Al fresco, in ones & twos, at the Fiddlers' Cafe
I walked past & into ADAM'S BARBERS
and took a seat straight away. Today was
the short stout barber that took the clippers -
I usually get his tall thin colleague with hair
down to his waste. I always enjoy this : the
politics of making nano-talk chat last for as long
as the cut takes. There is only the two barbers
and me in the shop & as he cuts we watch the
snooker on the portable box in the corner of
the shop (I listen, looking at my self in the
mirror - but even my barber manages to watch).
Grown men depart pixels of colour for our
pleasure to earn - if Hendry can make this
maximum - ten times an annual barber's wage
in nine minutes. I start to respect the multi-
tasking of the man with the cut-throat. Michael
Ayres - one of the most under-rated living poets -
once wrote that a barber is a cross between a
baptist & an executioner. My neck is wet. Hendry
misses. We all relax. The cut comes to nine, I
leave ten. Wiping the spikes of cut hair from
my neck I walk back out past the Fiddlers' Cafe
and into the William Hill & back the first things
to excite the lexicon : 'Avante-garde' steams
home in the rain at 8-1, which means nothing
unless 'On the Edge' comes in at Wincanton


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