An illustration from Rob Steventon's book, How I made My Millions, of some bloke who is presumably a millionnaire

This is a poem from local author Rob Steventon's book How I Made My Millions published by Flapjack Press.

Scouring listings and listings and listings and listings and
listings and listings and listings…

Scouring listing on Zoopla and Rightmove and SpareRoom
and ads in the Evening News.

As my tenancy ticks like a time bomb,
I worry it will reach the end of its fuse.
On a shoebox with back-alley brothel views,
my credit check failed; got the desperate house hunter’s blues

It’s not fine to smoke or have pets or have debts,
but it’s fine to profit out of squalor.
My income has taken a downturn this year,
but my landlord wants more of my dollar.

He tells me to tighten my belt and my collar,
says he knows bailiffs personally he can holler.
He’s a football thug Tory with tribal tattoos,
and I’m lining his pension; the desperate house hunter’s blues.

I turn up to a derelict shell in Ardwick
that is host to a studio flat.
When I ask where the fridge in the kitchen is,
Amber, the letting agent starts to laugh.

“Who needs a fridge these days, with Uber Eats and that?”
Perhaps those who want to store fresh food intact.
“And these restaurants all have five-star reviews.”
They’re out of my price range; desperate house hunter’s blues.

“If you’re after compact, you can’t get much compacter.
Walls meet at acute angles – check with your protractor.
Heating stuck on high like a nuclear reactor.
These pea soup green bath tiles have such a wow factor.

Just send us two months’ wages, if it’s this place you choose.”
I’ll just live off Space Raiders; the desperate house hunter’s blues.

There’ve been times where my cash hasn’t stretched the whole month
and eviction’s come close like a vicious affront.
I’d be fucked if it weren’t for friends, I’ll be blunt.
The top cause of homelessness is tight landlord cunts.

We should all go on strike and just simply refuse
to keep lining their pockets; the desperate house hunter’s blues.

by Rob Steventon

Originally published by Flapjack Press, 2021

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Featured image: Sonny Ross

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