I wrote this a while ago, I don't really write poetry, stories are my thing (thus the free verse and occasional rhyme when I come up with one):
Bank holiday in recession Britain,
Wandering the streets of a city not my own,
An early train gets me there, workers toil in the stations.
I reach my destination, the places all quiet- rain pours down,
Hitting my face and suppressing my smile.
If it’s a bank holiday, why are banks open?
Ha! Paradoxes, untruths, all seem to spill and congeal nowadays-
Men aren’t poor and desperate, they’re criminals-
Bankers aren’t usurers, they’re financiers.
All seems so pointless, ridiculous.
The streets fill up, trams run, taxis burn petrol.
Rich and poor gather round cash machines-
Three broken, a machine apologising...it’s come to that.
Men in suits judge scroungers-
I’d be rich, too, if I was the owner and you the worker.
I’m drunk on thoughts of depression and destitution,
The city shows poverty and difference like nothing else can.
Passing punks in Primark, the rich in betting shops... really no places better?
My heart lifts slightly when I think of you, my sweetheart, but even that’s not perfect,
Always difficult, this thing we call living,
No wonder there are people who just want to go and keep tripping.
The suits look at you, they feel righteous,
Just because I’ve drunk so much I have hepatitis.
But I don’t really. I’m clever; I know how to control myself.
Maybe that’s why I get so depressed.
I feel like I’m everyone and no-one, as if I see all these bad things,
Poverty, falseness, as if they’re new churches-
But we’re in a godless world, where there’s just you, and there’s just me.
Everyone makes mistakes; no-one seems to think that though,
All these rules and laws forgetting simple human nature;
Listening to Bob Dylan and Public Enemy, their rhymes cutting up my thoughts,
Simple sounds, simple thoughts, simple things, that’s the best way
Out this apocalypse which only I seem to see,
‘Why are there shops?’ you ask me, yet you know,
It’s because they work, just like crime, power, cunning...
Must I really do those things?
Those men in suits, they look down on all the rest of us from their geometric offices,
But one day I shall be at the top with them...and probably look down like them.
I’m not perfect.
Do I really know anything? Not until I get there, no, I don’t know a thing,
I don’t know what the hell’s at the end of the road, neither do you, neither does anyone,
Suit, punk, poor, rich, snoot, chav, all the same, all ruled by time,
As you watch the crashing stocks and cash in wheelbarrows,
Just remember, it’s all rusted statues.
The city was Nottingham. Fucking depressing, I tell you- that day convinced me I don't want to live in a city.