Untitled poem which won me the title Trahed Laureate
I want to live a million more lives;
dine with a million more people, say to each:
show me the workings of your world, before this one winds down
Household Waste Only
Loading the decade’s debris
into the boot of the Audi,
I inhabit my Dad, twenty years ago.
We discover tins of Dulux
from when the living room
was green (after it was papered
and we wrote our names in
sprawling capitals on the Plaster.)
Like Tetris, we twist tiles,
curtain rails and hosepipes into space.
Out of the shed come boxes
we should have ditched
in the nineties, but never did,
fearing, of course, that you never know…
Packed tight like ice-cube trays,
we push gently twice on the boot,
the snick as it shuts
is a sneeze-length miracle.
Parking at the Household Waste Only
sign, we begin to hurl concrete-coated
buckets and picture frames
into the skip. There’s an art
to this destruction, Dad tells me:
you can’t get sentimental
as the carpet cleaner
clunks off the metal, even
if there’s fur from the old guinea
pigs still stuck in its intestines.
‘Here,’ he says, rolling a scuffed
tyre out, ‘This is the old Mini wheel,
why the hell did we keep it?’
‘I dunno,’ I say, hoisting it up
and chucking it like a discus.
It bounces off a mattress with little
more than a thump, identical to when
it fell off as I drove up Clyvedon Rise.
The last gallon of emulsion
is tipped over the container’s lips.
Dust begins to swirl like ash.
We put the back seats up, climb
in, turn Talk Sport up.