This one believed I maybe had the brains
this other that I had the right demeanour

but the Schools denied me till it was too late
then they reprieved with the offer of a place

that by then I understood I could not refuse
such anticipation had struck such roots

so I have no recall of the moment of choice
before those appalling digs in Eltham

where I stowed my dislocated skeleton
beside the bed crammed one side of my head

with tendons muscles and pharmacol
with biochemistry bright nets of nerves

everything spilling from the other side
into failure and fallen to wandering streets

to stealing Everyman’s Selected Wordsworth
I was John Stuart Mill hoping my soul

would be saved with love etiolating
the girl from home now a girl from home

her kisses like shrugs at London Bridge
saying make your own way at least not imposed

or not merely allowed if you want to live
deliberately then first you slit the shroud.

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