The Damned

By Roddy Lumsden b. 1966 Roddy Lumsden
Kitten curious, or roaring down drinks   
in Soho sumps, small hours tour buses,   
satellite station green rooms, or conked   

out in the bathtubs of motorway hotels,   
there you were, with muck-about kisses,   
sharking for the snappers, before hell   

opened up for you and weeping sores   
of after fame appeared, the haphazardry   
and dwindling after three limelit years,   

recognized with catcalls, wads of spit,   
a nightclub fist, the scant camaraderie   
melts fast, like your flat on Air Street,   

the Lhasa Apso pups, the wraps and lines   
of chang, the poster pull-outs, fake tan   
smiles. It’s paunch and palimony time   

on Lucifer’s leash. But for a madcap few   
who cling, thin soup, one pillow Britain   
is simmering with hatred, just for you.

Source: Poetry (December 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2008
 Roddy  Lumsden


Roddy Lumsden was born in St. Andrews, Scotland; he describes his upbringing as small-town and working-class. His earliest exposure to literature came from his mother and older brother, who would read aloud to him when he was a child. Later, when he attended school, his writing was influenced by the works of W.S. Graham, Philip Larkin, Thom Gunn, T.S. Eliot, and Sylvia Plath, and by song lyrics.

His work is marked by an . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Cities & Urban Life


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