Suddenly the country is filled with stanzas
manufactured in Birmingham.
Standardised components
of poems fitting together.
I’ve seen stanzas made of red brick
singing to themselves by the roadside.

There are stanzas dressed in khaki
with tin hats stamping their feet
to brass bands going round and round.
There are stanzas made of steel
that use petrol and water
like multicoloured necklaces
honking in rush-hour motorways.
There are stanzas that are all painted different
that form a collection
Walking along brightly lit catwalks
to rhythmical chanting cadenzas

Stanzas as old as the world is
of many different species
hooting, howling and growling
in coats of many colours.

Mario Stanza is living with me
He’s Zebra striped, he eats oranges whole
He sings Italian opera like a cavalry officer
on the Icelandic frontier.
In the bathroom
when the moon comes on her balcony
he recites romantic verse
and makes flowers grow in her garden.
And when the summer evenings come
he sings like a nightingale.
He sleeps on a flying carpet curled up in his many legs
and makes brass bed knobs for a living
and sells them from a stall by the sea

Mario Stanza is busy tomorrow
but if you call before tea
he will make a date to write a poem for you
that is after he’s wrote a poem for me.

Professor Stanza
lives in a Twinning’s’ tea caddy in Harley Street
Wears a tea cosy with a large pink tie
Studies the secrets of your mind
Understands dreams and the thoughts of the heart
Escorts his umbrella to the theatre
or they go for a walk in the park
feeding the ducks on the Serpentine
They kiss and cuddle after dark
His umbrella of course is his secretary
who keeps him dry in the rain
and hails down a taxi for clients
whose poetry is going insane.

Professor Stanza gives prescriptions
analysis, hypnosis and love
and writes deep psychological poems
in a hand always covered by gloves
and sings to his patients in Gujarati
when they are under sedation
but he’s at his best at a party
where he recites poems
on transcendental meditation.

Little Millie Stanza lives on a horse ranch
does her detention hanging from a branch
reciting backwards her A.B.C.
until it’s time to come down from her tree
She sleeps in a suitcase full of nursery rhymes
and recites verse at barbecues for nickels and dimes

Little Mini Stanza her sister is little but compact
her two stroke cylinder engine
is best run on the book of Milligan’s facts
She loves to go shopping or to visit her aunt
where she does a duet with her aunts rubber plant
who makes up limericks and sets them free
from mini Stanzas boot to the Irish sea

Stanza Zapata is looking much flatter
since the revolution of 42
when his verse ignited the jungle fighting
with guerrillas who came from Crewe
He slept in the ashes of dots and dashes
and crossed his t’s with a dagger
he drank tequila and cheated the card dealer
then from the cantina would stagger
whooping Viva! Viva! Stanza Zapata

Then there’s the third Reich vision
To form a stanza division
To conquer the earth for their Feurer
To make poetry purer
But they come up against the vernacular
Of poems at midnight by Dracula
And so the Aryan races
Had the blood drained from their faces

Harmonica Stanza goes to the dance
where she plays her music backwards
The sonnets die laughing
to see her wooden leg
tapping to the rhythm
on the old oaken floor

The missing stanzas of Shakespeare
live under water in lake Windermere
where poet laureates go to find inspiration
staying underwater overnight
composing poems for the nation

Then there’s Cheryl Stanza
who stands on her hands-a
Juggling pots and pansies
as she rhymes all of her fancies
poems melodramatic
about murderers who live in the attic
then she does a cartwheel
and an act with a performing seal

There’s also Stan the man with his stanza plan
to recite heroic sagas
while drinking pints of lagers
it was always his life’s mission
to speak in this tradition
but he never gets very far
for he falls asleep at the bar

Stanzas spoken in Spain
cannot stand the strain
of senoritas sorrowful soliloquies
or sad sonnets to the birds and the bees
Stanzas written for panthers
have to pass rigorous standards
for the board of control are all pandas
who think stanzas for panthers is dangerous

Author: blackbird212012

I am interested in multimedia work: songwriting, art, and creative writing. I have been involved also in theatre and music performances.

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