Dan Holloway – Hungerford Bridge

Hungerford Bridge
I don’t really write love poems, but this is the closest I get. There is something magical about the South Bank, and the idea of wandering freely while the rest of the world is in suspension is an intoxicating one, and captures the sense we have when we are in love that the rest of the world has stopped

Hungerford Bridge

Remember the day we lay under Hungerford Bridge
And London stopped, just for us?

Like balletic bullets in a John Woo film
We toured the stillness.
Skateboards and blades played our private soundtrack
Scored from the clacketing
Backbeats of the Thamesside track.

We played hopscotch on Bankside,
Poured pints of London Pride
And downed them on the docks in Rotherhithe,
Embraced in the space between Bridget Riley’s stripes,
Defaced the latest White Cube canvas hype
With lines of lust typed blind on absinthe
And declaimed them to the planeless skies from Trafalgar’s empty

Neon flared through our Soho lair
And electric reflections glared.
We spotted pimps and toms in strip joints coming up for air
And in clip joints frotted by despairing gimps and johns,
The silenced timpani of Dean Street’s daily song.
We stole tubes of lube and 90 percent proof,
Got pissed on Chelsea rooftops,
Fisted, lay on Wembley’s centre spot
And kissed till our lips were blistered
And our minds went missing.

We met them by the river.
An army of the alkies and the dispossessed,
The depressed, repressed, the not so easily impressed,
The inconsolable and unconfessed
Who repossessed their lives for just one night
Howling Baudelaire like loons
And raving by a quarter moon,
Piping crazy tunes across the water –
A glorious guttersnipe Brigadoon.

Forget the lazy days,
The backward gaze, the haze, the sugar glaze we paint upon our
We tattooed London in our veins,
Inked in electricity and linked up to the mains,
Its maze of urban arteries,
Its winding streets that bleed from us
Plying meths to find the key to us,
Suppress the lethargy that hides our dreams from us
That lies against our sighing breast to squeeze from us
The dying breaths that wheeze from us
And leak into a lullaby that pleads with us –

Remember the day we lay under Hungerford Bridge
And London stopped, just for us.

This video of me performing Hungerford Bridge was filmed at the 2012 Hammer and Tongue Poetry Slam Final in Oxford