To Whom it May Concern

Inspired by an umpteenth watching of Adrian Mitchell’s extraordinary reading of To Whom It May Concern at the International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall

I will be performing this poem for the very first time at the Alliance of Independent Authors’ fringe event at the London Book Fair, and then it will be part of The Age of Absinthe, my show with Claire Trevien at Chipping Norton Literary Festival. Do read more about the show here, and then book tickets here – they won’t last long!

Death slipped inside my skin one day
Ever since the kiss my dreams have all been grey
So wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

I threw my heart with yours to the bottom of the Thames
The waters threw it back so fast I got the bends
So anoint my lips with psalters of decay
Wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

I read sonnets to a dying queen
Don’t think she heard, she’d barely turned thirteen.
So wipe my tears with half-lives
Anoint my lips with psalters of decay
Wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

I took snapshots through the smog of your sons and daughters
Coughed out nostalgic halitosis on the rising waters
So braid my hair with PCBs
Wipe my tears with half-lives
Anoint my lips with psalters of decay
Wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

When they took your voice you left your shadow on the wall
When you were here, you never looked that tall
So knit my brow with promises
Braid my hair with PCBs
Wipe my tears with half-lives
Anoint my lips with psalters of decay
Wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

Across the green and broken land I heard a baby cry
Tried telling her to dream but couldn’t tell her lies
So embalm me with poets’ come
Knit my brow with promises
Braid my hair with PCBs
Wipe my tears with half-lives
Anoint my lips with psalters of decay
Wash my feet in concrete oubliettes
Scatter my words like maggots on the sand.

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4 thoughts on “To Whom it May Concern

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