Monday, 3 June 2013

London WNBR (poem premiered at Velvet Tongue, June 2013)

London World Naked Bike Ride
(by Ernesto Sarezale)

The organisers have a deal with God.
Or so it seems. Because every year,
at 3pm sharp, on the second Saturday
in June, the clouds dissipate and the sun
shines glorious… marking the cue for
the spirited granddads eager to take off
their briefs, proud they’re the first to be free,                            
joined by a Belgian nude activist.
They urge us all to face the human barricade:
a wall made of journos, gawkers and wankers, 
unsuspecting tourists just walking past
and the cops and their vans a few yards away.
This Hyde Park spot is rarely quite so busy.
When a wigged hippy goddess flashes a nipple
or two, the barricade crumbles and twists:
it snakes up, bends south, twirls east past the trees,
to reconvene and surround the fit lady,
brutally pushing against bikers who
get in the way when… her knickers come off.
Let’s just not forget the gentlemen who
would kill to get the best view of the boy
with the bubbly butt and perfectly formed
genitalia. Apparently he’s from Brazil.
And the boys with pink wigs join the girls with
white wings and those in-between painted green.
This stream of naked skin is captured by
video cameras, digital cameras,
vintage cameras, disposable cameras,
mobile phone cameras, smart phone cameras,
tablet cameras, cutting edge cameras,
SLR cameras, Polaroid cameras,
replica cameras, pink bling cameras,
silver cameras, profesional cameras,
long zoom lens cameras, cameras, cameras,
cameras with tripods or hand held,
cameramen clothed, semi-clothed or undressed…
(And by ambulant CCTV)
When the naked bike riders reach Waterloo,
grey clouds start to show and the breeze gets cold.
But two drops of rain will not spoil the mood.
Music, camaraderie. And naked goths!
The chefs come out of their kitchens to laugh
at the green curly wigs, the mankinis,
the top hats, the Prince of Edinburgh masks,
and the “RENEWABLE ENERGY” banner:
an arrow pointing to the cyclist’s penis.
The smokers outside pubs grin… but don’t bare it.
Families wave and smile, football fans bark.
Bankers in suits, shop assistants and waiters
stare, look away, snap, snigger, greet, shout, blush...
as do amused visitors on tourist buses.
My favourite are those who keep on walking,
just looking ahead with a poker face.
So many of the banners are on skin:
“MIND THE GAP”, pointing at a biker’s arse.
And the plain clothes policemen? Or rather
the plainly unclothed policemen who are
also joining the ride incognito?
Near Aldwych, Lizzie from Clacton-on-Sea
is gobsmacked when she sees cousin Phil
wearing nothing but pink nipple tassels,
carelessly cycling on a Boris bike.
Covent Garden shoppers push through bikers
to promptly reach their cars, parked nearby.
London landmarks: Westminster, Buckingham
Palace, Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square…
The last sprint back to Hyde Park… feels glorious!
We gather there brotherly, sisterly. Fun.
We smile, sing, dance (or form voyeuristic rings).
If the sun still shines we lie on the grass.
Exhilarated, we feel we’re all one…
(…except for the guy with the padlock hanging
from his scrotum… when he gets an erection
and is thus told off by the organisers).

Ernesto Sarezale, - 3 June 2013

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