The traitor / Bitter

By Roy Duffield

The traitor

I.

I’m special.

I was born to change the world.

II.

I’m supposed to be burning down

everything that’s wrong with this world.

Instead

I’m the hero

of the deaf

     the illiterate—

        a famous cock

                                   -tail bartender

speciality:

                 molotovs

in plastic

     glasses

               of water

Health and Safety

                                  -approved

for the slaughter

               of

everything that’s right with this world.

III.

I’m special.

I was born to change the world.

I didn’t.

No-one noticed.

Did I betray them all?                  Or just myself?

Bitter

after Scott Storch

I know I shouldn’t be bitter

                                          but

I won’t waste more time

                                          buttering you

                                            up.

                                                   Yourself,

    you can buy

       whatever I want

with your smile, tastefully flashed

          your Oxford        dictionary and

          your bottomless pit—

          your bank

                  of other people’s cash

                            but you don’t even need to pay

           your friends will give it all to you for free

                        on exclusive mountain-top retreats

                                                       a Rooftop Empire

                                                                                           Stately buildings

                                                    and penthouse suits.

      I didn’t used to be bitter.

              I used to be a fighter,

                                     stronger,

                                           faster,

                                            fitter,

                   but a lifetime later

and I’m still standing

  down on my knees

and up to my elbows

                               in the shitter

so, if you’ll excuse me

you’re allowed all you have

 but, please

allow me

                                 to be bitter.

Roy Duffield was honoured to be picked to perform at last year’s Beat Poetry Festival in Barcelona. He only writes when angry, when something in the world needs to change. (He is unlikely to stop writing anytime soon.) This year his work has appeared in The Journal of Wild Culture, Anti-Heroin Chic,The Medley,Harpy Hybrid Review, Jalada Africa, Failed Haiku;the Pure Slush anthology Wrong Way, Go Back and the world’s oldest and most prestigious publication – his personal Instagram: @drinking_traveller.

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