Zombie Land (third draft)

October 13, 2012

Beatrix Potter won’t potter anymore
she’ll simply drag her feet and moan,

Peter Rabbit’s caught in the head lights,
one of big ears, ears is gone.

The day the zombies came to town
everyone pretended they’d gone away,

Tom and Jerry went to heaven
and then came back
in one of fifty
shades of grey.

The shopping centres are imploding,
the library’s surrounded,
the gallery’s closed,

pound shops are glowing
with electrical silence,
the ward is a crime scene,
blood on the walls.

The day the zombies came to town
they came wearing dresses and suits of grey,
they came absent minded with sleep in their sachels,
reaching out arms with sledgehammer grace.

One Nation, relation
Dizrali migration,
we’re in it together,

the zombies said.

We’re changing Britain,
the plan’s been written
and everyone’s in it
alive or dead.

The zombies of Fleet Street are coming to get you.
The zombies of High Street are laying you low.
Zombies in the home and zombies in the city.
Zombies in the closet, zombies on the news.

The zombies of parliament are slack jawed and mumbling
The zombies are pacing the corridors of law
The dead things have risen, to feed on the living

a necessary sacrifice
in times of austerity
a forfeit of many
to provide for the few.

The zombies are walking into the theatre
The zombies are stumbling into the school
The zombies are taking an axe to the bus stop
and they want their pound of flesh from you.

Christopher Rob-n
has lost an eye.

Squirrel Nutkin’s
skinned alive.

Jemima’s gone mad
but the refuge is gone.

Consumers are massing.
The zombies are sacking.
The benefits are lacking
and work, is scarce.

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There’s Peroxide bleach,
and potential for blindness
and the smell,
and the itching,
poisoned dress,
Medea’s shower-cap.

Then the complementary tea
and the forced entertainment;
holidays, relationships,
hair care maintenance

and the actual burning
the sensation of depilation
the ready supply of Vanity Fair
New Woman, Cosmopolitan.

Then there’s the taking of
blow dried brilliance
for blow job-tastic:

“Hey Pinky, Hey Pinky”
called from a car
“I’ve seen you on the internet”

and the promiscuous,
girly,
child like,
deviant,
dangerous,
drug addicted
political
vegan

the beaureaucratic noting
of communistic tendencies,
at the quarterly review
woven in hairpins.

From my Uncle in Dachau
to my white haired Barbie.
From Hungary to Switziland.
Auschwitz to Acid.

Platinum Bomb shells
to Great Aunt Barishka.

From Russia with love
to Ursula Andres.

From toner to silver.
From cracked to Catwomen

Through my hair
I am exploring my roots.

It’s taken me hours
to paint them sienna.

And I’m not splitting ends but

Delilah, Madonna,
Marilyn Monroe,
Mother Teresa.

Frieda Carlo
meets Lady Gaga,
Simone de Beauvoir,
women are not born
they are made.

I’m sending letters
to Uncle Zoltan

from icy tips
down darkened paths.

I’m sending postcards
to Grandma Ily, Edith Piaf,
I’m posting reports from the other side.

Peroxide Bleach and X men Heroines,
Polar Bears and razing follicles.

First wave, second wave
Perm mutation,
Feminist, Post Feminist,
Lap dance, Prom Queen,

I’m so confused
I’ve turned into snow
in a vain attempt
to exit the show.

Third wave, new wave
Perm mutation
Post, Post Feminist
Prom Queen Fascist

I’m dying my hair
while I still have the leisure.

One day soon
I’ll be old and grey.

I’ll die my hair
a shade of fuchsia.

The lights are on, inside the homes
I’m making calls to office phones.

I’m trying to make the right move
.com I’m in the groove.

My heart’s a stove,
my head’s a loft,

my dreams are full
of open plans.

My body aches
I’m in a state –

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings…

It’s Saturday night
and I’m on the computer
tapping in miles
and punching in details.

I’m looking for a match
like a kiss from a rose,
a spacious townhouse
like a picture book pose.

I’d like a garage
with a garden
and a room with a view,
an aga in the kitchen,
and a cellar
with a pool.

Forget about the fact
I’ve got the budget for a terrace.

Forget about the mortgage.
Forget about the credit.

Forget about the houses.
Forget about the moving –

I might as well face it,
I’m addicted to viewings…

“And here is the hallway,
here is the kitchen,
this is the master,
here is the boxroom.

Here is the box room
with all it’s potential,
you could fit a double bed
in any direction…

Ah, you’ve noticed the flooring –
yes sorry about that,
the yard’s overlooked
by 15 flats…

It’s a south facing lounge
with the view of a wall,
it’s an investment property
so best not stall!”

And I’m writing down numbers,
got a hobby like a habit,
got property porn
like bats in the attic.

“Conveniently placed”

means near somewhere better.

“Attractively presented”,
recently painted.

It’s a “popular suburb”
so expect overcrowding

“A comfortable home”,

adjust expectations.

“Ideal, for first time buyers”,

so you couldn’t swing a poodle there.

“Original flooring”,

will need renovation.

“A traditional property”,
there are vertical stairs.

But it’s something about the way
you can peruse the unfamiliar.
Something about the way
you meet so many people.

Something about the way
a Victorian fireplace looks so lovely in Spring –

I might as well face it
I’m addicted to viewings.

I’ve been bitten by the bug.
I’m a mainlined search.
I’m browsing all night.
I can barely work.

I’m glued to the glass of
estate agent windows,
clicking and ringing
and doing the Limbo.

I’m visiting lounges
vacated of sofas,

walking through walls
of a stranger’s photos.

If I ever bought a place
I’d just have to move.

I might as well face it,
yes I might as well face it,
I might as well face it –

I’m in love with the looking,
I’m addicted to viewings.

Liming One (new draft)

November 3, 2011

As she removes the lid

from a biscuit tin,

the man from Manchester

is standing by the sink.

As she steeps tea

and she stirs sugar,

he hangs about the hallway

flickers in the bathroom.

As she places two cups

and settles back,

like someone returning

from a busy bar,

somewhere in the hallway

a veranda unfolds.

She stirs with a spoon

the view of an ocean.

Talking like breathing

we’re sitting with tea cups,

we’re speaking darjeeling,

earl grey and assam.

I describe the walk

and the stopping for milk,

she conjures umbrellas,

hangs some silk.

And the Rasta from the hills

lights up a spliff,

the man from Edinburgh

wants to move in,

the guy from Bar Roma,

now says, he has a wife,

the teacher from Cambridge

remains oddly quiet.

We wind our talk

across a distant beach,

double back,

read leaves.

We drink tea

cup after cup.

No more dark bars.

No more dark rum.

We drink tea
cup after cup
We lime in her kitchen,

Calypso, with mugs.

We drink tea
and the moon folds up
We kick off our shoes

dance on a rug,


and the Rasta by the kettle,

teacher by the jug

Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
Polly put the kettle on,
we’ll all have tea.

Particles

September 26, 2011

It was after the Tottenham Riots

and after the trouble at work,

after the death of the singer

and the dancing, at the carnival.

The day after she came back home

we drank tea in her kitchen

poured from a saucepan.

We walked down her quiet street

leaves heaped
against the paving stones.

We ate lunch, lemonade and cups of tea.
We talked about the weather in the Midlands,

light collected round our feet.

It was the day after they discovered

that time travel might be possible –

the day after the man
had said so, on the news.

We were sat there in her kitchen,

drinking tea, poured from a saucepan
the day after particles

broke every rule.

September 25, 2011

It was after the Tottenham Riots
and after the trouble at work,
after the cuts, and Libya, Syria,
the death of the singer
the dancing at the carnival.

The day after she came back home
we drank tea in her kitchen
poured from a saucepan
boiled on a stove.

We walked down her quiet street.

Small leaves, heaped into crevices.

It was the day after they discovered

that time travel might be possible.
We ate lunch, lemonade and cups of tea.
Light pressed in against the windows.

We sat there in her kitchen.
It was after the heat
and the turning

the day after particles
broke every rule.

Second Draft

September 25, 2011

It was after the Tottenham Riots

and after the trouble at work,
after the cuts, and Libya, Syria,
the death of the singer
the dancing at the carnival.

The day after she came back home

we drank tea in her kitchen

poured from a saucepan

boiled on a stove.

We walked down her quiet street.

Small leaves, heaped into crevices.

It was the day after they discovered


that time travel might be possible.
We ate lunch, lemonade and cups of tea.
Light pressed in against the windows.

After the deaths and the riots,
as we sat there in her kitchen,
small hands, dark hair,

the day after particles

broke every rule.

Botticelli

February 20, 2011

He sketched my hip like a line of horizon.
He painted a wash like the tide coming in.
He painted my back like a swept away sand dune.
He painted my feet, like a couple of wings.

I took off my clothes like a jigsaw puzzle
like a Russian doll, piece by piece.
I folded my skirt with a lacy tussle.
I kicked off my shoes like a flight of geese.

He was my Botticelli
my first and my last.
He was my Vulcan and Adonis
my Jupitar and Mars.

He was my man in the moon.
My man on the beach.
My off-stage lover.
My left behind after-image.

Graduation

November 28, 2010

I wore the silly hat
the gown was like a habit

the ceremony went for hours
I clapped after every certificate.

My mother drank
5 glasses of free champagne

my tea-total father even had one
to be sure of getting his moneys worth

We went for lunch in a tiny restaurant
French flags and brisk waiters

My mother cried
too much wine
we talked about religion

We talked about anorexia
and white fish and old attics
diners listened over soup
a couple smiled
as they passed our table.

There was snow all the way
as we drove back home

I slept on a rug
in front of a fire.

I dreamt of reading
and frozen poems

and paper scrolls
and icy tires.

I want to be a bear:

a dense white house of a Polar Bear –
hunkered down on an icy lake,
with my back
like a carpet coated snowed on roof
and my paws –
folded underneath my ball
of a head.

I want to think of fish
and seals
and where to find
the thinnest panes
of ice.

I want to be a Polar Bear
that does not think
of emails –

or spreadsheets,
or diaries,
or applications
to various charitable bodies.

A Polar Bear
with a large black nose
like a bowl of tar
and half closed eyes
and no fingers
to type with.

I want to be a Polar Bear
that will never need clothes
but always feel warm.

I want my fur to stink
of sweat and musk
and blood and the north

and for it to be thick
and long and coarse
and for Immac –
to be irrelevant.

I want to be a Polar Bear
with black rubber skin
and a weight problem –
that is not
a weight problem;
heavier than a four by four and
capable of crushing cars.

I want to be a Polar Bear
that can run faster
than an Olympic Sprinter,
that will show up late
at the London Olympics
and savage
all of the contestants –
and destroy the podium
and smother the flame
and who the army
won’t be able to contain
or put down
for rampaging.

I want to be a Polar Bear

I want to weigh 1000 pounds
and be eleven feet tall

I want to speak in the language
of blood and snow
and guts and storms.

I want to be a bear
and not to care
about the 7 signs
of cosmetic aging.

I want to be a Polar Bear.
I don’t want to type emails.
I want to have webbed feet.