Friday Poem

Men Made of Words

a rondeau

Men made of words live in migraine hotels
And talk not of music, but speaker cables;
Stay up to drink whisky with red lemonade,
Point out the mistakes one other has made –
Of pronunciation, directions and sales.

Some compare charts before prints of Kandinsky;
Some pick on the barmaid – Nebraskan and pretty –
Their guiding philosophy never needs telling;
The Fauvists, so colourful: what is it they’re selling?
Art never hurts for the men made of words.

So if you, like I, often let down your guard
When you’re drunk in the hush of a theatre courtyard;
Or, forced to find work beneath travestied arches,
You find yourself under the weight of their glances,
Make your excuse while the handshakes are hard
And run for your life from the men made of words.

by Luke Lennard
from The Migraine Hotel
Salt Publishing, Cambridge, 2009