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Poem of the Week - 'Hometown' by Nik Way

Just another glass tipped,
chinking against his teeth.
Just another night spent
out, in regular haunts
where they know what he wants
before the door behind him closes.
Just another boy
who will go home in an hour
or two to the bedroom he was born in
twenty-one years ago.

He’s happy as the goldfish
he barely feeds.
At night he no longer sees
the domed glass sky
covering hometown like a snow globe.

He knows who he is. 
If only his friends could be so sure;
they flitted away to find themselves.
He had to buy an address book
and the list of those to meet, chat, fuck
recedes with his hair. 

I went back.

He couldn’t hear me when I spoke of anything
that fell beyond the hometown’s glass wall,
didn’t believe there was a world outside,
urged me to stay
like in the old days
relive the times we had,
return to my roots.

I hefted a hammer and slammed
the weight against the glass.
Not even a crack.

I could take the globe and turn it upside down,
shake people from their homes,
squirrels from uprooted trees,
swirl it all in a whirligig
of unrest and confusion.
Returning hometown upright,
everything would settle
in much the same place as before.


Nik Way is a member of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and has been shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate of London. He tweets from @NikWay. 

This poem comes from Dog Horn Publishing’s brand spanking new anthologySpoke: New Queer Voices. It’s a brilliant read, filled with some of the best work from new writers working today, from all across the LGBT spectrum. The anthology includes poetry, stories, drama, comics and more. It’s a truly exciting publication which “puts the words and voices of a new generation of LGBT writers alongside each other to create a dialogue and to capture a turning point” and it’s chock-full of work like the poem above. 

It can be purchased here.

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