Canals of Consciousness by David Straughan

Toothless man brandishes a mangled copy of the Big Issue,

His thirteenth lap pestering smokers outside the Spile and Tap.

They won’t buy it; they’ll pay for him to go away.

The rails of the nascent tram,

Working man,

High viz,



Holy man at New Street Station,

Begging for £6.50 starvation donation,

For £6.50 you can eat all you can,

Everything under a fiver,

Made in Vietnam,

Or by crippled Malaysian babies making cheap polyester braids,

Everyone’s Vaping,

Flyers to catch the Centro to the Road House for nineties retro,

Lego library climb to the observatory to survey my city:

Tolkien’s Towers,

Teens dropping litter,

This Lady Wood,

Bill Clinton’s bitter

Getting smashed by FBI,

By the murky Flapper and Firkin by the murky canal,





Canon Hill Cruisers


Telecom Tower

Rotund buildings

And offices of millionaire wasters renting spaces for nefarious liaisons,

Whiskey Chasers for alkies aged who hit the pavement of grey concrete

Falling down

Blurry eyed office type men at heterosexual legs eleven,

Which resides beside and bestrides

Homosexual heaven where married men hide,

Cowering Pagoda overshadowed by three towers

Old and new

Johnson Crew

Gun slaughter near Gun Quarter

Burger Bar Boys intimidate while the ERD and EDL Imitate.

Mosely poseurs smoking rollies from Morocco

Café, cherry flavoured hookahs,

Musical Youth passing cutchies

On the left hand side there’s

Clang bang rhythmical discord of regeneration of Corporations

And nostalgia for Pallasades even before it’s replaced

Speakeasies Polish maze of amazing space

Unfazed by Fazely canal with inspirational phrases on graffittied places by eclectic faces

Webbed together in one and a million cities –


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