i turned jacketer cos ov the flash mob’s lewd actions, fawneyfammed fancywomen wiv the brads, wearin’ worked caps, drinkin’ pots
ov porter, smokin’ weed in yards ov clay; nasty pebbles actin’ like coves, leadin’ away young morts by illadvice, stealin’ inter yer ‘ammock n fillin’ yer ears wiv smut, placin’ one ‘and in yer bosom, the other under yer shift to nail yer. Turn whore or lie under the sod starved dead? What to do, poor Judy? Get the bunt by buttock n twang or stick ‘er through the ‘eart wiv snipes? Us unfortunates what is de cent, neiver worn the iron collar nor bin tickled pink by the backscratcher’s tails, yis, previous we may’ve bin a blowen to get a gen’leman to bug over the rag or ‘is silk cly, jes to get by n not ‘ave a shaved ‘ead, buy a roll ov red riband, tea – baccy cost eight pence a fig! We ain’t incorrigible. We wants
the chance to live off the stores, be free to amend, not be peached n branded wiv a large yellow C on jackets, sleeves n shifts. Give us summat more n steamin’ over the wash tub n smokin’ bugs out the beddin’, makin’ sun bonnets n canvas clouts. Settlers in Hobarton crave legal wives or servants to hang it on wiv. They give us fact’ry lasses a strong gun – like sheep. They’d knock the rivet out ov our irons. Our turnkey turns up trumps, though, cos she’s allowed out n trafficks for meat n sugar. My littl’un, Rosie, was took wiv catarrh. Wards ‘ere is stinkin’ damp, like down the ‘ulks. Died she did. The visitation ov God.
February 25March 2, 2004