Longlisted Poem 2013

Henry Hempstead

Beths Grammar School, Bexley, Kent

Details of a Lost Generation

The down and out generation, the fucked down generation,
The exposed generation like the one you all talk about under the bedsheets.
Slammed down through airplane night tracks along the scream tunnels,
Which burrow down the chimneys and into our heads.

Everyone is drowning except the ones born in the water,
But they have a lot of trouble breaking out to land,
The old men with the limp dicks watch them from the beach, and call themselves,
Hells angels, righteous sinners, sweet shouts and vicious darlings.

Get loud, proud, or they rain bombs on your head,
Beautiful silhouettes of flying machines, silhouettes of pre-emptive strikes; strikes.
Planes roar over our houses carrying brown black tears,
Fuck the tears.  I love the police I love the police I love the police I love you.

Have you seen yourself; a mess. How did it feel to be one of the beautiful people?
Pretty pretty, lovely pretty sweet, butter like bambi honey in my cruel crass mouth.
Play the game and get fucked up with me; if you’re quiet (and white) no-one will care,
Heroin heroin like a noise in my ear.

The plane is over my house so get fucked in the bedroom,
In the corner in the dark house with the lights off and the windows dead,
And the shake shake shake of the plane vibration.
If you’re for sale you’re sold, give it up, give it up, and get on the plane.

The cities are infested with slave traders and big fish in big suits, too much water,
Slimed filth and cockroach motherfuckers swirl endlessly up inside your shirt,
Down your throat and into your lungs,
And sit there smoking.

Like a burning effigy of malice they scream ‘get fucked’,
Into your fucking fucked heart which beats,
Like a fucked clock, beats, fucked, beaten and fucked up,
Swim swim Arthur or they’ll pull you down.

I can see you seven hills away sprinting towards me of course you are,
Spineless but brave you fast shit in fast shoes with a fast eye.
The hills are alive with the sound of dogs and you, poor pretty lonely boy,
Sucking and fucking like the suck fuck smoke-puller, twitch twitch motherfucker, you run like a train.

You’re crying and it’s midnight and so am I.
You lay in my arms like a dead man, maybe you are dead.  Everyone’s dead.
You, me, the city is the only place with real men,
But the real men have breasts and fuck themselves with fetish shit; borrowed, not bought.

You lay in my arms and cry in the house with the planes overhead,
And the dogs are dead and you ran good boy, you ran like a champion.
I slap you with one hand and glass breaks somewhere.
The world turns.
© Henry Hempstead

Project Details

  • Date January 22, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems