Simon Armitage – Killing Time #2

Time in the brain cells sweating like a nail bomb,
trouble with the heartbeat spitting like a Sten gun,
cut to the chase,
pick up the pace;
no such thing as a walkabout fun-run,
shoot yourself a glance in the chrome in the day-room,
don’t hang about, your running out of space, son.

Red light, stop sign, belly full of road rage,
ticket from the fuzz if you dawdle in the slow lane,
pull up your socks,
get out of the blocks;
twelve-hour day-shift grafting at the coal face,
turning up the gas brings blood to the boat race,
strike with the iron or you’re sleeping in the stone age.

Don’t dilly dally or the trail goes cold, sir,
don’t hold back till you’re mouldy old dough, sir,
sprint for the line,
turn on a dime;
sit tight, hang fire, I’m putting you on hold, sir,
too late, snail pace, already sold, sir,
blame it on the kids but it’s you getting old, sir.

Short cut, fast track, trolley dash at Quick Save,
four minute warning, boil yourself an egg, babe,
crack the whip,
shoot from the hip;
close shave, tear arse, riding on a knife blade,
twenny-four-seven in the brain drain rat race,
finger on the pulse but you’d better watch your heart rate.

Cheap thrills, speed kills, pop yourself a pill, mate,
thumb a free ride on amphetamine sulphate,
run with the pack,
don’t look back;
pedal to the floor when you’re burning up the home straight,
her indoors doesn’t want you getting home late,
love’s in the freezer and your dinner’s in the dog-grate.

Ten to the dozen to the grave from the carry-cot,
bolt like a thoroughbred, talk like a chatterbox,
oil the wheels,
pick up your heels;
ginseng tea turns out to be tummyrot,
reach for the future with a hand full of liver-spots,
fuse-wire burns in the barrel of a body clock.

Cut yourself in half doing life at the sharp end,
meet your own self coming back around the U-bend,
get with the beat,
turn up the heat;
sink like a stone by going off the deep end,
fifty quid an hour for a top-flight shrink, said
start killing time, it’s later than you think, friend.

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