Bradford Middleton, 12/12/2016

Current Occupation:  Low-grade sales assistant for big supermarket company.
Former Occupation: Student, Music PR, writer, admin serf.
Contact Information: Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton on England's south coast.  When he isn't writing stories and poems he can often be found on the check-out at a local supermarket.  For more from him follow @beatnikbraduk on Twitter.

Read his pieces from 2014 , 2015, and earlier this year.





Today I turned up at the place that keeps me down

That place called work where it appears I will have to remain

Until the day when the words mean I can tell my boss where to stick his minimum, so-called living wage job

And as usual, these days, I was tired but not hung-over

For the night before had been a night of infrequent sleep

So I entered not in the best frame of mind

Until it emerged that all my bosses were on the verge of leaving

And it seemed none of them gave a shit anymore


I could, for once, empathise with their situation

But not when it stops me doing my job in a sleep-deprived state

As customers grew angry as I pleaded for help

I needed change; I needed to put out the cigarettes whilst serving our customers

But alas there was only one of me and I ain’t allowed near the safe

And my bosses were stood outside smoking their ready-mades

Or downstairs drinking coffee which I so desperately needed but due to health and safety is not allowed


I have never been so happy to see my racist colleague arrive on the check-out as at last I got some much needed help

But once I told her what I’d heard the smile on her face spread like wild fire at the thought we could now be rid of our Peruvian-Russian boss

‘Maybe we’ll get some kind of normality here now, An English boss who will solve all our problems’ she said

I cringed at the memories of our past bosses, both called Paul and both English, stupid, proud and Tory to boot

And suddenly I was stood on the tills not giving a toss, writing letters of resignation in my head

Roll on that day when I shall be free, how long now I really don’t know but if it’s another like the Pauls

I’ll just say fuck it, I’m off, good riddance to you all!





I got money worries again as the rent goes up again

And somehow from nowhere an extra £50 has to be found next month

Coupled in with a horrid and ridiculous telephone bill

It means my birthday month will be one of no celebration or fun of any kind

Instead it’ll mean beans on toast coming back to dominate my diet

And as for beer, well at home, alone will be the only place I can afford such things

When it ain’t that luxurious a life to begin with finding such cash is always a problem

Especially now when life offers so many things that leave me disturbed

In need of those things that will help me forget


If it ain’t random tourists asking me stupid questions

It’s our moronic locals who drive me to despair

Those who seem to have no problems supporting their lifestyles

Fucking crooks every single one of them

Whether it be an estate agent robbing the poor of all their money

Or the government telling me that I’ve got enough and should be happy

Well all I know is the situation is fucked

I read a report recently that suggested 77% of people in our town need benefits to pay their rent

I ask how can that be fair; how can it be that I get money off a government who don’t want to pay me

To pay a landlord for the honour of living in this shit-hole whilst they earn a fortune


The lives of those, here, in the last resort are grinding on relentless

My new neighbour upstairs loves nothing more than pissing out his window

Whilst downstairs our very own Peter Stringfellow has women visitors

And tries to romance them with the dulcet tones of Elton John

In between these two mad old dudes lies my space

But I’m not sure for how much longer

How long will I get to pollute the air with my noxious cigarettes and wild rock’n’roll

During those moments when I ain’t sitting here writing or worse yet out at work

Doing the hours that will keep me always worrying about money problems





I walk out at work and am immediately accosted by a man begging

Can you spare a pound he asks, just for a hot cup of tea

But I ain’t got any change as this life will always be tricky on minimum wage

And then after moving on I get to the bottom of my street

Again I’m accosted by a homeless beggar who after I apologise for not being able to spare any money

Screams you fucking bastard I can hear it in your pocket

But I just keep my head down and move on, ignoring his screams

And then finally home I check my electric meter and see I got only 24p which is more than I got in my pocket

Would you like to take that off me because right now that’s all I got

So can I suggest just one thing, don’t bother asking anyone wearing a supermarket uniform

Because we’re mostly the same, surviving on very little

And barely able to keep a roof over my head

I realise your situation is desperate but maybe try sitting outside the luxury flats

And begging from someone who can maybe spare that much needed change



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