Wednesday 18th October


All the parking bays are too close,
Too tight,
A concrete post next to every driver’s door,
It’s been freshly painted,
So it smells like ‘hope’,
And all the floors are colour coded,
Like a plastic garden,

I take a picture to remind me where I left the car,
Take the stairs ’cause I’m too impatient to wait for the lift,
An old bloke wanders past,
Dazed in a t-shirt called BROOKLYN,
All the women look hard,
Taking no prisoners,

There’s a carousel on the precinct,
(To sweeten bitter architecture),
Covered in saccharine cartoon characters,
Augmented on street drugs,
Mobility scooters,
Flower sellers,
The law cruises in twos,
Skinny girls dressing like crows with massive handbags,
Hold their cigarettes in the air,
So the nicotine wont stain their fingers,
Fresh nails,
Old drinkers amble between opening hours,
Couple who talk without looking at each other,
Giant cartoon ghosts float through the mall,
Selling seasonal trinkets,
Plastic promises of fleeting joy,
Black & Orange,
A heavy woman drags her feet behind an empty pushchair,
In a sweat shirt called HARLEM,
What’s this obsession with America?
A tripple-thick shake walks past fast in a fist,
With a fat straw for more,
And more,
And more,
And nothing,
Glass & concrete reflections glanced in windows of empty shops,
Dogs in 3D glasses grin,
Holding giant boxes of popcorn,
Young couples advertise sofas that’ll end up as landfill,
50% off all jewellery,
And inflatable pumpkins,
Hair extensions,
Temporary fixes,
Cheap solutions,
Special rates for twins,
Plastic smiling coin operated trains,
Dogs in bowlers hats read newspapers,
Like it’s all a joke & the clue was in the opening scene,
As women were fluorescent Pink Lycra
And men wear trackies,
(Three stripes for the Holy Trinity)

Golden waving cat sit in windows stare into space,
Bored shit-less,
Offering luck to anyone who believes,
Where will your hair take you today?

There’s a pop groove behind every sound in the mall,
Accompanying the ballet of shufflers with walkers & sticks,
Young shaved-head dads,
Lift their shaved-head sons,
Thrilled to ride on the old man’s shoulders,
Into the relentless buzz of the mall,
Feed the soul on bright light,
Heightened colour,
The promise of hope & better times



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