Sunday, November 14

Too Old For This

a poem by Paul Sutton

I don't know why poets never write about yobbery.
I once thought to start a poem saying it's
the unacknowledged legislator of the city.
Which sounds like bilge: aren't we all aware of the
brooding wolf or his slow and sure badger?

Maybe protests about bombing or whatever but not
the grainy snuff on CCTV. It be in ye culture,
a good kicking & tasty. Mostly it's not personal:
just stay up as long as possible and
if blinded, a guide dog will help.

A brother of my brother-in-law, Christmas Eve, South London,
asked someone to remove their insolent boots from his chair,
which was done, but then Anon (not Auden) waited outside: one eye gone,
three ops, full facial reconstruction. Not personal - just a dispatch;
friends of the assailant warn he's "like that".

I blame the middle classes, worshipping these thugs,
retreating to private members clubs,
writing North London traumas of
schools and greed ceilings, not enough
ethnics in the countryside.

"But there wasn't a culture,
sooo good they all came here."
Pelted Saxon arrives in the mud town,
finds the Norman scriveners listing
ditches and counting chickens.

Sullen, swollen, hives,
heritage huts in gusty rain.
It's payback for ordure, lose
two fingers for a stolen deer;
winter fair & estuary brown.

Frank, my fascist friend, points out
the large number of medieval holy days.
He got stopped crossing Harwich to Hamburg -
I doubt he'd bomb, but a disconcerting conversation
on usury and Cardiff City vs. Brighton.

And this could go on and I wouldn't
make my point because there isn't one.
All the English poets except Kit Marlowe
ran away from pub brawls. The War Poets,
on home leave, when it "kicks off"? I don't know.

© Paul Sutton, 25th October 2004

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