Wednesday, 4 March 2009

basil bunting

What The Chairman Told Tom

Poetry? It's a hobby.
I run model trains.
Mr Shaw there breeds pigeons.

It's not work. You don't sweat.
Nobody pays for it.
You could advertise soap.

Art, that's opera; or repertory -
The Desert Song.
Nancy was in the chorus.

But to ask for twelve pounds a week -
married, aren't you? -
you've got a nerve.

How could I look a bus conductor
in the face
if I paid you twelve pounds?

Who says it's poetry, anyhow?
My ten year old
can do it and rhyme.

I get three thousand and expenses,
a car, vouchers,
but I'm an accountant.

They do what I tell them,
my company.
What do you do?

Nasty little words, nasty long words,
it's unhealthy.
I want to wash when I meet a poet.

They're Reds, addicts,
all delinquents.
What you write is rot.

Mr Hines says so, and he's a schoolteacher,
he ought to know.
Go and find work.

i can;t quite understand why there's not any bunting elsewhere on here. you can hear him reading this at the ever fabulous poetry archive. there's more about bunting and poetry in the north of england here. i'm unsure how much longer the link will be active but you should definitely do yourself a favour and give it a listen as it's rather wonderful.

1 comment:

Niamh B said...

fabulous - love the pronounciation on the "R"s
12 pounds a week is a pretty hefty salary for a poet alright tho.