Iain Bailey

2 Poems


I had him under the clippers.
I asked him apropos if
He could have been present
At one gig in all of music history
What would it have been?
He thought about this for a while.
Little sheaves of dry dark hair
Fell about his shoulders. All
The blonde goes out of it
At the cut, like an aura.
His shoulders heaved with breath.
He was tall, very athletic.
Finally he said, ‘Miles Davis,
The Cellar Door, 1970, that would—’
I stopped the clippers, looked
Him in his mirrored eye. He wore
An ironic smile that flickered
A premonition of guilt. The cold
Nostalgia of a hedonism desired
Like a final-salary pension scheme.
He could have been my lover.
He could have had the guts
To pack into The Shed and sweat
His losses. I wanted to split
That accentless skull,
Massage the knotty intellect,
Bring him home without envy.



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