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Steven Taylor
JANE AND   THE IMG
By 1974 with a world revolution imminent 
Even in England [what with the miners, 
the power workers, the 3 day week ]

Jane had come back 
From one of those summer schools 
For revolutionaries 
Where you were spoken to 
By accented comrades. 
Ridiculous in masks and combat fatigues 
But from amazing places 
Where the world revolution 
Was already unfurled 
Like those beautiful raging banners 
That had been designed for the Bolsheviks 
Back in 1919

by El LJssitzky.

[the sides taken over Art 
mirrored precisely 
the sides taken much later 
when disagreements developed 
about the future of world communism]

Jane.
Her boyfriend,
the one that she was cheating on
for me in the weekday afternoons 
had a gun
a revolver actually
oiled, loaded, ready
for the exact moment.

He used to get really furious 
When he compared himself to Lenin, 
Lenin at the same age, early twenties, 
And what Lenin had already achieved.

Elsewhere, Edward Heath 
Had called a General Election 
And I wasn’t sure how to react.

The Liberals were the main opposition 
Where we lived. 
So did we vote for them, 
If we were going to vote, 
Or waste our time voting Labour?

Jane had already explained to me 
That she was epileptic 
She had Fits - and this - Fits 
Was where she got her bruises 
Not her boyfriend. 
And I'd believed her.

[I'm not proud of this
but
if Jane started to orgasm
it used to frighten me

until I was 
absolutely sure 
that it wasn’t 
something else]


Moreover,

When I gave Jane a 
French kiss she often tasted of 
sweet digestive biscuits, and I could never find any 
in her kitchen cupboard. I've always wondered 
if this was perhaps a side-effect of her medication:

She kept her pills on the bookshelf.

I can remember 
Isaac Deutscher's Trilogy 
the Pelican edition of 1905 
and some other stuff 
including Kate Millet

and Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

behind 
this long pink 
twisted candle 
that was there 
purely by chance 
as a consequence 
of the power cuts.

I tried her drugs a couple of times 
but they didn't seem to achieve much, 
and we never ready know for certain 
what makes the taste of other people 
at the best of times.

We just kiss and hope, 
hope that the other people, 
don't turn away.

And Jane never did.

Whatever 
That long pink 
twisted candle

It fuelled our romance 
quite perfectly, I thought

what with those kindly bourgeois flickers 
that otherwise we might never have known 
and definitely never have expected. 
Either of us: 
that was what we had in common.

It was sweet. Really sweet. 
And then it was over.

Many years later 
I saw this woman 
in a movie 
who was identical.

Obviously
It wasn’t Jane, but
She had an appendectomy scar
Like Jane
That the filmmakers
Had attempted to hide
With a black chemise
That came down
Some of the way
Over her stomach.

Jane.

Her boyfriend left the IMG
and joined the Labour Party 
as part of the Bennite tide. 
He ended up as a Councillor 
in either Islington or Camden 
and made a name for himself 
when the revolution failed.

Jane stayed loyal 
probably too loyal 
if we use happiness 
as a measure.

I would never have remembered her 
If it wasn't for the scar in that foreign film 
And the long pink twisted romantic candle.

But her boyfriend is on television all the time
Talking about New Labour, the Third Way 
And what a difference Tony is making
to everything