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narratives (still very much in progress)

Irish Ninja
Somewhere around the age of 20 I had been looking to get my accent back that would
have been 1995 when I first came back to Milton Keynes & Portadown
BOYO after moving to Vegas 
where the middle school 
was full of Mexicans hombre
and a girl named Candy squinted 
when she smoked a cigarette through her gaped tooth and BOYO 
did she love Duran
Duran and French kissing
I hadn’t learned the French and loved
Jesus but did play
spin the bottle with no
tongue for Jesus I
hadn’t learned the cursive 
so the curly haired Mexican teacher 
who was a finalist for space 
but Christa McAuliffe beat him to it & 
was blown up in the process showed us 
an experiment with a glass tube and a cigarette and the tube filled up with smoke 
and the glass bottom got yellow and he said 
this is what happens to your glass belly 
BOYO my accent was still thick 
and the girls wanted to play four
square but I hadn’t learned the cursive 
so I was after school with a shy Mexican girl and I was her 
Irish ninja & made up some move I called
the slot machine jackpot arm twister and I told her I was 
on the run and if any Irish 
ninjas showed up to keep 
the beans in her belly
after school I stayed up late looking 
into the mirror & tired of not 
being understood I elongated 
my a’s & listened to Grandmaster Flash & tried to breakdance 
on a piece of cardboard and a Vegas 
Mormon accent began to kick in 
then which was really 1950’s America 
but I didn’t know that then & on Sundays we took on Elizabethan English with thee 
& thou & brother & sister & handshakes & half moons under shirts & I got all mixed 
up in 1995 after visiting Portadown 
& Milton Keynes & leaving a Mormon mission which was in Boise 
Idaho & for the first time since 
I left I wanted to turn back 
the clock get back what I lost 
that whale in the belly UGH
and now I am back in London
hello again & this is 2011 & 
I have an American accent 
and my past is still my past 
and my present is three steps
behind my past oh God-
Zenie and I have a British passport 
YUCK and an American accent 
hm whatever that means 
& that’s OK too I guess I am ok 
with that & I guess whatever 
it means is sort of up for grabs and I am really up for grabs 
with Portadown somewhere down there in the cities of the belly
my green card for America has expired 
my Northern Irish accent has expired 
my Mormon accent has expired and I will expire too

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Maurice Scully, The Basic Colours. Durham, UK: Pig Press, 1994.
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