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Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Reading from Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus festival, 2012
Nobody knows what stuff we keep locked up
before the sentence starts. I thought to study
timeless things, as out of character
as crime for me, mosaics, wild flowers,
Bridge in the Telegraph. In fact, prison
still has its way with me, and getting out
was no escape, I found, patching myself
in the Gents at the desolate station, swearing
I’m never going back there again—when the train
slid off without me, from a side platform.
So I struggled across rails and broken weed,
ragwort, blagwort, across expanding wasteland,
just to yell at the vanishing guard, Hey, thanks,
sarcastically—but he’d no need to listen;
for when I turned to look right and left for witness,
what came next? It threatened to run me down.