Thanks must go to the Secret Poets for their help with revising this poem.
You can read the original here.
I was unhappy with the final line and when we were discussing the poem as a whole Fanon's book The Wretched of The Earth nominated itself as a better ending.
TURN of THE COAT
I'm late for work, but it doesn't matter
as it's the early 70's
and I'm a member of the labour aristocracy,
top of the pile, an indentured tradesman.
So I stop at the paper shop,
and on a whim, buy the Financial Times.
A thick, pink window on an alien world.
Tea break, in the baggin' room,
the shop steward,
full to the brim with us and them,
This is not our paper,
this is for them with the money.
Why are you, a working man,
buying the bosses paper?
Curiosity, I reply.
Just looking beyond the tools
at how other people live.
He shakes his head, tuts.
A very public sound
-turns, walks away.
By the end of that decade,
he will have emigrated to South Africa,
claiming that Britain is done for.
He wants to taste the good life,
to bring up his kids somewhere with a future.
I will be an undergraduate,
reading The Wretched of The Earth.Those of you who follow this blog will know of my championing of Ryley Walker.
Here is a short film about him.