Role Models

Here is the second draft of a poem I have been working on over the last day or two. Its an anthropological comment on the common role models available to young people in the north east of England.

Role Models

I’ve heard one too many stories
about the sight of a father walking
exit pursued by crying wife, resulting in
a generation of crying babies being
raised by a generation of crying children.

I’ve watched parents empty their wallets
onto the tarnished metal of a bar top
before paying their child support then
stagger into the job centre
without thinking twice,
without thinking once ,
without thinking at all.

I’ve stared at the cream walls of a sobriety
cell, far removed from my shoes,
to be counselled by the alcohol adviser
who is dropping 4 Zanax a day or
Codine or Oxycodone or Oxymorphone or
Hydrocodone or Meperidine or Propoxyphene
and she’s telling me I just drank one too many.

(but no one ever told me not to.)

I watched a once great orator;
“I have got a cigarette and no, you can’t
have twenty pence” lose his government
funded job and fall to waste with the rest;
“Have you got a cigarette mate? I need twenty pence!”

(Well who needs teachers anyway?)

Lost your job?
There’s a drink for that.
Still feel angry?
There’s a wife for that.
Wake up guilty?
There’s a drink for that.
Still feel angry?
There’s your kids for that.
No more money?
There’s a benefit tax for that.
Still feel angry?
There’s a whole life of that.

I’ve seen a hoard of politicians
gang bang an economy, rape
the NHS, close the school gates,
emancipate one, so they can
enslave the rest and all before
their expenses paid luncheon
has even been spat on by the waiter.

In the construction of a man I’ve
made a role model of my environment
and turned myself,
into a beast.


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