Barry

I remember you
I would have killed myself too
Better yet
I would have killed that man in that bedroom
For what he did to you

But there’s nobody else to remember you
Nobody that cares about you
Not even I do

Don’t hate me for that
How could I possibly hold onto the fact
I got given a different room
In an abandoned house we as kids slipped into

We all ran
To God, we all ran
When the upstairs door banged
And we heard, and now understand
How hard
How hair-quiveringly hard
A little boy can scream

Forgive us for that
A boy will only fear a man
And to survive, which we had to do
We had to detach from the horror of what happened to you

Barry died in a bedroom
Swinging on a fist sized noose
A poor nipper, no hidden talent no new-world thinker
All he had was time
And all I remember was that he was a good goal-kicker

Nobody cares about you
I could never bring myself to
I didn’t have the heart to

But
One day, my son might write a poem about you
To immortalise you
The least I can do

I remember you, Barry
I care about you, Barry
You deserved better, Barry

The Baddest Beat Poet

“I’m the baddest beat poet of these streets –
Only beat poet of these streets –
Lonely, encaged, but peaceful my prose
Pink, my penance
A petrified particular
A specified wrong-thinker
A son of poetry of which I am perpendicular”

Written King of piss alleys and whiskey stained flats
Ripped the feelin of any feelin
I’m always here, always dreamin of leavin
Learnin the meanin by bein the mean thing the dreaded brute beatin
Beat poetry by a million

Million up, if I knew then, I would reach it
But I didn’t

I’m the baddest beat poet of these streets –
Only beat poet of these streets –
Lonely, encaged, but peaceful my prose
Pink, my penance
A petrified particular
A specified wrong-thinker
A son of poetry of which I am perpendicular

For my sins I am a sinner
Sinner, song-writer
Ballymun birds, those gliders
Sail above blood, above bravado, ‘bove burners, burn-outs, bastards

I’m the bloodiest beat poet of these streets
Smash heads, dance on necks
Write with lead, laced in red
On brown-brick tenements

Ink squeezed, wrung from twisting
Men in wrong place, wrong time
My victims

It was present then
It’s history now
You can ready the boat, dear captain of tin
Read all about it, if you can read the red

I’m the baddest beat poet of these streets
Because I, but I, see the smeary, bloody poetry on these streets
Bad poetry by blunt busters, boy bruisers
Bad within time

If only I could reach it