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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Back in The Blogisphere!

MAGGIES FARM Salford 1992
I live on the twenty second floor.
Harry has the flat downstairs.
When I first moved here Harry said:
When two ants are doing it, in the crack
on the concrete car park, down there man.
It sounds like Madonna in the back of
a stretch limo making out on Avenue B
with a Puerto Rican kid called Jose.

Harry wasn't wrong, even the passing traffic
sounds sexy from the twenty second floor.

I invited Natasha up for the weekend last month,
Harry fell off the step ladder when she came
and broke his leg. He won't be doing Callanetics,
naked for a while, in front of that six foot mirror
with his head phones on, tuned into the Bob Dylan
tapes I've been playing to the bug he stuck in my
bedroom lightswitch last year when I went to Butlins.

I know what Harry gets up to because I've got a
fibre optic lens, poking through the hole I drilled
in his ceiling rose when the gas man was due and
he had to turn the meter over in a hurry.

Everybody says that fifty per cent of Harry's head
went walkabout in Katmandu about five years
before anybody met him. Nobody knows what
happened to the other half of his brain.

Last time I saw Harry, he had his left leg in
plaster, a skateboard superglued to his bare right
foot and a crutch under one arm. In his free hand
he carried a walking stick for locating ants to
colonise the concrete crack. He'd just totalled his
Giro on two little pills that he hoped would make
him think that he could fly.

I said: What are you going to do with that bargain
bucket of Kentucky you've got gripped between
your teeth?
Harry said: I'm going to take it home and dissect it man.
It's got to last me all week, so I'm going to stirfry it up with
those bean shoots I grow with my Herb in the window box.
I said: That sounds good.
And do you know what Harry said?
He said: I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm no more!

D.O.A. Special K said the Doc.
in his bedside/telephone way.
Some said that he fell.
Others that he was pushed + punched.
I thought that he could float.
There again, I knew the man that sold
him the stuff that made him high.
All twenty two floors of it.
Two hundred foot, freefall,
'til the pavement came up and met him.
Leaving the Coroner to write the final
epigram for the 'Local Rag'.


  1. Yow! Callanetics is a word I don't see too often. Love the fibre optic lens doing the peek and feel sad that half Harry's head went walkabout. Fun read!

  2. Too funny! You wrote that so well. Loved it.

  3. A really good read. Is it still like that in Salford in 2008? I grew up just south of Manchester and I'm sorry to have to tell you that I supported United.

  4. special K as in ketamine??? shit you cant walk on that stuff let alone fly......

    i loved the whole story of this tho,,, i wish there was more......

  5. Just Jen, Thanks for commenting, you're right the characters I met in Salford were all too real!

    Tumblewords, Yeah, I don't think many people still do Callenetics these days - I've still got the exercise book, somewhere.

    Crafty Green Poet, Yeah Harry was a character, may he RIP...

    Keith, Thanks for visiting, I'm still smiling after reading your poem this week!

    Watermaid, Thanks, Some places don't change much, Salford's like that except for the gentrified bit of course!
    Football? There's two great teams in Manchester, City and City reserves - reserved for Mancunians that is, anybody can support the other lot.

    Paisley, Yeah Ketamine, Harry totaled his Giro (welfare check)on the stuff, he only hoped that it would make him think that he could fly. Of course it didn't and he fell two hundred and twenty feet to his death. Poor H

  6. Both pieces are beautifully bittersweet and very well done.

  7. Whoa. An inside out kind blood letting. I like it.


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