This Charming Man


“Punctured bicycle on a hillside desolate”
(Morrissey and Marr)

Salford in the late 1950’s formed a landscape of entrapment. Back to back houses confined back to back people to a life filmed in black and white. There were no intermediate shades. One either was good or bad, right or wrong, a working class hero or a self-aggrandising snob.

Geoff pushed his ailing bicycle down the hillside. Flatter than Jo’s bosoms, its front tyre flopped against the rough terrain. It was nearly 5 miles home and Jo would be waiting for him to cook dinner. “Bugger me,” he swore under his breath. He was hungry and anticipating the long walk home made him feel even more dreadful than the inevitable and unenviable task he faced, mending his punctured bike.
Making his way to the road, Geoff stumbled over a stone and landed on the ground with an embarrassing thud, his bike crashed on top of his skinny legs. “Ouch.” Geoff pushed aside the bike and clung to his right knee. Oblivious to the figure who sauntered behind him, he imagined blood seeping from the wound beneath his trousers and felt quite faint.
“Poor boy, you look quite ruffled down there,” Said the stranger. Surprised to see the elegantly dressed older man peering at him, Geoff looked down at his feet and screeched,
“And I’ve scuffed me Italian Casuals.”
“Let me help you up,” Said the man. His strong arms reached out to Geoff and he gripped his shoulders. The man’s masculinity merged with his own fragile form, their muscles straining in unison to secure Geoff’s safe ascent.
“Thanks ever so much,” Said Geoff, now erect. He looked up at the stranger’s handsome face and felt his cheeks flush.
“Can I offer you a lift…anywhere?” The man’s offer was tempting. “I am staying at a nearby hotel. I could take you there and tend your wounds.” Geoff could hear his heart beat inside his ears. The beats reminded him that not only was he alive, but that he was free to do what he chose. He briefly thought of Jo and the dinner he had offered to cook for her.
“That would be lovely,” He replied.
The man, who claimed to be named, Rex supported Geoff to walk to his car, which was parked nearby. Once again, Geoff felt giddy. He had never ridden in a Jaguar before. Rex opened the passenger door and Geoff crumpled inside. The seats were made of mahogany coloured leather. His fingers caressed them, eager to experience sensuous pleasure.
The hotel was situated only a few minutes away. It was the one where all the swanky people stayed. When Geoff walked in he looked at the floor, afraid of suspicious stares. Rex, however, seemed unrepentant, gaily abandoning any fear of others’ disapproval he might have possessed. Rex’s room was suitably grand and his bed as appealing as the silk pyjamas that were folded beneath his pillow.
“Would you like a drink, Geoffrey…a little something to calm your nerves?” Before Geoff could answer, Rex picked-up the phone and requested a bottle of champagne. Geoff had never tasted champagne before…but there was a first time for everything.
Whilst they were waiting for the drink to be delivered, Rex offered Geoff a cigarette. He did not smoke, but failed to inform Rex. Gauloise were very sophisticated and now that he was on the threshold of sophistication, Geoff felt that he should prove himself a man.
“Thank you ever so,” He spluttered to his companion.
When the champagne had been delivered, Rex poured 2 drinks and sat on the bed. “Why don’t you come and sit with me, my boy. You look awfully lonely over there.” Geoff summoned every ounce of courage he possessed and sat beside his new friend. They both drank quickly. Rex looked at Geoff in a way no one had ever looked at him before and said, “Take your trousers off. It’s time to tend your wounds.”
2 hours later Geoff arrived home in a large red Jaguar car. Jo had tired of waiting for him and eaten over an hour earlier. “Where have you been?” She asked, as he entered the house carrying a shiny new bicycle.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” He replied. Though his body hurt inside, his spirit felt feather light, for his nature had finally, transformed him from nervous boy into a man, who would one day have charm on his side

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Poems that contain a Giggle in every Line


In the early hours of this morning I thought about Morrissey and wrote the following poems. Morrissey divides humankind, like audible marmite. Are you a believer or a sinner?

Big Girls are Tasty, too

Big girls on push bikes
Whose best friends bake them buns in their barren ovens
And other sweet delights
That titivate their tongues
Like naked flames of melted butter
Are my chosen companions

But womb men who lead me south
On deep, forbidden nights
Make more appetising savouries
And satisfy my taste for spice

Morrissey is my Inspiration, I am Myself (I always protest too much)

I admire a Mancunian man
Who sings to suffer
With a giggle in his throat
And heels that bounce on stage
Like balls of rubber

But more than any other
The image I desire
Circumvents
My poetic importunity
And the inherent truths
Of the lies I write

For I am the words
Of a voice
Of the present
The magnificent, malevolence metaphors
And measured metrical form
Of the world
That materialised my language choices

I DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME


The Lesbian

Reclining in satin sheets of purple yonder
My mind was locked between the nag of thought and the will to slumber
I knew not whether to sin I pray

A cigarette poised hungrily between my lips
I inhaled its forbidden pleasures
Like the scent of sex
Between temptation’s fragile hips
Only to extinguish it, like an illuminated candle wick

Scorched by flames of hell’s fire and unreason
An aromatic olfactory seizure
Of sensuous womanhood and images of naked human flesh
Impressed its vivid presence upon my perceptual prowess
Then I fell asleep and dreamed of being undressed
By the hands of a lascivious lover

Woken by whispers outside my room
“Let me come inside your maiden’s chamber
For I am the spirit of love and pleasure’s saviour”
I observed, standing before my frigid bed
A vision of such heaven sent beauty
That I wished myself dead

Praying to be freed of my grand illusion
I attributed its existence to thought intrusion
And my evident psychical confusion
“It is a sickness as old as womankind,”
Said my doctor, with sympathetic eyes

When, three months later we became betrothed
The mouth of the love, whose name I did not know
Was forever silenced
But my inner voice still speaks out and proud
In gay abandonment of my secret truth and imaginary life

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