Cambridge Motorways, 1992| filed under: Poems, Poetry, Poem
I love poem I wrote to a girl I dated named Liz Humphries. Where is she now? I really don't know.
We rocketed that Clio from Norwich canon
Along the glistening fields buzzing
That little hacksaw engine through
Your right-hand drive on my left-hand mind
Left grinding notes at roundabouts.
We zipped, eating mouthfuls of sandwich,
Tuna, from your long Fingers.
The wind raced
As roundabouts grew quicker
And the sky threw dew
Onto flashing wiper blades.
We were in Summer-heat, that Winter.
Me, freshly free from another
Dog-house stay on Valentine's day,
With you, escaping to Cambridgeshire
From your student cell to relive
A regatta day at the Blue-Boar:
Dark and musty pub. I was dizzy
From wine from the bottle;
I stared, grabbed your hand,
And admitted desire.
You squirmed and said:
You're not behaving English.
The fields burned past us like the
Renault's petrol and I could see
Your delighted fear as I pushed
The sub-compact hard down meagre
Motorways. Pushing always harder
Just to hear your thrill, preferring
To keep moving so I could clasp
Your wriggling body.
The horse pastures reminded you
Of family outings and motor trips
But they shall forever remind me
Of your crinkled lines of happiness
And the dollops of mayonnaise
I licked from your fingers;
The curve of your hip in the seat
And your warnings to be nice to
Our Little Car.
My heart raced the engine
As the glazed asphalt skimmed tyres,
And, worn from savage
Down-shifts, we stopped at that
Sterile convenience store
(you for the loo and me for
We savoured those Cokes,
Sipping the biting bubbles and
You cursed my clutch when the can,
Perched on the dash, fell and spewed
Its molasses onto your virgin jeans.
(Why the dash?, I asked, you know
I can't drive your cars.)
Our journey ended in the muddled
Dizziness of Cambridge, its one-way
Streets and complicated thoroughfares
Favoured the locals. The green and blue
Tin signs beckoned us along damp
Brownstones, past jutting spires
Of King's College and the worn wood façades
of Antique bookshops.
Students, slumped in tweeds,
Peddled three-speeds that blocked
Trickling traffic ways. Heady scholarship
Humbled and loaned us
The intent look of intellectuals
As we pondered what culture we'd consume
Before we consumed each other
In a room at the Cambridge Hotel.