Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Thursday, January 31, 2013
An elegy in Holloway
A subtle puffy-eyed way
of always looking down
in the pouring rain,
it made you beautiful
once upon a time
to all the boys in your class.
This was a bad neighbourhood once,
family friends wouldn’t venture here,
you could wear the sweaters
with the plunging necklines
and be safe from the Mr Evanses
and the Uncle Lens, though
the organisation of drug selling
around here on corners
and at the margins
of the estate blocks
presented a bigger threat
when you would not bite your tongue.
With luck the smarter boys
thought you were a prostitute
and that you may be
someone who wouldn’t think twice
about killing them
in a slow and terrible way.
“Darling” was the most
they would dare call
out to you, because after all
you looked tough and pretty still.
They may even have sensed
something about you, even then,
unsavoury, deathly, diseased,
and I can’t have been the only one
to wonder if anyone else
could detect something brutal in you,
in your prettiest days, in the way
you walked, and in the sharp corners
of your face, that hinted at the knife
you carried in your handbag,
and the black rage they planted in you
at home. Things happen to everyone.
Little of what happens to us
at the bottom of the world is just.
The world is full of people
working their way towards the knife
and gun and needle
and the rope in the empty room.
All the murderers
who were never found
are here among us,
some are unsated still.
But with all of what you were,
and what people saw to fear in you,
you were ill and burning in small fires
from the inside out, not purely rage
but decay that ends in puzzlement one day,
with just a few people
ranged around the furnace
or the dug earth
saying their last goodbyes,
and struggling with what is life,
and you, your struggle done,
burning or mouldering,
with no justice from life,