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Image by Sarah Harrison

Leading Man

Leading Man

So small he sits on the edge of my palm
with his back against my brandy glass,
legs crossed, relaxed,
diminutive glass in his hand.
But this is just the play of parallax,
sitting, as he is, on a bolster
on the other side of the room.

He's had enough banter
with his band of admirers.
Now they've drifted off to examine
the party's exposed machinery.
He saunters over with a Fosse skip,
sprung thighs, caffeine pulleys
working away from shoulder to hip.
Twenty clap press-ups just for me.

He dabs the back of his reddened neck
with a neatly folded serviette,
says he wants to prove how a look
touches as much as the hand.
In the garden, I squint one-eyed
at my fingertips as we run them over
the gelateria of evening cloud.
The pinks, he says, the plum and ash.

He steers me across the fescue lawn,
toward the drive where he's parked up tight
between two smoked-glass limousines.
He points the fob and the stalled notes
chirrup like pebbles over a frozen lake.
I'd like to tell you what Stanley thought,
I mean really thought, about that scene.


from A Republic of Linen (Bloodaxe Books, 2009) © Patrick Brandon 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Patrick Brandon Reading from his poems

1Mountain Man

2Grand Union

3Red on Maroon

4Dolphin

5Higgs Bison

7Flat Dad

7The Night Studio

8Writing from the Imperial Three Star

9Bikini

10The All Night Service Station within the Heart

11Blinkers

12Sade

13Bush Craft

14Lichen

15Leading Man

16Geneva

17Local Sauce

18Stuff

19The Full Kit

20Diamonds

21A Sloping Pitch

22Retro Ascent

23Attic

24Night Signals

25Downsizer

26New World Guest House

278 - 0

28Clean

29Y

30The Bike

31Pro Rata

32The Lawn

33Boy with Cat in Harness

34Sunday

35Triumph Dolomite

36Oh Yes, Yes ... I Think I Can See it Now

37En Plein Air

38MacGraw and Late McQueen

39Pillow

40Powder

41Howitzer

42Spartacus

43Teen Wolf

Books & cds by Patrick Brandon