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Mark Grist

Updated: Sun, 29 Mar 2009 10:07 am

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I'm an english teacher and writer based in Peterborough. I've been performing in the area for a couple of years now and am looking to get out and about a bit more. My writing seems to go down well and i'm about to go on a national tour with Murray Lachlan young, Aoife Mannix and Woodpigeon, which should be very exciting.


I want a girl who reads “So, what do you go for in a girl?” He crows, lifting a lager to his lips Gestures where his mate sits Downs his glass “He prefers tits I prefer ass. What do you go for in a girl?” I don’t feel comfortable The air left the room a long time ago All eyes are on me Well, if you must know I want a girl who reads Yeah. Reads. I’m not trying to call you a chauvinist Cos I know you’re not alone in this but… I want a girl who reads Who needs the written word & uses the added vocabulary She gleans from novels and poetry To hold lively conversation In a range of social situations I want a girl who reads Who’s heart bleeds at the words of Graham Greene Or even Heat magazine Who’ll tie back her hair while reading Jane Eyre and goes cover to cover with each waterstones three for two offer but I want a girl who doesn’t stop there I want a girl who reads Who feeds her addiction for fiction With unusual poems and plays That she hunts out in crooked bookshops for days and days and days She’ll sit addicted at breakfast, soaking up the back of the conflakes box And the information she gets from what she reads makes her a total fox Cos she’s interesting & unique & her theories make me go weak at the knees I want a girl who reads A girl who’s eyes will analyse The menu over dinner Who’ll use what she learns to kick my ass in arguments so she always ends the winner But she’ll still be sweet and she’ll still be flirty Cos she loves the classics and the classics are dirty So late at night she’d always have me in a stupor As she paraphrases the raunchier moments from the works of Jilly Cooper See, some guys prefer asses Some prefer tits And I’m not saying that I don’t like those bits But what’s more important What supercedes For me Is a girl a with passion, wit and dreams So I want a girl who reads Small town Drama No-one knew for sure why the pub was closed But our tongues all had their suspicions, And by the time the doors caved in Local lips were sealed tight With the three day old squeals we’d heard about at midnight; The bleating kids holding their rucksacks tight, While Mike from the bike shop lifted the boot up Told the landlord it was over How he was keeping her cooped up And she squawked in the headlights Flapping fingers amidst their flight Shrill voice insisted she was tired of this life Tired of the fights Tired of telling lies And her tyres told the truth Across the tarmac out of sight. So as we returned to the bar, we were somewhat surprised To find him still ready, shirt ironed; Smile firm in place Chuckling over frothing pints, Contentment welded on his face His greying eyebrows and cheeks shaking You would have been mistaken For thinking he was happy Except... This huge wall display of olives That used to be behind him was gone. Those neon green and black jars That had dominated the bar space, Where she had swooped in, replaced The scratchings, the pickled eggs And uncouth snacks with olives instead Now those jars were sacked from the back bar And although we’d heard he’d said nothing As she’d driven off in that car In the calmness of his surrender, The olives had been his only scalp He had ripped them out, Let out one desperate shout by placing Pork pies Loads and loads And loads Of ugly, smelly, dry Pork pies With him in the middle, nestled Safe within a fort of brown crusty testicles And so he seemed the same But for those fatty sentries that sat Watching him wish for those long lost years back And he never ever grumbled. He never once mentioned the kids But every Friday when he’d offer us a pie to go with Our pint We’d stop laughing And our lives and our loves seemed so easy, so hasty Conscious of the monstrous welt of pain that hung from his neck Sloppy, as if bandaged with gelatine and pastry. I want to be one of those poets I want to be one of those poets Morose poets Whose misanthropic throes of agony towards their unaccepting society result in late night recitals with raunchy underworld types women who speak elvish and men who wear tights Oh I’d be the best of the bunch I am sure Impressing young emos with my gangly allure Cheekbones all high Bleach-skinned and demure Not dissimilar to Robert Smith from The Cure The public would wonder at what it was that ailed me Was it depression, repression or just a bad case of TB? And these questions would hover at my feet to empower me, With a desire for excesses that would begin to grow hourly Cos I want to be one of those poets Those prose poets Who Juxtapose Their unhealthy dose of rhyme With a bawdy lifestyle in the bars at closing time You know, those guys in frayed suede jackets With a far-off shine on their eyes Mahogany breath that smells of wine and impressionable women’s thighs Oh, I’d witter so well about current affairs After a few whisky chasers and chocolate éclairs Late night politics shows with cigars and some port Devising my next snide and witty retort Writing heightened thoughts during soulless int-er-course And then of course, the daily horseplay I’d enact without remorse Cos I want to be one of those poets Verbose poets Who don’t even suppose that it offends yer When they urinate through your letterbox during an all night bender And you can send through a bill but I won’t even remember To open the envelope before it goes in the blender You call it weird, Well I call it arty If I bring my own cutlery to your dinner party And sit there flinging forks at your husband quite smartly It’d make a great Pollock effect if I hit his left artery My tendancy to act weird would start to do your head in You’d invite me to the reception but never to the wedding And I’d produce heartbled work of unpleasantness so graphic It’d routinely offend every possible demographic But the Times would tout me as 'edgy and complicated' Like a rubiks cube so complex it’s actually become frustrated with itself till it’s squares are dilated desperate to be free of the prison it’s created, a technicolour snowglobe when once each side was flat And if you think that I’m sounding a bit of a twat Just you wait, soon I’ll stretch all my similes like that Co I want to be one of those poets Closed poets Who will not be there to catch you when you fall But will thatch a caul so snug and tight Out of neatly measured metaphors on their laptop late at night That you’ll realise your shame was both trivial and trite Upon reading the drafted version on my myspace site I’d write in-depth attacks on our political system, Waxing lyrical with anyone who will listen No time for passion in life, I’ve long forgot the kissing Just get me some fridge poetry and I’ll never leave the kitchen Cos I want to be one of those poets A know it all poet, a throw it all away poet At least they know what kind of poets they are

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Donna Scott

Fri 17th Feb 2012 08:24

An editor friend just linked to I want a girl who reads on Youtube - brilliant stuff, striking a chord with my publishing friends at this time of year.

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