Thou shalt not kill. He had a father once,
impossible to read, all adjectives
and nouns. No verbs. The best school in the country
and Bitter disappointment. Life is simple:
a shopping list, a slim volume of verse,
Mr Muscle loves the jobs you hate
and a video. He made it complicated,
Our Father. You were not allowed to be,
you had to be a proper noun. A Doctor,
a Lawyer, a Director. Father spoke
a different tongue. In spite of all his learning
he wrote nothing down and died intestate
leaving behind a library of hardbacks
no-one else wanted. Better than cocaine
the hit of a well-turned line, line after line
singing off the page, each repetition
of rhythm, rhyme, each reading, each re-reading
bringing him closer to God. Till he was God.
He only said it once, but when he said it
they locked him up refusing him the Bible,
the Complete Works of Shakespeare, and they asked him
and asked him when he'd edited his father
out of the picture, where he'd done it, how.
This is how. He sentenced him in black.
He made him a blank page. He made him blanch.
Made him confess his sins in black and white.
He cut his sentence short. He made him write
his will and then he burnt the words he wrote.
He made him learn the words he burnt, by rote.
With an adjective and noun, he made him red.
Best before End. Impossible to read.