After the reading there were deals to be cut
with two cab drivers. A man above a latenight
dancefloor in Holborn mistakes Mother for a
goldfinch (he couldn't eat a whole one) - we had
to leave him in the Red Emporium. The last
tube missed, down the silver travelator
then back up to find the night bus. I needed
to find bus-stop Z on New Oxford Street.
Someone needed to piss - from the doorway to the
gutter like a black snake unfurled eating its own
skullcap. Hailed a cab to take me to portal Z -
the driver is from Ilford so I offer him half the
forty pound fare to take me there (half my fee
for reading). The deal can't be struck - the poly
thene promise of the city reclings on Oxford Street.
The bus takes 83 minutes through the District
route, through the East End brick orchards
where latenight barrowboys are in a cocaine snow
shake. Out at Ilford the latenight wind cuts April
keen & cruel. The man in the private hire hut
is asleep at the phone desk, folded into himself
like a foetus in a sock. I wake him & he says as
mantra : ten minutes. And folds back in his chair
with the unplugged phone cord like a flasked
Outside the door is a gyrating amber
light like a rodent
wheel - the place is open, the
place is closed. A small
car pulls up outside & I
follow the small man into the
back of the car. As
soon as he starts to drive he drops
the chat &
pushes his hand into the back (the other
hand on
the wheel) & asks to be paid now up-front:
pound please! Fuck that, it's only ever eight!
threatens to pull over (I look at my watch - 2:10 am)

and offer him ten to my door. Which he takes.
sold the ambience in the back changes,
he asks if I've
been to the nightcubs, I answer No :
a poetry reading.
He doesn't believe me & silence
arrives us on Nicholas Rd.
Sarah's in bed, Pavel's
in his basket. I put the night
channels on - coquettish
bricolage of pixel & colour -
and start to write a poem:

TO MY WIFE AT 2:31 am

The bonde girls ogle perspex at the barboys.
I know their bodies' angles before imagination
starts. My wife my wife she contours different
every time. Her naked eyes the most beautiful part.


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