Christopher Barnes, UK






Rock ‘n’ roll’s a dead duck-walk,
Conked-out guitars, body-bagged.



Rabbits Into Hats

(version 1 Time Magazine)
Summer lightning
Clearing the way to ten o’clock.

Howard Hughes wrenches on an old sloppy joe
Over the horns of a dilemma. A Nordic shirt
Worn unhitched at the neck.

In a colour-supplement Fedora
He streams to the back-scene of the penthouse,
The tiddly heights of Desert Inn,

Sinks his imperial without-substance frame
Through a yonks-superfluous armoured door,
Slipping nine landings
Down inwrought stairs.

(version 2 The Aides)
He had pneumonia, stagnant anaemia,
A haemoglobin count of four.

Physical air, phones calls in and out of the apartment.

A Lockheed Jet Star plane follows through,
Thirteen miles northwest, pilot and co. incurious,
Inky limousines set as decoys.

A transfer of leading questions
Signal along the unbroken string. Ninth floor.
The combination lock placed last
Behind the guard.

Hughes on a bier, a mane of ashes
Long-drawn-out, flowing, in tobacco leaf brown
A snap-brim Stetson.

Darkroom quoits around the eyes, blue-sky pyjamas.
A loss not perceptible to his own sentry
Or the nightwatchman, ground floor.

From the Howard Hughes Poems






Read Additional Poems by Christopher Barnes, UK

In The Little Black BookRadiation Beach, Raft, Raul, The Updating Barman, Is…, Raw Nerve






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