:: Article

Three Poems

By Charles Thomson.

ENDLESS CITY

Endless city
full of shops,
it all goes on,
it never stops,
endless cars,
endless street,
endless bodies,
endless feet,
and the great wheel
turning, turning,
souls on fire,
spirits burning,
Walter Raleigh,
William Blake.
Matthew Arnold
eating cake,
ghosts of peasants,
spirals, rings,
priests and rabbis,
ducks and kings,
hackney drivers,
prostitutes,
leather jackets,
jeans, suits,
and the river
rolling on,
what is there
and what has gone,
what will not
and what will be,
and what does it
all mean to me,
and why do blue lights
flash all night,
what is wrong,
what is right,
bearded beggar
with a sign,
tree of life,
earth, divine,
back at home
in a heap,
close my eyes,
go to sleep.

THE LADIES WHO DANCE ON RECORD PLAYERS WHILE THE TURNTABLE REVOLVES AT 78

The ladies who dance on record players while the turntable revolves at 78
faint.

RAMSGATE IN THE RAIN*

We saved our Persil coupons
and from Maidstone caught a train
to spend the day beside the sea
at Ramsgate, in the rain.

We took our lunch in a café
and we took up smoking again
and we took a stroll for souvenirs
from Ramsgate, in the rain.

We went into the amusement arcade
where the videos addle the brain,
and we looked at the little harbour
of Ramsgate, in the rain.

It was really rather romantic,
though the sky was a great grey stain,
to spend last Sunday with you
in Ramsgate, in the rain.

(* included in Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 1992-2001.)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charles Thomson
was the only person in 10 years to fail the painting degree at Maidstone College of Art. In 1979, he was a founder member of The Medway Poets, and then a full-time poet for 13 years, with work in over 100 anthologies. In 1999 he named, co-founded and has since been the driving force of the Stuckism movement, which now numbers more than 150 groups in 38 countries. He has demonstrated for 7 years outside the Turner Prize, and in 2005 applied under the Freedom of Information Act for Tate trustee minutes about the gallery’s purchase of its trustee Chris Ofili’s work. This led in 2006 to the Charity Commission’s ruling that the Tate had been acting illegally for the last 50 years. His painting satirising Sir Nicholas Serota, whose face peers over a large pair of (Tracey Emin’s) red knickers, is a well-known image. He was briefly married to artist Stella Vine in 2001.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, July 29th, 2008.