A poem for the day – Crowd Scene after Kung Fu – the Headcrusher

Alias raised a point last night about whether references in a poem to the facts or symbols or lexicon of local politics automatically made a poem political. And earlier in the week Pippakin said there was no reason why I should stick to ‘political’ pieces.

This, then, started life as an exercise in 1970s nostalgia even if it goes elsewhere en route. The crowds are hordes of kids leaving the cinema after a Saturday afternoon double-bill of kung fu movies (the titles are real.) A process of association brings in some of the other crowds that that space (Regent Street in Newtownards, as it happens) has seen over the years…

Crowd Scene after Kung Fu – the Headcrusher

Coming soon: The One-armed Boxer
and The Deaf and Dumb Swordswoman.
We flee the credits as they play ‘The Queen’.

We leap from the foyer with one leg extended
in the sham fight of each against each.
We chop and high-kick. We yelp like throaty hens.

In ten years Paisley’s Third Force will drill here
and years ago, so many came to see
George Formby in the flesh you couldn’t move.

But there are only dozens of us this Saturday,
our heroes badly-dubbed and foreigners
as disproportionately vengeful as ourselves.

Amn’t I the Shaolin novice? Aren’t you
the quare apprentice from the iceworks,
posed like some animal we don’t have here,

the snake, the praying mantis, or the dragon?

Author of four collections of poetry, the most recent, The resurrection of the Body at Killysuggen, published in June 2011 by Belfast’s Lagan Press. He blogs about his latest book on www.killysuggen.wordpress.com.