Mark Pollins

Rookie - 27 Points (29.11.62 / London, England)

Screaming - Poem by Mark Pollins

Screaming: “I want to die; I want to die.”
Walking down a street, quietly saying: “I will die; I will die”
Lying on my bed, chanting: “I am dead; I am dead”

People want something new to do; they are fed up with the daily search for a parking place. I have here forty and fifty year olds, who have parked in the same parking lot, in the same space, for the last twenty years – they are prepared to take their clothes off, and sing another version of “Bewitched”. They don’t care anymore. The women couldn’t care less if they never put on make-up again, the men have stopped shouting at their wives, sobbing can be heard.

The sterile beat of the compact disc, so madly precise. We yearn for the scratched record, torn record sleeve, bent needle, muffled loudspeaker.
Footsteps. Somebody walking up the stairs, someone with a fresh face, deeper bite: rather stay with the s*** we know, the ongoing hostility we are used to, and the thick blanket of vomit on the floor, lying there as a reminder of all the times we tried to mean too much to eachother.

“Mars” bars, “Snickers” bars, chocolate pastries, strips of licorice, rolls filled with egg-salad, countless cups of poor coffee – food and eating at the centre of my life.

The pain is situated deep down below, impossible to touch, impossible to write about. Yet the time has come now, five minutes after birth, five minutes before death, here and now I shall say (scream) my piece, and then perhaps find some peace. No I haven’t read the right books, haven’t seen enough motion pictures, have not visited exotic countries. But how many books must I read to describe this inferno of pain, how many words will enable me to explain the loneliness and hurt. What must I do to receive a certificate “qualified in the art of presenting our misery.”
So much to write about, so much to do, I said while yawning - soon I’ll be asleep.

Beauty of the moment: a grey, weary street, ancient buildings, rusty iron shutters cover windows, each with its angle of Jerusalem. Concrete-filled opening exhibiting two contrasting eras. The first is the original period of construction, flowing with the artistic bow of the architecture. The second is the time of war, with the blunt filling in of all excess space.
Earning a living. I tried to explain that my currency is made up of smiles and wads of goodwill. I pleaded with them that they shouldn’t call me a lay about. Mummy get the blanket and clean sheets ready, I’m coming home. I’m going back, because I’m not going forward. If anything, I’m sinking.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 11, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 16, 2011

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