Saturday, September 24, 2011

451. Changing Courses

It’s not a thing you think much about
unless your pride, for some reason,
is affronted: somebody pushes you
in a cinema queue, your girlfriend dumps you
and this unreasoning rage overwhelms you
and you want to kill. You are quite capable of killing.
This is what governments depend upon
in times of war. It is so easy to get young men
to kill one another with bombs and bayonets.

DNA, nurture, toilet training.
Most of all schooling, I think.
We bash one another on the rugby pitch
with sheer delight in bone-crushing tackles,
smashing into people we were talking to
yesterday evening over tea and biscuits
in a genuine effort to break bones or cause
permanent disabilities: my dear chap, so sorry.
It’s just the sort of thing one does, you see.

The weak go under and the strong survive,
trailing their knuckles along the ground
along the raked driveways of carefully assorted pebbles.
The worst of them go into the Army or Navy
and the rest of us open discos or restaurants.
I jest. We go into Law or the City or Business
or become one-hit super rock musicians
to die then wretchedly of an overdose in Battersea
or some other such unspeakable place.

One should actually live in the river, not to be north or south of it.

The Irish, I have been reliably told, make jokes about us,
far more clever (damn them!) than the witless Scots,
and as for the Welsh, I rather shudder to mention them:
they live off there in the West, muttering among themselves
in some unintelligible jargon, shooting dark looks here and there,
and pretending to be rather clever, if you please.
I don’t know what this country is coming to, I must say
it has changed a great deal since I was a British Bulldog,
huffing, puffing and running about, doing rather senseless things

Which is the essence of being English. These bloody Celts!
I wish they had packed up and departed when we arrived,
But oh, no! Oh no no. They insisted on outlasting their welcome.
Dagger in the back as soon as you look at them, the knaves!
Rather fetching women (rather!) some catchy little tunes,
but no sense of propriety, none, no savoir de faire.
They insisted on all those idiotic battles with their antique weapons
along with the howling of their bagpipes like quarreling cats.
My dear, the noise, the noise! There were times one could feel quite unwell.

My ancestor’s advice was to murder the lot of them, man woman and child.
Sound, solid reasoning. It would have become a green and pleasant land
full of happy cheerful Englishmen with all the local vermin removed:
alas, this was not to be. This poxy island will sit next to us forever
with its breezy informality, its diddly-ai silly music, its disrespect,
its archaic alternative view of history.

Friday, September 23, 2011

450. Yesterday's Typhoon

Nothing …
means nothing compared to the rain
as it comes slashing through like artillery,
as it comes bending and breaking trees and bushes,
invading unclosed doors, hopping, hopping angrily.

Is this, like, serious?

Jumping into the car, dodging falling branches,
I feel the wheels getting lifted off the road.
God, how I love a good typhoon! You think
how the hell people manage to die until it suddenly,
O Christ, nearly happens to you. A gust of wind
hurls the car across the road into the track of a truck
which bleats and moans and avoids by inches.
Sancta Maria! That was a close one.

Maybe try to go home?
Home, when you get there, is battened down.
Storm shields come out like the Second World War
and every window and door is sealed. We know
that a lot of people die in typhoons. I used to think
that was bad luck, getting caught in the open, but what
the hell can you do when your house gets blown away?

Wave a British Passport :
(don’t laugh, these idiots BELIEVE!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

449. The Emigrant's Letter

I left Ireland, not in the least unwillingly,
First at the canter and then at the gallop,
Not for boring blah-blah economic reasons,
No, to get away from the women! Hang about,
And you’d end up married to one of them!
Look at my cousins. Look at everyone! Well, don’t.
If it’s cash you’re after you’d still go to America.
Stands to reason: Hong Kong with English only.
And all you need is to play golf and be White
And stand up when they play their silly songs
And thump your chest and say, God’s Own Country!
They’re such hypocrites themselves, they’ll never never
Call your bluff. It’s a fuckin doddle, so it is.
Downside is, they’re always having a war on the go
Which is how the real money comes rolling in.
But never never never go on the fiddle with taxes.
Pay them off, they’ll leave you blissfully alone.
It’s so simple, dear God, it’s almost a crime.
Me, I went to Japan. Are you cracked or what?
I remember being asked that, almost continuously,
By tubby balding idiots with spritely Irish wives.
Spritely. Sweet weeping Jesus. Assay a bashful grin,
Nibble at the rock-hard scone, don’t spit out the tea,
And hope the pub stays open. Some pub is always open.
Think of Osaka. Think of Yasuko and Sanae, Michiko,
Akane, Sachiko, Rie, Rieko, Masako, Mari, Tomoko, Tomoe!
You can get a hard-on just from reciting their names.
So svelte and slim, so smooth-skinned, so non-Catholic!
So entirely free from sin. Sin? We say bad manner.
You should come back home, boy, and settle down!
Get away from me, yeh baldy fuckin clown,
I can think of three hundred reasons and more
For leaving Dublin Town.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

447. Dublin Rambler Slide Show

This is the Long Version, pretty much chronological (as the pics were taken). It is breezy, cheerful, disconcerting, jumpy, sometimes funny, at times discombobulating ... much as the City itself!

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