Eighteen Hours Of It

After several days of silence
the plumber positively agrees
to repair the ever more leaky boiler.
At the t’ai-chi group, the lawn
does its swimming-pool impression,
all sun-glints and wavy lines.
Then I resolve a vexatious problem
about my new email account.


I spend the night in a Parisian slum
with a young woman called Way
who has some enchanting freckles
and many bohemian friends.
Their bathroom is almost unusable
because its surfaces are crammed
with piles of classic livres-de-poche:
GÓde, Sartre, Malraux, etcetera.
I spend time away from time with her
and a beautiful levantine youth
whose name I did not quite.
In the room bed, closer than sex,
we three tell each other everything.
The heaven moment comes when
she offers to cut my hair, but warns me
forcefully that ‘What I cut, I cut’. Then
everyone puts their grubby shoes on
and surges out to play golf somewhere –
are you getting all this, Puccini?


All of which means it has been good
to squander an hour or so at rest
after waking into a summer dawn
that was filled with a murmur of rain
although none in fact was out there,
and then to get up, loose-spirited,
and begin to write down this poem,
perhaps the first of many things
about which I must consult her.

Rip Bulkeley

If you've any comments on this poem, Rip Bulkeley would be pleased to hear from you.