The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
in the name of christ davey!
were you not half tempted yourself?
when only chips & soup for months
had made you shrink, think nothing else
but fear & hate until you slept, when the
face in your shaving glass couldn’t
look you in the eye & the kid’s lists
for santy were crushed in your pocket
like a secretive betting slip!
did you not think that davey? never once?
did you never wonder how many more rows
that you and sue could stand? how many more
days you’d have to wear the empty slouch
of charity? how long it would be ‘til the sharks
came round & you had to take their money?
& how long it would be before the bastards
came back & took the fucking video!
tell me that davey! just tell me fucking that!
at least tell me that! i’m your brother, man! will you please look up from your pint?
Summers is an English poet who was born in Blyth, Northumberland and currently residing in Emu Park. Summers was a founding co-editor of both the Billy Liar and the Liar Republic magazines. This poem is from his new and selected poems “union,” published by Smokestack Books.