The Fiddler / Down in Xanadu

Instead of our regular blog post this week, I’ve decided to share a few poems. The first is a response to the poem Persons from Porlock by A. D. Hope and the second is a response to Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


The Fiddler

Persons from Porlock
roam the streets
or closed off behind deadlocks
with three veg and one meat

And Bachie and Block
to take up their minds
or 7 Mate reruns
to relive old times.

Two kids and a dog
From one house to the next.
With early morning fog
and fears of flying the nest

I avoid looking at them
their gazes all blank.
Walking through shopping centres
perfect file and rank

I leave far too early
come home much too late
Their bony fingers grasp me
counting the days ’til I break

A song played by the Fiddler
(a lovely little dirge)
calls out to me softly
I’m resisting the urge

Yet the same brick skyline
and the afternoon sun
Keeps me locked in my bedroom
makes me not want to run.

Because outside he’s waiting
He’s mouthing my name
That Person from Porlock
the water to my flame.


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Down in Xanadu

Of pleasure-domes I do not know
or caves covered in virgin snow.
But underground is where it be
where all good virtues seem to flee

Of cigarettes and smoking bodies
or people loitering in the lobby
Where all good romance ceases to see
all but the person next to me

Two mouths touching
without meaning
a third one
sealed but seething

Where an angel
comes to cry
and all the clowns
come to try

their luck at reigning in another
Bringing pain unto their lover,
who’s left the sweet song far behind
and left the moment on rewind

Because paradise is non-committal
and everybody’s skin is brittle
Yet when I touch you your skin is soft
In the bathtub still unwashed

Because nobody ever thought
that deep inside the Unseelie Court
Debauchery would be okay
evaporated by the light of day

And all the faeries still do dance
to the sounds of quick romance
They say things last but never do
All the way back down in Xanadu

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