1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.


6th September 2010

By Michael Egan | 2010 September 06

when we were young he had the prozac of a guitar
and his retro cardigans   his tunnocks wafers
whilst watching countdown   ironically
like the tea he drank from an old teacup
its insides stained   the white enamel hidden
beneath years of sipping   and he still has it
the teacup   I asked him whatever happened
to that teacup  the spode  blue and white one

with its pastoral scene sides   its chip on the rim

and he took his time rolling a cigarette
his fingers stained    no longer fret hardened
fingertips   a mind full of forgotten chords
licked the edge of the rizla paper then told me
it broke one morning   I mean I dropped it
almost perfectly separated into two halves

now it props up all the books I never read
like crime and punishment    like all
of the henry millers and the poetry anthology

with its hanging cover
and after that I left him
went out groggily past the spaniard who loves
this city
and the doormen with their puffed up
bomber jackets and shining skulls   let the dizziness
wash over me with every jolt of the train
you are now approaching brunswick
you are now approaching st michaels
you are now approaching aigburth
you are now approaching a station he’ll never
get off at   one lacking the shared memories
of the rottweiler on the pub roof   of the low
underpass and all the saturdays when we went
into town with barely enough for a pint
to sit in cellar bar and listen to the japanese beatles.

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