Eddie Gibbons is the author of four poetry collections and two collaborative books. His latest full collection is What They Say About You (Leamington Books, Edinburgh). A prize-winner in the inaugural Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition 2008, he has been widely published in magazines, including Quadrant Magazine, Australia. His work has appeared on radio and television, including ‘Soccer AM’ on Sky TV. He had his own ‘Poetry Cabaret’ show at StAnza 2010. Why She Flew To Barcelona was published by Calder Wood Press in 2010.
A Terraceful of Marilyns
This isn’t Opera. No cosy fans will flutter
unless it’s a version of The Flying Dutchman
with Marco Polo Van Basten ghosting in
for a shipload of goals.
This isn’t Ballet. No fouettés in Capezio canvas,
unless it’s a score by Prokoviev, where Nureyev
dazzles: a blur of Cruyff turns from wing to wing.
This isn’t a Broadway play. No dresser will deal
with scuffed shoes, unless Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
is proof Cantona ran hotfoot from Old Trafford.
This isn’t Modern Art. No nancy boys will cry
for MOMA, unless the referee is blowing the whistle
of a train hurtling from the goalmouth, and a terraceful
of Marilyn Monroe’s are shouting: this is not a pipe
No-one wears a Tuxedo. None arrive at the turnstiles
in limousines zebra striped by neon lights.
People won’t scream for encores and authors.
There will be no bows from the orchestra.
Only, here and there, twin strikers, seemingly asleep
in their boots, crouch like tigers in red leather.
My voice, my speech, are tanged with salt
air. My throat is coated with estuary winds
which whirled down Water Street to bluster
over the Goree Piazza, tripping the bronze-
sculpted buckets to tip their freight of Mersey
brine unspooling into sloop-shaped pools.
The dustings from the grist of mills accentuates
my accent: my coal-caked vocal chords vibrate
and resonate in the tonal range of tugs sluicing
silt from Ellesmere Port to Bromborough Dock.
All gutturals and glottal stops, all aitches dropped,
the lilt of which will warm or warn.
Know me by the sounds I utter – the guttersnipe
whine, scallywag snarl, knavish slaver, or sugar-
coated sibilants: clue in to the tremolo, tremor,
the whoop or whimper. Gather the gist from
an open hand, a closed fist, the pitch:
there, there; fuck you; I do.
I’m More Th>n
More Lada than Prada
More NYPL than DKNY
More Vague than Vogue
More Ball Boy than Balmain
More Lager Lout than Lagerfeld
More Mascherano than Moschino
More Villanelle than Coco Chanel
More Vest Vest Vest than Est Est Est
More Harvey Smith than Harvey Nicks
More Charity Store than Christian Dior
More Kev and Tosh than Becks and Posh
More Stella Artois than Stella McCartney
More Anna Karenina than Donna Karan
More Aphra Behn than Oprah Winfrey
More Red Adair than Fred Astair
More Eastwood than Westwood
More Berryman than Burberry
More Belafonte than Beyonce
More Syllable than Sellable
More Pub than Published
More Owing than Ode
from Why She Flew to Barcelona (Calder Wood Press, 2010).
Order Why She Flew to Barcelona.
Visit Eddie’s author page.