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From Earth Records

June 9, 2009

You sign your name, and live, as long-term guest,
the economics of the domicile:
the highest prices start where views are best.
Light has status. One pays for space and style.
Descending from these peaks, the roofs begin
to terrace out across each marked-off plot.
The postcode scores the loss or draw or win.
Sometimes the height is shared, and sometimes not.
You’ll find the horizontal villa, or
the block of income worry, standing tall.
A bench in central London costs no more
than dangerous nights, a policeman’s wake-up call.
In any case, the place that’s always free
is where the land breathes out, becoming sea.


A different kind of music sprays the pavements
in the summers of economic booms:
trained violinists play for unit payments;
grandmothers, graduates amortize rooms.
The raising of the GDP includes
sales of Sleeping Beauty by teenage boys
in stations; seminars that teach the moods
suited to business, the interview ploys.
Private coaches are the sleeker design,
the comfier; brighter the books and shops.
The local film moves quickly into line —
the new heroes: brick-faced boxers and cops.
The higher prices crush the ticket crush,
and chums count less. The new pavements are flush.

by Alistair Noon

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