Artificial Ecstasy

Andrew Darlington

Fairground screams
ripping at the belly of night.
Fairground screams of
artificial ecstasy.
Fairground girls from last week's
Mecca dance-hall pick-ups
where multi-facetted spheres of glass
beam jagged quivers of light-flight
turning vagrant virgin faces to
wounded ravens flapping in Lurex shadows.
Factory girls in turned-up jeans,
dreaming about men in limousines--
across duralex cups of Espresso Coffee,
attempting to hold youths from fights,
courting desultory death on street corners.
Anticipating Friday and the
Fairground Gypsies' swarthy smell of freedom.

There is the head of a dead monarch on
the coin he flips--waiting for Friday
through long drizzling-bleak days on
Stevedore waterfront, unloading
Scandinavian timber, huge man-tall
clusters of greening bananas concealing tarantulas,
Thinking of Fairground girls with
piled-up lacquered hair.
Fairground screams
ripping at the belly of night.
Fairground screams of artificial ecstasy.

 

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