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Best Famous Roddy Lumsden Poems

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by Roddy Lumsden |

Intramuros

 She lies in her well-kept apartment
above the spick and span cathedral
in the heart of the walled city
above Manila Bay and she dreams 
of the great, ruined cities of Europe:
Vienna crumbling into the ocean,
Warsaw in a plague of frogs and flies
and London, where all the black men
have learned to talk like white men,
where all the white men have begun
to talk like cartoon characters.
One week left until Christmas
and you can't buy a Scrabble set
in any shop. The cartoon characters
are warming their three-fingered hands
around a bonfire made of love letters.


by Roddy Lumsden |

Acid

 "She was right. I had to find something new. 
There was only one thing for it."

My mother told it straight, London will finish you off,
and I'd heard what Doctor Johnson said, When a man is tired 
of London, he is tired of life, but I'd been tired of life

for fourteen years; Scotland, never thoroughly enlightened, 
was gathering back its clutch of medieval wonts
and lately there had been what my doctors called a pica

(like a pregnant woman's craving to eat Twix with piccalilli
or chunks of crunchy sea-coal): I'd been guzzling vinegar,
tipping it on everything, falling for women who were 

beautifully unsuitable, and hiding up wynds off the Cowgate
with a pokeful of hot chips drenched in the sacred stuff
and wrapped in the latest, not last, edition of The Sunday Post

where I read that in London they had found a Chardonnay
with a bouquet of vine leaves and bloomed skins, a taste
of grapes and no finish whatsoever, which clinched the deal.