the poets of liverpool


A port city only cares for two things :
commerce & the avant-garde.
Wet cobbles.
The poets leave the Tate & crowd
into the Baltic Fleet. For their words
the mermaids part their fins.
The Irish left behind some ballads
and the ship owners have drowned themselves.
The poets put a pound in the head of a Baptist
and words chrism its tongue with red beads.
All the trainee corporates are in the barbershops
paying for the privilege to talk property
and not have their necks cut for it.
At that point we move to the Belvedere.
Did you ever meet a poet who’d trained as a barber?
The ones who forget that language stems
from the umbel of ideas are already drunk
and wringing out the taxis.
The poets aren’t even qualified to be poets
but listen, they have a few ideas of their own,
holding the timekeeper in a headlock,
starting the night again at Last Orders.
Loose coins spawn the floor of each bar
and cruiseships line the docks
like the broken shorelines of package holidays.
The poets hold their last coins to the window
 foil suns  
as the ships move like vending machines
over the scrapheap of the horizon.


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