Thursday, 2 May 2013

26 Collective Resident: Chris Kemp...

THE GUY WITH A BIN BAG FOR A HAT AND CAPE

He appeared from the other
side of the road
Waving a stick at dustbins
And rattling it against lampposts
down at the Clapham junction.

I remember the sounds he made
as he worked his way along the street
clearing a path Through the crowded
bus stop where I stood.
It was like a child’s reaching for words
only he wasn’t reaching, but more mimicking
speech, as though taunting the world
In a mocking reflection
of the babble all around him.

I remember the threat he presented,
that slight tinge of fear accompanied
by elation and an almost overwhelming
desire to laugh out loud.
But what if he caught me looking
what if he saw the smile I was trying
to suppress?

I like everyone else
pretended not to notice him
and that’s what I found
most discomforting.
He made me aware of my own
conformity.
In passing he took on heroic
proportions, he became
a crusader for freedom
a knight from the outer edges of society
both armed and shielded in insanity.
Perhaps,
my only hope for freedom,
To follow him.