Strange White Male
Some words die yet still retain their dignity.
For example, my mother fits the slattern mould,
wandering from room to room in a loose bathrobe,
or dressed in swimwear at dinner, so that we had
to see her pubic hair stick out all through the meal.
And as for me, I trap myself in words as much
as any narcissist. Born too late for Portnoy,
Freud, and all the other members of the Blame
It on Mummy Brigade, my own special brew
of Mr Kiplingís White Manís Inadequacy fermented
in the noughts. The age of Jackass, Pop Idol,
the overriding ethos that you could be saved
with an audience vote. Struggling to learn ourselves,
we either bought this lie or that, populist fizz-pop
or edgy teenage S&M. Adults would tut like adults do
at boys impaling themselves on gates
for early YouTube videos, and girls refusing sustenance
until they looked like Cowellís favoured chickadee.
But in the end itís always words, with which we form
and fail ourselves. And Iím as always still forming.