The stench of stagnant water clings
to the river-wall behind a take-away
and adjoining tattoo parlour whilst
teachers turn their students into
legions of self-eating snakes.
Clouds drool like demented lepers
as things we would rather forget are
super-imposed on alleyway walls
and our success is measured by moving
up from a hatchback to a saloon.
Stray thoughts are counted like coins
as salarymen wager hours for spare change
in a cycle unbroken by the ages,
like watching sex offenders perving
over pictures of themselves as kids.