someone left the cake out in the rain

How did it come to this?

me, leaning in a plastic dumpster
fumbling for a mallet or a hammer
to knock in a bamboo marker
the dogs had knocked over
round a patch of wild flowers
singing MacArthur Park?
(to be clear – the dogs just bark
I’m the one singing
the first thing
that comes into my head –
a song from the 70s by Jimmy Webb)

MacArthur Park!

I mean – not even
the cool Donna Summer version
but that godawful, barely lawful perversion
by Richard Harris

Richard Harris!
I’m so embarrassed
singing with the same, geriatric warble
like Richard Harris had gone to the trouble
of building up status with audiences & directors
in the theatre, film and television sectors
but found himself singing like a vivisector
might sing
operating
on a cat
and being suitably horrified by that

mind you
it’s true
the brain is a crazy kinda organ
with weirder projections than a gorgon
signals continually toing and froing
without you knowing
what the hell is going
on, and why you’re getting strange looks from strangers
because you’re singing and snapping your fingers
to Scooby dooby Doo, where are you….?
or that advert for Murphy’s in 1992
p-p-p-pick up a penguin
flickering round your axons
for aeons and aeons
along with a billion other distractions

No doubt if you held a gun to my head
and said sing us something or you’re dead
it wouldn’t be anything I genuinely liked
like Iron & Wine, Die Antwoord, or anything I’d been listening to that night
on Spotify
anything of quality
it’d be some lame-arsed jingle
an advert for Pringles
or Nivea for wrinkles
a tune you desperately snatch
as they frown and flick off the safety catch
as I start singing uncertainly:
Ski – the full of fitness food – for all the family….

and of course – I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate or waver
they’d shoot me straight off and they’d be doing me a favour

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