The Color of Money: Grady Seasons

Scorsese's hugely underrated 'The Color of Money' is on BBC One right now. I'm reminded of when my friend Beril challenged me and Luke Heeley to write poems about the sleazy bit-part hustler Grady Seasons, who's on screen for a few minutes only but leaves a memorable smear. Our prize was dinner at Beril's. This is my poem, published in my book, Neptune Blue.


Grady Seasons

It’s grady season,

the night snakes into sheer bri-nylon,

static sparks from pits, and nipples

redden from the friction.


It’s grady season,

the day wriggles into tight tan slacks,

gets sweaty round the crotch,

makes a buckle of the Sun.


It’s grady season,

the rain slants down like pool cues

or the cues slant down like rain,

in any case


it’s grady season,

and wood bees pollinate

a million billiard orchids

with blue chalk dust


as the gods rack up

a diamond of misfortune

for you to cut your teeth upon

during grady season,


season of fists and sallow hopelessness,

close-fitting bosoms

round the ring-stained tables

and the cue tip-ripped-up-baize.


It’s grady season.

If you didn’t sink your nine-ball

as you breached your mother’s

birth wall you’re rolling


round the small towns,

the pool halls, the cheap highs,

the comedowns, the dives

of grady season,


the three score years and ten

of it before the axis tips you

in the ditch, life’s a bitch,

the balls roll funny for everyone, sonny.


It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it?

The halls decay, the halls decay and fall

and that’s not all, it’s grady season:

on the snap, go for broke, don’t choke.


The Color of Money on IMDb