Invitational

You’ve got to be at the party
To change the conversation, *
A situation somewhat constrained
By the business of social station…
No matter the outfits, the hairdos, the bling,
The first and most obviously challenging thing
Is the possible recourse to self-deprecation
In order to secure an invitation…
Then there’s crossing the threshold
In appropriate attire
Courting attention enough to inspire
A visual presence of elegance and class
While careful not to end up on one’s *rse,
Literally or metaphorically a state
Really not to contemplate
Surrounded by onlookers equally frail
Eager not to surrender, impale,
Reputations so carefully compiled
At once impressive and bizarrely fragile
Compounding a personal sense of duty
With peculiarly detailed, ephemeral beauty:
A fairy tale scenario
With still some hours left to go,
The cocktail chatter,
Expressions of style,
The tottering heels.
The aching smiles.
The most I’ve ever had to do
Is, ‘Hi! Good evening, how are you?’
I’d never feel properly prepared
For gatherings where people stare
Scrutinising tiny details
And hoping preparation prevails.
So, well and good in principle
As long as one feels invincible:
Strong enough to endure, withstand
Conversation over the band,
The rippling sounds of cocktail chatter,
Topics that really shouldn’t matter,
Persons there-present trying not to resent
Unavoidable scrutiny, malcontent,
Doing their best to keep up appearance
Avoiding unwanted media interference
While I can sit here watching it all
Openly vocal when appalled
By those unfortunate fashion mistakes,
Forgetting what kind of courage it takes
To step out of role and so expose
Any person the Media tells me
I knows…

 

*WRT James Nesbitt on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 show this morning- worth a listen.   http://bbc.in/1SB8Gd1

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