The toothed aroma of the municipal
smoke, a drift of early March, studs its soft
calendar of cumuli, this date snatched
from the park’s brief pulse of crocus strip
to the acid tenements you flung yourself from.
Three weeks on, your shivered life was a
pyramid inverted back again by radio, shy
showmen of expiry: a rag doll, lying there.
You, proud in despair and child, elude their
shrink, sound-bitten image of twenty-five
years of solitude; repeated.
This day I started writing, you were written
up and out, tape-wiped to a yellowing
memo in some head, scarred to a few more,
like the self-harm stripes your kids would learn
down reverb damp stairwells
spiralled out of them:
Emblem of eaten-out urban shells,
early eighties, my fade-out contemporary.
Now waged, a shout from your block,
I’d look out, ashamed of its gaunt spread
of stone-dropped silence
I’ve drawn to closer as I come near
lichen swart, a gulfed oval of brutalism
condemned by a flurry of social
engineers, to flay your children now
taking your station of blasted air
for their own site-bled vigil, as if
the blood was theirs.
Simon Jenner © 2008