Riffing on ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. You can hear my subtle Stockport tones reading it by clicking on the image above. (I’ve gone all swanky on you! Well, 2008 swanky. If you’re not careful, I’ll work out how to do Vlogging too – probably by 2017…)
Rosie’s Third Date with Alfie
I will meet you, I will meet you
at that place, you know,
that place we met at, I will go
where happiness is found in a plastic cup,
where politics are discussed like a plastic cup,
easily disposed of for a new.
And I too am no longer new,
not, at least, for you.
In our evening’s repose
I will expose this, flip the lid
of a disposable plastic cup.
I will sup upon this sweet cinnamon chai
and think of time, and what it will be like to die.
Will anyone remember this?
The green café the bustling, scented place,
the face of a woman idly scribbling,
scribbling in a notebook like her life depends upon it,
as the rain falls down like confetti outside.
Will anyone remember this?
The men who enter, canter in, broad-shouldered, then leave?
The men come through, the men come through,
they talk of their theories of Doctor Who.
And who am I to judge what they do?
And I wonder, yes, I wonder where the hell are you
and I wonder, yes, I wonder if I’ll ever say “I do”.
“I will honour and obey and all that gobbledegook.”
I will not wear white; my dress will be golden.
I will meet you in that place, you know which place,
and wonder if you love me for me or just my face
or for the space I’ve given you.
And in years to come will you
recall any of this?
Our lives, like so much left luggage
and we waste so much time
pondering what it’s like to die
that we forget about the baggage left behind.
Stripped, then, of socks, of my favourite shoes
(and so many, so many as yet unsaid “I do’s”).
I don’t think that I would want you
to see me naked
stripped down to flesh from fabric.
The wrinkles, all that cellulite,
softly greying hair silvered by candlelight.
And we too are candles –
like wax formed and made.
But what is made can be unmade
and what is unmade cannot be remade.
And life, and life, and all this mess
the green café, this plastic cup,
the as yet uneaten matrimonial feast
will be gone upon a great rubbish heap.
But not the ring, no, not the shining ring,
the thing of golden eternal love.
They’ll find that ring in future grass
at the top of the heap, yes, in the grass the ring.
They will say,
“Someone’s lost this, lost this shining, golden ring.”
But I’d wager that they’ll keep it anyway
because it’s beautiful, you know,
the ring is beautiful
in its eternal O.
And all the pretty women to come,
all the pretty, flowered women,
as their youth demands
will be impressed in time
by the gift from the legend
that was you.