The French House was humming

Bodies leaning on the counter

Furiously puffing the cigs they had been bumming

This was Bohemia in action

Rich and poor, straight and gay

No sign of fighting or faction.

Down the street at Bambino’s

The Very Miss Dusty O

Was manning the door in drag

A king-size always on the go

It wasn’t corporate, it wasn’t mundane

Way back then

And Francis Bacon frequently came by

To eye up the available young men.

There was Trannyshack on Wednesday nights

Where punks met pimps

And gays, straights, dragsters, hipsters and pop stars

Regularly mixed with Colonel Blimps.

And Grace Jones might be found

Dancing on a table to one side

With Gaultier and Donatelle Versace

Leading the Conga in the road outside.



See all the down-and-out lickers and fuckers
Down the Embankment they tumble
Unable any longer to bear much reality
Too much self-knowledge
And time spent trotting
Between the Tate and the National
Or one of their endless reading groups
Believing they had
A story to tell
If only things had worked out,
If only the monkey had hit the right keys.
Hush! if you listen carefully
You can hear the dead click
Of their keyboards
In the raucousness of the Soho night;
The minicabs, the limos, the rickshaws all screaming
Take me…take me…I’m free
And the hen nighters, the stag nighters,
The whatever-the-fuck nighters,
Lingering in pools of their own vomit
Waiting for the paramedics to call;
Shirts open to the navel, skirts slit
From here to eternity.
Late summer, later winter, who gives a shit?
The restaurants are all full
Though nobody is really eating
Just being there is what matters.
Smokers stop the traffic
Inspecting their mobiles
What would a Martian make of that?
No one sees anything any more
Except the lampposts they walk into;
There are no witnesses to crime;
How anybody falls in love anymore is a puzzle
Eyes no longer meet in lingering amazement
Unless they are reflected
In all those infernal hand-held screens.

for all my books see;