Acid rain was big in the eighties
Do you remember acid rain?
Growing up with that fear,
lakes full of coke bottles,
rain falling and shearing the sheep,
saving those hill-farmers
not one but two jobs!
Acid rain never fell for me,
never burnt my face off
to let me watch it
wash down the drains,
carried off from my
So many things these eyes
haven't seen! Bergen,
the egrets and gosshawks
of western Finnmark,
the roving lout of a Rasmussen
through the eyes of a schoolgirl.
Or LA, which is all we thought
would be left to escape to,
back in the eighties.
That's what heydays do to you!
Fill you up with thoughts of the end,
then make you old while you wait for it.
When did the Economy start? Anybody know?
When did the economy start?
Did the invisible hand creep
round some door, turn the hands
on some clock, and get things started?
Did Adam or Locke cock up?
Forget to place the ad in the gazette,
too thick in the head, bellies and heads
fat on tulips and the French weakness?
Some say it was Robespierre:
they say he slipped it in
with the first thermidore
and no-one dared look him in the eye.
You'd have thought Napoleon
might have said "who's that raising up?"
But the talk was that his little lad
was giving him panic and he missed it.
You can be on an island, say Corsica,
Say illyria, say Jamaica, haha!
Anywhere there's sea and a little sand
the economy will have washed up there
and you know someone, some curious
little gobshite, will have scooped it up,
swallowed it whole, and shat it
all over town to get over the flavour.
Maybe that's how it started?
An infestation, what you got down your shirt?
Fuck, the economy, yeah that's here now,
no turning the clock back old boy.
What does a pearl look like from the inside out, anyway?
The whole dirty cosmos
spreading out like that.
Not like a picnic blanket,
in the fuggy final days of summer,
covering the prickly earth.
And not like a picture frame,
holding something precious
for a small number
of somebodies to see.
As a child you could wonder,
could I strap on a jet pack
and fly outside of everything,
see how thick the edges are?
But as you get older,
and learn the realities,
like human propulsion,
like dumb evolution,
that power on LED lights
can't blink on your arm
in the outer quadrant
of infinity because
you are stuck here,
in finity. It's where
you can see only see
the facade of the atom,
and recognise the facile
wish of wanting to look
back through your own eyes.
Things don't look the same
on the inside as the outside.
It can take you well into
your adult years to learn that one,
even with the help of 16C lobotomists
and well-judged assumptions:
you may as well ask what a pearl
looks like from the inside out, anyway.
she spends twenty minutes
with the airbrush
she's pretty as a picture,
pixel perfect –
Spam I am
Just woke up in a can
with a horrible realisation:
I've always been made of spam.
told me as a child,
parents must have kept it
As their own quick-fry secret.
At least I'm a child of my age.
Advertise me with morning TV tat,
make sure that font's Cooper Black.
Metababe II: Reprisal
When Adam clean
pulled me out of the earth
and man-handled me
into the function and form
of an image reborn:
was he working
to a coded pattern
embedded in heaven?
Was every hair on eyebrow and toe
downloaded to his dexterous nodes?
What tools did he use
to make me so?
Fine-tooth combs, sponges and spoons
only offer human detail
but they'll never be pixel-perfection
will they? Everyone knows
you need laser printers
and those magical cad/cam machines
to fashion the Eiffel Tower in 3D
– you can't fudge it
and hope no-one notices.
No, the Kingdom of Heaven
here on earth will not be a replica
for these very reasons.
Clearly Adam just made the best of it.