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  John Seed
John Seed lives in London and has published four collections of poetry since the 1970s. His work was also featured in the seminal anthology A Various Art (Carcanet 1987). His New & Collected Poems was published by Shearsman in 2005.
He will be doing a Crossing the Line reading on January 6th 2006, the upstairs room at The Plough, 27 Museum Street, London WC1.



From That Barrikin: Pictures From Mayhew II

A slum's a paper fake
make a foot-note of
that sir I think
Adelaide was the
first thing I
worked after I told you
of my tomfooleries

yes it was
her helegy she
weren't of no
account whatsomever

& Cambridge was
no better

nor Adelaide but

there was poor Sir
Robert Peel he
was some good as
good as 5s. a day to me
for the four or
five days
when he was freshest
browns were thrown
out of the windows
& one copper cartridge
was sent flying
with 13d. in it
all copper as if
collected I
worked Sir Robert
at the West End
in the quiet
streets & squares

certainly we had a
most beautiful helegy

well poor gentleman
what we earned on him
was some set-off
for his starting his
new regiment of the
Blues the
Cook's Own

not that they've troubled me
much I was once
before Alderman Kelly
when he was Lord Mayor
charged with obstructing
or some humbug of
that sort what are you
my man? says he
quietly & like a gentleman
in the same line as yourself
my lord says I
how's that? says he
I'm a paper-worker for my
living my lord says I

I was soon discharged

© John Seed 2005