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Eclectic England: Poetry by
Patience Agbabi
 
'Constant Shame' by Fitkin Wall:
Graham Fitkin & Ruth Wall

'Incursion 1 2005 | Oil on Canvas' © 2007 George Blacklock
'Incursion 1 2005 | Oil on Canvas'
by
George Blacklock

 

Lines

He snorts words joined at the hip, sentences whole,
he snorts the pure white space between the lines,
titles, headlines and quotes: ‘blood will have blood’;
the underbelly, the meaningful pause of subtext,
poetry because it looks like lists
but means more than it says, which makes him high,
and lists.
WINDOLENE
*
1.06
TOMATO PUREE
0.26

He prefers long words in other languages,
Das Aufmerksamkeitsdefizitsyndrom;
to medium, hyperlexia, autism;
and short, OCD, ADD,
written in illegible handwriting;
but lists,
MR MUSCLE
*
1.15
because when he cannot read he likes to clean
are his favourite,
TINNED TOMATOES
0.45
TINNED TOMATOES
0.45

Chopped Tomatoes
(70%), Tomato
Juice, Citric Acid.

Energy:
Protein:
Carbohydrate:
Fat:

93kJ/22kcal
1.1g
3.5g
0.4g

Each night he'll watch his favourite film because
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY
All work.
And no play.
Makes Jack a dull boy.

All work and no…in Rich Tomato Juice
Best Before End Dec 2007.

Thou shalt not kill. He had a father once,
impossible to read, all adjectives
and nouns. No verbs. The best school in the country
and Bitter disappointment. Life is simple:
a shopping list, a slim volume of verse,
Mr Muscle loves the jobs you hate
and a video. He made it complicated,
Our Father. You were not allowed to be,
you had to be a proper noun. A Doctor,
a Lawyer, a Director. Father spoke
a different tongue. In spite of all his learning
he wrote nothing down and died intestate
leaving behind a library of hardbacks
no-one else wanted. Better than cocaine
the hit of a well-turned line, line after line
singing off the page, each repetition
of rhythm, rhyme, each reading, each re-reading
bringing him closer to God. Till he was God.
He only said it once, but when he said it
they locked him up refusing him the Bible,
the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and they asked him
and asked him when he'd edited his father
out of the picture, where he'd done it, how.

This is how. He sentenced him in black.

He made him a blank page. He made him blanch.

Made him confess his sins in black and white.

He cut his sentence short. He made him write

his will and then he burnt the words he wrote.

He made him learn the words he burnt, by rote.

With an adjective and noun, he made him red.

Best before End. Impossible to read.

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last update: July 2, 2007