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
‘Them addicts choose it don’t they?’
I told him it was a great day to wash his car.
‘We pay them benefits, they buy heroin!’
I asked what sort of wax he used.
‘And then they take it in prison’
I said I could tell he used a chamois leather.
‘Or we pay for their rehab’
I admired his car but thought of Carla.
‘Don’t give them nothing’
Carla sat next to me full of smack.
‘Let them die’
Carla on Bournemouth beach cuddling her dead friend.
‘Why don’t they understand?’
Carla at home waiting for Dad’s sweaty palms.
‘It makes me mad it does’
I told him, I told him he’d missed a bit.
Michael Scott is a poet and writer from Swindon and a Koestler Trust arts mentor. He co-edits the poetry annual Domestic Cherry and is organiser of the Swindon Festival of Poetry. He also chairs BlueGate Poets in Swindon and is a member of the Malika’s Kitchen poetry collective.