Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

A white black man on Ladbroke Grove.

This evening, hungry, I walked to Ladbroke Grove. I milked my card at Sainsbury's machine then bought beer at a local store. I walked on to the chippie for dinner.

A saxophonist my age and most certainly more colourful, busking by Ladbroke Grove station said, as I passed: You look like Gil Scott Heron.

I stopped for a moment and we did some reverential shit about Gil.

On my way back with cod and chips, extra salt I saw him again as he was packing up his stuff. I stopped and asked if he was doing this for money. He said no he was doing what he loved but if people wanted to give him something he wasn't going to stop them.

I offered him the contents of my pockets. He said: 'Shit, that is too much man'.. I said: 'No it is exactly the right amount.'We parted, each agreeing we would meet again, both sure but uncertain.

His last words to me were: ' I knew you were a poet'.

The first time I have smiled for days.

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