Thursday, May 24, 2018

Market Going

I was minding my own business driving to a
Southern California store for groceries while
listening to Philip Larkin on a CD reading

“Church Going.” He suddenly stops, coughs
(coughs?) and, incredibly, improvises this
entirely new stanza that I instantly know no

one’s ever heard before. Was I hallucinating?
Probably. Nonetheless, I abruptly pull over,
park & play track fourteen thirteen times but

what I thought I heard has gone missing, like
Larkin himself did back in 1985.


Phil, are you taking the piss out of me from the top
floor apartment you now occupy in the next life with
a most commanding view of the cosmos? Did the

telescope I assume you brought with you find me
here on Earth and prompt you to prank me just like
Conquest famously did with you? (These days, you

would no longer have to ask Robert to pick up girlie
mags for you in Soho porn shops --- computers now
have access to smut 24-7.) In related news, 1,000

Girl Guides have still yet to assemble to recite “This
Be The Verse” but give it time. I agree with you it’s
bound to happen. Your old pal Kingsley became the

famous novelist you never did. But there aren’t any
statues of him. However, there is one of you in Hull
which also has popular Larkin festivals where large,

colorfully painted toads that you'd gleefully loathe
dot the landscape. After Motion’s biography, some
felt you were racist, sexist and didn’t deserve your

reputation. But, like Martian Poetry, that didn’t last.
You’re still beloved around the world but especially
in England where (as you predicted) there was room

for you in Westminster Abbey: you wound up in the
hallowed Poet’s Corner in 2016. Anyway, feel free
to spy on me whenever you’re inclined. I’ll leave my

computer on. Right now, it’s playing one of your
favorite songs --- Sidney Bechet’s “Blue Horizon.”
Like his playing, your poetic voice falls upon all

of us as they say love should, like an enormous …
something or other.