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Further Verses That Failed to Make the First Team
by Carl Halling
09/28/11
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An Autobiographical Narrative: 1980s

‘Strange Coldness Perplexing' was forged
Using notes scrawled
Onto seven sides of an ancient
Now coverless notebook,
Possibly late at night
Following an evening’s carousal
And in a state of serene intoxication.

The original notes were based
On experiences I underwent
While serving as a teacher
In a highly successful
Central London school of English,
Which I did between the spring,
Or summer, of ‘88 and the summer of 1990.

It gives some indication
Of my emotional condition at the time,
Including a tendency, as I see it,
To wildly veer between
The conscious effusive affectionateness
I aspired to, and sudden irrational
Involuntary lapses of affect.

It also bespeaks the intense devotion
I manifested towards my favourite students
And which was reciprocated by them with interest.
All punctuation was removed around 2007,
And extracts tacked together,
Not randomly as in the so-called cut up technique
But selectively and all but sequentially.

Strange Coldness Perplexing

the catholic nurse
all sensitive
caring noticing
everything
what can she think
of my hot/cold torment

always near blowing it
living in the fast lane
so friendly kind
the girls
dewy eyed
wanda abandoned me
bolton is in my hands

and yet my coldness
hurts
the more emotional
they stay
trying to find a reason
for my ice-like suspicion
fish eyes
coldly indifferent eyes
suspect everything that moves

socialising just to be loud
compensate for cold
lack of essential trust
warmth
i love them
despite myself
my desire to love
is unconscious and gigantesque

i never know
when i'm going to miss someone
strange coldness perplexing
i've got to work to get devotion
but once i get it
i really get people on my side
there are carl people
who can survive
my shark-like coldness
and there are those
who want something
more personal
i can be very devoted to those
who can stay the course

my soul is aching
for an impartial love of people
i'm at war with myself…

An Autobiographical Narrative: 1990s

In the early part of autumn 1990,
I began a course known as the PGCE
Or Post Graduate Certificate in Education
At a school of higher education
In the pleasant outer suburb of Twickenham,
Becoming resident in nearby Isleworth.
I began quite promisingly as I saw it
Even though my heart
Was not really in the course
But I genuinely saw the benefits
Of successfully completing it,
And as might be expected,
Excelled in drama and physical education.
I rarely drank during the day,
But at night I was sometimes so drunk
I was incoherent.
The following versified piece
Serves a testimony to this sad truth.
Its original was a letter
Typed to a close friend in about 1990,
Some three years or so
Prior to my coming to saving faith
In the Lord Jesus Christ.
And concerning a series of accidents
I'd recently suffered.
However, it was never finished, nor sent.
When it was recovered,
It was as a piece of scrap paper,
A remnant from a long lost past.
It was subsequently edited and reassembled,
Before being subject
To some kind of versification in 2006.
And then some half decade later,
Further work was performed on it,
But it was still pretty threadbare for all that.

Incident in St. Christopher’s Place

Dear, I haven't been in touch
for a long time.
Sorry.
The last time I saw you
Was in St. Christopher's Place.
It was a lovely evening...
when I knocked that chair over.
I am sorry.
Since then,
I've had not a few accidents
Of that kind.

Just three days ago,
I slipped out in a garden
At a friend's house...
And keeled over, not once,
Not twice, but three times,
Like a log...clonking my nut
So violently that people heard me
In the sitting room.
What's more,
I can't remember a single sentence
spoken all evening. The problem is...

An Autobiographical Narrative: 1990s

Some months after appearing
In the "Scottish Play" at the Lost Theatre
In the onetime working class
West London suburb of Fulham,
I wrote the piece featured below,
"Such a Short Space of Time".

But in the first instance
It was part of an unfinished short story,
Not a poem at all.
My parents were on vacation
During the period which inspired it,
Which is to say early in the summer of 1999.

Hence, I spent a lot of time at their house
Performing various tasks,
Such as watering my mother's flowers.
As well as this, I took sneaky advantage
Of their absence to transfer
Some of my old LPs onto cassette.

It was something my own music system
Was incapable of doing, unlike theirs.
And it was a profoundly unsettling experience.
To listen to songs that, perhaps in the cases
Of some of them, I’d not heard
For twenty years, or even twenty five, or more.

With a heartrending intensity,
Doing so had the effect
Of evoking a time
When I was filled to the brim
With sheer youthful joy of life
And undiluted hope for the future.

Yet as I did so, it seemed to me
That it was only very recently
That I'd heard them for the first time,
Despite the colossal changes
Brought about not just in my own life,
But the lives of all those of my generation.

Hence, I was confronted at once
With the devastating transience
Of human life,
And the cataclysmic effect
The passage of time exerts on all human life,
And it was a profoundly unsettling experience.

Such a Short Space of Time

I love not just those
I knew back then
But those who were young
Back then,
But who’ve since
Come to grief, who,
Having soared so high,
Found the consequent descent
Too dreadful to bear.

With my past itself,
Which was only yesterday,
No, even less time,
A moment ago,
And when I play
Records from 1975, Soul records,
Glam records, Progressive records,
Twenty years melt away
Into nothingness.

What is a twenty-year period?
Little more than
A blink of an eye.
How could
Such a short space of time
Cause such devastation?
I love not just those
I knew back then
But those who were young back then.


If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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