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13

this man, this me, spat out by the sea,

born of want, borne by want,

has a weird relationship with Need to Know,

like I Need to Know what happened last year,

like when the world, no not the world,

the cities, not plural, it was London

really, was burning and someone said

Lodge Lane was burning or that there were kids

out on Smithdown Road and I remember

thinking, so what, let them run free,

Toki wouldn’t have minded, he’d have got

on his horse and got out his bow and had

them gutted and roasted and ready for dinner,

then someone else said that there were kids

shooting at the CCTV cameras, the ones

cloaked as streetlamps, and someone said

the kids had killed a few CCTV cameras and someone

else said that one of the cameras, the one we all knew

from school, the one who was a proper dick,

that his uncles and all that were out and they were burning

the kids and gutting them and roasting them and all that,

and that’s when I realised that all this walking,

all this wandering, meant I didn’t have a safe place,

didn’t have a home to go back to,

listen, once I did go home and someone had painted

FUCK THIS on my old front door

so I got this feeling, this taste,

this sick stomach, that if I went down

the alley and into the garden they’d have

painted FUCK THIS on the grass

and the fences and the outhouse

and my mother and the grave of my goldfish

so I kept wandering because I didn’t have a land,

so I was one of those who tread most widely

the trends of exile like someone

who doesn’t streetview where they’ve been,

who doesn’t care if on some

far distant night, some far distant new year’s eve,

a boy stands between Kensington and Old Swan

trying to count the miles to home and smells

the stench of the abattoir and takes off his shoes

because the way ahead is scorched

and his trabs are new, and his trabs are really new

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About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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