Saturday, November 8, 2014

This is London. It is on fire.

The Burning Of The Houses

Tottenham is on fire and I work in an arts centre
where the sky is blue and I can hear birdsong
from a sound installation of birds
cooing outside my office window.

This is London. Hackney is on fire now
and Jamie is looking up from his desk.
He stops working. He tweets that he can see
people smashing up a bus. He says there is a car
being soaked in petrol. He asks if there is someone
in that car. He tells us that car has been set alight.

This is London. Croydon is on fire now
and Anna is Facebooking furiously from Manchester
calling everyone bastards for doing this.

I am watching the BBC and reading Twitter
flicking between #LondonRiot and my friends.
Sometimes you can be proud of your friends.

I remember when Bianca came to stay
and we got tickets to watch The Night
James Brown Saved Boston in the QEH.

People are getting hurt. Television isn’t going
to save us. But it’s okay now, some of my friends
are linking to videos of kittens which must mean
everyone is fine. This is London. It is on fire.

I go to bed while it is burning. I wake up
and parts of it are still burning.

Chrissy Williams
from Flying into the Bear (Happenstance, 2013)

Anthony Wilson's review, sharp and beautiful as always:

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