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Year Nine: I Was a Tory Councillor; It Was the Least Of My Sins.


I once travelled from Glasgow to Manchester

First Class on a standard ticket.

I was exhilarated.

When I reached Manchester I found a call girl.

Not a girl. Very nearly a woman.

She was a student.

Her name was Paloma.

And this is all ash and this is all dust.

And I am all ash and I am all dust.

These lies, they’re little and keep expanding.

I met Thatcher once.

Daughter, believe me, I met Thatcher.

I wanted to meet her.



I wanted to have her. Have her. HAVE HER.

I knew a socialist once, a real Trade Unionist,

who tried to blow Thatcher up.

It was 1988.

He made a bomb.

He planted it in a Conservative Club in Truro.

He would half her.

He would half her in half and have her.

And this is all ash and this is all dust.

And I am all ash and I am all dust.

Daughter, listen to this song of my sins.

A mix tape.

You don’t want to hear these sins. Believe me.

Hear the songs instead.

Come Dancing by The Kinks.

Clinic’s The Return of Evil Bill.

Tell Laura I Love Her, Ricky Valence’s version.

Something amazing by Bananarama.

All of I Am Kloot.

And Wichita Lineman of course.

And Jazz. True Jazz.

I once got a girl to sleep with me by pretending

I was into Jazz.

I listed names like I was Jazz.

I said Parker and Baker and Monk

and Davis and Ellington and Herbie Hancock.


She undressed.

Her gusset.  Her gusset of her tights. O, her gusset.

And this is all ash and this is all dust.

And I am all ash and I am all dust.

Daughter, I hated the NHS like no one ever hated it.

I had a knife just for the NHS.


I wrote NHS on the blade.

Daughter, these words are just delaying the inevitable.

Daughter, I found you.

In the dust.

In the nothing.

THEY had you dressed as their queen.



Queen of What Was.

I came to you. I mean YOU.

To THEM on my knees.

And this is all ash and this is all dust.

And I am all ash and I am all dust.

“He is all there is,” one of THEM said.

THEIR hands touched you.

THEIR skulls were massive.

I’d say THEIR skulls were bigger than a Ford Ka.

That big.

Daughter, you couldn’t have known.

No YOU couldn’t have known what I’d been through.

The glass I’d walked over.

How my soles bled.

Bledsoul. Bled out. All outta soul.

I used to tell the girls that Charlie Parker had soul.

I lost mine in George Osborne’s summer home. His gazebo.

My pants around my ankles in the billiard room while everyone else

was enjoying sorbet. SORBET.

George held a cue.

Cue economic collapse.

Cue the end of the world.

Cue obliteration.

Cue Harry Connick Jr. in Independence Day.

Cue Nibiru.

Cue this.

And this is all ash and this is all dust.

And I am all ash and I am all dust.

Daughter, I said YOUR name.

THEY said YOUR name.

“He is all there is,” THEY said

and YOU understood.

Oh daughter.

O daughter.

My daughter.

YOU obliterated me.


A raygun.

A goddam raygun for chrissake.

Daughter, YOU vaporized me

and I became the same as the rest.










Daughter, I became particles dispersed.

I was memory.

I was 42 again

and swearing at the police,

I remember saying, “Fuckingplebbastardsifyouweremypapasbatmanhedawhippedyahewouldanowpourmeasherrythereandbeagoodchapandtouchmetherejustthereohyouworkingclassboysyadoavenoiceandsyadoohyesfasterfasterfasterimawhipimawhipimawhip…”

or something like that.

Someone shouted “Get on your bike!”

Daughter, YOU were away. YOU were you.

Those words carried me to you/YOU.

“Get on your bike!”

You left me so I found you.

YOU left me

and when I found YOU, YOU took me apart,

YOU obliterated or vaporized or deconstructed or destroyed me

so everything that was darkening began to fade

and there were no days left. No days left at all.

And this became ash and this became dust.

And I became ash and I became dust.



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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