Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bradford Middleton- Three Poems


I can’t think, I can’t write, I’m so damn stressed I just want this to end
The end of my days in this shit-tip of a home where I came the other week to discover
Our maintenance man stood in the middle of my turned-over room
Without batting an eye he turns to me and the tirade begins
Your flat is infested he claims whilst pointing at two bugs climbing the wall
It has been a hot day, hotter than if we were in Hell
Surely this time of year and in these hot sticky claustrophobic environs they should be expected
You’ll have to throw all of it out; it’s spreading to other flats
So what do I sleep on?

The next week is a drunken blur of trying to forget
Whilst I cry off to anyone who’ll listen, their throwing me out and I ain’t anywhere to go
Too much stuff to move back to a studio and not enough money to splash out on anything bigger
Especially when the bastard landlords say ‘No DSS’
I work I plead but they seem not to care, as they state their desire to have a young professional
Rather than someone like me, mature, hard-working, hard-living writer
Who just so happens to work in a shop on a part-time contract which means I need help paying my rent
Are you going to be glad when our regular customers ask my ex-colleagues where I’ve gone?

They’ll probably not know because right now not even I have a clue but I know I will sometime soon
Another winter in this flat will surely kill me, especially if it is a bad one
And the idea of an agitating maintenance man looking to spruce up the house
All of this is driving me out and as we hurtle towards autumn I do worry
What am I going to do and how, just how I am going to get out of this mess!


I’m a failure
A failure in life
A failure in love
Just a damned failure
I live in a house that in the next few months will grow uninhabitable
I live in a town that is slowly falling into the sea
Where on certain days I’ll be woken by the roar of engines and some inane bable as a car show happens whilst the greens run the council
I live in a country where they tell us it’s all good for us, that everything is alright and don’t worry about a thing, forget about that naughty man Putin and as for the IS well you ain’t a journalist are you?
I live on a planet where a life is cheap but everything else is expensive
Are we all just damned failures?
I know for a fact that some people live nice lives in nice houses in this town
I’ve seen a few and so know it’s true
They seem so at ease perusing their vegetables in Infinity Foods
Quaffing coffee outside a starbucks in the middle of North Laine
Happy with their lives in which they star
It’s like a dream that is hard to believe
Organic, free-range, gluten-friendly expensive bits
That you’ll then take back home
To that wonderful place, your home
I’m a failure
I live in a shit-hole
I live where I deserve to live


Another damn poetry recital and open-mic session
That yet again I’ll whore myself out to be a part of
I walk in and a friend comes over and explains to the blue-haired lady who I am
She sits on the door, menacing for cash, and she asks
What would you like us to say about you before your appearance?
All I want is a beer and the bar is already crammed
So I just say whatever and battle my way through
I get a beer, get a seat and am ready to be bored

I’m not disappointed as first up is a landscape poet
With so little detail I barely conjure a sketch
Her publications run like a who’s who of the UK scene
But it just bores me silly
I can feel bits of my brain falling away with the minutes she’s on-stage
Next up is someone who starts with promise
A tale of Kind of Blue drummer Billy Cobb
But alas from there it just meanders in monotone

And I’m bored again; next up is the open-mic
That should at least provide some form of entertainment
But suddenly anxiety hits and my hands grow sweaty
Paul wows them with his poems and then it’s me
I walk up to the stage with a beer in my hand
And suddenly I feel more nervous than I should
Perhaps with the knowledge that I don’t belong here
But I get through my set and rush back to my seat

I drink some beer until break-time comes when some people talk to me
They seem to have liked my poems and show sympathy for my poor digs
But right now I don’t want to talk poetry I just want a smoke
I need to get this evening right out of my hair
And my friend Will suggests we go but tonight there’s still more to come
There’s someone I want to hear read some stuff
He ain’t all that tonight so I just leave sad, bored and desperate to get drunk 

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