Jos Bitumen Archive Window – Issue 19


As Jos began to develop his poetic style, his adolescence past, he slipped into a particularly melancholic phase that saw him rhyming everything with black or at best grey.

My balls have dropped and my voice falls away

and I’m expected to hit another sack

my disgust has heightened to a level I cannot say

though my innocence cannot take me back

to when my days were filled with experiences, gay

and people lay around me like bric-a-brac

The future is out there in uncertainty and disarray

and my selfhood is still so convoluted, alack

that I will not know which me I’ll display

to other folks who’ll give me little slack

like those at school who shouted hooray

when I fell, lost like a needle in a haystack

Who will save me from mortal attack

and, I need to ask, how much will I pay?

The last two lines are particularly poignant for Jos as he is also developing a hopelessness and paranoia that would haunt him right up to the point when he got his first car. Though he was still pondering over the vagaries of love and parentheses to play with contradiction and preconception.

Poses are red,  (gets red a bad press)

violence is blue (seeing through sad spectacles)

hypocrisy is yellow, (may they slip on the banana skin of truth)

hope is mostly black (black frames beauty too)

And so, who? (Am I, just so?)

In the dark, holding your gentle ampersand in mine

wondering just how we would syntax

in how long a sentence

and could we ever be cesura?

You laid down ground rules and we measured our love

how long is it now, since the tape rewound

and we knew we were opposite sizes of the coinage,

too much change meant we were loose and one

became each other-wise.

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