Poetry Corner: "Go HAM Young Man"
Our friend Lucian Mattison, Official Always Cheating Poet Laureate, has submitted another poem for your enjoyment. (Read his previous installment Zlatan's 69 Touches in the Box.) Lucian is a real-life West Ham fan, and his new poem explores the dark and the light therein. Lucian is also a real-life poet and you can learn more about his work or buy his debut collection Peregrine Nation at his website.
Go HAM Young Man
by Lucian Mattison
Did I imagine it or does every team?
A summer of murmurs from the rumor
mill, little hopes carried skyward and dumped
elsewhere in the stream—but these signings,
weren't we going somewhere—or was it always
going horizontal, across, mid-table
finish? And it's now almost Christmas
and I'll take horizontal 100 times over
down again, Andy like Ashton, team's poster child
of Englishmen falling short, ambition weak
in the knees. But a week is enough time that I forget
just how angry I was the previous one. So
Slav is gone. Match preview and I'm beaming
again, lineups posted and the familiar sinking feeling
like watching a child push the knife blade
through an apple towards his hand. Frost
on the window, carafe of coffee, it's tradition
like managerial recycling, Moyes, Big Sam,
Pardew, anyone but someone new.
And yet with the match whistle, everyone
is pardoned. I am with X in the technical area.
Why’s Antonio warming the bench?
The one man going hard as a motherfucker
on the field every match, but we opt
for Ayew, legs two plumb lines, bald head
down, reading the grass, holding the ball
too long. I'll spare the details, but we all know
how this ends. The TV is off after Rooney's
midfield swat skips and billows the net. It feels
like deja vu because it is, just in different colors.
I've seen all of this disappointment before
so what's changing? Or is the bottom
of the table, drunk under it, precisely where to be?
At the bar again this week. Here’s to a month
of losses. O seasons, years, how many decades
running? I answer, lads, we've been thirsty.