strangeness we need

Whitman stuffed his canary when it died
why would you do that
why would you sing the body electric
( there was a time I thought I knew)
Whitman sent his stuffed canary
to a bunch of guys in Oldham
in Lancashire in England
why would you do that

yesterday I saw a crushed candy poet
dressed in purple
her firm jazz beat words evoking ghosts
of immigrants
her shamanic movements made me think
of all the survivors (not many)

outside the dirty river Calder splashed
and I wondered
did Dave Cunliffe know about the stuffed canary
I thought about Trump and all his poison tweets
I don’t need no dead yellow bird
what I need is a living crow

but please don’t send one why would you
why would you do that






Illustration Nick Victor

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2 Responses to strangeness we need

    1. bravo GND
      and such
      a surprise
      and so good
      you mention
      good old Dave Cunliffe
      why would you that
      do that
      do that?

      Comment by jeff cloves on 25 January, 2020 at 5:17 pm
    2. Hi Jeff, thanks for the comment.The poem came about after a New Departures gig at the Hepworth Wakefield where I got talking to Kirsten Harris a bit of a Whitman expert, who told me about the canary and the group of guys in Bolton that Whitman corresponded with and I thought Bolton isn’t that far from Mr Cunliffe’s Global Tapestry stomping ground, I could imagine that if he had been around back in the day he might have been one of the guys in Bolton. Once again thanks for the feedback

      Comment by George Deans on 27 January, 2020 at 2:59 pm

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