photograph of a moment

i walk into a shop with a smashed window. it smells strongly of cleaning fluid, and there is a large puddle on the floor. the man behind the till is watching youtube videos on his phone and does not seem to notice. the light in here is sickly and yellow. there are jars of pickled things. dried milk. dried fruit. dried noodles.

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photograph of a moment

stroll, cont.

gallery road, someone has written, in reference to the huge colourful scrawls lining the no mans’ land between tracks and building site. NOT TRUE, i want to scream. galleries are not so organic.

greenlight leaning over the tracks, poised. another train hums casually over.

a man up ahead appears at first glance to be pissing, but actually he is sketching a bush.  he is wearing earbuds. i wonder what he is listening to.

it’s too painful to stand on this viewing platform; the drilling is too loud. at least there is a creek today; it flows like a fat slug in the rain. brambles reach into the walkway and i find myself looking for the cracks, the in-between, the clues, caught between decimation and desolation.

this kind of barbed wire looks like a fleur de lis.

the smell of sawdust. cigarette butts and polystyrene. moudly apple core.

luxury flats overlooking the sewage treatment works.

stroll, cont.

Stroll

Frankham Street smells like an armpit.

Further along this devolves into garam masala and chlorine.

The arches of the train track are all dripping mildew and piss.

Techno scrawled over techno in different coloured paint.

GCHQ= STATS! in melting white.

The roof drips into tiny gravel pits, makes pigeons jump.

A huge crude face on one, tentacles on the next.

Wake up? in red.

Plants burst through cracks in the brick.

A train thunders overhead.

I step into a cloud of mosquitoes.

Stroll

like a goldfish in a bowl

img_0579img_0581img_0591

i am not stuck fast
but i am glue-slow
wading through wet cement
circa 1970
i drink sky and

what’s funny is
if you build glass where
it never stops raining
life will be as grey
as if you’d never bothered,
and just used concrete

you have to see that
shards are just as sharp
when they fall from phone boxes
as when they stand erect
and pierce the roof

of the world’s mouth

“and this world is
the one”, we shuddered
as we sped towards it
along the DLR tracks

of the darkest timeline
history taut as a tightrope

like a goldfish in a bowl

BINSEY (rewrite)

i stood in that hollow
once before
you raised me well
taught no feeling

bound up in tape
resurrected
image projected
on concrete wall

dug out by shovel
gouged by fist
i’ve been away
too long

what made you cold?
who made you
all angles
and darkness?

just a scrawl, child
running
down the cave wall
vowels at the mouth

windows, unhinged
hanging
white plastic wings
on cold stucco birds

what held you apart?
pushed you
together
in the black?

broken now into blue
grey
face burned out
standing on the other shore

how do i
swim
to you through this water
two whole feet deep?

i stood in that hollow
once before
neon tubes flickering
too far can’t reach

bring me up to speed now; who
did what, who
died? i’ve been away
too long

fibreglass boards for eyes
cheap
salvaged from bin bonfires
gas leaks

cards in wheel spokes
deal after
deal, loud, dressed
in red, yellow, blue

colours running, the sun
gone
replaced by
“THESE HAZARDS ARE-“

i stood in that hollow
once before
i’ve been away
too long

BINSEY (rewrite)