Monday, 18 June 2018 20:35

at wembley dogs

Written by
in Poetry
at wembley dogs

at Wembley dogs

by Martin Hayes

at Wembley dogs
we used to buy brown Hofmeister bottles of beer
and jump all over the seats
that people once sat in
to watch England win the World Cup
we used to eat hot dogs longer than our cocks
and run up and down the finishing straight
shouting on our muts

at Wembley dogs
we used to hold hands together and look up at the blue archless sky turn into indigo night
the stars suddenly reveal themselves
just over the back of Neasden shopping center

at Wembley dogs
we told the bookmakers we wanted a bag of sand on the 3 dog
and when they told us to bugger off
we’d wink at them and say, “you’re most probably right, Guvnor,
make that an Ayrton”

at Wembley dogs
we walked from bar to rail and back again
tipping our heads at everyone as we went
like we were some kind of Charlie Big Potatoes
with our pockets filled with our week’s pay
and electricity rolling all over our skin

at Wembley dogs
we made our happiness happen we made
our 5 day 55 hour weeks
feel worth it we made
great big smiles spread over our faces
and our hearts roared back into life as we
saw ourselves in everyone else around us, stuck
two fingers up at their setting sun
and cheered up our moon

at Wembley dogs
we unpicked the chains
that they stitched around us
all week;
we plucked out the barbed wire
that they hooked into our backs
all week;
we let our lungs fill up with air again
that they had stuffed full with memos and rules and procedures
all week;
and we rinsed our eyes
so we could see through the darkness they tried to create
all week

there are no Wembley dogs anymore
they have moved it off the streets
moved it all online and into the betting shops
not just because of economic validity
or the price it costs
to keep a piece of greyhound meat
but because things like Wembley dogs
enabled us to see through their darkness
recapture our identity
stitch our shadows back on
stoke up the anger and energy
to see through their gulag-weeks
and feel something other
than what they wanted you to feel

as they scream from their think-tanks and boardrooms –


Read 2040 times Last modified on Monday, 18 June 2018 21:37
Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes has worked in the courier industry for 30 years. His latest collection is The Things Our Hands Once Stood For, published by Culture Matters.