Sweet Thursday

What happened in between
the troubled life of Joseph and Mary

there would be no game.

Enter Suzy – the creative cross
tinder is as tinder does

the great Roque war
whom the gods love, they drive nuts

there’s a hole in reality through which
we can look if we wish.

Hazel’s brooding flower
in a crannied wall

parallels must be related:
lousy Wednesday: the playing fields of

Harrow: the little flowers of Saint Mack.
Suzy binds the cheese

a pause in the day’s occupation
sweet Thursday, sweet Thursday

sweet Thursday was
one hell of a day.

Chapter titles 1-21 from John Steinbeck’s 1954 novel Sweet Thursday. Submitted by Victoria Bean.

THIS IS NOT A LOVE THING – The Harlot’s Progress 2014

1. Arrival in London

Boy have you been a lucky girl
new in town and everybody’s
darling: love, desire and a tender
touch always has the boys high
for candy kisses, little miss.

Beware the late night
luxury love, enjoy the
good times – for a day.

2. Quarrel with her protector

Introducing a girl in a million.
A young mistress, tamed and trained
with a luxury new apartment
and a wardrobe full of fun and games.

She’s fresh and lovely, a cherry ripe
English rose. Fresh and green
she must be seen.

3. Apprehended by a Magistrate

Come on gentlemen
report now!
She’s a genuine siren
talented and in control.

Urgent, be warned – your afternoon
fun just got sensored:
it’s playtime with visiting
magistrates now!!

4. Scene in Bridewell

So, a total transformation for
the country girl – complete captivation
caged amd reduced to tears. A taste of
no mercy, a broken sentence.

Bow and show repentance.

5. She expires while doctors quarrel

Great, she’s back!
In town, in pain. Feel
the sensation – it’s agony
she has friends: caring,
friendly and understanding
a lifetime too late. Ouch!

6. The funeral

Demonstrate respect for the
pleasure princess. This is not
a love thing, she’s heaven bound –
it’s judgement day for all.

Relax Venus
and enjoy the rest.

Taken from a series of ‘tart cards’ found in London phone boxes. The poem is a take on The Harlot’s Progress by William Hogarth, using his original titles and featuring the found text to tell the story of each print. Submitted by Victoria Bean.