Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Bribe

By collocation-contingent slang,
My barnet's fringe contrary to bang
Is puffy; is now, was ever thus,
When, never more conscious that a bus
Was travelling down hill, I watched my
Vomit tidal-meander, whence I
Was sitting at the back, down between
Rows of seats, heard a voice intervene:
“Oh my God, he's pissed himself!” The girl,
Mistaking my spirit level hurl
For urine in alerting her friend,
Was not much older than me. A bend
Coarsened my sense of the sloping road
And grey deck of a bus to forebode
The years that would pursue my 12th year.
Bruce's dad had bought me 12 pints of beer
The night before. My last memory
Prior to passing out finally
On the carpet was of his warm breath
Pronouncing a stifling shibboleth,
Blowing into my mouth, blowback dope;
And as the road continued to slope,
And I vomited more of that clear
Beer, I could recall stumbling in fear
Up the stairs, having once awoken,
To find, in malign dark, the token
Of a bed. Two weeks hence, because Bruce
And I were wilfully too obtuse
Within our friendship to acknowledge,
As we played near the Old Vicarage
In Grantchester, that we were not fond
Of each other, we laboured this bond,
Set afloat on the pond the canoe
That his dad had given me, when two
Boys came up to us. “You can't do that,”
Said one. “Fuck off,” I said. Bruce sat
In the boat, amused by the fervid
Objection. “You're Jeffrey Archer's kid,”
He proffered to the one who had piped,
Who pulled at the mooring, and I swiped
It back, and Bruce fell in.