Photograph by Steve Shepherd
coincidentally, parts I - III
not a believer, but I bought
a book of poems
and swooned at a coincidence.
I'd picked up hugo williams'
I Knew The Bride
then art books, nature, biography
then found the memory game,
a small cube filled with shrunken beermats;
twenty-six pairs depicting
patterns that looked like wood.
how do you play it? I asked at the till,
like pairs, came the reply,
you turn the cards over
and have to remember where they are.
I'd played it as a child
and then with my own children
but I had forgotten pairs completely.
so much for memory.
that evening, tired,
I arranged my trophies on the table for inspection.
opening hugo's collection I found the lines:
Books lie about the place
Like a game of Pelmanism
I turn them over, looking for a pair
earlier in the van,
heading for fishguard and the bookshop,
maria drove and I selected music:
joe jackson; paddy mcaloon;
nick lowe's Jesus of Cool.
later, perturbed by pelmanism,
I returned to williams' poems.
For my speech on your wedding day
All I had to do
Was read out the words
To Nick Lowe’s “I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock ’n’ Roll"
a two-part coincidence is an unnerving thing,
it can have you looking over your shoulder
wondering if your life has been constructed
on a false premise.
most have too much invested
to contemplate a re-write.
in my case it would require more editing
than time allows.
anyway, a while back I decided
if an omniscient being were to appear
all I have to do
is pretend otherwise.
Steve Shepherd writes poems and takes photographs. He used to make radio programmes, mostly jazz.