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“the enchanted glittering surfaces”

6 the poems

World Away this street is not just one long sloping rise with shops and stops and slabs and windowed flats, reaching like a shoulder bone to traffic lights, a junction with its yellow box, but also the first place, the entry way, my home town, not just the town I live but reaching back like un-spun reels, to years before I knew, before I was, before words took the place of looking from my push chair, cracks rattling my new teeth, or looking down from shoulders, stilt walking, eyes level with bus passengers, and where the signs of retailers have changed at times but not the stone facades with every brick or crack impressed on nerves, like lyrics on cassettes that always had a favourite side, though favourite sides keep changing and I have walked both pavements enough to love the way the buildings only look their age at night when sales go dark and this old stone declares itself constructed 1849 – whatever – boasts black beams, or claims to once have housed the borough, been a hospital, except I think you think it must say something — about staying put, not looking far enough, not grasping this big world, when I tell you which PELICAN-crossing takes forever, which paving stone triggers a trap that pumps your shoes with rainwater, or where to look in glass reflections to see if traffic’s coming when a bus pulls up and makes it hard to see if traffic’s coming, while, for you, its memories of skyscrapers, aeroplanes carrying you elsewhere, you’re thinking how we might go where the clouds of jellyfish lap

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