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You’ve Disappeared from the Screen

JOHN:

> Where are you, Martin? Where have you been?
Like some night flying long-haul jet from JFK,
You’ve disappeared from the screen,
I’m almost ashamed
The number of messages I’ve left
On your machine
You’ve disappeared from the screen.

You’ve disappeared from the screen.
One moment you were there and we were talking.
Next thing I knew
You’d vanished in the blue,
Now when I try to phone I feel I’m stalking.
Arrest me, do.
Arrest me for pestering you.
We used to be inseparable.
Have I done something irreparable?
Am I suddenly unclean?
You’ve disappeared from the screen.

You’ve disappeared from the screen.
The Archway bus was asking after you.
And Clissold Crescent
Looked thoroughly unpleasant
The last time I came wandering idly through
And gave a glance
At your unwatered plants—
The trailing petunias
Looked frail and impecunious.
I could not intervene.
You’ve disappeared from the screen.

I’m not a monk,
I’ve been out once or twice,
Got a bit drunk
And met somebody nice
But I knew all the time
I’d never find
What I was thinking of—
Something a little less like sex
And more like making love
Something profound for a change—
Something far better than those precarious gymnastics
With coked-up blokes in various elastics—
That was never my scene.
You’ve disappeared from the screen.

You’ve disappeared from the screen.
And London seems so meaninglessly leafy
And all the men
Irrelevant again—
The tall, the small, the epicene, the beefy.
I’m stuck without you,
I’m out of luck without you.
Consider it from my angle.
In your Bermuda Triangle.
Is it nice or is it mean
That you’ve disappeared from the screen.

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