laurent
A pimped mobility scooter;
its hood trimmed with bagged pink candy floss
camp as Liberace’s cape.
As the sun falls into the sea, cue to flick on
LEDs that transform into burlesque carriage.
No decrepit drag queen conveyance though,
but granddad in beige slacks and short sleeve shirt.
Boy on a bike belts along the promenade,
towing an old dining chair roped to a railway porter trolley,
his mates in Who can stay on longest challenge
their laughter tossed into the air like mortar boards.
Retired gent in safari suit and jaunty cap,
stalks the high street baring bathroom scales and portable
blood pressure monitor, offering peripatetic health checks
to old boys who have over indulged on Raki and Baklava.
It’s not just the sea and sun we come here for,
but this nostalgia for life enriched by eccentricity
once an accepted part of our childhoods; bred out years ago.