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FACES IN A CROWD
The women are all wearing imitation silk scarves,
Blackpool or Biarritz, sipping Woman, masticating
The morning’s post, new babies and bathrooms, going
To file, snip, fiddle and smile through fish-eyes,
Crinkly green gloss, store it in stocking-tops
For next year abroad, that Pill, so perfect!
Flashing smiles from shiny domes and polished eye-lenses,
The men are glossy all over, snapping mortgages and scores
They slap fellow-souls at a distance, gun down the abusive
Clacking conductress, apologise over-loudly for their too
Plump fingers stroke smooth cheeks - bounce
Bounce, bouncing baby- faces, so manly to wet-shave!
Head heavy from dreams of bronze-fleshed centaurs
Tense with ‘The New Poets’ - no rhythm, failure of connection,
Who slept with who to get in.
Forty rose-bearing ten-year old faces are waiting
And behind them in the staff-room corpses are coffined
In eternal celluloid faces.
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