to the man who's busking French songs in the underpass at the corner of New and Queen Street
Give it up, mate, give it up. Can't you smell the industrial disinfectant you're sitting on? They put it down to wash away the piss of men who can't get into the steel toilets opposite because they're full of junkies, desperately looking for veins in the blue light the council put in there to stop them happening. Can't you smell it over the exhaust-fume fug, the sticky black pollutant sweat of the pavement, piss of tramps and underage drinkers, smeared on the cracked blue mosaic wall, colour of obsolete improvements, pale under dirt-encrusted lights, scrapes of half-removed graffiti? Come on, give it up, it's a miserable day. And who's going to be coming this way, except filing-bound council workers without no holiday left, bus-bound shoppers with sale-shredded fingers, pissed-off people who mistook this for a short-cut to the multi-storey? And don't you know no-one gives to buskers in Oxford anyway? Give it up, love, give it up. This isn't shelter, it's a cracked urinal where no-one stays to listen or stops to give. Give it up, give it up, go home ... and wash your trousers really, really well.