What it Was to Graduate

Pz-avatarby Sam Howell23 Jul 2013

To the ones who have glimpsed this city stripped
down to the urban bones the Eye is blind to,
the ones I knew, travellers on the one road,
the lithe leather-clad followers of the pale shambolic,
who launched raw meters from pockets to prosaic skies
unfolding a.m. highs along the dawning Thames,
darling sweethearts of the middleclass who sought the novel
sides of sickliness and documented all they found,
who essayed the developments of the self through each
degree
of isolation among the developing crowd, a crowd of
mirrors,
who saw beauty in blooming fields of bleak brick
for the illegally expressed, the alleyway gallerygoers
of viral visions sprayed across the broken backs
of indifferent towerblocks packed with affordable youth
answering fingers to the questioning eyes of balance
and mailmen, the grey fluorescent heralds of bullshit and
life,
to that same man, I saw you at home, I saw you far out
withdrawn from the sober day in subways, I saw you
smoking sorrow down to the borrowed filter, I saw you
praying warmth beneath the sleepless wait of night, I saw
you
in all manner of fucked from bridge to park to
your own front door or just the one you hung around
and I understand it all, I think. You could have been my
uncle,
just as anonymous on the dozing dosed or dead streets
we didn’t know we didn’t want to be on at eighteen
while southbank ghouls itch away the hours, materialise
to fix heads, drag habitual bodies to abandoned midnights
and prey on the cleanest of sons and daughters
who are in the tireless memories of forgotten parents.
I remember the cunning of cracked minds, the ill at ease
in morning need noon need need of night, to feed,
the baggy sleeve that becomes the blade – thrust
and rust and speed and blood I ask for with all my naivety,
wallet and phone and preconceptions spilt into upper hands
as kids lie sheltered in sleep above solitary streetlight
and there are no victims, only the losing and the lost.