‘Toby is gay, by Duncan’

A Pedder Poem

Originally published 22 August 2016 on Facebook

I see some graffiti on a window.

‘Toby is gay, by Duncan’ it says.

I consider writing a poem with the first line ‘I see some graffiti with a byline’ but I don’t.

I cross Maid Marion way and dwell (as I have been dwelling a lot recently) on the enormous spot on my face.

Neither the stress of bankruptcy or the shortage of face-wash seem to justify the enormity of said spot.

It is enormous: ten times the size of an ordinary spot.

I think about the spot being cancer, and think about what I’d do if I had cancer.

I’d be nastily, unforgivably bitter if I had cancer, I think.

I’d declare war on God and mankind, I think, if I had cancer.

I’d spend my last weeks CONFIRMING the shallowness and horror of human experience.

If I had cancer I’d make sure everyone else felt like they had cancer too.

That’s horrible, I think, rightly.

I think about stoicism and look at Pitcher and Piano and think about Unitarianism.

I try to come up with an objective argument for why me getting cancer would be a bad thing. This cheers me up sometimes.

Two bearded men take a picture of Saint Mary’, and I disapprove, baselessly.

I go to the little court with a view of St Mary’s.

I take a picture of my enormous spot and compare it to other pictures, taken over the last three days.

It’s getting worse, I think, baselessly.

I sit down against a wall and open Augustine’s Confessions and read the sentence: ‘My one delight was to love and be loved.’

A BMW drives into the court and I walk away.

I walk under a boy and a girl sitting on a wall and imagine them spitting on my head, and imagine my reaction.

I criticise my imaginary reaction.

I go left toward ice house and see, on my left, the current Unitarian chapel.

It is small.

I walk up through Hockley and see a white man shouting at a black man.

I sit in Broadway cinema and access their wifi and listen to the conversations the women next to me are having.


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