Ode: Aberrations of immortality by Andrew Sclater

Hiawatha, that long superior fellow

in feathers shakes his spear

at the diggers founding Tesco

in a corner of Co. Sligo

Innisfree a little longer


but under attack like J. Kerouac

eating chocolates with his mother

in some clapper board shack

in some broken Adirondack

chair or other.


In the Leaves of Grass

the Lady of the Lake

meets Childe Harold.  He makes a pass

while Alice smashes plexiglass

for Fuck’s sake


into Gunter Grass and Ginsberg’s petty

squabble over Frank O’Hara’s

lunch table. Mines a Ferlinghetti

bolognaise.  Dante Gabriel Rosetti

sings a sea shanty and drinks amara


on a mat on a pier

in the withering sedge of the lake

in a Turkish hat.  The time is near

for mirth and song and beer.

Amnesia to William Blake!


Rake out your poems’ lurking prions!

In Ted Hughes’ shoes, a Martian ices

buns with spoons of Muldoon’s zwitterions.

This jar of candied peel was Sean O’Brien’s!

Here’s Marvell milk for Colette Bryce’s custard slices…


Sobering up on a way through a wood

I come across Robert Frost

and ask which of the paths I should

take to find a real good

way of getting lost


(since Dryden is riding behind us,

Gray stands stuck in the graveside earth,

and Lord Byron fires blanks to remind us

to pay a groat to the organ grinders

who struggle to give birth –

though they never will –

to the golden daffodil).


Frost asks if I might raise the fee

to pay for such advice,

until he thus confronted me

I’d though he was quite nice.


Thus, from fear of mental congestion

I tend now to avoid the question…

although Edgar Poe should know,

as Sylvia Plath gets out the bath,

how Donne ‘scaped sun to oblivion.


Praise to these holiest in the height

for all is chaos in their light…

darkness comes when falls the night…

It’s like they left their dirty underwear

all over my floor

and I picked it up and wore it.


Artwork by Sophie Douglas.

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1 Response to Ode: Aberrations of immortality by Andrew Sclater

  1. Paige says:

    Aside from being accomplished and strong, this is great fun and very true. I love rooting for the underdog.

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