Read My Lips

Assorted Poems, Some poems

I don’t need a lover
who’s a looker,
just someone who knows
the shortlist
for this year’s Booker,

with an insightful view on
Doris Lessing or Ian McEwan,
being satanically well-versed
in Salman Rushdie,
and would find it cushty
to share pillow talk
about the work of A.S. Byatt.

Yes, that would be a riot.

I could never judge a lover
by her cover,
be swayed by make-up
or a fancy hair do;
I’d much rather her be intimate
with À la recherche du temps perdu.

To be clear, I’m not talking
Fifty Shades of Grey here,
but finding someone
who knows their way around
the complete works of Shakespeare.

I would rip out my heart
and write her name upon it
if she can recite to me
his eighteenth sonnet.

So don’t give me eyes
to get lost in;
I’d rather have a heated debate
about Jane Austen.

I don’t care if she talks
in a Donald Duck voice,
if, together, we can thumb
through the stories of Joyce,

nor will we ever feel
an unbridgeable gulf
if neither of us are afraid
of Virginia Woolf.

You see, one thing I’ve learnt
as I’ve got older
is that literature
lights up love
and makes it smoulder

and that beauty
is in the eye
of the book holder.