Poem introduction

CABAL

Cabal

Dem beg him, beg him, till dem sick
an tired—him wouldn sign him name
to what de most a dem waan lick
de opposition with. Him seh, ‘Same

knife stick sheep stick goat,’ an walk
out of de room. De big-man bus
a funny laugh. Nobody never talk
to him like dat. Him seh, ‘Trust

me, eediot mus learn.’ So, first of all,
we kick de eediot out de group. An den
we start de rumour seh him bawl
fi mercy when we check de books again—

yuh never know him tief? Yes, man, tief
like puss, unless yuh watchin him! An now
dat him expose, pure grief
to get another job. Him shoulda bow!

Me scratch your back, you scratch mine;
but if yuh tun traitor yuh must pay.
Dyamn fool! De eediot bwoy was tryin
to block de road. We move him out de way.


from I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), copyright© Mervyn Morris 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Mervyn Morris

Mervyn Morris Reading from his Poems

1On Holy Week, a sequence of poems for radio

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2Examination Centre

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3Muse

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4Peelin Orange

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5The Pond

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6Mariners

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7Valley Prince

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8Dadd, Poor Dadd

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9Tutorial

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10Journey into the Interior

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11Cave

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12Windscreen

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13Stripper

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14Shadows

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15Birthdays

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16Literary Evening, Jamaica

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17Toasting a Muse

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18Gaffes

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19To an Expatriate Friend

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20To the Unknown Non-Combatant

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21Grounation

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22Cabal

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23The Roaches

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24Case-History, Jamaica

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25Nursery

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26Afro-Saxon

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27For Consciousness

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28Jamaica 1979

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29Meeting

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30Data

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31Dreamtime

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32Short Story

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33Walk Good

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34Moment of Truth

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35Persephone

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36Narcissus

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37A Voyage

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38The Lovers

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39Critic

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40Peacetime

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41Family Pictures

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42Sister

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43Seen

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44Connection

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45Pussycat

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46Version

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47Memento

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48In the Garden

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49Eve

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50Happy Hour

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51Casanova

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52North Coast Hotel

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53Little Boy Crying

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54Proposition One

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55Togetherness

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56Give T'anks

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57Love Is

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58There was a Young Poet

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59Departure Lounge

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60To a Crippled Schoolmaster

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61The Day My Father Died

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62Granny

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63Hey, Ref!

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64Outing

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65Postcard

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66Pre-Carnival Party

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67Danse Macabre

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68Diptych

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69Garden

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70Birthday Poem

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71Terminal

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72My Rodney Poem

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73Historian

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74Checking Out

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75Palimpsest

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76A Chant Against Death

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Books by Mervyn Morris