Pete Atkin sings
Payday Evening

by Clive James and Pete Atkin,
from The Road Of Silk

[Much more at]


Of late I try to kill my payday evenings
In many an unrecommended spot
Curiosity accounting for a little
Loneliness accounting for a lot

The girls who pull the handles force their laughter
The casual conversation's not the best
Indifference accounting for a little
Unhappiness accounting for the rest

          And the gardens of the heyday in Versailles
          And Pompadour's theatre in the stairs
          Should be created in my magic eye
          From a jukebox and a stack of canvas chairs

But somehow we have failed to come through
The styles are gone to seed, no more parades
There seems to be no talk of me and you
No breath of scandal in these sad arcades

          Concerning us there are no fables
          No brilliant poems airily discarded
          Just liquid circles on formica tables
          A silence perhaps too closely guarded

Outside a junkie tries to sell his girl
Her face has just begun to come apart
Look hard and you can see the edges curl
Speed has got her beaten at the start

And what care these two for a broken heart?

The lady's calling Time and she is right
My time has come to find a better way
A surer way to navigate at night
The poetic age has had its day

In midnight voices softer than a dove's
We shall talk superbly of our lost loves