I was brought up on a housing estate, eventually I escaped into words. My life changed when I was in a pub and met a girl who was ay Uni doing Lit who I shared speed with as we listened to a band, then we went back to hers and had sex. She was showering and laid beside the bed Wass a copy of the “Plague” Albert Camus. She saw me flicking through it and said “take it home and read it”. My life changed. But my early years in this poem still pervade today.
Kids with kids in
second hand push chairs
walking line ahead.
Lad at the front
mother and baby
to the back.
Its how its done
when your hard enough.
Burberry caps and Adidas tracksuits
Nike sneakers cheap knock offs.
Big earrings gold in colour.
Make up layered upon layer.
Stoned. Started at lunch times
on the school field
Before fucking off.
What’s the point its shit.
Pubs full at dinner time.
Kids in chairs as dad
has a pint, then another.
Mam and dad smoking
kid between them not knowing.
There’s Steve in the corner
got two mates with him.
Go over. “Got any Wizz for tonight mate”?
“Any good”? Yeah fair gear mate.
What about Chaz (cocain)? Steve’s a good lad.
“Yeah but its shit to be fair”
“You could bake a cake
With what the fuckers have cut it with”
“Cheers mate” “Seven in here tonight?”
“Here have a pint on me”.
“Nice one Phil cheers”.
“Jane.. another pint love?”
“Its ok use the same glass.”
“Hows your kid going on”?
“OK they said they might keep him on”.
“Can you take the foam off that?”
“You could have a shave with that lot”.
Glass is wet with lager and slippery.
“Hey have you seen that twat Liam”?
“Fucker was snogging our lass
Friday night at the karaoke”!
“I’ll kill the cunt”!
“What about Kyle, are ya dumping her”?
“She’s fucking history mate”!
“Got some good weed if your up for a smoke”?
“Nah thanks mate, I’m just drinking till tonight”.
“Got some speed coming though. That’ll do me”.
“Are you still seeing that posh bird”?
“She’s not posh”.
“Fuck off they’ve got their own house
And she’s at University!”
“Yeah and her dads got a beamer”.
“Fuck you and yes I am seeing her”.
“She” was Shiela and was doing modern literature
At Hull University, she was from a nice semi,
went abroad for her holidays,
And dressed like a hippy.
We’d met by accident in the old town
and we’d laughed together so
I asked her out.
I was lost when she said “yes”.
How do you take a posh bird out.
“Look at that fucking lot”.
“Come here taking our jobs”!
“For fucks sake, you’ve never had a job in your life!
they seem ok to me.”
“Anyway I’m off back to me seat,
see ya later mate, if your out tonight”?
“Yeah see you later man”.
“Hey up Phil
Can you sub us a fiver
Till me money comes through”?
“No not until I get the last one back”.
“Oh for fucks sake I won’t get out tonight.”
“Ah ok one more and that’s it till you give
back what you’ve had, don’t take me for a twat mate”!
“Nah you’ll get it I promise.”
“OK I don’t want us to fall out”.
He knew what that meant we’d end
Up out the back of the pub!
My dad had punched me that many times
I wasn’t afraid of pain and had
Become my dads son!
I’d hit people down in one.
People knew it, mostly mates
from school don’t cross the line
Unless your a tight mate.
His Uncle is George and his dads Dave.
But my life was about to change
Thanks to a copy of “The Plague”.
Open where Shiela had left it.