through regimented parks where picnickers
spread their checked rugs
and old men pass the time of day,
nodding like dogs in the afternoon sun,
where babies romp on hard-baked grass
and bald boys bounce their balls in the dust.
I drove myself insane,
running amok amidst shopping malls
lined with cash machines
whose angry mouths spit at the world,
where doughy men suck
burgers, kebabs and hot pastries
their greased skin glistening under neon lights.
I drove myself down lifts, escalators,
through petrol-scented car-parks,
running amongst Renaults, Fiats, Rovers,
slipping and sliding on oil-slicked floors,
parking-ticketed and surveillance-filmed,
at the exhaust-fumed air.
I drove myself to work
in leaden offices where suits and skirts
vie for a place at the water cooler,
where bored secretaries dab at limp keyboards
with chipolata fingers ringed with gold
and nicotine-stained men
suck cigarettes behind rusting bike-sheds.
I drove myself to drink,
in gardened pubs where black-boarded dinners
are chalked in green and red
and umbrella-ed girls lounge
on splintered benches
one eye on the water feature
and the other on the time.
I drove myself to death,
through the myriad streets of my life,
down terraced roads where bedraggled girls play,
their skipping-ropes snagging my tights as I pass,
where ragged washing hangs,
dull and lifeless between the houses,
strung like headless corpses from the telephone wires.