Poem 2 – Lipstick is a Spiritual Experience and Joanna Bogle

It’s almost midnight and I’m tapping on the glass – “How do I get out?” And there in the dark outside is a familiar face. It’s Joanna Bogle! ‘”There’s no key” she says.


Though the prospect of sleeping in a marble floored hall, surrounded by rather impressive Boards of School Captains since 1897 isn’t what I’d planned, it does rather remind me of Dead Poets Society. Seize the Day!

But Joanna seems to know the building well and signals to me to run through to the other side. And so, a few deserted corridors later, I’m relieved to see her on the other side of a door that actually opens. I step out into the night and an opportunity to find out what she thinks of Poem 2.

Fortunately she thinks this is fun and amounts to an opportunity for a post midnight cup of tea with the cake she’d saved from dinner. So now we are in a common room of the Oratory School, Reading, and she’s stirring her tea with a biro and having a look at Lipstick is a Spiritual Experience.

So she’s pondering

It’s very visual – I saw all the lipsticks.. I don’t use the stuff myself, but I think there’s something in there that’s rather fun and Catholic, because we really do believe that you should become what you are. And lipstick and also lovely clothes have been seen by the church as a Good Thing, because for example the fashion industry was based in once-catholic Paris. Millinery began in Milan. That’s why it was called Millinery.

Well I never knew that. But I add that when I was writing it… I’d rather thought it was a satire on commodity fetishim,

But I think it’s more than that. It’s an affirmation of enjoyment.

Though I don’t love lipstick, I do love hairstyles. And today I rather lament that you’re not even allowed to describe someone as beautiful. We’ve lost the pleasure of a charming compliment. There isn’t enough innocent absurdity around.

Well it seems that the commentary on exploitation is triumphed over by delight.

Exactly. Which is why the only thing I disagree with in the poem is throwing the old ones away!

Joanna Bogle blogs at http://joannabogle.blogspot.com/

You can hear the poem here on Bandcamp or dive straight into the Audio book which is here!