Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The very beginning of....THE NUMBERS GAME!

Back late from London, from BBC studios recording The Verb with other guests Toby Litt, Fleur Adcock and Tishani Doshi, to meeting mentee Nick nearby. On train down, reading poems. On train up, reading poems. Man on Facebook sends me a poem. So here by way of revenge, the very beginning of The Numbers Game to be broadcast at full chilling length on Friday, 9.15 (-ish):

A film-noir in verse for radio

Screenplay: George Szirtes

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‘I lisped in numbers for the numbers came’
- Alexander Pope ‘An Essay On Criticism’

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MGM lion roar and music fades to…

Voice Over
Come with us to the desk of a big hotel,
The marbled pillars, the vast winding staircase,
Fedoras, homburgs, shoe shine boys so old
You’d think they couldn’t stand up straight or bend.
The desk clerk, Rose, is not quite in the picture,
A bellhop leans there, studying late news.
He’s checking out the lottery for numbers.
The numbers game that everybody plays.

Well, will you look at that! I just missed out.

Why, what’d you have?

..........I picked eight ninety-three,
Take two for three and I’d be in the money.

That’s pretty good, I never got that close.

Just think what you could do with all that money!

Just think indeed, dear reader!... Hang in there for the next exciting instalment!

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