My 1930s house
I grew the house I live in in 1936.
My family wouldn’t live up to my expectations,
so every weekend from the age of seven or eight
I would go back in time with a carving knife
and cut the floorboards. I was rich
and able to buy all sorts of weird things:
gramophones, gas mantles, electric toasters,
Bakelite hairdryers. I had an obsession with work
and watching Netflix. I restored old food.
I had a postman come to the house once,
but that’s it. The letters were quite upsetting to read.
Kids used to call it the witch’s house.
I get it. It looks well over 100,
like an old lady’s house that died.
When I leave the house I like to pretend
I’m back in the real world.
Source & Method
Collaged/recombined from phrases and parts of phrases taken from
a Guardian newspaper article, “Modern life is rubbish! The people
whose homes are portals to the past” by Sirin Kale, published 12 Jan
2021; all text in the poem taken from the first section, “1930s: Aaron
Whiteside, 38, stained glass restorer, Blackpool.”
Matt Quinn lives in Brighton, England, where he takes frequent rests and sometimes wishes he didn’t have to. His poems can be found online at The Morning Star, Rattle, The Deaf Poets Society, The New Verse News, and elsewhere.