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Further Verses That Failed to Make the First Team 2
by Carl Halling
09/28/11
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An Autobiographical Narrative: 1980s

1.

Thanks to the large quantity
Of notes I committed to paper
While at Leftfield College, London,
My beloved college can live again
Through sundry writings
Painstakingly forged out of them,
Such as the poetic pieces that follow,
Which is to say, ‘Some Sad Dark Secret’,
‘Sabrina’s Solar Plexus’,
‘She Dear One that Followed Me’
And ‘I Hate Those Long, Long Spaces’.
And as in the case of all
My memoir-based writings,
The names of people and institutions
Have been changed
In the solemn name of privacy.

2.

‘Some Sad Dark Secret’ was inspired
By words once spoken to me
By a former tutor and mentor
Of mine at Leftfield in around 1982 or ’83.
And which then ended up
As informal diary notes
On a piece of scrap paper,
Consisting of both
The words themselves,
And my own perhaps
Partly fantastical
Reflections on them.
Some quarter of a century later,
They were edited and versified,
And then the process was repeated
A half decade or so after that.

3.

'I Hate Those Long, Long Spaces'
Was recently conceived
From thoughts confided to a notebook
Sometime between 1981 and '83
While I was a student
At the University of London.

As I see it, they betoken
An undiagnosed depressive condition
Which ultimately led to my contracting
A serious drinking problem,
And ultimately some kind of crack-up,
From which I emerged while not unscathed

Another man entirely,
And while I'm still the victim
Of a depressive condition, it's not as it was,
Which is to say, one alleviated
By spells of great elation,
And yet fundamentally rooted in desperation.

Today, it's seen by its sufferer as long term
Yet temporal, to be dispelled,
Once he comes into a new glorious body,
Which is his hope and his prayer,
So all the sicknesses of the old,
Will be a thing of the past, never to return again.

Some Sad Dark Secret

‘Temper your enthusiasm,
She said,
The extremes of your reactions;
You should have
A more conventional frame
On which to hang
Your unconventionality.’
‘Don’t push people,
She said,
You make yourself vulnerable’.

She told me not to rhapsodise,
That it would be difficult,
Impossible, perhaps,
For me to harness my dynamism.
The tone of my work,
She said,
Is often a little dubious.
She said
She thought
That there was something wrong.

That I’m hiding
Some sad
Dark secret from the world.
‘Temper your enthusiasm,
She said,
The extremes of your reactions;
You should have
A more conventional frame
On which to hang
Your unconventionality.’

Sabrina's Solar Plexus

"You were frightening, sinister,
You put everything into it
I took a step back
You get better every time
How good can you get?"

People are scared of fish eyes
They confuse, stun, fascinate
Coldly indifferent
Fish eyes
Sucked dry of life fish eyes...

Sabrina was unselfish,
Unselfconscious,
Devoted, unabashed,
Spontaneous,
A purring lioness:
"Yes, she said,
I can imagine people
Wanting to possess you."

People are scared of fish eyes;
They confuse, stun, fascinate;
Coldly indifferent
Fish eyes;
Sucked dry of life fish eyes...

Sabrina said: "I’m sorry;
I’m just possessive
I’m frightened of my feelings
You’ll miss me a little,
Won’t you?
You should read Lenz.
I’m sure you’d
Identify
With the main character."

People are scared of fish eyes;
They confuse, stun, fascinate;
Coldly indifferent
Fish eyes;
Sucked dry of life fish eyes.

Have I written about the
Crack-up?
When I came home
Empty-handed
And I just couldn’t
Articulate
For latent tears.
But am I so repelled
By intimacy?
When will someone
Get me there (the solar
Plexus) as Sabrina said.

People are scared of fish eyes;
They confuse, stun, fascinate;
Coldly indifferent
Fish eyes;
Sucked dry of life fish eyes.

"You look beautiful;
I wish you didn’t,
Malignant
Flim Flam Man."
"I like it when you really feel
Something;
But then it’s so rare."

People are scared of fish eyes;
They confuse, stun, fascinate;
Coldly indifferent
Fish eyes;
Sucked dry of life fish eyes.

She Dear One Who Followed Me

It was she, bless her,
who followed me...
she'd been crying...
she's too good for me,
that's for sure...
"Your friends
are too good to you...
it makes me sick
to see them...
you don't really give...
you indulge in conversation,
but your mind
is always elsewhere,
ticking over.
You could hurt me,
you know...
You are a Don Juan,
so much.
Like him, you have
no desires...
I think you have
deep fears...
There's something so...so...
in your look.
It's not that
you're empty...
but that there is
an omnipresent sadness
about you, a fatality...”

I Hate Those Long Long Spaces

I hate those long, long spaces
Between meals and drinks
Specifically the afternoon
And after midnight.

I hate mornings too
Until I can smell the bacon
And coffee. I cheer up
Towards the end of the afternoon,

But my euphoria stops short
Of my final cup of tea.
I sink into another state of gloom
Until my second favourite time of the day.

My favourite is that of my
First drink and cigarette.
I hate those long, long spaces,
Specifically the afternoon and after midnight.

An Autobiographical Narrative: 1980s

‘An Aphoristic Self-Portrait’
Was expeditiously versified
In September 2011,
Using a series of teeming
Informal diary entries
Made in various
Receptacles in the late 1980s.
And as such may provide
Some kind of indication
As to my psychological
And spiritual condition
Some half a dozen
Or so years prior to my
Damascene conversion.

An Aphoristic Self-Portrait

As a writer, people are my vocation.
As for humanity, men, women
And other abstractions,
Their interests constitute little more
Than my hobby; I can only deal in people.
As soon as I start dealing in sects
And sections, I am either an insider
Or an outsider, and I feel lost as either…
And as soon as I feel lost,
I make no attempt to find myself,
But simply retrace my steps
And return to the people.
You can call me detached if you like,
But you see, the only way
I can remain sane as a person
With such an all-consuming instinct
For attachment, is to be detached…
The world of subjectivity
Holds no sway over me,
Because it is paradoxically impersonal,
Being affiliated to partisanship,
Sentimental causes and other such abstractions.
I couldn’t possibly belong
To a school of orthodox thought
That accepted me as a member.
I don’t believe in myself
Other than as a crystal clear container
For the freshest cream of human individualism.
When I was younger,
I ached to be famous for the sake of it,
But now it occurs to me
That anyone can be famous
Provided they are sufficiently audacious
And thick-skinned, and I desire fame
Not so much for the vain satisfaction
Of being seen and known and heard,
But in order to guide others
Towards a happier way of being,
The only precept for celebrity,
Indeed for being in general, as far as I can see.
Adversity seems to be my fate,
As well as fortune.
The meek ones gravitate to me.
I’m the prince of the hurt ones,
The damaged ones.
I resent all success and authority.
I’m so affectionate one moment,
So icy and evasive the next.
I’m in love with many people at present.
I over accentuate my individuality,
Because sometimes I look at myself
In the mirror and I say:
‘Who’s that pathetic wreck?’
The more complex you are,
The less you like yourself,
Because you frighten yourself.
The more I find myself liking someone,
The more I doubt us both.
Liking someone negates them for me.

An Autobiographical Narrative: 1990s

‘The Loonie’s Last Reckoning’,
Based largely on events that took place
On the 16th of January 1993,
Was initially an adaptation
Of an autobiographical fragment
Possibly penned around 1996,
Which was then edited, reassembled
And versified for publication
As ‘Remnants from Writings Destroyed 1’
At the Blogster website
On the 10th of March 2006.
While in time, it was incorporated
Into an early version of the memoir,
‘Rescue of a Rock and Roll Child’
Known as ‘Spawn of the Swinging Sixties’.
Only to be unearthed in late 2011,
And wedded to a versified translation
Of notes made probably around 1992,
Shortly before the events
In question took place,
And then awarded a striking new title.

The Loonie’s Last Reckoning

It was late in the afternoon
Of The 16th of January 1993
That my whole
Intoxicated universe
Finally exploded

Drink me one day = 10 vodkas
7 1/2 pints 14 wines
1 bottle of wine + 6 gins + 4 pints
Or 2 bottles of wine + halfs then 4 pints
Or bottle of wine + 5 pints +
Cans and shorts.
Saw myself as a loonie
Of the Lunatic Underground

It was late in the afternoon
Of The 16th of January 1993
That my whole
Intoxicated universe
Finally exploded.

Five + Two = Seven Units By 11.30
12.30 = Six Units 1.30 = 5+2 = Five
Units
6.30 = Four Units 7.30 = 3+2 = Five
Units
8.30 = 4+1 = Five
Units
12.30 = Free
Saw myself as a loonie
Of the Lunatic Underground

It was late in the afternoon
Of The 16th of January 1993
That my whole
Intoxicated universe
Finally exploded

Broken at last
With etiolated face...
Tremulous hands,
After so many years
Of semi-Icaran hubris

It was late in the afternoon
Of The 16th of January 1993
That my whole
Intoxicated universe
Finally exploded.


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