Monday, 3 September 2012


It’s six o’clock and he’s slept enough and
no one’s watching as he tramps
past powerless neon and rainbows of vomit
and the hollow hill that he calls home
calls him home.
No crowds today to see his climb,
no choirs nor bells,
no flamelit circus cheers him on,
just dogs and rats, fighting like rats and dogs,
and the slumbrous dead eyes
of heavy-lidded houses and polystyrene pigeons
scrapping over frozen chips and pizza cheese
and nightly bile beans.
But fuck the darkness, fuck the torches – he’s got a Zippo
ping! and he sparks another joint.

It’s six o’clock and he’s smoked enough and
anyway, these things wear off over time.
For every blind old man that shows him an open door
ten more clang shut like secret cells
and the bicycles have chained themselves to railings again.
There’s a tremor in the sky but nothing in the streets
except the dull simoom of distant shuttle busses
queuing up to spend the day underground
and sit in neat little rows in painted boxes
and breathe monosmog and tarmac
and nightly bile beans.
He hears the news van coming
and the fumes catch in his throat.

It’s six o’clock and he’s choked enough and
a girl with broken wings
stares up at a sign from the past, and makes a long joke
and she’s younger than him.
How can she be younger than him?
Schoolboys run the firehouse now,
hosing their friends and laughing
and flicking Vs at the grownups
and teachers and nurses who tell them to stop.
They pepper spray his tears away
preen their uniforms and it’s their grey sky and
nightly bile beans keep you healthy, bright-eyed and slim!

It’s six o’clock and he’s slept enough and
smoked enough and choked enough and
cried enough and sometimes
spleen is not enough.
And the bicycles have chained themselves to railings again.

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