"An ever-intriguing writer."
"A genuine talent."



The Last Pause Is The Longest

There are two kinds of silence in this world.
And no-one knew that better than Harold Pinter.
Beckett may have started it, but it was
Pinter who made the pregnant pause his own.
‘The Homecoming’ contains 224 of them.
‘The Caretaker’, by comparison, a mere 149.
I don’t owe it all to this son of a Jewish tailor,
but I certainly owe him a lion’s share.
I saw him that once in the flesh; leaving his seat
following the posthumous premiere
of my friend’s suicide-note of a stageplay.
He was taller than I’d pictured him.
With a stature befitting of a Nobel laureate.
The black cells were in his gullet even then;
steadily multiplying, though not yet diagnosed.
How I wish now that I'd asked to shake his hand.
Afterall, in the end it’s all about the ferret
under the cocktail cabinet. Or is it a weasel?
Blackout. Curtain. Applause.

Harold Pinter: official website



My Own Private Guernica

Snow falls upon the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Shadows lengthen in the afternoon sun.
I could have gone to see Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ today,
but I just can’t face that capacious canvas right now.
I’m not really in the mood for abstracted strategic bombing.
I feel shot-thru with enough symbolic shrapnel as it is.
Instead I’m stood here, watching the street-walkers on the corner.
Counting the number of imported cigarettes smoked.
Counting the number of tricks turned.
The bull is just a bull. The dying horse is just a dying horse.
The inverted hidden harlequins are just inverted hidden harlequins.
I could have gone to see ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’ triptych.
Or ‘The Black Goyas’ (painted at home by a half-mad old deaf man),
but best I stay right here, partly hidden by the heavy curtains.
Collecting dust on my eyeballs. Slowly bleeding out.
A lemming on a clifftop.
A kitten in a gunny-sack.
I open the sallyport and close
the first door firmly behind me.
My white flag is unfurling.
I can feel my toes beginning to curl under.

Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica'

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