My wife Donna and I have just returned home to the U.S. from a hectic but jam-packed 2-week visit to the UK during which I was part of a "World Poetry Night" in Liverpool, arranged by Merseyside poet Jim Bennett and the Poetry Kit list. The poem references the late great poet and artist Adrian Henri who lived opposite LIPA on Mount Street, not far from the site of the reading.
At the Fly in the Loaf, Liverpool, Saturday, 17 October 2009
Nervous, you cross the fancy mosaic threshold of an ex-baker's shop,
nudge past garrulous and muscular young guzzlers, ascend
to the upstairs quiet hushed aerie where the poets gather.
No, it's no longer your city, though the street sign "Baltimore"
hard by the Fly in the Loaf at Hardman and Baltimore Streets
recalls your "other city" all those three thousand miles away. . .
"The Liverpool of America's East Coast" and how Adrian intro'ed
you as "a poet from Philadelphia" ha! and he told of streets
near his Mount Street home: Baltimore and Maryland,
testimony to Liverpool's slavery past. It's no longer Ade's
Liverpool or the slaver's Liverpool. Discursive as ever! Wrap
your mind round that. . . wrap your words round that, Poet!
Muscular words to tell of that evening, arc lamps burning,
sweating, drops of perspiration dot the paper. Now!
Squeeze the words out. Let the people hear. You're here.
Christopher T. George