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1: Hacking

This poem has been hacked into.
It was meant to be a private conversation,
the line made secure with end-stops.
But someone cracked the code and listened in.

I hate to think how it will be read
when all I spoke about in confidence —
the pizza, the piazza, the back row of the Plaza —
is out there in the open, on the page. 

It's not my fault the text went viral
but I feel I've betrayed your confidence.
What kind of world are we living in,
when poems become public property?

In future I'll be more clandestine —
keep my voice down and my texts oblique
so that no one comprehends my meaning
or discovers who I'm speaking to 

and the line between us is restored
and you can trust me again, as you should:
whoever you are, whatever your name is,
these words are intended just for you.

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Alan Grant
February 22nd, 2018
3:02 PM
Further to my previous E mail in which I referred to at age 76 never having known my father, unlike your book on the subject. Wrote this to express my feelings and wondered what you thought of it.....Who Was The Hero Who Was The Hero? I have the name of a man I never knew. Knew as a father, as a man; one of those special few Who came quietly to these shores, with uniformed others. Many feared death, others sought lovers. Was he like me? Like whom then? Did he hold me as a child and press his face to mine? Was I his future, or simply a brief liaison? My own sons have grown knowing my needs and weaknesses, What were his? What was he like? When I lay wondering in the early dawn Was he also in some lonely barrack thinking of me? Or had his mind already closed; his heart sealed forever? I bear the name of a hero, but what does it mean? Knowing now, that he did survive, and yet It was my life that passed unseen by him Father – what did I do? Where was my hero, when I needed you?

Alan Grant
February 22nd, 2018
3:02 PM
I am doing some quick prepping, as you are speaking at the University of Plymouth tonight (22 February 2018), and I have never read you. I have ordered your book about your father. At 76 I have never known mine, so wondered if it would be better, to know a pig, or live in ignorance bliss without one. Not suggesting your father was in the first category, but I hope you get the gist of what I meant. Enjoyed Passing Places and the Call Centre so far.

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