Howard Firkin
The fans of Keats read Shelley once, to weep
for their lost boy, the Peter Pan who tripped
before the ticking crocodile and dipped
out badly. Here’s a secret I won’t keep:
They skim. They do. Confront them and they blush.
The fans of Keats read Shelley once, to say
they’ve read it and to pass exams or find
a line that no one else is using, mind
you, one used in a last year’s class is okay;
let nothing keep them too long from their crush.

I walked out in the early morning sun;
its warmth eased through me, sudden, single malt.
To readers, hello from another one,
to fans of Keats, shouldn’t you be doing something more important? Like your hair?