The Chair Leader


I have my back to the wall. All
I offer is plain, unvarnished, upright,
posture. Straight up, itís all good
wood, which does not buckle. I am
part of the furniture, have been turned
by a firm hand. No sofa:
you may neither plump me up, nor
lose loose coins down my sides.
I am silently bumptious, armless,
and will not rock. Those over there
are not chairs, they are stool pigeon,
lounge lizard. Please to be seated:
I stand on all four legs
with my feet tucked under your table.


† † †


[January 2001]

From the book Make Mine a Double

ITV are threatening to have a symbolic empty chair if Tony Blair refuses to take part in a three-way TV party leader debate.