Pepys Estate – Peter Watson

Peter Watson was an 80s South London performance poet who round the alternative cabaret circuit and Apples and Snakes alongside the likes of Porky the Poet, Ann Ziety, Skint Video, Gladys McGee and more.
This poem is taken from his 1984 pamphlet The Point.

Pepys Estate – Housing the Five Thousand

Howls from the mouths of rabies
infected Jack Terriers
terrorised by packs of wild Children
who roam and adults avoid
accepting no sweets after dark
or lifts in cortinas probably stolen

Belonging to men in shark skin suis
who collect debts with razors
and no complaints
of the stench from the mouths
of dysentry dustin shoots
along corridors with no ends

Down in lifts perpendicular lavitories
through layers and layers
of identikit living units
squashed side by side
on the kill me quickly concrete pastures
where the dead shells of TV sets


To the tramping ground of slimy Jack
with his grey green smiles for little girls
who turn into women at the age of nine

From the eighth floor flats survey the living room
where blinded windows frame despair
peeping on Pepys
at suicide notes in brick envelopes
waiting days for repair
waiting years waiting waiting

Until the day comes
when brick by brick
block by block
blast by blast
Pepys is reduced
to the raw buzz of the red earth.

Peter Watson


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