If I had known you were planning to come early
I would have come earlier myself in order to be here
when you arrived early. First, it goes without saying
but I’ll say it anyway, there was a moment of conception
when, out in the car park, beyond the confines placed
around us like wire around the skull, we determined
to play free or to not play at all. Do we have, do you
think, enough chairs? I have no idea how many people
there will be, in the hall, in my life, beneath the skies.

Oh sky! something is happening that’s almost beyond
my control. And, though what you’ve bought to the party
isn’t quite fitting in we are nothing if not adaptable
and, when the light show hits the wall, open your eyes
for only then will the excitement of discovering things
do what it does best, which is to deliver a sledgehammer
blow to your comfortable zones in order to, yes, disrupt
or disturb what’s going on, whatever that may be.

So be, if nothing else, and this is very important, sensitive
to the feeling in the room. The room, it goes without saying,
is a metaphor for society, and the tune, the song,
the somewhat weird effect of all the people together
making a hell of a din, that’s the day and all its hubbub
awash in a surge of scurrilous and divine beauty and, as I see
you now going for your coat and preparing to leave early,
remember you will be going out on a groundswell of disbelief
and pessimism courtesy of what’s left of the welfare state.


© Martin Stannard, 2016
Illustration Nick Victor



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