Jock in Earls Court

And of all the ingredients
in this cocktail
the Earls Court
girls court favour
with they’re long tanned legs, vanilla flavour
but tempered by an independent frown
or a tough smile that says “Come on talk
but dont you get too close to me
unless your accommodation’s cheap or free.”

Under their baseball hats,
their healthy backs are packed
with Antipodean practicality,
honed in the sun,
the English boys run scared
but the Arabs
seem to have a simpler
form of fun

and the Jock stocks booze
in a stained room
his legs are white and thin
his courage swells
spills out over muzzled city sounds
as his sense of humour
wins him clarity
here in polyglot
hunting grounds

transients, transexuals,
transports going up and down
trains crossed with  buses lorries and bikes
pizza expresses spud-u-likes
KFCs , dispensers,
sprites and pepsis, styrofoam,
the coke of the to and the fro
pours into young platelets
nurtures red corpuscles
driving hard muscles
of internal, arterial contraflow

Only the drunk stand’s still
gazes with bewilderment
at the way the cars go
catches himself edging into a spin
totters on his thin binsearch legs
and begs for twenty pee
was that a Scottish accent drifting
on the wind?

travellers and tramps
the butch, the camp
shaved men hanging from chains,
one ogled by an ageing cross-dresser
turns out to be a chemistry professor
attending the mind-bending
Pharmaceutical Ingredients
Worldwide Symposium,
major event of the drug-peddling year
must talk by day with large Dutch men
in name-tags and suits
with secret thoughts of licking their boots
give them sophistication, courage to thrust
in the marketplace
each year he hopes and prays and waits
to be selected as a delegate,
gets away from struggle and strife
to have one week of a secret life

In bedsitland, the young without baggage
drag huge portmanteaux down the stair
so much to take to God knows where
whilst not far away
they do a show right there
a college of scaffold erection
puts on an impromptu exhibition
brown grinning tattooed youths
strip to the waist
toss poles like cabers to each other
spin six-gun scaffold keys
they love display, love to please
the broad tanned girls with rucsac straps
who must pause and adjust them
steal sideways glances
at the choreographed dances
and routines of socket-spanner lust.
The erectors enjoy their truck
the way it blocks one lane
and the shaven-headed men
are there again
with upturned eyes
and lascivious smirk
passing the work
on their way to the clinic
yes sex is dangerous,
sex kills
the same as those multi-coloured pills
they’re selling over in the hall.
but sell them they will
and thats all.

The Jock’s got his confidence
up and running
on whisky and beer,
speaks, says
“I’m definitely here”
but speaks so fast
he almost doesn’t
follow himself





















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