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This poem is taken from PN Review 135, Volume 27 Number 1, September - October 2000.

Monologue or The Five Lost Géricaults David Constantine

In the last years of his life Géricault did ten portraits of monomaniacs. Only five have survived. My four characters, and their narrator, might be among the lost.

Commander Olleranshaw at Number 33,
With him it's dogshit, he's out every day
Chalking a ring round every load he finds
And sticking a flag in it, such lovely hands
He has, like a brain surgeon's, poor man
While everyone sensible's watching television
He's in behind his curtains making little flags
And muttering how many tons of dogshit dogs
Do every day. Don't get me wrong: he's right,
I've counted fifty flags just on our street
Between here and the Post Office: times that
By all the streets in Eccles and you'll get
Some idea of the problem and of course
That's only Eccles. No, what I meant was
I'd hate to wake with only one thing on the brain
...


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