Thursday, 21 June 2012

take a sip, burn your lip

This piece was group-written in the midst of the ceramics session at Booth Centre homeless drop-in last week. It threads through our warm/cold discussions with another underlying theme: how does it feel to be on the outside? To be looking in, unseen?

take a sip, burn your lip

when I was first homeless
lying on my back
B+B in Openshaw
full of people injecting, leaving needles
closed my feelings off
scary people
food disgusting
crumpets and melted cheese in the microwave
lying on my back waiting
nowhere to go

inner outer
where abouter?

got my rucksack
and walked thru Manchester
carried on thru hills and trees and fields
trees and roads and hills
that no longer feel
didn't know where I was going
sat down and cried

take a sip
burn your lip

I can feel
bent needles, blind stitching
I used to make teddy bears
(it's knowing how to stitch is the thing
how to mend)
I have stitched the seating in pubs
I was good with my hands
I painted this room
now it's a struggle to draw
it's a struggle to eat
people don't know how depressed I am
I'm nearly underground
they've been in my heart twice

in out, whereabout?

waiting for a place to live
on the forms they ask me everything
I tell the truth
I say I'm an alcoholic
but you won't see me fall over

hand on heart I'm alright
I've many friends
the traffic wardens, the police
I know some good people
they all talk to me

people are made horrible because
of what life's done
people become horrible back
vengeful, no longer part of society
if you're hungry, you're angry
if you're starving you're angry
angry in total
you're a millionaire
you don't even know it:
a word is more than money

inner out where abouter
lying on my bed
I take it
I take it because I have to
hand on heart I'm alright.

Group poem
Booth Centre June 2012

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