TUWL: Two Poems By Matthew Thomas Smith

TUWL: Two Poems By Matthew Thomas Smith

The Urbanista Writer’s Ledger (TUWL) continues with two new poems from writer, Matthew Thomas Smith. Matthew is a writer and performer known throughout Liverpool’s arts and culture scene and has regularly performed with garage-psyche punk band, Psycho Comedy. Matthew has submitted two poems from his debut poetry collection, Songs which is to be published later this year

 The Opening poem, The day I went to the Job Centre reflects a weary disappointment that can only be expressed through hard lived experience. We are brought on a mundane and mandated visit to a hopeless and dreary place where the game is rigged and everyone knows it. Anger and cynicism are present but they’re disassociated and the only thing permeating the bleakness is a silver-lined thread of humour and survival. The second poem, For the Mountaineers is a call to adventure; an appeal for lives to be tuned into the elemental realities of the world; unshackled by social norms and firmly situated on the road less travelled.

The day I went to the Job Centre

Out of place next to the well-used under threat library
and not 300 yards from the block of flats
where some middle-aged fella threw himself off
perhaps in response to the bedroom tax
or a recent smack drought

part-time vacancy notices still hang
next to the always-open automatic doors
they promise flexible hours and competitive rates
it seems that nobody wants to be a window-cleaners apprentice
or a courier for an ‘ever-expanding’ criminal law firm

I shuffle from one foot to the other in the falling queue
conscious of empty desks and out of use signs on printers
You won’t find anything here son
jibes the well-dressed woman to my left
this is more of a ‘keeping up appearances’ set-up

For the Mountaineers

climb the shale and slate
while it is still able
to take the burden
the daytripper-favouring path
only goes so far
leave the camera in the house
not everything is photo-worthy
use your eyes
kneel down
get closer
don’t take a tent
fold your flag into your pocket
be mindful of the summit
look out for kestrels or a search-party
headed by a bloodhound or a helicopter
and beware of robin redbreasts


Matthew will be publishing his debut poetry. ‘Songs’ collection later this year. You can keep up to date with Matthew’s work via his twitter account: @mtsmith2605

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