Saturday, April 07, 2007

Molly Parkin: I Reside In The Tower Of Babel

POEM BY MOLLY PARKIN, COMPLETED FEB 5, 2007.

I RESIDE IN THE TOWER OF BABEL

I RESIDE IN THE TOWER OF BABEL AT THE CHELSEA AREA, WORLD'S END.
THE COUNCIL DUMPED ME ON THIS ONCE-SAVAGE ESTATE
AS THEY HAVE CHRISTINE KEELER, WHEN SHE WAS AT A LOW EBB.
MEANT AS A PUNISHMENT FOR TWO GOOD-TIME GIRLS.
SHE FOR BRINGING DOWN THE TORY GOVERNMENT IN THE 60S
BY SHAGGING PROFUMO, THE FOREIGN SECRETARY,
AND A RUSSIAN SPY, BOTH AT THE SAME TIME
DURING THE COLD WAR.

AND ME, FOR BEING BANKRUPT, NOT PAYING MY TAXES
CHOOSING TO SPEND THE CASH, BOOZING ALL DAY, EVERY DAY
WITH FRANCIS BACON AND THE LIKE AT THE COLONY, INSTEAD.
WHICH I WOULD DO ALL OVER AGAIN, GIVEN THE CHOICE,
SEEING IT AS THE ESSENCE OF MY CREATIVE EDUCATION.
FOR THE CONVERSATION ALONE, CELT TO CELT WITH FRANCIS.
AND BEING CUDDLED AND CALLED 'CUNTY',
SO TENDERLY BY MURIEL, MY MENTOR.

AS FOR THE PUNISHMENT, I'VE BEEN WHIPPED WITH A STRING OF PEARLS
AND AM UTTERLY IN MY ELEMENT, HERE IN WHAT'S TERMED
SHELTERED ACCOMMODATION FOR THE ELDERLY AND INFIRM,
WITH MY VERY OWN GARDEN,
WHERE I'VE PLANTED PALM TREES AND BAMBOOS
AND FRAGRANT BUSHES OF LAVENDER,
AND BEE-SEDUCING HONEYSUCKLE, AND CRIMSON ROSES
CRYING TO BE PLUCKED, HEAVY UNDER THEIR OWN WEIGHT,
LIKE YOUNG WOMEN WITH CHILD.

I HAVE SHY, GLOBAL REFUGEES AS NEIGHBOURS,
NONE OF US KNOWING WHAT THE OTHER IS SAYING,
PASSING IN IN CORRIDORS, SPILLING FROM ELEVATORS,
SO SMILING INSTEAD AND SAYING IT ALL
WITH A GENTLE LOOK IN OUR EYES
OF FUCKING CARING ABOUT EACH OTHER.
MEN AND WOMEN AND CHILDREN,
INFANTS AND ANCIENTS MOURNING FAMILIES BACK HOME
AND THOSE LEFT FOR DEAD IN POLITICAL STRIFE.
THE DISPLACED GOING THROUGH IT,
SHARING LIFE ON AN INNER LONDON COUNCIL ESTATE,
WHICH IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT
YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY KNOW IT.
EVERY BLOODY POLITICIAN SHOULD BE FORCED TO TRY IT
LIKE TAKING A PLEASURE CRUISE ON THE TITANIC,
IT UNEXPECTEDLY BRINGS HUMAN BEINGS, HOMO SAPIENS
CLOSER TOGETHER, WHETHER THEY SHARE THE SAME LANGUAGE OR NOT.
LIKE THE HUDDLING OF PENGUINS IN ARCTIC BLIZZARDS.
AND I'M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT'S HOW IT WAS
IN THE LONDON BLITZ WITH ENEMY BOMBERS OVERHEAD.

SO WE EXCHANGE A BRIEF EMBRACE, A TWINKLE IN THE EYE,
OR A FLEETING BRUSHING OF FINGERS
FEELING COMFORTED AND UNDERSTOOD
USING THIS KIND OF LANGUAGE
WITH SENTENCES LEFT UNSAID.

THE END

Copyright by Molly Parkin 2007

2 comments:

Myrna said...

In the tower of Babel, right. That's why her typing choice makes her language so foreign to me. Sorry, I still can't read it. I need a translation!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Molly. Just like you.