Saturday, 10 July 2010

London story part two

London is in a lot of places a lot of the time
a lot of creatives want london in their rhymes
and in order to do that they need to put london in their mind
though one city can never fit in one head,
and London never gives us what we expect
especially when certain pieces don't seem to join together
leaving a lot to overload and rest on their shoulders
get to sharing the same view as london elders
who now have london stuck in their joints 
so they can't move their positions or points
believe they where promised a promise land
but said promises slipped through their hands
and now tell their children there's no love in london
don't put it in your heart, end up with concrete feet 
stuck on the street unable to make a start
pavement will have you swallowed whole 
left hollow so helpless the excuse is she can't help it nor manage
just arrived and barely knows the language
so she lives in a flat with an open front door:
poster on the wall announcing 'spanish on the second floor'
come up to feel mannish, tells them she's nineteen but is really twenty four
gets a lot of punters, becomes popular and after a couple of months 
builds up a list of regulars, i guess there's something about her, 
a certain je ne sai quoi that doesn't come from the others, 
who knows, maybe it's because she treats the customers like lovers- 
and you never get that from where her flat stems
because the west end lights are only bright 
as behind them they hide a soho gone rotten
it's the place you go to become forgotten, 
resulting in a decadence of dead ends
times passed and she's settled in
her existence a definition of her residence
a place you go to, not come from, take from, not give to
time spent watching bones thin, in one year she's aged ten
and that glimmer of what you thought was her
you'd think no longer resides from within
never to be awakened again.
Until a man from her old life walks in.
her welcoming smile is killed by his shocked stare
through his view she sees her
and can't believe she's there.
when you've spent a lot of time in repetition
and you're represented with a new situation
the words you want can often go missing
going through the prices she silences and faces
the wall to stop herself from breaking down altogether
the image of them together is sharper than 
a bucket of ice cold water
they came to london on a bus ride from dover
his name is jetmir, from albania, a boxer

they both came to london on a coach ride from dover

couldn't have said more than five words to each other
but she always felt his eye on her, a sort of protecter
who had a stone face she was determined to break
in the lunchtimes of language classes they took together
she'd invite him to join in from the corner
teasing him because all he ever ate was the pasta
a strict diet for a man determined to be a great boxer
but looking at him now he's missing a finger
what immigrant here hasn't been put through the ringer?
She keeps quiet, maybe he heard about her, here
and he came to see her, she'd
have her very own knight in shinning armour, but
all that comes out of his mouth is nervous laughter
and on that laugh she can smell that he's drunk
foolish to think anything other- just london dumb luck
a familiar face in a space of a hundred faceless men,
then he moves close- gives her a hug and doesn't let go.
she draws a sharp breath feeling the rain from his coat
he leaves not before rambling words in a language she doesn't know
followed by "i never stopped loving you"
but the affect had her froze in
the situation she's awoken
another customer knocks on the door but she wont let it open
she needs to get out she needs to be alone
sometimes it's not about being able to climb
but find the ropes, and in that night, a cycle broke.
Jetmir walks out. And she's still still. Still.
A weird morality takes over,
not even the addiction can hold her
-still took a bag from her draw-
too-thin leather coat over the shoulder
and walked. Out of a night-time soho
when she first came to the west end she was filled with such hope
past oxford circus past the west end.
Can't sleep, too high, still needs a rest.
she lays her head on the tottenham court road station steps.
not knowing, but no longer afraid to ask,
"what next?" 
being a londoner
I hope it'll be the last thing she expects.
Because this city rests on a countless amount of broken necks
so no matter how hard
i will pay my respects
and put london in my heart
because although our protagonist isn't there anymore
it doesn't mean they didn't put another spanish up on that second floor.