[Here is the latest (fifth) installment of 17, comprising Section V entitled Fall and Song #5 entitled Song for a Guy. The ‘songs’ seem to be taking over from the sections, as this long grim poem unfolds.]
Mike hates Autumn:
the night drawing in,
the leaves falling prettily from the trees,
Dad gone with a thump, Mum burning
love notes, bank statements, pretty clothes in the dustbin next to the coal shed,
blood dribbling from her nose, the pink blue flicker
of the paraffin fire barely warming them,
as next door’s fireworks go up on Bonfire Night
and they light up a guy.
Song #5 Song for a Guy
The girls on YouTube drool over Guido’s
barber’s shop hashtag Occupy coiffure
and swoon over Tito’s
early morning twitter chorus of camp fake news.
The bonnie prince coming over the ocean
with lance and unicorn
and the slender man waiting in the shadows
to sweep one special one away.
Guys queue up to chat.
On Bonfire Night the TV is replete
with public health announcements about burnt fingers
and scarred faces and plastic surgery,
prosthetic limbs and surgical masks,
as intercontinental ballistic missiles soar thrillingly into the sky,
and Catherine is tortured on a wheel.
and effigies and sausages are toasted on stakes.
“That Guido’s so into you,” Sophie gushes.
“That Tito is so cute. Such a shame he’s gay,” Em
“Whatever!” someone posts
and gets a smiley face in reply.
The Goth girl in the corner
with the hashtags and the dreadlocks
and the attitude problem
and parent-approved dentistry student boyfriend
is watching online streaming video of infidels
beheaded and burnt alive,
Zwingli slain on a snow-swept mountainside
fighting for the right to eat blood pudding on Good Friday,
sangria puked up by Sloane Rangers all over the après ski,
as minarets rival the Matterhorn and the downed towers
of Manhattan and the moon descends unwatched
through a starless streetlamp-lit stretch of urban sky.