The goings on across England’s many Market Streets. Funny how few decent photos there are; this terrible photo is the best of a terrible lot. My guess as to why, is that English people have such a low opinion of our Market Streets, often described as “depressing” that they’d never think to photograph them; first thing i’ll do when i am next back.
Makes you laugh & cry how low our opinion of our country & yet we get all nationalistic over the footy when England play, or a vote like Brexit comes along.
i think the grimness has an aesthetic to it— this is England. The sheen of grey, the hopelessness of it.
Our low opinion is one reason why, a once renowned, proud nation of shop keepers has had to vacate the premises. Last time i was home, i was surprised how many buildings there were To Let. So sad. Couldn’t even find a decent bakery to buy an iced bun.
A carping forecast | stridently sounds from England’s
Market Streets | megaphoned with a klaxon accompaniment
outside Boots pharmacy | the bakery’s aroma from next door
& a gypsy selling The Big Issue outside W.H. Smith.
The church bells quiet | traffic filling the gaps.
: tomorrow is a coma brought on by your apathy.
Then tachycardia leading to arrest | reducing sight
—dogs & cats short of breath from patois.
New religions robed in silicon & preaching code.
The cordage of grammar soaked in gin | curfews
so long as everything whatsoever ceases to be defined
by the sun | without shadow | cause & effect.
“Where will all the ham-fisted monsters spawn
from— we’ve been desensitized by all that
Hollywood & Silicon Valley festinates | bamboozling
psychologists who’ve gone into prescription overload?”
these exact words I hear | conceived in the alcove of the skull.
Ulcers the size of burls | buboes lathered in milky emollient
—the hiccup lip service | neither government nor gods
escape stretches of timelessness— in short | a lot of weather…
—cut down by a coughing fit | he drops a clause.
There is a lot of weather today: started bright
with rain scheduled in the afternoon | the wind pacing
the corridors of the town— the north forecasts snow.
“Who’s the snower doing all the snowing?”
Needless to say nobody listened to the preach |
traipsing home with shopping bags tugging tendons.
A bicycle tire punctured by broken milk bottles.
“I don’t want to miss the next bus.”
Trying to right umbrella ribs the wind inverts.
Jotting down “so n’ so’s hen night Saturday…”
Police officers clench the strap of their batons
& smile that i-know-something-you-don’t smile
taking long chevron strides | on the beat.
The denouement of progress is more than we need
—we imagine our industries endangered species
: they update their facades | gizmos & motto voce.
& nutters keep balling their intel in a fist
& point us to the gates of hell | coming out the woodwork.