Ross Sutherland - My Shoes Are In Love
I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this poem before as a simple text post, probably around about the time I wrote Ross Sutherland a dirty poem without using any vowels other than O. I’ve just been listening to him on Jarvis Cocker’s 6Music show from yesterday, and have fallen in love all over again.
My Shoes Are In Love
Although I’ve never seen them kiss.
But whenever I collected them from your hallway
they always looked so sad at my return.
(It always took ages to unpick their laces.)
“Hey,” they would say. “Hey, lets go to an expensive sushi restaurant,
or a mosque! Let’s go round to Michaels house!”
Michael, with his ambitious new white carpets.
I knew they were just trying to get rid of me.
Occasionally, I would scuff them
to remind them who’s boss.
Once, in a hotel, I kicked them off into separate corners
Both of them landing on their heads for the loneliest night of their life.
Because of the way I walk, one aged faster than the other.
I sealed up his slathering mouth with superglue
Re-inked him with biro when the other wasn’t looking,
then took them both bowling as a special treat.
And then I left them there, walked out in my bowling shoes,
Pinching at my toes all the way home.
Sometimes I think about my trainers and their love
that I had no use for.
I flick through blurry photos of them, all taken accidentally.
Caught off guard, looking away from one another
Secure in the knowledge that I will always be thereBy Ross Sutherland (my future husband, along with Mike Phillips from the Welsh rugby team and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
To hold them both together.
I’m sure you’ve all been refreshing this page every six seconds since my post about Ross Sutherland earlier in the week, desperately hoping for a few lines of O-centric verse about mongs, toss, cows or Sloop John B by The Beach Boys. Please be advised that my univocalism for Ross was nothing but the basest of filth though, and I wouldn’t dare offend your sensibilities.
But I can exclusively reveal that Ross is quite the darling. Neither upset, offended, nor downright frightened by my ‘Cor, Ross Godly’ poem, he has sent a wee message of thanks via email:
“Gee Meg! Sweet text! Decent verse penned, yet less letters selected! These few resplendent sentences render my steel vest defenseless! Nerds revenge? Never! We, the well-dressed trendsetters represent rebel versemen, respected nevertheless. Cheers! X”
I pretty much need to be poured into a bucket right now.
I’ve seen Ross Sutherland perform before today. As part of Aisle 16 (the group of poets that also includes Joe Dunthorne, author of one of my favourite books, Submarine) and also as a compere at Latitude festival back in July. I swooned over him then too, especially when he started to lose his voice at the end of the night and went all husky.
This afternoon, he and Tim Clare (also from Aisle 16), were in Manchester to give a lecture as a joint endeavour between Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Science Festival. Because our council don’t appear to be able to organise a piss-up in a brewery, the Comedy Festival is also going on as we speak, and now there’ll be fuck all for months. But forget my sniping. Even without the kind of appearance that sends me giddy (it’s the hair I think - very public school hippy), Ross Sutherland gets me all of a-flutter because he’s damn talented. The lecture today was about univocalisms; poems that only use one vowel, and I’m now collecting words featuring O for my ‘Cor, Ross Godly’ tribute.
In other, poetry-related news, I felt so bolstered by the completion of yesterday’s nameless verse that I rang up the Greenroom and put my name down for an open mic slot. Strangely, my sphincter does not contract at the thought of reading my poetry aloud, which is worrying in itself, but this momentum has lead to the creation of yet another rambling, albeit not quite as amusing. The loose theme for the night is ‘Open’, so I’ve got back on my high horse about Ringo Starr…
Today is the twentieth of October
In the year two thousand and eight
I know that you said all mail would be tossed
If the postmark fell after this date
So I’ve booked a taxi to the sorting office
To make sure this letter won’t be late
I know that you have a lot to be doing
Eating tapas on your yacht in Marbella
Enjoying Swedish massage and avoiding the problems
That plague your former bass player.
But, dearest Ringo, I write not for me
But for my sweet darling, for my wife Freya.
Freya was crossing the road by the precinct
On a blustery day in September
Since then she’s not left the Royal Infirmary
When she wakes up she may not remember
Our baby son Sammy, or me, or your band,
And you were always her favourite member.
She always said that the best Beatles song
Was With A Little Help From My Friends
And we wallpapered Sammy’s nursery
With Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends
Dearest Ringo, send my Freya peace and love
Think of her, until her suffering ends.
I am five and I like coming to my new school
I don’t mind that we’re not allowed to chatter
Mrs McNulty is my favouritest teacher
And she says today we have to write a letter
Everyone else is writing to their mummys
But I’m writing to someone much better
Andrew Jackson didn’t believe me when I said
The voice on Thomas used to be a drummer
He’s a horrible boy who I hate
Although we used to be friends in the summer
Then he hid my coat in the sandpit
Daddy says I’m clever and he’s totally dumber
Last week in Dance and Movement we were fishes
And the song was Yellow Submarine
Mrs McNulty said I was a really good fish
She liked The Beatles when she was fifteen
Daddy says you don’t read any more letters
He’s wrong though, cos you’re not mean
You were my Mummy’s favourite when she was here
She died before I was two
Her picture is on my bedroom wall
But I’ve got Thomas wallpaper too
I hope you like my letter Ringo,
And I hope you write back to me too.
©Megan Vaughan, 2008