Be My Family


I was born on the tough estates of a dirty northern industrial town

It was a hard district, a hard childhood, hard toilet paper but at least we had soft water
Down those mean streets I learned to survive
A six year old with attitude, a tattoo and an ASBO

My mother was a toothless, ugly hag.
She loved us like a lottery ticket whose numbers never come up.
She was a dour, dank, septic tank of a woman.
In her late twenties one of her buttocks was stolen while she was breast feeding a client
But mother laughed bitterly because her buttocks were only cheap plastic clones as she’d already pawned the real ones at Cash Converter

Father did the best that he could with his second-hand spade.
He told me he once had a more than an acceptable income shovelling piss into Gentlemen’s undergarments until the bottom fell out of their plus-fours
One day he ran away to South Manchester because he heard the streets of Wythenshawe were paved with fivers
The last we heard of him he was in Wilmslow, Cheshire where he’d been taken into slavery – the lucky bastard!

My sister ran away from the circus to which my mother had sold her as a living cactus.
“I’m a spangle!” she would yell over and over again in Harrods, until the management put her in a plant pot and made her an attraction for passing film-makers to admire

My brother was a total tosser
He spent his formative years experimenting with his penis
By the time he was 16 both he and his penis could claim unemployment benefit
But only his penis had a mobility “disability Badge”
In a fit of rampant jealousy my brother cleaved his whole nether regions from himself and audition for “Strictly Come Dancing” as a Carmelite Nun!
Unfortunately he was beaten in the final by his own penis who danced an unsurpassed Paso Doblo with an organic celebrity

And now I stand before you a sixteen year old boy – who looks like this because I have experienced nothing but the fierce harshness of sandblasting and penury
I had a mother who donated me to a mobile phone research foundation
A father who abandoned me to twizzle his nipples and hang out with potatoes
And Siblings who would rather stick hot buttered muffins up their jacksies than acknowledge my existence
So will you be my family?

Paul Blackburn

Pic Claire Palmer




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