facing up to facts ; my god what have i done
uninvented the wheel
mislaid a chocolate orange ;
spilt sump oil on paper;
found still life in plaster cast
contorted red onion; wearing no knickers
show house trial ordeal;
Post morteM Queries squirrels
(part of a
series they say; poor old dearies
battle it out hard at war;
halcyon daze escapes them;
hangs 'em up high
in the fatuous sun,
no point quibbling over timespace;
escape to the as was suntrap shed on
sleepy rusty wheels; heliotropic heads turn
waltzers ship alight
fandango with a gypsy melody;
lights on no ones in
did you get in the bin and
prod the lazy daisies;
neither toil nor sow these days;
shell shock of the toe I guess; either the way what's new?
uncross your legs when I'm talking to you
your making the place look tidy & that's quite enough
of that they say if you don't use it you lose it
so that doesn't matter if you suss you never had it
in the first place Listen to me I'm talking to you
who shut down the voices they were my only friends
I do not have a mobile phone as I am static
funny five minutes get over it
think about Portsmouth beating a villain
don't cross your legs I said as if you were watching telly
downstairs day in day out self medicated to the spot or doodling
in your picture books and playing with your paintset
this is an almighty kick up the ass I am you giving while trying not
to cross your legs like I said not to...
I arrive in early January. Frustration has been building up
in Portsmouth since the brief burst of anticipation
that followed Myrtle Swinburne's assumption of the
presidency in November.
As the months went on and no obvious changes took place,
as unemployment failed to fall and the currency swung wildly,
the urban areas in particular grew increasingly angry.
My mate Marmite, who works
for an international organisation in Shiloh, said
head riots were predicted before the end of the rainy season.
The rainy season ends in April. The city didn’t even make it close.
Portsmouth was both bully and victim, cruel and pitiable.
He whipped his horses mercilessly, and sometimes his underlings too.
He tortured his oxen, knocking them on their heads
with an axe he had made specially for that purpose,
and roaring with laughter when they bellowed in agony.
Sticking frogs with the prong of a fork was another of his pastimes.
Domestic servants he disliked were held down and forced to drink beer
mixed with jalap and mustard, while others were fed with nothing
but water-gruel and mustard for a week.
He threw himself on one of his coachmen
with such force that he broke the man’s leg.
If a child who passed him in the street did not raise his hat,
Portsmouth would order him to be slain.
When the United Irish rebellion of 1798
raged around his Wexford estates, he wrote to an uncle
that his tenants had been appropriately slaughtered
and his estate laid to waste.
All he seems to have cared about, however,
was the impact of the loss of rent on his finances,
which he used as an excuse for not helping his uncle
out with a gift of money. From an Irish viewpoint,
the Portsmouths were archetypal absentee landlords,
a phenomenon that would contribute a century or so later
to the ousting of that class from its
dominant position in the country.