Blonde Ulla’s left her heart in Kristiansund
with school photographs in Helen’s husband’s file
under a lock he clipped one evening when she’d swooned.
She’s left the harbour lights that glare for miles
at the cheeky deep-sea vessels that they’ve mooned
since oil was found offshore. Her mother smiles
when she reads Ulla’s letters from a part
of Europe far away. Poor Ulla’s heart.
Ulla’s other parts take her to the Costa Blanca
and are themselves too much, her rivals pout.
Her brain is sharper than a custom Tonka
toy car with fins flint-sharp enough to rout
competitors. And, socially, to plonk a
leg near hers makes other girls lose out.
They’ve been men who loved her till death did them part.
There are men and women left who want her heart.
Blonde Ulla works the coast line from Valencia
to Alicante, helping automate
shoe factories and banks, intelligentsia,
and anything with cash. Her systems rate
with world leaders who experience agnosia
to all else when she speaks, and she is great
at language, and assisting in downsizing,
and, being heartless helps, ‘reorganising.’
This week finds Ulla at her own convention,
one she’s dreamed up, promoted, and now chairs.
Its theme is expert systems for prevention
of further global warming. Miguel stares
when she (he’d thought her mindless) says, ‘Encryption
of our source code guarantees, for those who dare,
they’ll own the only axe that saves the wood,
and do extremely well from doing good.’
Miguel (his English mother calls him Michael)
stares on as Ulla finishes. His trance
continues until Whap! he sees the mike’ll
give him a way to meet her. ‘Grab the chance,’
his heart berates his head, ‘Quick, on your cycle.
Think up a line to make her want to dance,
then pedal like a shaman to her side
and set your grin on Honest/Open/Wide.’
‘Your majesty,’ young brain-stunned Micky mumbles,
then, growing up, speaks on in dulcet tones,
‘Ms. Chair, excuse me, but the share price tumbles
at times like this. I feel it in my bones
that your mike’s bugged, and when the crumpet crumbles…
Excuse me, I mean criminals wire phones.
Don’t say another secret! Take the stairs
up to the ballroom, join the Astaires.’
Ulla watches Micky while she’s thinking
every Windows conference has its mouse.
But, as she notes the way his ego’s shrinking,
her inner id speaks up: ‘Don’t be a louse.
Perhaps he’s an investor, one for drinking
with and learning secrets from. Your house
of hard and software would be so much rubble
if you didn’t mix its brick with field-trial stubble.’
Miguel, who’s rich because he’s good at getting
the message while he cannot understand
the language, grins as he picks up the letting
go, the coming down, of Ulla’s band
of usually-up defences. ‘I’m forgetting
my manners and convention. Is your husband
not here? You’re single?’ He’s on cruise control
as he leads her softly to the spiked punch bowl.
Ulla, while she is not one to wallow
with anybody, customer or not,
has perfect legs that secretly are hollow.
They let her drink opponents on their twat
s. ‘You’re on, amigo. There is no Valhalla
for Vikings if they die not drinking rot.’
She drains a pint and with no backward glance
lets Micky catch her up. They start to dance…
She feels that sex, like film, the church, and fiction,
depends on skills suspending disbelief,
and she fantasises love should guide one’s friction.
Were her partner not in love, he’d be a thief
who would not miss her heart. She loves his diction
but dreams of tangos. Dancing was the chief
reason that she let him in her bower
before they’d known each other for an hour.
She wakes, amazed to see him watch her eyes
as were she sheeted, or he sought a sign.
She showers, strides the terrace while she dries.
‘If I weren’t Viking I’d not blame the wine.
I’d think his sounds not whistling snores but sighs.’
Miguel regards her, thinking she’s divine.
He sees her as an angel from above
and falls, his first time ever, into love.