This afternoon
            passed quickly
 I took out subscriptions to three poetry magazines then cancelled them
read a Basil Bunting poem and finally understood it
 then read it again and realised I didn’t
 I started reading War and Peace
 but then decided I should start a note book and collect ambiguous statements
 like -  “laced up stout boots to walk the dogs then remembered I didn’t have any”
 and your absolute classic - “I really do love you”
This afternoon
 I sorted out two jigsaws, separated straight edges from the rest
 then hid the corner pieces down the chair to save time
 I wrote an essay entitled a hundred ways to pass an afternoon but gave up after  Number 1 Write an essay
 wrote three improvisational plays with the same instruction “be yourself”
 and discovered a cure for people who think they know it all
 but I forget what it is
This afternoon
 I sat at the end of the road and wrote down the registration numbers of passing cars
 counted the birds who balanced with eaves-dropping feet on the telephone wires
 launched myself three feet into space from the garden wall
 listened to all the CD’s you left on that strange mode that changes tracks after 10 seconds
 then heard Lady in Red and knew why that mode exists
This afternoon
 I worked out that I could change the channel on my TV quickly enough to see
 three chat shows at the same time.
 heard about two cases of people who had relationships with people it turned out they didn’t know -
 and three cases of people who had relationships with people they did know
 who didn’t know them very well
This afternoon
 kicked a plastic bowl round the kitchen, won the footbowl world cup
got the mower out to cut the grass smoked it instead
 (another one for my ambiguous notebook - and another)
 I started making dinner for one then decided to get a sandwich from the shop
This afternoon
 passed quickly

now I sit and wonder why I didn’t have this much fun when you were here.

Jim Bennett

If you've any comments on this poem, Jim Bennett would be pleased to hear from you.

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