Three Songs from the South Bank

by Damon Moore


After a number of years,
You notice the constraint.

‘You must hate yourself,’ they say.
So I asked for a prescription
Curing a person of self-hate.

The doctor was a he.
He took a long look. He reached
For his pad. Immobilized,
He leaned as if on the brink
Of reaching for a bottle.

Avoiding an anodyne
‘Look, it’s a vice thinking people hate you’
He suggested,
Looking every bit like a real doctor,
Frank O’ Hara.


Early experience
Preaches poetry is drunk.
Enjoyed. Gone.
Put back in its pram.

But the doctor
Was a soulful one.

‘Either,’ he said
‘Helped, you stay helped or
Regress to helpless again.

So throw that poem in...’
Added, ‘Do everything you can.’



These days, I’m careful
Taking medication.
I symbolise hateful people
With a clay green donkey

Stood on my shelf at home
In height, a centimetre and a bit.

Spectators, with a lot on their plate,
Increasingly I appreciate
Who never required poetry this life-long
Nor came for that.

Here just for the fun.
For poetry to be drunk.
Enjoyed. Gone.

The discredit of self-hate,
What myself, I can’t forgive
They enthusiastically can,
A man with a microphone.


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