King Lud’s advice
Updated: Jun 11
Any city is a coin-flip, you tosser,
the stairs grind both ways equally under Angel;
this monstrous pearl is built around impurity, and true grit.
So get on with it; now is the time
to ride the black line, chanting Eliot, your heart beneath your feet,
or draw a dayful of yellow Circles with your compatriot bums. It’s always time
to keep going, the motion makes cities
delicious for the young, fly-traps for the broken,
feasts for the vicious. Which are you?
Money moves mysterious and constant through leaking wharves,
rendering the unfit must-have; manors fall,
the Dogs eviscerated to raise a Canary,
front steps capitulate to invasions of potted bay. The best time
is always now, forget in my day;
thread the bleary Greek Street dawn for love of hawkers yelling cherries,
skip to Smithfield in search of the smell of blood,
avoid the Whitehall canyons where power bristles and gags the very air,
run for the farting, shrieking, saltfish stew of any street lived in truly,
any courtyard where the earth is boxed
and tended to raise small fists of cabbage to the light.
In five minutes, two minutes, now
the cans of workers fly over in a humming headlock of railsong; now,
count the electric lines that keep you canopied in current,
born to it, you place-grabbers, door-jumpers, deal-makers, day-seizers,
who tap and jiggle at the too-slow beat of the ambulance wail. All the times
you’ve known a villain, and how to run the meter backwards,
you’ve known kindness, and dogshit posted,
noise complaints and eggboxes, pancakes, committees
and whose kids are those. You know the time
of the last night bus, don’t you?
The best time is always
the time running fastest, so
Shadwell, Mudchute and to bed we go.
Written by KIRSTEN LUCKINS
Artwork ‘Mudchute, and to bed we go!’ by KAREN GLYKYS