I was at the swimming pool the other day and who should appear but Lord Byron. I knew it was him by his profile, his turban and his palsied hoof. I was thrilled and tried to sidle up to him in the water - I wanted to ask him about poetry - how to write it but he ignored me, dived into the deep end and swam under all the ropes until he got to the fast lane and he was there for hours, ploughing away. He could have swum the Hellespont and I got bored watching from the spectator’s gallery.
When he finally pulled himself out of the pool I noticed that his Georgian drawers had drifted away and I got to see his Byronic buttocks and they were lovely and sculpted but when he turned around he had a little pot belly, from all the puddings and fine wines - poetry can be ravenous work, I believe.
I waited for him in the cafe next door and he let me buy him a Cappuccino. He told me if I wanted to write poetry I should do extraordinary things - mad, bad dangerous things, like murder and incest or perhaps liberate a small oppressed country as these endeavours concentrate the mind wonderfully. He said to always make sure to drink a pint of water after an evening’s carousing as hangovers were fatal for writing.
Two ladies, dressed in rich damask gowns, with lace at their throats, entered and the cafe fell silent. Come along Darling, the older woman said shoving me aside with her pannier skirt. Her face powdered white and spotted in beauty patches and she stank of rancid velvet and horses. When she smiled her teeth were all black and rotten but Byron pulled her towards him and kissed her on her terrible mouth. The younger one looked scared. I wanted them to take me with them but the tall white horses of their carriage neighed and snorted and off they went. I took out my notebook and wrote: Today, I met Lord Byron and he was gorgeous