Some things are more important than family
Brother. I was chosen and you were not
Brother, does that mean there must be
an ocean between us Brother? Did our
mother suffer in the war for this Brother?
Was father not a good and clever man
Brother? Did they not teach us well
at the table Brother, was it unbidden
Brother, was I to be, Brother, always
at your heel Brother, am I Jacob, you
Esau Brother or Abel Brother or which
of us is Romulus and who is Liam
and who is Noel Brother? Don’t tell
me the Party is changeful Brother. I believe
I’ve been badly lit Brother. O Brother
was it the blue sky or the Scottish bother
Brother or that the birds in the garden
have pins for eyes Brother? Can the people
be tired of Islington Brother, of justice
and equality Brother, are they so easily
bought Brother? I don’t think it is
I didn’t think enough Brother, perhaps
it was my goony face Brother or my
kitchens or unmasked secret lovers
Brother, the hen party selfies Brother
or the bacon sandwich that cast me out
Brother. Was it an angry God Brother,
was it that I was not you Brother, was it
stone Brother? Hold your clever tongue
for the sake of the movement Brother.
Be soundless as an owl Brother,
for it was for me, not you, to fall Brother.
Martin Figura was born in Liverpool in 1956. He was recently described in a hospital referral letter (bad back) as ‘a pleasant 58 year old gentleman’. His collection and show Whistle (Arrowhead Press) was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and won the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show. He won the Poetry Society’s 2010 Hamish Canham Prize. He’s published 2 pamphlets with Nasty Little Press: Arthur and Boring The Arse Off Young People. He’s now working on his new show Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine and collection of the same name with Cinnamon Press due in early 2016. He lives in Norwich with his wife Helen Ivory. He works part-time at Norwich Writers’ Centre and runs the monthly literature event Café Writers.