If all goes well on the technical side of things, to mark National Poetry Day, I’m making my “brilliant and dangerous” poetry collection — Reaching for my Gnu — available as a free download from Amazon for 24 hours from around 8am (midnight Pacific Standard Time) today. Then it’s back to £4.99, a bargain.
There are lots of poetry events happening including Inua Ellams conducting an online poetry workshop at 2pm for an hour. Tweet: @PoetryDayUK. Read Ian McMillan in the Guardian. National Poetry Day is on Facebook.
With political parties plumbing new depths and a betrayal of the mass of the population looking suspiciously like it’s on the cards, here are two poems on politics from my book.
CREDIT CRUNCH SUICIDE
I could have been a banker
Sitting on a ledge
High up on a skyscraper
Coz someone clipped my hedge
I could have been in business
In the city making bids
Take a shotgun to the wife and dogs
And then I’d do the kids
But I’m just a daily worker
About to lose my home
Savings all depleted
Can’t even get a loan
The bankers got their billions
The doggy got a bone
The millions got the wankers
Whose hearts are made of stone
I can cry into me drink
I can curse the gods above
I’d like to give that banker
A bleedin’ great big shove
Watch him splat upon the pavement
A human pizza pie
Coz that’s where I’ll be living
Until the day I die.
I never could understand
Men who top up their tan with elan,
Turn tangerine polished with Mr Sheen,
The shiny surface of kidney beans
Looking mean as mahogany would
if no longer home for orangutans,
Felled instead for rich men’s dens,
Men blasted red under UV rays,
Glow in the dark, pulsate in the haze
Like zits preparing to pop,
Like rotten tomatoes straining to drop,
Their sporange burns orange, their blood turns to glop.
It would be a fair cop
if they weren’t very tanned,
Leather hides hiding how bland they am,
Blancmange with a scab on the top.
Unhinged by the heat, derailed in the raw,
Carapace of lies the colour of gore.
No, that’s not it.
The colour of shit when you’ve bitten an elderly prawn
Caught at the arse-end of a waste pipe at dawn.
‘I like that hue.
‘Not too, too … ecru?’
It’s ‘tall, dark and handsome’,
Not ‘beige, bleached and winsome’.
Ditched his pallor for crimson
Flashed a smile that was toothsome
Exponentialised his income
Travelled the dark zone
Split schizoid twosome
Nicotinised flotsam and jetsam
Oh farce in the mirror,
Who wouldn’t want some?
His outsides were wholesome
His secrets were gruesome.
What are you hiding apart from your skin
Is there some sort of sin going on you should bin?
How could you sweeten this little hand
Shove it in a blender with marzipan?
That red, that blood, it’s not even yours,
Extracted from virgins to tighten your pores,
Tighten your wallet exploding with wad
And now you’ve found god.
Have you fallen deeply in love with your maker?
Bully for you, Orange Tone, you foul faker.
“Brilliant and dangerous … one wild-ride roller-coaster that soars to altitudes of unfettered wit and then plunges with a startling and implacably knowing anger … a perception that’s as topical as tomorrow.”
REACHING FOR MY GNU is available as a free download on National Poetry Day 4th October from 8am in the UK (from midnight Pacific Standard Time everywhere). You can read it on computers and devices with an eReader which you can download for free at Amazon.