Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Last man in Herne Bay

I am not a man
except for this pint
except that I am the last
in Herne Bay.

Mini golf. A barking noise.
It’s never occurred to me.
I am for the Swayze
Just coming on the jukebox.

When you are trendy for a pint
God it’s so ironic we are here
my manners have slipped
dancing on my own

When you are the last
you will dig out oysters
and lob them at the rocks
like the birds

you will step over
a leaking postman
to scoff wafer cones
from the kiosks

you will catch
yourself mumbling
along the corridors
of the marine hotel at night

when you are mechanical
and will always face
the sea
what can you do?

was it you I was with?
paying £1.20 to eat these slugs
and getting pissed on the beach
Jesus Christ.

Ruins of Dreamland

Dreamland burned down. The dreams of Dreamland burnt too. I tried explaining the penny arcade to my hunting pack. They snapped and they clinkered and one by one they died. Ranter and Ringwood, Bellman and True.

Radio rust over Dreamland, over. Shortwave static grows through the scaffold of the coaster tracks, propagates slowly in the evening tide. Echoes of the ghost train. Right well I served my master, said the voice.

One voice from the bunker. Female uninflected, smudged by atmospherics, generated by machines. Whiskey stained. Foxtrot and tango as sprung dancefloors into powder. Dreamland attracted over two million visitors a year.

Dreamland attracted me. As you will plainly hear, smudged by sunspots. In the public language of numbers, though this is not, shall we say, for public consumption. I spent many nights here as a young buck.

Perhaps fifty times larger than a man, Dreamland was potential. Its ruins lie all around us, in burnt out sierras, of dandelion, sorrel, jack-by-the-hedge. I tried explaining seaside architecture to a dead gull. From its bill whispered Kursaal, Washington, Hotel, Napoli.

Poaching the ruins for steel struts and coddling them for coaster rails. Dreamland was a controlled explosion. Dreamland was my delight. I tried to explain this to the numbers as they drifted over the sea and tangled in the scaffold. Dreamland burned down. Dreamland burned down. Dreamland burned down.