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FACES IN A CROWD

by
 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

Quiet cars.
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.
Aargh! 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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