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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Four Poems Michael Hulse

Burslem

I
For ages I thought that the wireless comedian
     Arthur Askey lived in Burslem,
  quishing and quishing his glittering knives
in a reek that was seawater, sawdust and death,

and filleting, grinning and chuckling, a glint in his
     glasses, selling us plaice, chinkling
  George Rex, Elizabeth Reg, the shillings
and pence in his striped apron pocket, and wiping

and wringing his hands: Thank you, thanking you kindly. The
     sign on the shop read A. Askey:
  Fish, Game and Poultry. Halibut bedded
on ice amid plastic tomatoes and parsley.

Button-eyed pheasants. Rabbits drip-drippeting crimson.
     Askey pushing his mongering
...


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