Canto CCX

I turn away and give him no reply—
the pisshead on the bus that seems to think
that I’m his best mate, or at least I try.

Even when these guys have missed a drink
they still sound drunk, as if they have forgot
how to act sober. I also have a chink

in my own reserve because I cannot
help but cut in when he gives his take
on the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh,

some old story about a famous fake
of his work from the eighteenth century,
“I’m sorry, but I think you mean Van Dyke”

And when a frail old man gives up his seat,
the pisshead says, “Oh look a gentleman!”
the man shouts back,” I’m a fackin’ ex marine!”

The next five stops pass by in blessed silence.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 09:13:57

    Catching up…I’m supposed to be doing domestic chores.

    Often your London Transport encounters have a surreal quality.


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