Lora Stimson and I have made another song. This one is called Battle. It’s a song for when the drinking has stopped.


The cash machines are out of service
bled of notes for beer and chips
the dirty city doorsteps strewn
with chicken wings and pizza crusts.

There has been a battle here.
The soldiers long since carted off
in taxis cabs, drape-dragged by mates
half-howling songs of grotty love
in terraced backstreets, buttons popped,
all bloody-gobbed victorious.

And now they roam the airy mall
showered, shaved and purposeful.
They’re zipped up neat to mask the dogs
that nip and growl inside their skulls.

A poster in a cute font asks:
Can you do a drink-free month?
And most could if they wanted to,
live without the white light nights
get by without oblivion
but what then, huh? Just more of this?

More fist-balled strolls around the shops
or boxsets on the half-bought couch?
Do more, they say, enrich your life.
But drink, you see, is not like life.
It’s life stopped dead, a slurred pause.
Do more? No, thank-you, I want less.

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