We lay down flowers to try and cheer up the dead,
something pretty to distract them from their problems.
It doesn’t matter to them but it’s sunny and raining
– any minute now we’re getting rainbows.
On the defrosting of several chicken thighs,
chicken fillets, legs, bone-in chicken breasts
there was much chicken juice and then
we came to reconstruct the eggs so that
the insides of the eggs were on the outsides
it was like carefully dismantling volcanoes
to save the villagers from violent eruptions
and we realised at that point that we were
on ground as thin as thin-crust pizza and
that this was all soon after we had just had
the kitchen done out new.
The policy is to scrap a lot of this housing,
to discontinue a certain kind of face. They
throw windows and doors on a scrapheap –
the houses look like toothless, noseless old men,
the children look exactly the way
the children of the future will never look.
“You must leave all your belongings behind.”
“I’m sick of talking about dreaming.”
“In times long past there was no worrying
that something unfortunate might happen.”
“No danger. Hard work and adventures.”
With his pen, the newsreader
etches an angry little face,
in to the surface of the desk.
THEN AND ONLY THEN
Big raindrops. The rain stops and you can see now how big the sky is. Your heart reboots like an old computer left to gather dust, but which is, it turns out, miraculously still alive, though breathing unsteadily now. Joyous, you think words to yourself, processing. There is always so much to do – the clock wheels away in delight. The winter sky is big and you are getting up late, going to bed early, turning in smaller and smaller circles. And all those three-in-the-mornings when you’re awake, you are super-determined to do your absolute best the next day.
COLLAGE OF FACTS
The sad beauty of failures,
the quiet injustices in success.
This is fantastic, this is reality.
“Just how many leaves do the trees
actually have in them?”
“How many times will we sweep them in to a pile?”
“What can we do with them afterwards?”
Were they legal tender
we might afford to
the local legend
we do not know
whether to believe
Problems in the morning,
cereal on trousers, duff lightbulb no time
drizzle, coat wet through.
This does not quite work, but then nor should it.
After the competition closes
they print the email addresses
pack them up in cardboard boxes
the boxes have a pleasant weight
they heft the boxes and stack them
they are pleased with what they see
they have worked hard and done well
they have a lot – enough email addresses
to keep them going all through the winter
In 1995 – or whenever it was –
you could get other things
for 25p – or whatever it was –
but what could you want more
than a thin paper packet
with some pictures of some blokes?
These were not just any blokes, they were
the superstars of the new Premier League,
their portraits worth every sweet penny,
they sat stacked in your hand like business cards,
got lost in washed shirt pockets like phone numbers.
they do just look like pictures of blokes,
some blokes you might work with
or who you might meet in the pub
or who you might get to fix your boiler
or who might advise you on a mortgage.
I secretly dream of running a small bakery
I dream of secretly running a small bakery
I secretly run a small bakery,
it runs like a dream