London Archive

Underground

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April 26, 2013Writings on...No comments

  Who are you, upon my toe? What secrets do you have to know? Your big headphones and bigger screen; your skewed smile and glistening sheen. Another face within this carriage; a mother, a child, a woman – in marriage. Underground traveller, regular and proud; you do not flinch to announcements, loud. You take it in your fixed, wide stance. Not for you, this travelling dance, of rocking movements as we go, where is my station, do you know? Another crowd, through train doors come, as I cling to life with fingers and thumb. They barge their way in to my space; an armpit rests upon my face I want to say, oh do you mind? Though fear response will not be kind Their crumpled

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What a mess. I’m finding it hard to watch the images on the screen. Even harder listening to the empty shell of a man trying to fathom why someone has set fire to his family business. What makes it hard is that the images are not from some far off battlefield, or political hotspot – but London; my London. OK – so it’s some six years and more since I last lived in London, but then – unless you really want to – I don’t think you ever truly erase the identity of where you were born. My accent betrays me the instant I start to speak – the words I use, not necessarily slang in form, can be traced back to my youth. Even

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