CRIES OF LONDON

You didn’t have much to do with doctors.
Not since that last one called you a
Psychopath. I needed to make more of an
Impression, you told me: more of an effect.

Cover myself with chicken blood,
It’s what you’d do. “Or that stuff
They drain out of stiffs in mortuaries.”
I needed, for the sake of some photographs, a crucifix.
You’d do me a church for a tenner.
Next thing I wanted was a video camera.
You’d do a tourist.
I’d had my savings stolen in Oxford Circus.
That was all right, you said; you mate Tiny
Did that patch. Made ten Grand
In an afternoon.

Your new girlfriend, innocent as a fish in a
Bowl (who does not understand the nature of
Glass) goggled from the blank recesses of the room.
You’d worked in security. You were a druid. You’d been
Prescribed Largactil. Not that you took it now, not in the
Hostel. Last week (we were informed) someone had kicked
The lights in. “Them and the satellite television.”

If I liked:
You could set two street-dogs
On each other, let them
Bite each other’s guts out.
Ah, brave new world, that has such creatures in it!
I’ll say what I appreciate – your closeness
To the business end of life.
Not for you the embroidery with which
The faces in a crowd adorn
Their own, unmemorable careers.
You burrow through the heart of things,
Like the Ascaris worm.
Or, like a nibbling grub, through the fragile sheaves
That make another person’s consciousness:
Digesting moral indulgence,
Rendering propriety and aspiration down
Into an oxide of our flesh.

Let me salute your honest dishonesty.

I’m told that playing games might be
The only consolation open to us –
Lacking, as we must do, access to other people’s minds.
But you don’t play games, do you?
You don’t imagine what it must be like
To feel the warm rain on your feet.
You don’t need happy accidents in your life, do you?
It sounds to me as if you’ve got it taped.

Stephen Jackson

July 2002
For Mary

CRIES OF LONDON

Stephen Jackson

London, United Kingdom

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

Poor dear M. I knew; and every comment reported here was uttered by her Beau of the moment. A teenage alcoholic daughter was out to lunch (in all senses) and from time to time a meat chop would be whirled across the carpet at an aged, emaciated dog. M. was one of those lovely good people who couldn’t hurt a fly, and whose lives are an accident waiting to happen.

Watch yourself next time you visit Oxford Circus – where I had my own pockets picked, shortly before writing this.

Artwork Comments

  • Suzanne German
  • MissAlexis
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