His father was 'the artist',
his spectrum red, yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black,
who . loved the blues and sometimes played a twelve-bar all the way from stools to velvet, fiddles
and old hands cracking spoons to
the between-station hiss of a radio when the bars were closed by darkness.
Jack's was the first birth in the town under an electric sun,
his first memory the snooker table light hanging low over that operation,
those special instruments he was forbidden to touch; his father,·
a cigarette dead as conversation between his lips, in a waistcoat
soiled with grease and chalk dust, for all his sureness of sight, never recognising
his wife's fruits spread across the baize.