Finding Ben in Birmingham

Ben Zephaniah’s typewriter is on display at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery


To much laughter
from the hundreds of
sequinned costumes,

finding Birmingham
is being tapped out on
Zephaniah’s typewriter.

Ascending Everest keys
he writes poetry
type type typing away

[his rhythm at the age of 22]
troublemaker type type
typing away into the reading

in hometown front rooms.
Learning the history of black,
sequins reflect light on

man and Country
inside a case of glass,
how Columbus discovered

Birmingham much to the
laughter of costumed
people, still listening.

A typewriter honoured
with its own writing,
smiling through the glass.


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