Sunday, 19 October 2014

New Poem: Bins

I said to the dustman, ‘You’re taking my stuff.’

‘Yep,’ he said.

I said, ‘Everything in this bin matters.’

He said, ‘C’mon pal, we’re on a tight turnaround here,’

I said, ‘You’re taking my stuff.’

He called to his mates, ‘We’ve got one here.’

I said,‘That’s my past you’re taking.’

He said, ‘Uh-huh.’

I said, ‘I haven’t got any other past. I can’t go out and

buy someone else’s past and pretend it’s mine. All

the stuff in here happened to me.’

He said, ‘Am I taking it or not?’

I said, ‘Why are you asking me? This is all much

bigger than a yes/no thing. It’s about identity. And


‘And bins,’ he said.

‘We are what we throw away,’ I said, ‘and you’re

a cog in a machine that is cutting us down to

size. The machine doesn’t want us to know who

we are. And the way it’s doing this is to cut us

off from our pasts. It’s not your fault,’ I said, ‘you

have to earn a living, but you’ve become a tool

in their hands.’

He said, ‘I’ll just do next door’s. If you change your mind

in the meantime, I’ll come back and get yours. ‘