A gentle voice, sufficiently so as to strain
Audience ears as they listen to immaculate phrasing
And a thesaurus challenging vocabulary,
Denies any consideration for an audience,
Suggesting that both he and Black are egomaniacal,
Writing solely for themselves.
Add to this a literary schizophrenia,
With its subsequent struggles of style and language,
And an otherwise barely arguable claim
That the most vulnerable character in a novel
Is, indeed, the novelist himself
Might just be given some degree of validity.
Being at times unsure about why he writes at all
Is ameliorated by the belief that black marks on a white page
Can still be of great importance.
As indeed is this literary Van Morrison,
Equally smile less, equally grumpy, equally dour
And equally brilliant.