“National Poetry Month” #7: Michael Woods

from World News Story

A man out in the City who lost his information technology job three weeks before had to sign on to the dole for the first time in my life every job I apply for there’s already a hundred fifty who have applied before you end up having to pay your mortgage on your credit card and fall into debt twice over while an equity analyst taking a smoke break a block from the police barricade understood protester anger but working in finance is what I do supporting my wife and mother and I don’t know that it hurts anyone.

Police horses move in, drag man out of cordon trapped more cops arriving every ten mins hardcore of about twenty are chanting focus of songs is cops this time not bankers oh and police helicopter’s arrived several sources say another kettle formed around the Boe helicopter above my photographer friend said hundred protesters and riot police people across road shouting taking pix contrary to press officer’s earlier insistence sarkozy will be speaking after brown around four pm he who hosts controls the police say dead man ian tomlinson forty-seven years old was on his way home from work in a newsagents when he collapsed.

Riot officer: no-one sees us as human I’ve got a daughter a wife today’s been dangerous for me. riot officer, cont: we knew it was coming it would kick off we’ve been preparing for months. Female riot officer: spent all day having bottles thrown at and people stabbing with placard sticks. Female riot officer II: the press don’t show that we’re portrayed as the bad guys and then our families have to read the crap.

Retreating from the riot lines not a terrible idea this is the worst festival I’ve ever been to quips one man squeezed round doesn’t it feels like a mob unsavoury if the maj people well away from trouble people are stuck here and festering French psychologist le bon said crowds have single mind of their own how else to understand how now it has turned almost in unison and walked back away from rBs toward rage against the machine playing outside Boe banker in pinstripe tells me he is lunching as an act of defiance apparently seen in bank HQ window while you are here protesting we are repossessing your homes crowd has dissipated but anarchist block reconverged on queen vic street rowdy again facing a branch of HsBC riot police lines not boarded up seems mad did no-one think.

Mood unruly but not violent street now occupied lots of kissing dancing wayhay police have created a total police cordon no one in or out it’s called kettling and it works boredom and the desire to escape wear guitars are out the balcony at coq d’argent overlooking the riots is full of people drinking chilled chablis outdoor heaters are on which would no doubt infuriate the climate change protesters trio of french bankers in levi’s on the next table are sticking into oysters waiter says it is busier than usual they have come for the riots I’m running out of phone battery at the front, tho at a safe-ish distance packed in getting hurt just said it feels like glasto without the drugs police try to pull an anarchist’s mask off.

Passing cyclist quiet innit they all just students cop to girl wearing mask told u once before take it off or i’ll take it away. someone on the royal exchange clock Billy Bragg sang the internationale from the steps of the bank of england come brothers and sisters for the struggle carries on the world in song unites the human race and some pink milkshake thrown and landed in my hair, tnks.

– MICHAEL WOODS


The news never gets old in World News Story, a book from which the above excerpts have been lifted.

World News Story is Michael Woods’s first trade book, published by BookThug in 2010.

Share this post



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *