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

paul summers

the sleeper wakes

 

 

it is almost

inaudible

 

drown out

by the drone

 

of our shopping

channel juicers

 

the bleat of our trauma

our narcissist blurt

 

the quiet slaughter

of the fattened poor

 

*

 

welcome

to my kingdom

 

to the fag-end

of its progress

 

a slow-mo flash-fire

of bubbling tar

 

consuming the fibres

of jaundiced filters

 

 

this autumn air

our breath incendiary

 

we live off fear

& borrowed hate

 

*

 

& nothing

will grow

 

in the shadow

of our romance

Paul Summers was born in Northumberland but has been living in tropical central Queensland for the last four and a half years. A founding editor of the magazines Billy Liar and Liar Republic, he has written extensively for TV, film, radio and the theatre. His books include Cunawabi, The Rat’s Mirror, The Last Bus, Vermeer’s Dark Parlour, Big Bella’s Dirty Cafe and Three Men on the Metro (with Andy Croft and Bill Herbert). His most recent poetry collections are union, primitive cartography and straya (all published by Smokestack Books). He lives in North Shields.

*

 

way off-camera

beyond the reach

 

of news cycles

& investigative minds

 

the death toll is rising

the body count grows

 

bruised hearts

& airless lungs

 

clogged arteries

& petrified tongues

 

passion corroded

empathy eroded

 

asphyxiated dreams

statistics & lies

 

& god is dead

the faithful fucked

 

their currency

devalued or defunct

 

our father. oh father

grant us each day

 

our daily pills

our snidey tabs

 

our red-tops

& the strongest drink

 

our multipack crisps

our poundshop ket

 

our smack & crack

our coke & skunk

 

deliver us our bargain hunt

& the great british bake-off

 

imprison us with labels

cage us in our minds

we live off fear

& borrowed hate

 

i will smear my cell

with dogma & lard

 

unleash a plague

of thankless hope

 

*

 

it is almost

inaudible

 

through the drone

of this chatter

 

the movement of traffic

the transit of hours

 

the rumble of hunger

the hiss of the rain

 

the dirge of defeat’s

monotonous refrain

 

dürer’s horsemen

braying at the door

 

the quiet slaughter

of the fattened poor