Saturday, 23 April 2011

"I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out"

"Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world."

Taken from Mary Shelley’s Author’s Introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Love Me Not When I Look

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

They were wearing headsets.

They were wearing headsets, they arrived at dawn, they erected the crosses that stand on my lawn. They searched the rafters for guns and ammunition as they recited the bible and outlined their mission. “The manifesto” they screamed, “is broadcast live” so there is no need to form a crowd outside.

They shackled the young, they shackled the old, we shuffled our feet and wept in the cold. They marched us to the sound of cracking bones, warping metal and mobile phones. The Flag flew high and we all saluted, our new boss is here, undisputed.

The rumble of trucks sang into the black as I curled in a ball and prayed at the back and I remembered watching the challenger crash and fall to earth in flames and ash and some fell at a crossroads and we began to slow so they started to punish us blow by blow until each head was scarlet and bruising black and one girl stumbled and we were pushed to go back till she was trampled beneath us and lay in the sun but we carried on walking for fear of the gun.

I didn’t say anything I was afraid. We dare not speak in the final parade no singing in the line as we followed in sync we looked straight ahead and tried not to think but I thought of the sea and I longed for the sand and I dreamt of your voice and I ached for your hand to lift me up each time I stumbled as the black smoke rose and the trucks still rumbled.

There was nothing now just the road all planned out and we walked forever and I began to doubt the life I’d led before they came so safe so warm so blank so tame. Like wolves we tread into the fields and in naked envy of what the river feels as it defies command and snakes away regardless of what kings and madmen say.

The sky is toxic the ground decayed the special announcement has been delayed so nobody was sure were to go we just fixed our gaze on the dirt below.

Will the real UK Citizen please stand up?

Is it getting harder to be you everyday? Can’t take the workouts or the dressing downs, the slow resentful meals in stylish rooms in expensive, now depreciating homes? Mr and Mrs B.N.P, C.J.D, O.C.D the silent white minority, who are you? Are you terror struck in commuter town, or fearing the black face in the white hoody bluetoothing broken dreams via mobile data streams with no time to look where he is going? Who is tending your bloodstained flag that once screamed Empire but now whispers “spare change please” to the iPoded and zoned out passers by; a rag wrenched up by a threadbare monarchy to a lukewarm reception, a tired crowd, vaguely nostalgic, twitchy and bored?

Are you the Khakis hordes on their way to purchase LCD wide screens and potter vacantly through miles of car parking and bright Muzak convenience? Who is your team? Who do you support? Are your dreams in full colour featuring lip gloss sticky girls from the pages of the Sunday Sport spread out and sensual, almost too young, almost nude? Almost yours, but not really there. Do you rejoice in your St Cheryl X factor morality knowing that your X tube secrets could catch up with you - who’s that dogging in Grantham serenaded by a wet and miserable Sunday evening, just another way to spice things up and now you can’t look her in the eyes.

Where is your truth? It’s written in a language you won’t recognise, talked about in rooms you don’t know and you’ll never have access to, it is mahogany panelled, suited and titled, a secret ceremony of boys club control. Do you sit sweating in the dark waiting for a grimy hand to break your window locks, whilst the white-collar criminal has your password, confidence and handshake? Are you stopped and searched, tagged and DNA tested, young, black and suspect? Are you that loathsome single mum, benefits cheat, immigrant, all gold teeth and grabbing hands scourge of the Daily Mail outraged, we fought the war, we pay our taxes! Are you dreadlocked and dropped out, drugged up and dead-eyed, angry and on the frontline of a culture war you’ll never win; this is not your society, you can’t afford a voice Swampy. This is your Nation, humane, but confused, ailing but growing. Centre of an old world, a relic, broke, rebranding and channel changing, afraid but with eyes fixed on the future.