bits and bats and sticks and stones and pics and pomes

Dripping from the ceiling

Did Kippenberger ever know

or earn eight hundred euros?

Though he wasn’t short of cash

he wasn’t quite that flash

until death gave his work

that  tingle and that spark -

the cachet of nostalgia

and of course the fact

he won’t make any more.


When it starts dripping from the ceiling

Does the price tag  send you reeling?

Who’s decided on its worth

since its maker’s not on earth?

We may ask and get no answers -

did our Martin get  advances?

But from him there is no word

for Martin’s gone and left this world.


Well,  his work’s on show in Dortmund.

Will the buyer get a refund

since the rain-stains in the trough

got attacked and scoured right off?


Does Martin care that the patina

was removed by an over-zealous cleaner?

Or is he happy that it rhymes -

at this best or worst of times?


From what I’ve read about him

he pushed life to the limits,

in other words he liked his booze

and shocked the world if so he chose

Is he turning in his grave

because no-one tried to save

those  oh-so-careful  rain-stains on his bucket?

Or, now he's flown away from pain

is he laughing like a drain?

He's more than likely thinking – ha, oh fuck it!

Colin Carr plays Bach

Bach's cello suites performed in Uppingham School chapel

We wait, talk quietly,
look at watches.
Five minutes to go.

Some have brought cushions.
The seats in the chapel are hard.
We all wear winter clothes.

Silence falls.

He walks on stage with his cello,
holding it lightly.

Dark hair fuzzes round his head,
He’s thin, delicate, precise.

He lifts his coat tails and sits
places the cello spike on the right spot,
straightens his back and
raises his left hand to the strings,
listens intently
begins to play
deep in concentration.

His eyebrows lift as if puzzled,
a fleeting smile crosses his face.
He seems to call the music
from beyond himself,
channels it to us
through the instrument
of fused body and cello.

It fills the space
and the audience.

At the end of each piece
he smiles briefly
raises his bow,
but says nothing.

We’ve forgotten the chill.

Nov 16 and 18 2007

Gifted and Talented

You are so talented.
You really have a gift.

The silver jug
hides on a shelf
turns dull

and Gift is the German for poison.

The staircase and the rope

Escape through art and imagination?

A staircase built
outside the house
grey dull stone,
in a Breton village.

Such a good idea,
all rooms should have one,
like city flats
with fire escapes.

She moves unseen
shadow with no footsteps
subject not object,
leaving no ripple
on the pond of  time.
She takes back each action
and replays it at will.

She picks up her knitting.
Each stitch a doorway,
to a row-path
in a landscape of texture
colour and pattern.

All paths in the house
cross dangerous roads.
No traffic lights
or zebras chart the way.

Best sit still and knit
a rope ladder
not a noose.