Hogg And Hanlon And Me
Three mature students
by Richard George
in decrepit Barbour jackets;
Judes obscure, each with an
implausible route to Oxford.
Hogg was twenty tragic stone,
Oscar Wilde meets Falstaff:
he taxied us in a Simca
he could fit inside with difficulty
and offered Sloanes 'A lift, my dear? '
I laugh his laugh to this day.
Hanlon was Anglo-Irish,
spare as a civil servant,
out of his gentle element
at his college of trendy horridans.
He read all Freud in fourteen days
and collected Sixties music long
before it came back into fashion,
positioning stylus on shellac
with laboratory precision.
I loved to listen.
All was potential, those three years:
Hogg would be huge on television,
Charles strike gold on Harley Street
and I - of course - would write.
Somehow, though, I think we knew
nothing would ever come of us.
A decade gone, and still I smile:
'Hogg would find that funny... God!
Hanlon would like this record'.
But did I like them more
than they liked me? What is it stops me
phoning, writing, E-mailing - and if
I ran and caught them
would they turn, insouciant, and ask
'Did you deserve us? '