Friday Night at the Cardiff Novotel

(after Philip Larkin’s ‘Friday Night in the Royal Station Hotel)

Light spreads brightly downwards from the wide-
screen television between high windows
that face the car park,  where taxi headlights flare.
At the bar, men in short-sleeved t-shirts flash tattoos,
down beery dregs and, glancing at the score,
jostle in a noisy exit. Receptionists issue
key cards to new arrivals. Waiters pass,
and families with children have already retired
leaving crumbs and half-drunk bottles on tables.

In resonant corridors, TVs and mobile phones compete. How
obtrusive, like a gameshow, it is –
free wif-fi, ready for posting to friends on Facebook
(but never face to face) indulgent selfies. Now
night comes on. Waves of hens and stags hit the clubs.

Kim M. Russell, 9th April 2017


Image found on Pinterest

On Day 9 of The Poetry School’s NaPoWriMo prompts, we are writing response poems that argue against, agree with, re-write, or converse with someone else’s poem. The difficulty, of course, lies in making our poems stand up on their own. The example is ‘Directions (after Billy Collins)’ by Inua Ellams, who has a whole book of these called Afterhours.



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