One of the great joys and freedoms of poetry is that no subject, however apparently perverse or prosaic, is taboo. It just depends on how that subject is treated: the style's the thing. I once wrote a poem about a tooth extraction, and now I seem to have cobbled together in bed last night a piece of the lightest of verse about body hair. As is often the case when I write a poem — though I would hesitate to call these flippant and casual stanzas a Proper Poem, so Simon Armitage can rest easy — I toyed around with a few lines in bed last night (don't worry, it's perfectly legal), then finished it off in my head on waking a couple of hours ago. Although I have a reasonable head of hair, it has been pointed out to me that there is a gently thinning patch at the back. It's impossible for me to see this — except when, at the hairdresser's, my sadistic coiffeuse, seeking approval for her cutting and styling skills, shows me the back of my head in a mirror. Needless to say, I never look, turning my gaze towards the woman in curlers on my right who's reading 'Hello!" magazine or the old hippie on my left with hair spilling thickly over his shoulders. To think that my own hair was like this when I was eighteen!
Hair sprouts in most mysterious ways
And in unwanted places;
In cracks and crevices it coils,
In erstwhile hairless spaces:
Like in the ears and up the nose
And even from the shoulder;
Yet hair upon the head grows less
The more that one grows older.
Some think it cute to be hirsute
On chest and leg and thigh;
Myself, I'd rather trade this for
A thicker thatch on high.
I suppose this could go on and on, but I think we've all had enough, and, anyway, it's time for breakfast. Oh, and I mustn't forget I've got an appointment with the hairdresser later...