Saturday, March 18, 2006

Singing in Public

It should be smiled upon – but instead -
If you see anyone singing in the street
“They’re probably mad,” we say – probably?
Certainly mad - bonkers! Ring the council
And complain, I can’t exist in this racket.
But do we need the council? Maybe we

Just need to throw a soft spanner into the
London Underground – the very place
Where the devil of solipsism was born:
“No one else exists, especially not you! Yes
You, the one letting your leg touch mine!
I won’t stand for it!” The standard reaction.

We don’t chat on the tube, let alone sing,
Unless you’re begging. But then you’re
Despised – But I suppose you’re despised
Just as much for begging as for any other
Transgression of the absurdly stringent
Tube etiquette rules and regulations:

Smile at anyone or thing (– or even at nothing)
And you’re a complete nut
Hum along with your personal stereo and of course
You’re a fucking shit face
There’s no question – You’re an utter cunt if you
Make any form of conversation.

Now I’m not denying us our rights.
My personal space? You keep away!
I want that to myself – and I want
To hold firmly on to my right to
Sit in quiet desperation – pretending to read,
Eyes darting about trying to avoid cleavages.

Oh yes – never you mind sonny – no.
I’m no grubby swinger, no hippy, trying to
Force you into bed with my wife – I don’t
Hand out flowers to soldiers in
The hope that one day I’ll have a job
And a car – or a haircut – no!

I’m interested in your safety; I’m as
Concerned for myself as you are yourself
That’s how my empathy works, we’re
Just the same – I’ll say – don’t doubt it.
Your rights are my rights – But you
Get to keep your own, don’t worry.

But – aforementioned rights remaining
Firmly intact – don’t you think we
Might be a little less sulky about the
Whole affair? – What “whole affair”?
Life I tell you! Life! The tube is noisy –
I know you may want to be at home

Sitting in front of Baywatch with hot cup of soup…
…So does everyone else! We’re all Homo sapiens
Here buddy. We all have our needs: food, water,
Baywatch, soup, ringtones, colonic irrigation,
And all the rest of it – Just think of yourself
As a naked – yet civilised – savage, in

A cave (or up a tree, its not important where)
Surrounded by other equally civilised savages,
What would you want the most? – Now don’t
Tell me Heat Magazine, Rollerblades, Brie,
Reebocks, Budweiser, Fatboy Slim, or any of
Those commodities y’know? – More than anything

You’d want to sing out loud - like a bird,
You’d want everyone to hear it too. By
Jove that’s it – that’s what we want – when
A mother sings (or talks with a sing-song
Voice) to her baby – when the football crowds
Chant in (albeit raucous) tones – when a

Drunkard in the street peals out a distorted
Rendition of some pop classic – when you
Sing in the shower – when children on the
Tube shatter all the conventions, singing,
Running about, talking loudly and even –
God forbid – communicating with suited dullards.

4 comments:

a lady said...

william:

poetry suits your
fragmented

thought process better than
prose, although it is
charming.

use less "I."
"he" in poems, lest
you sound 14.

david cano said...

ignore that
i say

an i for an i for an i.
be you fourteen or
forty

rules like that
are like the eye that
does not roam,

he is
the suited dullard.
i
is great.

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