On the dole at nineteen, no place for me.
I was hesitant, clumsy, unsure of what to be.
Forty quid I blew, it was everything at the time,
on a Walkman, which melted, but it kept you in my mind.
Singing in my ears whilst I found out how to paint
and draw and work all hours, officially part-time, so I could claim.
You thought I didn't listen, distracted by the image,
but I heard and understood, you seeped all through the page.
The world fell apart around me, the north of Thatcher's Britain,
they seemed to think "if you kick their heads in, they might forget what made them."
No one seemed too bothered by our grim reality.
Who wants to play the Town Hall? Doris Stokes on endlessly.
You came to remind us who we are and what we could do,
and I packed it up inside me and left for somewhere new.
The art school was beautiful, grade one listed and bequeathed
for that purpose in perpetuity and us alone it seemed.
Writing on the toilet wall, I looked up and shed tears.
My home was written on steel girders where they'd been engineered.
Eventually I left, unemployable to a degree,
and found I'd crossed the country to the ocean from the sea.
Now I'm stalled, exiled, mired and pulled northerly,
your voice still in my head and mining at my quarry.
You pinched my thoughts, you must have done, we're thinking the same lines.
It's been going on for years and I never was inclined
to adore or be infatuated, you mean much more to me.
You're part of my history, beloved to me, Morrissey.
Barnstaple, North Devon, England
14 November 2004