Canto CCCXXXVIII

The two of us set out on shaky legs,
to walk the park’s circuit before they lock
the creaking gates on strollers and their dogs.

The hour hand saunters close to eight o’clock,
you glance up at the twilight tinted boughs,
expressing equal wonderment and shock

at everything the world tosses at you,
while I am plagued by constant inner visions—
a hyperactive, neural CPU.

Our dual mentalities are not a schism,
we are instead a dual core processor
running the same operating system.

The daddy chip eschews aesthetic pleasures
to weigh up matters of utility.
The daughter chip is exempt from the pressures

of economics and society
and wordlessly admires the evening show.
That is until the slowing frequencies

of light sustains the eerie,  gilded glow,
erasing memories of the daily grind
and I am lost for words you’re yet to know

and for this moment, we’re of the same mind.

Canto CCCXXXI

I don’t have any sandwiches in foil,
nor a favourite bench to scoff them on.
I never stop to breathe when on a stroll,

nor when I’m on a slow paced evening run.
I like my neighbourhood as a slight blur,
with stuffy lectures hissing through headphones.

My name ain’t currency in my manor,
it’s not even a penny on the ground,
although I’ve sometimes stooped to snatch a tenner

without missing a step while on my rounds.
They know my face from the few times I show it,
though my name ain’t one of the usual sounds

on locals’ lips. I’m not the “local poet” .

Canto CCCXXVIII

The only sunset we see from my flat
is reflected from the stacked windows
of tower blocks on a housing estate

in Forest Hill, about four miles or so
across the leafy swathe of Dulwich streets.
I doubt that I will ever come to know

the little lives played on the twelve square feet
of carpet in their cosy living rooms,
or whether they are taking in the sight

of the sun vanishing behind our roof.

Canto CCLCIX

Sunday is our opportunity
to traipse about our manor and behold
that the gift of human fertility

is not just ours, what with the motherload
of Babybjorns and buggies on paths,
a multitude of sprogs, chubby and bald,

even the hipsters are fertile enough
their skin tight jeans can’t kill off their erections
and their sperm’s not too hip for honest graft

or swimming in the orthodox direction.

Canto CCLXXII

The rent creeps up, it’s to be expected
what with all the young professionals
that came here in the previous decade

become young families. I behold all
the old man boozers turned to gastro-pubs,
the mortgage friendly, come to me signal

of Pizza Express, though the Kebab
shop soldiers on as guilty pleasures do.
I have no local, I eschew the clubs

for networking parents, instead I choose
to keep from fraternising with the others,
they’ll never be our friends, but we renew

for half a ton per calendar month over
what we were coughing up the month before.
My neighbourhood may be a callous lover

but I’m the mug that hangs about for more.

Canto CCLIV

Within the first few seconds since the door
clicked shut to confirm that we were outside—
the three of us, making a break, together—

the first drops fell, splat fat and finger wide,
but after a week inside the dark flat
our outbound urge was not to be denied

and so, with brolly up and pushchair wrapped
we pushed of, the front wheel become the prow
of our ship as our little princess napped

as the four walled echoes became a slough
of tap tap taps and swishing hatchback tires
and pavements were washed squeaky for our tour

past swanky homes that would never be ours.

Canto CCLI

I tell you all about the world beyond
our living room window, under the clouds
that smudge the contours of the red tipped wand

in Crystal Palace that relays the loud
and idiotic flat screen excesses.
I speak of mountains, forests and the pond

beyond the red slate roofs where terrapins
are supine on damp logs, their chins held high
while the heron remains contemplative,

eyeing the ripples for a trace of coy.

Canto CCXII

Outlast the cans of Tennants in the paws
of the alkies perched on the memorial bench.
Outlast the greyhound, outlast the police horse,

outlast the other runners, never launch
into a sprint when you get overtaken.
Outlast the the stomached remnants of your lunch,

outlast your overpriced and worn out trainers.
Outlast the three skin reefers set alight
by overeager middle class teenagers.

Outlast this magic hour’s-worth of twilight,
outlast the keepers’ padlocks and the guns
that dealers stash in bushes, out of sight.

Outlast Herne Hill’s gentrification.
Outlast the techno singularity.
Outlast your urge for home. Outlast the sun.

Outlast the fad of Post-Modernity.
Outlast the cults of Jesus and Steve Jobs.
Outlast the fucking Duracel Bunny,

Outlast the silicon in Jordan’s boobs,
Outlast the half life of Plutonium,
Outlast dichotomies of Prole and Nob.

Outlast the endless death of Capitalism
Outlast the inbred farce of monarchy.
Outlast the zombie holocausts to come.

Outlast the heat death hum of entropy,
Outlast our destiny of perfect zero.
Outlast the doggerel of pish like me.

Outlast the bandaged wangers of the Pharoahs.

Canto CLXII

The rasta man waves his finger at me
and bellows in full voice as I jog by
“I ain’t got time for your mentality!”

He might be nuts but in a sense he’s right,
that’s why I’m out here now, trying to lose
the useless weight that builds within my mind.

Fear not reader, this is not one of those
poems where the poet concurs with
the random bawlings of a basket case

I could’ve told him that I couldn’t give
a rat’s arse for his random monologues
and paranoiac, solipsistic jive

but held back out of respect for his dog.

Canto CLIX

A group of kids huddle around a flame
outside the shops, I catch a waft of it
and must admit the combination’s strange:

the winter chill, the white rooves, building mist
and then the spiky aroma of skunk.
It strikes me as a monumental waste

of youth, on such a day as this you’d think
they’d be tobogganing down the steep hills
among the local hordes in Brockwell Park,

but that’s just me, forgetting the sheer hell
of adolescence, all that peer pressure
to sample the dullest, dead head buzz of all,

glazed eyes, giggling and the paranoia.
And if they tried this a mile down the road,
their plummy accents and their floppy hair

would mark them out as what they are, a load
of posh kids playing street kids, easy prey
for those in search of nearly new iPods.

I think of those old paintings that portray
the countless skaters on their local pond,
the hair thin brush strokes of that winter day

two hundred years ago. If one could scan
the figures close enough perhaps we’d see
a huddle of youths, backs turned to the fun,

a circle jerk of mutual misery.

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