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Nottingham Castle

Snap Notts: Waterfront

5 January 19 words: Leanne Moden
photos: Sam Kirby

This month, our poet took inspiration from the canal...

Canal Side

The neon at the bar is blazing blue –
I never could resist a Friday night.
The old boys in the back are spinning songs,
while I taste cigarette ash on my tongue.
I’m drinking, so I barely feel the cold;
reality is blurred around its edge.

Outside, I am a blade. I take my edge
and slice the water open, till the blue
comes flowing out to wash away the cold.
I never could resist a Friday night,
the taste of revolution on my tongue.
I’ve let this city sing her marching songs,

and fill my mind with myths and lies. The songs
that set my long-held principles on edge.
The gin explodes like starlight on my tongue,
behind my eyes the bubbles bursting blue.
I never could resist a Friday night.
Sometimes I want to plunge into the cold

and taste the water on my lips. This cold
reminds me of the litany of songs
I’ve hurled into the bleak November night.
I make my home beside the water’s edge
and cradled cans in fingers tinged with blue.
Some said that I had cut away my tongue

or worn it down to silence. No, my tongue
now only speaks to those who feel the cold.
A sharpened shifting shard of silver blue,
that ties my mind with misremembered songs.
Invisible, I skim the city’s edge,
and beg for change while you ignore the night.

I never could resist a Friday night;
inertia’s blade serrated on my tongue.
Reality is glassy at its edge
like water in the lock, so hard and cold.  
I’ve wrapped myself in all the city’s songs,
like bruises on my chest in black and blue.

The cold is creeping round perception’s edge
so, drink and sing and gaze beyond the blue

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