Militant Thistles

polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"

atos Poor Doors Sheriff Stars spikes

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle bedroom tax Disrupt and Upset

James Fountain

The Catch

 

 

The street sits in the early morning

shallows, the birds mutter insignificances

subtly, as the world gnaws at workers'

consciousnesses, the consequence of choice,

the infinite web of potential regret.

 

The stilled street is regrettable for its quiet,

workers never want to leave their houses

to enter factories where they will be held

all day to earn their pay, as everything

must be paid for, there is no other way.

 

The factory sits on the edge of the highway,

emanating fear and that metallic smell of cogs,

the sense that each worker must perform

his duty, or else pay the penalty of his

livelihood: penury, a fate worse than death.

 

At the end of the day, the work-place siren

sounds its final wailing, and workers celebrate

quietly in their cars driving home, with loan

and credit card payments all in hand, until

the next morning's drive through the gloaming.

James Fountain was born in Hartlepool in 1979 and is currently a lecturer in English Literature at Peterborough Regional College, and recently submitted the first PhD on neglected Scottish modernist poet Joseph Macleod to the University of Glasgow. He has published articles in various literary journals, as well as The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. He recently returned from working in Cambodia and has spent most of the past eight years teaching English there and in the Arabian Gulf. He is now studying to become a journalist. His first collection of poems was Glaciation (2010), and his second collection, The Last Stop, will be available to buy online from original plus press from 1 September 2018. He is author of the autobiographical novel Out of Time (2006).