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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Split Ends

So here's an extract of a poem I wrote for a workshop recently... A few links to show some of my trains of thought. Hoping to work some more on it over the next couple of weeks:

I was manufactured far beyond
the Bow bells and past the crease
in the Thames where Eastenders credits
roll, past sausage roll sandwiches and saltfish fritters
foil-wrapped and wolfed down on the District
line like this mile ended way too soon.

I grew up in the Far East
in a place where we learnt to curse Hindi
at our teachers while threading earphones through
our Ill-afforded sleeves pulsing with dancehall CHOOONs!  

The markets raised me from the back of white vans
and crooked billets with dog tracks barking their last orders
and car plants shrinking its workers to size.

I grew up at the fold of the London A-Z
in a bus depot where aspiration terminates or
its route begins depending
on which Burberry hat
you cover your headaches with.
I rose up on the backs
of cream net-curtains and terraced dreams
and Jafaican lingo:
lay it on, lay it on, lay it on, baby.

But my ends are split like
V signs created in playgrounds
where Sahir and Shawn and Simeon
shuffle cards behind the desk
and we all support Arsenal or Tottenham
unless we like the sound of loser
pushing on our chests.

They are split like
the bifurcated sources of the Northern line like
the edge where my tongue trips lazily over vowels
and my throat skips Ts like they were swinging rope.

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