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A Nestlé Walk


On the Grand Union Canal, passing by the Nestlé Factory in Hayes, Middlesex

where, if a silo overturned, replaced the water in the canal
with custard, or rice pudding,

my boat would leave
a longer impression

than it does now while stalking this swan
under two grey carriageways,

getting by a town you once
knew, that once threw

mother’s milk and milky bars
into your sandal and sock

past. Your ghost peering over a rail,
on the bank, lusty for the scent

of trifle, would watch as I,
your future, splattered by,

or else if this were the surface
of a record from the Vinyl Factory,

my boat cutting a groove,
that repeated turning recalls

perfectly every time,
then I would be more than

a temporary dent in your mind
but our brains are just

a setting concoction of carnation milk,
banana shake powder, perturbed by electric,

so from each moment you capture my likeness,
cleavings get unmade, information rewritten, and...

on the canal, there’s a swirl, like coffee
being stirred and my moving weight is

gone, the surface sane again,
just a few bubbles, a little settling silt.


VIDEO Through Hillingdon on the Grand Union Canal


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