Skip to main content

NEW YEAR'S POEM BY IRISH POET KEVIN HIGGINS

On A Prodigious Philanthropist’s Ghastly Second Death  
after Bernie Taupin

Goodbye your shiny tracksuits,
though I never saw one unzipped.
They had the grace to hide your bits;
while those around you fawned;
made you Knight Bachelor -
for charitable services. Then had
your granite headstone
goodness gracious dismantled
and sent to landfill
near Skipton.

And it seems to me you lived
your life as it happens
giving love to children,
you picked up in various hospitals,
in the back of your silver Rolls Royce.
Never knowing when Mary Whitehouse
might give you an award
for services to family friendly TV,
and you’d be forced
to wind the window down
to accept it. And I would
have liked to know you
but I was just a kid.
Your cigar burnt out long before
I ever got to smoke it.

Their jealousy towards you odious.
Not everyone can be a crony of
both Margaret Thatcher and
Cardinal Basil Hume.
The University of Leeds gave you
how’s about that, then an honorary
doctorate of law. And pain
was the price they paid.
Even when you died, pundits
whispered behind fists,
when the microphone was safely off,
that Jimmy was found now then, now then
with his mitts up a girl’s dress.

Goodbye England’s shiny tracksuit,
though I never got to look inside you,
from the boy watching
Top of The Pops, Christmas 1976,
who sees you as something more than sexual
more than just our Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile,
Order of the British Empire.

And it seems to me you lived
your life as it happens fixing children,
you got from various hospitals,
in the back of your silver Rolls.
Never knowing when Tony
Blair might invite you to dine at Chequers.
I would have liked to know
you but guys and gals I was just a kid.
And pain was the price they paid.

POEM COPYRIGHT KEVIN HIGGINS 2014


Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon.  The Ghost In The Lobby is Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry will be launched early Spring 2014.

Himself

 
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…