I hardly know where to start but now I have
please note that I am by no means a sad
and utter joke far from it one sunny day
I will astound the passers-by and cause
even birds to fall from the sky you may
laugh but notice please how clothes and
other goods dropping in price means that
poor people can look well fed and casual
not just tattered backdrops to Cathy come
Home no wonder they bombed the fuck out
of us such chaos and filth underfoot so many
bad haircuts and worse armpits thank God
the history books don't give us the smells
so tell us how we can stop all these illegals
like Artaud I am convinced there have been
gatherings of Mexicans lamas and rabbis
to weaken me by masturbating collectively and
plan to retaliate by leading a party of fifty friends
armed with machine guns to invade Tibet  
crawling up their beaches onto meadows
that's why we have doors and windows I
am oh so very tired of dialogue and reason
still the same control only the controllers got to
feel better about themselves despite that they
decide what gets written and who can write maybe
this pithy piece will fit in a bottle then bob along in the
lovely briny and get washed ashore some happy century  
to be read like Bukharin was by cleaner minds and
in the shining air I will emerge and reclaim mine.


I don't know why poets never write about yobbery.
I once thought to start a poem saying it's
the unacknowledged legislator of the city.
Which sounds like bilge: aren't we all aware of the
brooding wolf or his slow and sure badger?

Maybe protests about bombing or whatever but not
the grainy snuff on CCTV. It be in ye culture,
a good kicking & tasty. Mostly it's not personal:
just stay up as long as possible and
if blinded, a guide dog will help. 

A brother of my brother-in-law, Christmas Eve, South London, 
asked someone to remove their insolent boots from his chair,
which was done, but then Anon (not Auden) waited outside: one eye gone,
three ops, full facial reconstruction. Not personal - just a dispatch;
friends of the assailant warn he's "like that".

I blame the middle classes, worshipping these thugs,
retreating to private members clubs,
writing North London traumas of
schools and greed ceilings, not enough
ethnics in the countryside.

"But there wasn't a culture,
sooo good they all came here."
Pelted Saxon arrives in the mud town,
finds the Norman scriveners listing
ditches and counting chickens.

Sullen, swollen, hives,
heritage huts in gusty rain.
It's payback for ordure, lose
two fingers for a stolen deer;
winter fair & estuary brown.   

Frank, my fascist friend, points out
the large number of medieval holy days.
He got stopped crossing Harwich to Hamburg -
I doubt he'd bomb, but a disconcerting conversation
on usury and Cardiff City vs. Brighton.

And this could go on and I wouldn't
make my point because there isn't one.
All the English poets except Kit Marlowe
ran away from pub brawls. The War Poets, 
on home leave, when it 'kicks off'? I don't know.  

    Paul Sutton 2006

'Too Old for This' was first published in Exultations & Difficulties