course haunting is true,
wherever it comes from. Perhaps
one-in-ten homes are memory traps.
I mean those gravel-rendered
semis of the London suburbs.
Desolation in the heat or rain.
Almost an old man, in the sickly
quiet of hedges behind plane trees.
I was followed back once.
Nothing to worry you now.
A man of string, fingers
clutching dead mice.
When I watch property programmes,
I'm astounded that places I shuddered
from as slums, now sell for millions.
Actually, the worst glowered down on
Euston Road, where Capital Radio went.
I saw it from the old hospital, wondering
‘Who lives behind those perforated curtains?'
and beneath the archway was a grim ravine.
areas around old stations did it best.
That's why regeneration of Kings Cross,
or even worse Paddington, was such a loss.
Remember those Italian cafes, which served
spaghetti to toothy war brides and cascading
knickerbocker glories to girls clutching dolls?
We knew the coffee was Thames mud and
loved it all the more for being so bad.
There's no doubt we were filthier then
and our teeth lurked like mustard gas.
What's really changed though are smells;
shops then - cardboard and the saturated
expected aroma of an old man's crotch.
London was wonderful in soot and dust,
even the rain smelt like bomb damage and
stations of cigarettes which can't be captured.
On warm evenings, I go back to school for a
production. That vast sun through plate glass,
in a summer of total heat. Guessing there was
any government, happy or just funding it, in
the sure assumption of Garden City utopia -
they felt class had finished -
it hadn't of course, although
for children it could be true.
A drowned baby, bare
feet stand on its back.
Men in top-hats decapitated, masked
activists kick their heads into the sea.
(Stop any agreement, daemon
with a frozen logic of virtue.)
Just nothing for defying ochlocracy:
a mass rally screaming its sanctimony.
Projected into my home and body.
I can't complain though.
The sun still shines, so the garden
shows pure green in warming blue.
I can masturbate at leisure
now frozen food is available.
Not from the sky, but some movement
in the pine trees has me unconcerned.
© Paul Sutton 2015