The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

Poetry Review

 

Lineage

By Robin Cowpertwait

Published by Crazy Quilt Bouquet in 2011

 

Review by Jack Little, UK/ Mexico (Published in issue 26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowpertwait’s self published collection, Lineage looks at family life and illness; growing up and questions of identity. This micro review provides three of Robin’s poems from the collection. My favourite poem in the collection is “Goal Posts”.

 

Goal Posts

 

If it was sunny,

No match for the telly,

You’d be Pele

(even though you were a racist)

on Woodthorpe Park;

until it was dark

I’d be Gordon Banks.

 

If it was raining

You’d be Tommy Lawton

(even though I didn’t know him)

with balloon ball, radiogram goal,

crowds in the hall;

until it was tea

I’d be Gordon Banks.

 

Then later

Better than never,

Whatever the weather

In kit too big then small,

With gloves and eye patch

(yes, even after the car crash)

I’d still be Gordon Banks.

 

 

Another enjoyable poem is Tour of Duty which remarks at the feeling of returning home.

 

Tour of Duty

 

Measured in miles and pubs

cross country to old haunts,

inebriated ghosts prop bars

-          well oiled stories spilt –

repeating former glories.

 

Old flames wink and flicker

shared knowledge, secret histories

pass over the bittersweet foam.

then old adversaries step in

and shake too late. Time to shoot

 

back into hometown’s

safe old stomping ground,

find our elicit parking space

then off to the market place

-          better get a bat on –

 

for just one more pint

of mixed before we split

as the last bus pulls out

to shouts of tek care me owd duck,

good riddance – good luck!

 

 

 

Another stand out poem is Bad Joke

 

 

Bad Joke

 

It was calculated for impact.

To curb distraction, get a reaction,

wind you up off your death bed.

 

But it’s not good joking apart

to simply reminisce, take the piss,

pour it down the drain then point the blame

 

at someone else instead.

And there’s no point now in asking

if you want another one for the road

 

ahead your journey into the unknown,

your last trip – inevitably ill-fated.

We’re all well: over the limit, fed,

 

bladdered, pissed often,

and soiled. We all want what’s best

for you, for us, for happiness and wealth,

 

so all I can do is drink to your ill-health,

write another poem you’d have despised

and wait it out until your demise.

 

 

Robin Cowpertwait lives in Devon, UK. His poems and short stories have been published in South Magazine, Candelabrum, Cynic Magazine and The Ofi Press Magazine. He is the author of Pam Naps and has published a poetry collection titled Lineage. He is also a musician and painter.