blackmail press 33
Craig Taylor-Broad

Tui Taonga 1-5 Penny Howard
Craig Taylor-Broad is a writer from Cornwall, UK and has had his work
published in various different publications.

Only Inheriting Debt and Death


underneath the sparkly gift tag
"To you,
with love
your Mum and Dad",

underneath the sheets
of baby blue wrapping paper
Donald Duck and a speech bubble:
/Have a quacking day!/

Underneath the protective film of bubble wrap
popping under excited hands
like bullets ricocheting
around a metal room,

underneath all of the Sellotape
a globe cracked in shards of recklessness
this is the world that you will inherit.

Living In The Depression Era

Is this
the depression era;
Where the only difference
between me and the guy warming the pavement
with his scabby dog,
is the spare change that I can't afford to toss him
because it will get me sitting next to him, and not to keep him company.

Where I can hear the patting
of rain drops
tapping onto the ceiling at four AM
like a nagging expectant wife probing for my weaknesses,
and all I can do is huff
and shout to myself:

Where men sit
in the clapped out rusted old shells of cars
they used to dote upon,
because it's raining,
because they don't have an umbrella,
because that's easier than telling your wife
that the rainy day fund has long since been sucked dry.

Where bankers
walk along the street in suits
their top buttons ripped open like a surprise wound,
and they're looking for cigarette butts to bum
because they're too poor to have a vice
or maybe this is in some strange regard, an item to sell,
their ticket, back into the money game.

Is this
the depression era;
Because I don't see how we can be blamed or how it even came about,
we've worked individually,
we've worked collectively,
but where have all our efforts gone;
Just how did everything go wrong?