The Pete Doherty in Prison Poem


Eyes panda-blacked from a ten year boozecruise.
Shelled & contused – which is done-in to you.

One clean day back when, took a picnic to a park in a place
called Tuebrook & etched immortal Doherty into the bark.

No protests to your latest arrest, caught in the chunk-
cheeked duck walk from Dalston to Shoreditch.

New media of mad nerd dementia. They need you
less than this post-vampyric need not to need them.

On the inside it’s all stewing beef & pig kidney,
diced ox-heart with milk instead of cereal.

To miss the oaty warmth of Mother Time.
The dinner warden said he’s got some reduced fish

for lunch, you said that must be tadpole soup
and not one stern face in the queue laughed or lapped it up.

You could blag your blogspot & still no one would care
who you were, bar the one you said you love who stares

from their brick walls on a catwalk to catcalls & dogsnarls.
This diary you’ve done no less urgent than Gramsci’s

if more flippant – and as you would say – mostly pants from flap-to-flap.
You can flick back to what you’ve done then wrap it up.

Head shilly-shallies like a shambolic bambino. Tomorrow,
back to some onion argie-bargie along Brick Lane

then gigs in Glasgow. Total stretch: thirteen days.

from Zeppelins (Salt, 2008), © Chris McCabe 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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