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Brander & McGuire Page


books, sex & raindrops

closing a good book
said mcguire
is a small suicide

or maybe genocide
you shut down
a whole world

but then
said brander
you can open it again

ah yes said mcguire
but it is never
the same, like sex

with a familiar partner
sometimes better, sometimes worse
a pig in a poke

oh well said brander
being younger than you
and more virile

perhaps i get more poke
to my pig
but sex is always welcome

especially on the cold nights
when even young blood
runs thin

that proves said mcguire
you have no imagination
the fantasy is not in you

you may be right said brander
but since I am young
and ignorant

a question please
how is it that you define
a good book?

oh as to that said mcguire
such a definition resembles
nailing raindrops to a cross

of beards and eternity

why is it asked brander
that your beard
is so very long?

the beard now is it
replied mcguire
does it threaten you?

are you disturbed
by this notre dame
cathedral of hair?

i am not threatened
protested brander
but yes disturbed

it may harbour
sparrows, bats, mice, rats
or any form of vermin

as to that said mcguire
a man who considers
sparrows, bats, mice and rats

as vermin
is a poor and timid
civilised thing

besides i only raise
hamsters and they
are presently absent

ah yes said brander
and there are those
who love the cockroach

yet still i wonder
is it that
you fear the razor?

is it that you cannot bring
the steel to your face
or your face to the steel?

i will not do so
replied brander for steel
and flesh are mortal foes

but then said brander
fingering a desert chin
the shaving

is a form of contemplation
emptying the mind
to the infinite

oh the infinite is it
growled mcguire
that piece of timeless nonsense

if the infinite is your aim
and you are not
a nasty young poser

whose life is defined
by the smell of the latest
chemical aftershave

how much better to sit
each day and listen to
the growing of your beard

the closing of the goat & garter

you know said brander
they closed
the goat & garter

so what, mcguire replied
it was all
filthy tobacco carpets

betty malarkey
bouncing her tits
on the bar

and rats shagging
in the darkness
behind the urinals

oh more than that
protested brander
for some it was

a haven, an oasis
in the desert
twixt home and heartbreak

why in the goat & garter
i first met
guinness gertie

you gave her your heart
snorted mcguire
she gave you the clap

the nearest
you will ever come
to applause

but, brander insisted
they are turning it
into a theme pub

a sacrilege it is
an insult to the memory
of the unknown drinker

a theme pub is it?
mcguire curled a nostril
and plucking from his beard

a cheese straw
demanded what pray
is the theme?

the damnation
answered brander
of faust

and what pressed mcguire
has faust to do
with the neighbourhood?

damnation i suppose
said brander has to do
with every neighbourhood

but it will be
mephistopheles the manager
imps amongst the pimps

and betty malarkey
with horns
and a pitchfork

this mcguire hissed
say what you will
is called progress

and progress merely
one more trick turned
by the great whore time

on the eve of a new repentance

now said brander
that the goat & garter
is no more

me and gertie
are spending new year’s
up the road

the thatcher’s head & bush
a fine deal it is
all you can eat for a tenner

country & western
by the sobbing armpit band
and champagne at midnight

extracting from his beard
a baby hamster
and warming it

against his pipebowl
mcguire eyed brander

the thatcher’s head now is it?
he replied at length
the beer is watered

the champagne
is lemonade
the landlord pissed in

(not that you would notice)
and the kitchen no cleaner
than the city dump

a fact known to every rat
for miles
yourself included

does that mean
asked brander crestfallen
you will not join us?

i will not mcguire snarled
i value my health
still more my sanity

how then brander pressed
will you spend
your own sane evening?

mcguire replaced the hamster
and fixed brander
with a steely squint

i he said will drink
a bottle of the good rioja
while repenting your sins

my sins?
brander was confused
how can you repent my sins?

your sins replied mcguire
his squint never wavering
are like passive smoking

associating with you
i commit them

and have you then
demanded brander
no sins to call your own?

mcguire nodded sagely
that i have indeed
envy, sloth, lust

greed, thuggery
and bicycle theft
to name only the lesser of them

then why pursued brander
with remorseful logic
do you not repent yours?

oh as to that
mcguire replied
with gravity aforethought

if i repented them
i would have to give them up
and then where would i be?

up a pear tree
conscience naked to the wind
and no partridge

razors, breadknives & freedom of expression

the trouble
with your modern razors
moaned brander

is a man can nowise
cut his thoat
with the damn things

little itty bitty blades
in contraceptive plastic

is it then
replied mcguire
that you wish

to cut your throat?
if so i own
a very fine breadknife

sheffield steel
made in taiwan
guaranteed mothproof

cutting one's throat
with a breadknife
brander snarled

runs contrary
to the whole aesthetic
of throat cutting

it has to be
a straight razor
or jump off a cliff

aesthetics now is it?
said mild mcguire
that guinness gertie

is improving what passes
for your mind
and your vocabulary

but since i never shave
and am therefore

an unbiased
if hairy observer
i will say this

your tripartite razor
is a miracle
of modern technology

one blade
chops the enemy hairs
the second zaps

the passive resisters
while the third
helps your skin

rejuvenate itself
by removing
its upper layer

and still
retorted brander
i cannot

cut my throat
with one
it is a denial

of my basic freedom
to kill myself
by my chosen method

but if you could
mused mcguire
you would no longer

be able to drink
the aftershave
causing a crisis

in the industry
and that
would never do

a live brander
is a consumer
a dead brander

with no further use
for steel or plastic

come let us share
a draught of old spice
and dedicate our lives

to the search
for the perfect
dental floss