Pete Atkin sings

by Clive James and Pete Atkin,
from Secret Drinker

[Much more at]


I need new things to tell her
That won't seem so awkwardly shy
I'm pretending to be strong and silent
So hard that it's violent
And plainly a lie

I need new words to fight with
That win me far more than a smile
A sentence that glitters and dances
For my steely glances
Miss out by a mile

          I hear the wits' winning ways all around me
          Sweet nothings that ring the right bell
          But their ease with a phrase is beyond me
          Nipped in the bud, dried in the well

I need a gift to give her
That talks for me when I'm not there
And explains how the poems that start out
By eating my heart out
Are lost on the air