Endless Cycle

by Geoff Stevens

dosed on 100mg Attenolol
beta-blocked for endurance
your brain bounces like
an high-pressure front tyre
over the cobblestones
of a jogging memory
dilated eyes wide-angling again
dark streets with their stuttering gas lamps
recollection hissing dimly
like a slow puncture of the archives
boxing bills posted on a brick wall
changing slowly into fly-posters
of maggoty boy rappers
and while you are diverted
a cat runs between your wheels
your mind skids
and its bell rings automatically
you go down a gear or two
with your trousers caught in your chain
as you pedal across traffic lights
between two lorry loads
of government propaganda
your frame buckling under the weight of it
so that you turn your handlebars and direction
knocking over a row
of pop-up-again problems
that splatter recriminations
up the back of your legs
no mud guards
you hide your head in your yellow jersey
and crash out in the nearest
bikers’ pub

Geoff Stevens is the editor of Purple Patch poetry magazine, and the Ted Slade Award winner for 2009.

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