16 September, 2008

Out of Time

As an American…
Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade.
By the time I came of age
Allen Ginsberg, River Phoenix, and Miles Davis
Were already dead.
I couldn’t attend a reading, write a fan letter, or see a live concert.
If I’d been born in the fifties, I could have
Been a hippie
thrown coins at the raiding police at the Stonewall Bar
taken my clothes off in the first performance of “Hair”

As a Briton…
Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade
I could have had breakfast with Conan Doyle, lunched with Shaw, dined with Wilde.
If I’d been born in the 1880s, I’d have
married young
kept a female lover in the countryside
shocked proper society by becoming an actress
given Dylan Thomas his first pen

As a Non-Christian…
Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong millennia
Temples to the Gods have since fallen or been turned into “culture spots”.
My belief in Zeus, Athena, Eros, and Dionysis
Would not be the quirk of a weird girl who hates monotheism.
If I’d been born before Jesus’ calendar change, I would have
Hidden around the corner to listen to Socrates’ trial
Left my offering for Aphrodite to bring me love
Been executed for masquerading as a boy to act alongside Thespis.

No comments: