End of Year

1 May 2015

for Crab & Martin

… there is much to do.
A little man tells us how to
invest our money, my teeth gain a few

fillings, probably, at the dentist’s—who
knows
, maybe no drilling—but, as Xmas closes
in, some shopping, then I wait for Crab to

show, mark the end of the year, an oasis
of drinks—a quiet bar my ideal—
friends, artists together (bohos, hipsters)

Are we these things? Variously. The real
hipster is probably Crab. Though Martin
thought “beatnik” did usefully for us. He’d

distinguish himself from all of us ‘in
the business’—and tainted (went the joke) with
the badges of long hair, weird dress, in-

nocently held opinions, ‘ideas’. Stiff,
coming from Martin, but when he didn’t mean it
dismissively it was affectionate. If

it came down to it he admired those things. It
indicated partly a style he liked—”hipster”
especially. Martin Munz, artist,

had made the move to management. If a
manager could look as artily nutty
as Martin—and as nonchalantly—(if the

management class could be thought to know Marx thoroughly—
Benjamin, Karl Krauss)—Martin might approach the typical:
& the world would be more crazily

uniform—a hip dystopia. Difficult
to imagine. A special case. A world of guys in shades,
women in louche combinations, nifty or

somehow strikingly chosen revival shades
& patterns: a cartoon extreme enough
for Martin to fit in—& fit in better, in most ways,

than me—though here Cath would make it—the stuff
she wears looks cool, I think—and
Crab, too, fills that bill. How hip must

a poet look to get by? and how hip (how hip can
he look) without feeling a caricature?—
Cath looks good in her shantung green shirt, Ray-ban

glasses, slacks—and with, usually, coffee and a book before her.
Her own book launched this week, Crab in attendance—
and tout le monde—where we made this date, one of a

long series of ‘drink-and-dinner’s (and then
further drinks) that we have, to an irregular
schedule, to keep us together, drinking, talking. There’s

the future before us—the past behind—Error
(aesthetic or ethical) to avoid,
hope, plans, cheers, jokes and stories, music (there are

music things to discuss, or to avoid
discussing—gigs that fall through—bands to put together:
Crab, a working musician). I will sit alone and, to avoid

being too drunk before my friend arrives—though there are
those who would ask Would he notice?—
I’m drinking coffee, & staring vaguely—where a

woman is walking by, or someone is
effortfully, or casually, parking—
and thinking modern, writing this poem, which is

the mask / of my dream / of a gin and tonic, wherein
I envisage how the night might go, recall
my teeth, the day—of dentist, of accounting

by the accountant, Cath’s and my shopping—check the tall
guy approaching—(not as large as Crab)—
and write it down.

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