Home

First step up the ladder,
is the hardest they say, as we sit and sigh
in meeting after meeting where the rooms look good,
photos look even better, another rat hole, small pit,
infested, full of tits, nothing wrong
but the size of the picture.

Review after review after review, each dangling
the same beautiful bait: an affordable home.

Each set their trap in their own way, despondent
resplendent resident, a land owner, herds us round,
but he ain’t nothing but ground down by the strangers feet that,
day after day, trudge through their home, second home,
third best, first worst.

It’s the safest financial asset that you’ll ever make –
banker checks his purse and smiles, pushes across the table
how much we can just afford, give or take a decade or two,
it’s a dice throw, a chance shot in the dark for a stable home,
a sweet Rome, a capital for two.

We’ll get there I know it, though it’s just another view, another chance remark
that’ll throw me off the scent of this time well spent.

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A Visit to the Beech Hotel

You wouldn’t think with my violent history that I’d miss working the streets but I do.  I used to love hugging the brick walls in the late evening, my fingers feeling each gap in the mortar coursing, just waiting under the soft orange glow of the overhead lights.  I owned those streets, even if I disappeared for an hour or two in-between my mute watch.  You wouldn’t believe it but I felt a silent power in my prostate prose: I was in charge, I was the one you gave the money to.

Reading this I know you’ll disagree, you’ll think I’m daft or stupid – misguided at best, abused at worst.

I remember you well in the crowned hotel suite.  It wasn’t the city setting or tipping of the concierge that impressed me, it was your wry smile, the hand holding and the delicate kisses.  It was the dream that I lived in this moment for much longer than those dollar bills suggested.  I knew I’d return to my own corner soon enough, that I’d feel the sharp edge of a winter’s night once more plucking at my pale skin, but in that moment I didn’t care.

You gave me a way out of this job and I took it.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss those streets even as you returned home after a hard day of work at the office.  I am chained here, just as I was to those bricks.

Greek Fire

The note burned quickly in his outstretched hand.  Each flickering flame that it produced was noted by the small group of rag adorned people who had gathered around the old man to watch the proceedings.

The note itself was worthless.  It was the note holder who had invested in the idea that the note held value, that it was the physical representative of a promise to pay the bearer a certain sum.  In reality it was nothing more than a heavily decorated strip of paper.

At first it was recorded as an oddity, a weird news story that had happened a few times in the rural counties.  Random flash fires, a lower denomination note or two burnt in a public space.  Second hand accounts started to slowly trickle into the media outlets, news of more and more money fires.  The note denominations started to rise in value as the practice spread from village to town, town to city, country to country.