Fran Greaves On Madonna
English in the library Monday afternoon
And we’re round the table, me, Max, KCS,
And 11 girls and Mrs Thompson with her big earrings
And ginger hair and we have all just closed Sons
And Lovers and shoved it into our bags and are
The day’s last 10 mins before it’s time
To flee the room, the stairs, the school, each other,
Grab bikes or catch buses and get off home.
But first we’re killing these last minutes listening
To Fran Greaves lay into Madonna, telling
How, in her not so humble opinion, the video
Of Madonna gyrating on the bed for her new single
Is humiliating to women and an affront to dignity.
Actually, I think it’s a rather good video.
Not that I would say that to Fran Greaves,
Not that I could say anything at the moment,
And would rather keep my arms on the table, and my eyes
Firmly aligned on the table between my arms,
Taking deep sudden interest in the marks of the wood.
Because, I realise, each time I look up, each time
I fail to disown everything that Fran Greaves
Is saying, every time 2 words of her harangue
Cohere in my thought, then – where sense should be –
An image is all there is, a blatant, pulsing
Image, with sound and exotic medieval colour,
An image of Fran Greaves on Madonna,
Both moving to the music, both writhing to it,
Wrapped round each other. Please bell, ring.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, David McLintock would be pleased to hear them.