In Victoria Coach Station
Exhaust fumes, urine, immemorial cigarettes
A reek even freezing cold cannot dispel;
Passengers in groups, in queues, in seats
As the Rapide from unsunny Carlisle
Flexes brakes, with faces in a sullen row
The coach for Coventry prepares to go...
By the railings a mouth works up-and-down
At the universe and no one, the man
Attached identikit twentyish, lean.
The radiation he emits is all his own.
Studs like Braille, his jacket reads Exterminator
Fashion advertising a wide berth.
Daubed beneath, as if for bad measure,
Is Chaos Day, March 4, 1996,
The tatty dictat, Letís start a war.
Self-picked anti-hero in a B-movie
He cannot, thank Heaven, control, lack of script
Recasts him as sidewalk nihilist,
Bystander furioso whose mutters
Complement the chains about his wrist
And waist, spiky violet-tinged clusters
That are his hair. Minutes bristle. In a twist
He has not envisaged, a squad-car
Pulls up. May we look inside your bag, sir?
Misted breath. None of your fucking business...
This the expected give-away. Snap search.
Routine interrogation. One mans mess
Others law, hes led away. Also a bystander,
Though seated, here from the 5:10 for Digbeth
I shuffle sight with words, a verbose voyeur:
Have mercy upon policemen, punks and poets,
O Lord. Defend each of us from over-
righteousness; though this bus is no Chariot
Of fire and our Arrows of desire are
Blunted, somewhere amidst the fume-bleared concrete
A dream of Jerusalem, that Countenance, those feet...
Martin Bennett | Mudlark No. 12
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