Scott Sowerby

August 18, '97 - Yorkshire
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Leeds KingsX 20.8.23

The voice over the Tannoy was tinnie,
and fedback.
Like the grey steel that passed by
out of the window,
had infected the systems' wiring.
Is there a more liminal space,
than the carriage of a moving train,
cutting through England's pastures,
under heavy cloud cover?

The sound of the Tannoy became,
Unbearable. My head exploded,
all over the girl sat behind me.
I had stood up, in the act of self-immolation,
and was rapidly pounding my knuckles,
into the backs of chairs. Jogging
through the carriages, to show off,
My New Look.
The Tannoy Man bleated out again,
this time annoyed,
hysterically pleading I return to my seat.
I found him,
staring out at the hay bales gleefully.
I tore his head from his neck,
and put it on my own shoulders, backwards.
I sauntered back to my seat.

The crowd where horrified. Silently gawping.
"Just passing the time!" I tried to say,
In an effort to put them at ease.
Instead, the Tannoy Man's mouth dropped open,
and bleated louder.
A distorted, tin foil-scream, that looped through speakers, and air-pods.
More heads began to pop.
I started throwing myself over the seats,
at anyone,
whose eyes were red and bulging,
like mine.
Pressing down their scalps,
preventing their memories,
dreams, fears, loves,
from being scattered around
like Confetti.
I didn't want to see ANY
of their soft, gooey bits.
Not one bit!
"Just a bit of fun!", I was shouting over the rows.
The Tannoy Man's head was not as simple,
or as quiet,
as it had looked, staring out at the hay bales.
In fact, his mind raced ceaselessly,
with fantasies of his belov'd.
A tragically forlorne,
femme fatale whore.
I was sick,
All down my back,
and unluckily onto the girl,
who was wearing my old cranium as lipstick.
I apologised to her.
Wiping her face with my hands haphazardly.
I tried shutting up, the Tannoy Man's
debauched, fanatical film real.
But the noise of the bleating grew louder.
Now, it was really I that was screaming.
As the final, fat faced fuckers' skull fragmented,
and flew, like a brilliant crimson and phosphor firework towards me,
I removed my surrogate head, retaking my seat.

Finally, stillness.
The train had stopped.
There was no sound from Tannoy Man,
or anybody else.
I looked out of the window, smiling.
But there,
out,
in the middle of England,
out,
on the harvest-brown fields,
feet, impaled,
on mitre-cut wheat stalks,
A witness.
To all of the awfulness,
and gore, of that journey,
my dream.
She stood in terror,
dress and hair whipping
faster, the longer she looked.
I'm stuck there.
Gawking at her.
Trapped on the tracks.
Windows all smashed.
Tannoy Man's mouth doesn't move at all,
but the feedback permeates the scene.
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