The Argotist Online
Simpson was born in Merseyside in 1936. His poetry collections include: Making Arrangements (1982),
An Elegy for the Galosherman: New and Selected Poems (1990), Catching Up With History (1995),
Getting There (2001) and In Deep (2006). He was also the author of four
commentaries on Shakespeareís plays, and was a
frequent reviewer and contributor to anthologies for children. His collected
essays were published in 2003 under the title Hugging the
Shore. He was poet in residence in Tasmania in 1995, and his journal for
this period (Cutting the Clouds Towards) was published in 1998. Until his retirement
in 1998, he was senior lecturer in English at Liverpool Hope University. He died
much, I know, depends on me.
be positive, you say.
always easy when, deprived of choice,
ability to come and go at will,
stiffen into glum resentment like a child
in and punishing the world with sulks.
I try it works,
such a simple thing to do.
morning I discover on my desk a rose
from the garden, an October rose,
by its side a shy loverís letter shaming me,
me for being kind.
BEDS IN VENICE
from the pictures,
Hell looks the more
shaken by my friendís account of how
sleep I struggle with Ďdemonsí half the night,
to climaxes that seem to want
burst me out of it but seldom do. Itís as if
trudged across the Bridge of Sighs,
one last glimpse of the hazed lagoon,
slink and slump into the Dogeís dungeons, there
about and whimper like the damned
those fresco-Hells that weíve been looking at
week. Iíd naively thought of sleep as decorous,
what went on in dreams fussed only the mind.
itís indecent, a betrayal of something intimate
a self I do not, and can never, really know.
if I did (albeit heís no mate of mine, I can
him a Trickster with Punchinello nose,
jaw, hinting at secrets, a misdirected life),
he be someone reading palms, dictating poems;
I cadge or nick his mask and go to Hell
Venice with that bad and dangerous man
aptly named the Bridge?
© Matt Simpson