Posted by: David Harley | February 23, 2013

Performance Poem

Being of sound mind
and independent disposition
I invested in a pair of tartan socks
that had long walked
the corridors of my desires

for weeks I paraded them
against the far horizons of Greenwich pier

resting on tables
in the Lamb and Flag

jammed against the bar
at Jack Straw’s

brogued and snow-sodden
on Clapham Common

shoeless
before a roaring electric fire

in the teeth of adversity
and the complaints of my flatmat

until my tartan socks
in a final paranoid paroxysm of hurt feelings
walked out in the early morning
down to Camden Lock
and drowned

like
garish
hairy
lemmings

Or “I’m shy, hairy lemming, I’m shy…”

The first version of this one actually goes back to 1968 in North Wales, though later revisions transplanted it to London, where I was myself transplanted for far too many years. This version was published in Chaff 1, in 1984.

Copyright David Harley, 1968

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