Clasics in Ñspel: BOOK ENDS, by Tony Harrison

The London Magazine. Tony Harrison pictured at the National Theatre, London. Photo: Jason Alden.

Toni Harisn

BC-ENDZ

I

Bect ɖ de ś sudnli dropt ded
w ću it slǒli ɖt last apl pî.

Śoct intu slīplisnis y’r scerd v bed.
W nvr cd tōc mć, n nǎ d’nt trî.

Y’r lîc bc-endz, ɖ per v y, ś’d se,
Hog ɖt greit, se nʈñ, sit, slīp, stér…

Ɖ ‘scolr’ m, y, wòrn ǎt on pur pe,
onli ǎr sîḷns md s sīm a per.

Nt az gd fr stẹrñ in, blu gas,
tù reğlr ć bud, ć yelo spîc.

At nît y nīd mî cumṗni t pas
n ś nt hir t tel s w’r alîc!

Y’r lîf’s ol śatrd intu smiɖ̇rīnz.

Bac in ǎr sîḷnsz n suḷn lcs,
fr ol ɖ Scoć w drinc, ẃt’s stl btwn ’s
nt ɖ ʈrti or so yirz, bt bcs, bcs, bcs.

II

Ɖ ston’z tù fl. Ɖ wrdñ mst b trs.
Ɖr’z scersli rūm t carv ɖ FLOṚNS on it –

Cm on, it’s nt az if w’r wontñ vrs.
It’s nt az f w’r wontñ a hol sonit!

Aftr tumblrz v nīt Joni Wōcr
(I ʈnc ɖt bʈ v s w’r on ǎr ʈrd)
y sd y’d olwz bn a clumzi tōcr
n cd’nt fînd anɖr, śortr wrd
fr ‘b’luvid’ or fr ‘wîf’ in ɖ inscripśn,
bt nt tù clumzi ɖt y c’nt stl cut:

Y’r s’pozd t b ɖ brît bô at dscripśn
n y c’nt tel ɖm ẃt ɖ fuc t pt!

I’v got t fînd ɖ rît wrdz on mî ǒn.

I’v got ɖ enṿlop ɖt h’d bn scrōlñ,
mșpelt, mōciś, stîlisticli apōlñ
bt I c’nt sqīz mor luv intu ɖer ston.

CLASICS IN ÑSPEL

ÑSPEL

Last Updated on 28/06/2020 by Frank Johnson

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