Jim Greenhalf: The Man In the Mirror for your eyes

Jim Greenhalf, The Man In the Mirror, Redbeck Press, Bradford 2010
Thank you for the dedication...
for the Special thanks…

As I say often, half of the evil on humanity is due to Nanos Valaoritis and the other half to my dreams. The question, how it happened to know Jim Greenhalf, has one answer: Nanos of course. One day we were drinking tea at Kolonaki, where Nanos has been living, and as I was catching various books, I suddenly saw one issue of The London Magazine. Nanos told me that there was his poem: Who is me
I liked the poem a lot and then, always attracted by the unknown, I tried to find another poem for reading. I was caught by The Swans of Jim Greenhalf. I liked the poem a lot and while being at home, I did my net trip to find anything regarding him. I was lucky. Jim had and has his blog http://jimgreenhalf.blogspot.com/ .
It was not difficult to find his e-mail and contact him. It all started like this; with an email.

Hope that the Greek stores, like Fnac and Eleftheroudaki bookshops, will order soon the book The Man In the Mirror by Redbeck Press. Hope that the British Council, in Greece, will add this book at their library. Although I had contacted them in the past, nothing happened –not even one answer at my texts- regarding Mr. Greenhalf case…

Things go slow sometimes but if it had not been for slowness, we would not have estimated speed.

I chose to write the self-introduced poem The Man In the Mirror.

He wants to be a player,
that’s how he sees himself,
the man in the mirror.

Observing the skull’s
salmon pink streaks
between thinning slivers of hair,

he thinks of it as a tonsure:
stigmata of monks and criminals
awaiting the electric chair.

But unlike the East Anglian coast
time and change have not eroded
the contour of his torso;

more substantial though less
in hair and teeth and libido
as each year adds another kilo.

The man in the mirror
weighs himself up:
was this the kid who wet the bed,

embarrassed and lonely
in the school hall, crossing legs,
waiting for mother to clean up the mess?

Fear of life, fear of change,
self-blame deeply ingrained,
no hand to hold in bed.

Talking to himself, answering:
defendant and plaintiff,
wanting affirmation, fearing the finger.
Sentenced to forgive himself,
reach out and be a father to the boy,
waiting all these years for the man in the mirror.

as Jim Greenhalf says…
good luck…good bye (and fill the gap in-between)


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