September 26th, 2006


I don't write poetry

And this is not directly a response to the death of Mike Ford, one of the best poets and technicians of verse I ever met, because it is far too incompetent technically to serve as a way of honouring him.

It is, at most, an expression, late at night, of the heartbreak I and everyone else who knew him even as slightly as I did feel at his death.

When Harlequin grew old,
His diamonds shiny tatters on his back,
He stumbled through his capers in the street,
Yet made an elegance from every fall.

When Harlequin grew old,
White hair hung elflocked where his cap was torn
His eyes were filmed inside his ragged mask
His tight-lipped half-smile hid his broken teeth
Yet charmed and broke the hearts on whom it shone

When Harlequin grew old,
He shivered in the wind that blew from death
And improvised a sonnet made of groans.
He leered through cataracts at passing whores
Who paid him farthings for his compliments
And gave him alms to feed his three-legged cur.

When Harlequin grew old,
Death tapped his shoulder, pulled him from his dance
Death dressed him in the coat without a seam
Death housed him in the home that's safe from winds.
Death honoured him whom life had made a clown.

More on Mike

I have been thinking about what would be appropriate for us to do in London.

What I want to do is put together a memorial meeting at which we would mostly read Mike's poetry aloud and perhaps a group of five or eight of us could rehearse a reading of 110 stories.

Any thoughts on whether this is a good idea and what venues would be good?