Al, I always thought his name would be Alan,
Alistair seemed too posh
too like Julian or Sebastian
too boarding school and club,
to from a world,
to which he did not belong … and never would.
We were all temporary immigrants
young – working abroad
bonded by heritage and geography.
Al … Alistair, it didn’t matter
before incongruity could ponder
chance and wit had renamed him, ‘caveman ’
• idolatrous drinking
• 6 months on the run hirsute
• primordially unhouse-trained
the yard glass –
time trials –
1 yard, 90 cm, half a gallon of beer,
downed by one, at speed.
Caveman goes first – no waiting
foamy reflux, states of matter –
gas, liquid and solids
mop up, all fours, floor and collateral shoes, with tongue.
Random are the alignments of crowd –
alongside one I never associated with insight or compassion
some people really know how to have fun I say,
in the way people remark on the weather.
Response equals surprise.
“No, it’s not fun. It’s sad.
He’s created this being,
developed an image
and now feels compelled to uphold it.”