It’s the lighting; a beach hut’s sculpted shadows,
a white face pushing from a darkened porch,
Mitchum in Acapulco heat, slatted light
across his jacket, Greer walking in against the
sun, a Mexican Dietrich strolling a highway,
headlights stroking her back before she becomes
night, the palms, fedoras, wise guys, bars;
the evening park, a tram’s Nighthawks figures,
kids playing floodlit footie round a lamppost,
the hall glow through the fanlight, lincrusta,
dad’s torch searching the cellar for the nail jar,
Aunt Flo upstairs hoping I’ll pencil a seam
down the back of her painted legs while
Uncle Harry’s away, her face under mine,
garish, by the cheap bedside lamp.
A pencilled line simulated real stockings.
Published in MAGMA 46, 2010.
Ken Champion is an internationally published poet whose work has appeared in over a hundred magazines and anthologies, including Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Magma, African American Review and Iodine Poetry Journal. He has two pamphlets, African Time (2002) and Cameo Poly (2004) published by Tall Lighthouse and a full collection, But Black And White Is Better (2008). He has also had fiction published in literary journals in the UK and USA. Ken reads in London and elsewhere and hosts More Poetry at Borough Market. He runs poetry workshops and is Reviews Editor for Tall Lighthouse. A selection of his poems can be found at The Poetry Library and at http://www.kenchampion.org.uk/
Born in London’s east end, Ken lectures in sociology and philosophy, and has worked as a decorator, sign writer, mural painter and commercial artist. He lives in London and has three sons.