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last update: 15th Nov 13

 

 

Leaping Baronet                      West Pier Serenade

 

Tell Me                      Clark Gable in Mansfield

 

Leaping Baronet

In which Squire Mytton vaults a dining table on Baronet, his one-eyed horse …
 
 
          Mytton spans history’s dining table, cartoon-
          mount all spindled legs, matched only
          by cock-eyed surprise.
          Tinkling barley-twist stemmed glasses,
          etched decanters reflect hooves, silver puddled,
          trays joggled to lunacy’s straining beat.
 
          Beloved in pub prints, feat
          to draw punters, wooden
          Squire bests dining-table’s length
          on rocking-mare made flesh.
 
          Some penny-plains half-capturing
          his lips’ curve, rapturous,
          eyes distended with wild joy.
 
          Deep lines etch peg-doll face, betraying
          how he’d live, re-live that jump again,
          Bedlam’s Tam O’Shanter, no hag
          pursuing, through heart’s fast-buckling terrain.
 
 
 
Squire John ‘Mango’ (‘Mad Jack’) Mytton
was one of the most popular Regency figures to be depicted in sporting prints,
books, and paintings.

 

Deborah Tyler-Bennett

in collection, Mytton… Dyer… Sweet Billy Gibson…, 2011, Nine Arches Press,
ISBN 978-0-9565514-8-9



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West Pier Serenade

There’s a dance going on in the dark above our heads,
men pressing women against laundered suits,
a girl’s surprised to find her older partner
dances better than boys, a woman leaves imprinted lips
staining the bar-tender’s milky cheek.
 
Above us, the burned-out pier against evening’s
Guinness-black curtain, where feet shuffle in rhythm
(a few toes getting stepped on), and maybe this
close stepping’s what we’re made for,
hands tight against gabardine or georgette clad backs.
It may be the sea, or the dancers’ suggestive whispering:
At last, at last, at last …
 
Above our heads, pier-bones lost to night,
where phantoms clutch each other.
Only the sea? Or a woman breathing to her partner,
before kissing him: I wish tonight would last,
would last … would last …
 

Deborah Tyler-Bennett

in collection, Pavilion, 2010, Smokestack Books,
ISBN ISBN 978-0-9560341-5-1;
first published in The White Car, 46, 2006, Ragged Raven Press,
ISBN 0-9552662-01



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Tell Me

Of the Thames’ course, hairy log shifts faster than walking,
impersonates tide-fretted girl …
 
Locale legends – Rushing woman shouts: ‘Someone’s drowning’,
then’s wall swallowed … Barge steered under arches
 
not re-emergent … Witnesses mention occupants’ sparking eyes.
Londoners, used to going … reappearing …
 
Old man sluthering Starbuck’s – Reality, or last year’s shadow?
sores on hands and naked feet
 
eluding vision like a phantom barge.
 

Deborah Tyler-Bennett

in collection, Revudeville, 2011, King's England Press,
ISBN 978-1-872438-55-9



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Clark Gable in Mansfield

His playboy presence was a flickering flame,
dazzling with diamond-bracelet smiles.
GABLE MOBBED BY FANS WHO TRAVELLED MILES
the papers said we put New York to shame,
but Mansfield fans set up a waiting game
and got him signing photographs in piles.
Fire-lipped typists, abandoning their files
mobbed him for copies of his well-heeled name.
‘Clark, over here, Clark’ – Still that refrain clings,
‘mi Mam thinks you’re the dishiest man alive!’
Still I see him, standing hand in pocket,
as if Mansfield was glamorous Palm Springs
and not a place to make his spirits dive.
 
I keep him like a picture in a locket.
 
 
 
for Martyn
 

Deborah Tyler-Bennett

in collection, Clark Gable in Mansfield: Selected Poems, 2003, King’s England Press,
ISBN 978-1-872438-85-6



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