In a Lancashire snooker hall, in the final year
Of the nineteen-seventies, they pulled it off;
Peter Kantor and Colin McCormack, blear
From six days' cannoning billiard balls, for the sheer
Feat of the thing, for the record books, for the love,
Broke the record for playing non-stop snooker.
Where are they now, and what are they doing today,
Colin and Peter? Does Peter like Tangerine Dream
All these years later, still? Is Colin's beard grey
Or gone altogether? And does either one of them say
"I once broke a record"? Or do they at all esteem
The feat they achieved for six days' continuous snooker?
Where did I see them first? In my sauntering teens
In the stagnant nineties, in an old second-hand Book
Of Guinness World Records. I hungered for just such scenes:
For hurtless hysteria, hype for a hill of beans,
For a groove where the needle of memory gets stuck,
Be it nothing more than a marathon session of snooker.
And a part of me always remains in it, always remains
With Colin and Peter and all of that jubilant crowd
In their inky eternity. Honour their purposeless pains
And honour, too, those who honoured them, all that sustains
The spirit of man in the trifles he has endowed
With gratuitous greatness, in six-day long sessions of snooker.