Rough Version

Sweet Words

I went out for dinner last night and almost quoted a song lyric at someone before I stopped myself. Poor poetry, you have such a bad reputation. But when it's short, smart and had some oomph it can still punch you in the stomach. Here are some I like (accompanied by a piece by Seb Lester above):

'I saw a man pursuing the horizon' Stephen Crane

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;  
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never —”

“You lie,” he cried,  
And ran on.


Lydia (an African prostitute) by Rhys Coren

an African prostitute who worked the backstreets of Barcelona
stole my hat off my head as I walked past
As she did
I lunged for it instinctively
but she turned away from me quickly
stuffing my hat down into her ample cleavage
blocking my attempt to grab it

Despite her large size
she displayed an astonishing level of agility
and I was forced onto her back by our combined momentum

I had
want for a better word
'mounted' her
but more like one would mount a wild horse
not a lady of night

Undeterred by this
Lydia giggled
backed by a chorus of laughter from the other prostitutes
spinning in circles and bucking about - an attempt to throw me from my saddle
with both arms clamped tightly around her broad neck
I was more than prepared for a long and turbulent ride
It was
after all
my favourite hat


'Alicante' Jacques Prevert  (though its very hard to beat Les Feuilles Mortes)

Une orange sur la table
Ta robe sur le tapis
Et toi dans mon lit
Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie.