Thursday, July 05, 2007

301. Airey Takes the Plunge

(a restoration drama in several acts)

Airey was a friend in truth,
a fairy, yes, but not a poof;
a tough guy called Reg
threw him off a high ledge.
It's a long way to tip poor Airey.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
far away from friends and family,
I think, by God, although I'm odd,
I welcome change, however strange:
in a cheerful melancholy way,
Death could be a holiday.

In fires forever burning,
on a spit forever turning,
just like a Turkish kebab;
I'm glad I never paid the tab
in so many clubs and bars.
God, won’t they be raging!
the thought is quite engaging:
they’ll be tearing their hair
as if I care
for all them drinks I bought!

I never thought,
I never thought I’d wake up
after I hit the ground
at ten zillion miles an hour.
Splat! That’s that.
Wishy-washy lack of belief
affords but scant and thin relief
for the falling, failing agnostic.
Here is a falsely true acrostic:
Sweet dreams by icy lethal waters.*

The myriad sons and daughters
of O’Leary of the Yellow Hand
have formed a band,
here in the place I’m at.
I told that them I couldn’t sing,
but they want to know what I can bring
to add to the balance of joy.
Where’s God? So sorry, m'boy,
He’s away, he’s always away.
And the Divil’s off in Osaka Japan
to follow up on his business plan,
(An Dhool is no fool)
trawling for souls in a language school.

Listen, will I be dead for a long time?
Just as long as ye like.
On yer bike, resurrect some hobby
and make it last ten thousand years.
Any wee jobby to keep yer mind off things,
but stay away from collecting stamps:
stamp tramps are pure ferocious:
Super Calley Went Ballistic: Celtic Were Atrocious.
Hierophants and sycophants
make me want to wet me pants,
revert to my psychosis.

But can I do that, like?
Wet meself, scratch, play with girls?
No, you can’t. You’re, like, disembodied.
What about this pain in me arse?
Imaginary, old son.
You can keep the pain
but yer arse is dead and gone.
Where’s it gone to, so?
The Soap Factory.

In cold brittle little exchanges
I accommodate myself to certain changes.
Aren’t ye glad ye’re Catlick?
Y’wha?? Fuck you on about?
Even so. You should see the shabby sheds
where they stick the poor sad feckin Neds.
The Jews have chic flats in the Mews
(they were right all along)
Oooh, baby, won’t you shake your thong?
Instruct us, don't you dare amuse!

And them towel heads? Don’t arsk.
I don’t ask. And the Jehovahs?
They’re stuck with the oul’ whores
knocking on doors, forever and ever
and ever and ever. Amen.

Well, I never! This cheers me up
considerably. Jayz, I could
kill for a pint. Are there any pubs in Hell?
Naturallement! As Monsieur knows well
the Squareheads, the Jocks and the Micks
couldn’t die without them. There are Czechs
and balances, mind you, like the Skandies
who have acquired a taste for shaving lotion,
an effective if quite "deadly" potion.
Har, har, a pun. What fun! Listen,
we send people back from time to time,
would you like to go? I don’t know.
Being dead's, like, doin’ in me head,
but it’s not so bad, y’know?
Even so. Pack up and go:
back to the World of the Living.
Cease receiving, son. Start giving.

Right, then, here’s me,
rejected back to Life:
-- Suit, white shirt, necktie: check!
-- Red underpants, socks with clocks: check!
-- Sunglasses, watch, gold chains: check!
-- Cellphone, iPod, 3 rubber johnnies.
Hello there, Life, Allo, Allo!
Jeez, it’s fuckin raining.
I’m out of training.
I’ve forgotten how to talk
I can hardly bleedin walk
sedately; innately, I feel
that none of this is real.

O Jayzus, damn, by heck!
I just got a bang on the back of the neck.
I turn to my oppressor,
a large and hairy male cross-dresser
in a pink tutu and fawn little boots.
Beige, ye barstid, fawn is outré!
but what I really want to say
is 'oo the feck are yoo?
I delivered a thump and a bit of a bump
'coz ye look just like a ghost
mon semblable, mon frere,
are ye back from under there?"

I yam. Right, so, whattya think,
will we call it quits and go for a drink?
Seventeen pints after,
ciggies, girls, and gurgling laughter,
it's home with young Ivy Malone
on the Bakerloo, she don’t live alone.
The thing to do, she tells me,
is climb up the garden ladder
Because I reelly don’t want me fadder
or mudder to see yez. Haul away.
Show a light in the windy, sweet darlint,
show a light where I can see yez,
yer luverly pearl-white arms,
yer full abundant charms!
And here’s a tiny little kiss,
a promise of a night of bliss.

I feel so drained
yet self-contained
as I gaze into the glass:
a faint recognition
of the apparition
I know to be myself.
Dead, mislaid, or on the shelf,
this, too, I think, shall pass.
Her flashing eyes!
Her thunderous thighs!
All in two words explained:
convent trained.
Her legs grab tight-ily,
mightily wrap around my ass:
heave-ho, puff and blow!
Sky is high and ocean deep:
will she never go to sleep?

Ah, it’s not bad to be alive
once more. I can’t remember when
before it felt this cool. A general rule
is to keep the head down low,
and let the winds crack and blow
above you, like young sweet Ivy Malone
breathing hard in her shoebox of a room
up there on Dollis Hill.
I close my eyes, I remember still
her posters of Duran Duran,
the night I was her only man.

Being dead ain’t that bad, either,
once you get the hang of it, like.
The thing is being killed,
being shot or stabbed or smashed to bits
or tossed off a high building;
that’s the bit I don’t much care for.
Reg had hairs sprouting from his nose
and he had a bit of a ripe smell about him,
so when he pushed me off the roof that day
I had a bit of a snob thing about him,
not at all in my league, I’d have to say.

Time to drop in on hairy Reg.
I can imagine his moonlike pasty face
as he takes my presence in.
I’ll slip in the icy uncanny wedge
of fear. Here is a ghost, my dear!
But things seldom work out
quite as one expects: in many respects
Death and Life are both unfair.
I stand before this old armchair
and gaze on Reg, unprepossessing sight,
He’s been out all night,
God, he looks the worse for wear;
wheezing, snorting through his nose,
crumpled-up clothes, drunk as a coot,
one filthy, ugly, smelly brute.

When he wakes up, I’ll top him,
but not until he knows,
not until he really knows.
Then I’ll walk into the hall,
and descend. I need a friend,
have none at all. I was in love
and then I wasn't in love.
I was also once in life,
and then no longer in that.
Snow falls on distant mountains.
Sweet dreams by icy lethal waters.
Drip … drip … drip.

* a falsely true acrostic, in that only 22 of the 28 letters are used with an extra 'e' thrown in; seven words.