Peach: poem about Savile, Hillsborough, Leveson, the whole sorry lot!

As the rot sets in, here’s a poem about the collapse of our institutions. A big rock has been lifted and look what’s crawling out: Hillsborough, press hacking, Jimmy Savile at Broadmoor and the BBC, wars, widespread robbery of the poor to pay for the rich.

Capitalist production moves from the west to Asia and Africa, so the cultural and moral superstructures collapse into the economic base like a multi-tiered wedding cake left out in the rain, just the way Macarthur Park said it would. Or was it Karl Marx? He knew a thing or two, did Marx.


First one bit gives, then another
Appearing first as a small bruise on tender skin
A slight abrasion
Imperceptible in the first damp hours
A softening of flesh, dimples
You could fit a finger in,
A tip only, the print of a murderer’s light touch
Pressing inexorably
Expert from repeat performance.

First one bit, and then another
Falls and fails
While the peach keeps its integrity
For the longest time under an
Invisible sleight of hand,
Tightening its grip,
Silently stoppering breath and blood,
Draining the body’s elixir.
So few clues, nothing slips beyond
The peach’s own gravity,
Not even light.
The presentation
A fresh furry package
Making good eating
For eyes that don’t see
Hologram surfaces and planes
Like a stealth bomber bearing down
On the village.

The surface holds fast
A moonscape
A thin pink line
Between air and chaos underneath
Subcutaneous anarchy
Dissolving all
Back to its elements
In furious molecular storms.

Assault squads pitch in
Pits and tips past the point where
Anything binds.
Mesh unmeshes flesh, fibres unwind
Cells spill their watery content
Buttress tissues sprawl and give way
to spores that worm their work
Down to the centre
Down to the core
Decomposing genetic law
Fruit hide decays
Bruises that crawled and
Snuck up on their prey
Always somewhere other
Suddenly expand with sullen shock
and join the dots as continents collide.

Atlas collapses.
There is no reorder from this,
Only the sweet smell of excess
And the long wait for the kernel
To give rise to more fruit.
The blossom was beautiful.

by Anna Chen
February 2011

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

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