Lock Me Away by Clive James

User avatar
jones jones
Posts: 6601
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:30 am

Lock Me Away by Clive James

Post by jones jones »

An unsettling meditation on the mental disarrangements of encroaching senility manages a rare balancing of poetry and comedy.

Clive James AO CBE (born Vivian Leopold James on 7 October 1939) is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist. He changed his name to Clive after the movie Gone With the Wind was released. Know why?

Even if you hate poetry you should read this & check out the image of a padded cell at the end.



In the NHS psychiatric test

For classifying the mentally ill

You have to spell 'world' backwards.

Since I heard this, I can't stop doing it.

The first time I tried pronouncing the results

I got a sudden flaring picture

Of Danny La Rue in short pants

With his mouth full of marshmallows.

He was giving his initial and surname

To a new schoolteacher.

Now every time I read the Guardian

I find its columns populated

By a thousand mumbling drag queens.

Why, though, do I never think

Of a French film composer

(Georges Delerue, pupil of

Darius Milhaud, composed the waltz

In Hiroshima, Mon Amour)

Identifying himself to a policeman

After being beaten up?

But can I truly say I never think of it

After I've just thought of it?

Maybe I'm going stun:

Dam, dab and dangerous to wonk.

You realise this ward you've led me into

Spelled backwards is the cloudy draw

Of the ghost-riders in the sky?

Listen to this palindrome

And tell me that it's not my ticket out.

Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Do you know who I am, Dr La Rue?



"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
User avatar
Lady J
Posts: 1085
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:08 pm

Lock Me Away by Clive James

Post by Lady J »

A great choice of comic poetry!

It may not read like it on first glance so read it again and put your mind out of body and listen.

The photo....now that gave me chills....so pristine, so cold.

You know you could still kill yourself in a room like this.
User avatar
jones jones
Posts: 6601
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:30 am

Lock Me Away by Clive James

Post by jones jones »

Lulu ... you are the last of the few who would understand what he is saying ... You know we been there done that hun!
"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
User avatar
LarsMac
Posts: 12366
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:11 pm
Location: Far Out, Man

Lock Me Away by Clive James

Post by LarsMac »

Lady J;1447984 wrote: A great choice of comic poetry!

It may not read like it on first glance so read it again and put your mind out of body and listen.

The photo....now that gave me chills....so pristine, so cold.

You know you could still kill yourself in a room like this.


Yes, and take a very long time to do so.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
-Susan Hattie Steinsapir
User avatar
Bryn Mawr
Posts: 15908
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:54 pm

Lock Me Away by Clive James

Post by Bryn Mawr »

Clive James may be better known for his broadcasting and journalism but, in my mind, his greatest contribution has been as the songwriting half of a partnership with Pete Atkin - wonderful songs :-

Pete Atkin - Beware of the Beatiful Stranger - YouTube

Return to “Poetry Writing Forum”