the word-song of Jay Willie Plonker
… we're talking KC - 'spring' of '85 - we
were just expats ...
Blue-rinse and Cheesy, affected hesitant, Grin –
home counties and Marlboro Country had got it together –
had just put a pin, just a little pin, in the air-balloon of 'socialist
surrealism', round about then …
well, u no, we were feeling it, the cold wind, the falling
strain, and had done a runner - one way or another - we were just
expats – just like all the others trying to make that extra cent, dinar,
quid, big rupee, yuan - in the torpor, the dolour.
Pink lungs newly choking, the pink
& dessicated mist of the desert wind - some
of us, romantically, talked of Lawrence - no not DH,
but ‘of Arabia’ wot died on, or rather off, his motorbike somewhere
near the scrittoir of Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells.
Some, perhaps the wiser ones,
had come for the gay possibilties, and indeed, later, quite a lot
later ?, I heard
that Shropshire Roy’d been found in the air-conditioning in
with one of the Indian teaboys - at the Institute, where I worked
enjoyed the warmly brewed,
tea-flavoured sugar at 3 - no, I do mean the tea - okay! really … 'Strange,
how painfully sweet, the Indian approach to tea and
life can sometimes be,' Roy said once, I think ... Roy’s salacious
joining-in on talk of celebrity boobs had
never seemed quite,
altogether authentic – thinking back.
I digress. … Well, as a group, we were domiciled, coralled
in a block - no address - beside a block, near a block, near the sea, that
a desert as it only had the desert for company - a desert
that had the ‘rough-hewn-ness’ and grit of building-site
world - this was moon desert with black autistic beetles and
and proud chaps in dishdashsa and quotras, a flurry
and float of pink and white or pale, pale blue - and the black of women, like
… - who could tell? –
what could you espy
or encrypt from each pair of eyes, silent pair of black,
macscara'd, silent eyes?
So, one day, one of our humble pack said there'd been a rumour
from one of the trainees –
they were building a park beside our block … Visions
of flowers and grass and daisy
chains of picnics ...
Next day, the bulldozers arrived. Excitement
mounted - like a bluebird over the banks, the white cliffs, of KC. A day
or two later the tarmac went down - very
smooth and cushiony -
and treacle black -
and then perfect long-toothed,
a wide car's width
Oh well. At least the rich expats' wives continued to
come and go,
talking of Dolce and Gabbana.
His knuckled hands on the wheel of his Delmorean
Cutlass Braziere, half a mind on the illicit still, bubbling
happily under the bath
in his blank-walled flat, 'the Memsahibs', Esher Ted
with a predatory glare.