The performance poet Sophia Blackwell has also very kindly agreed to let me share two of her amazing poems here! Sophia will be joining me and reading out more out of her poems, and some extracts from her own novel, at Westminster Reference Library on Friday. For more info on Sophia and her work, please see: http://www.sophiablackwell.moonfruit.com/, or http://www.sophiablackwell.moonfruit.com/bio/4549456003
Many thanks go to both Sophia and Roz for sharing their work.
Elizabeth Taylor’s Town
I'd like to think that somewhere in a sun-stunned suburb,
Silence drapes itself across wedding-crystal bowls
Of cream-fleshed flowers, fluffed by puffy matrons
Who watch their kitchen clocks till cocktail hour.
In this bedroom town, the sky is always Tiffany blue,
The TVs tuned to QVC, its crackling reams of bling
Silently dazzling bonbon-nibbling housewives
High on Hollywood headlines and sugar pills.
I'd like to think, in the hinterland between afternoon and evening,
That the fractured spines of streets named after women
Gleam with store windows like dressing-room mirrors.
The stars reveal themselves expensively.
In roach motels for salesmen and falling angels,
With vibrating beds and plastic-coated curtains,
Divorcees raise hell in cut-glass accents, lift ironic highballs,
Eyeball each other with the same unlikely smiles.
Ceiling fans dance in the diner at the roadside,
Their years of dust and sugar sparkling like chandeliers.
The hookers stave off tears with nips from hip-flasks.
Chiffon pies turn under lights like drunken brides.
And I'd like to think that there's a little Goth waitress
With an attitude, black mink hair, and eyes like moon rock,
Her dimestore diamonds winking around her neck,
Waiting on her latest lover, waiting tables, waiting to be discovered.
Taking more coffee to table three, she checks her seams are straight,
Checks on her great dreams. She smiles, a woman-child,
And whispers- God help you, world, when you finally meet me.
You have never, ever, met anyone quite like me.
Dawn is soft, silver, skirted with violet haze.
It slips into her scrapbook- the perfect shade for ribbons,
And place-cards, too. All new. It takes her hours.
She glues confetti showers. Something blue.
Watered silk roses like the ghosts of flowers.
Done, more or less; the chocolates, hen-night toys,
Favours and flavours. Oh, it's such a stress,
But he's no help, bless; really, he's just a boy,
though one of the best, and with her flat hair and chest,
She's no princess, but will be. And that- well, that will be a joy.
Oh, God, the dress! A rush of hoopskirt haloes,
Baby's breath, Bo-Peep bows, skirt a burst grenade,
She'll wade through petticoats like frothing milk,
trailing with twitching robot butterflies,
glow-worm lights and clouds of parachute silk.
Why one special day? Given the work, food, wines,
It should be a festival, a five-day feast, three days at least
like Indian brides. All done up to the nines,
She'd sit in a murmuring tent, dripping with diamond lights,
Breathing flame and cumin, blooming with henna vines.
She puts the book away. It's good to have a plan-
Favourites tabs, Brides subscription, hidden plastic bags.
Weddings can be a drag; family, boredom, indigestion?
Enough. She climbs back into bed with her sleeping man,
And prays, today, he'll finally pop the question.