Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Stuff 2

Alarm Clock Briton

I sit by the harbour
and I wake in bed cursing the moment
when I realised I could set any tune on my phone
as my alarm clock noise, and my own laziness

for never changing it after
our summer trip to Whitby,
where we ate breakfast in the Caedmon Cafe,
poky, basic, vaguely disappointing
(so appropriately named after a poet),

wondering if Raoul Moat would be shot
or Shakineh Astani would be stoned,
lying in a four-poster bed,
in a courtyard hotel, with sun
streaming in through the nets,
and Julianne Regan singing Martha’s Harbour
seemed perfect to wake up to there,

but now, on working mornings in the winter depths,
dark outside and cold beneath the duvet,
Julianne’s voice has become the soundtrack
to my oppression, a reminder that I am
a galley slave, my love,
in the trireme of late capitalism,
and the nearest thing to freedom
is a fumble for the snooze button
and ten minutes of half-sleep wondering
if I’ll have time to shower or shave,

deciding to do neither, fuck it, take an extra ten
then drag my filthy self to work,
this isn’t BO, this is olfactory terrorism,
propaganda of the smell,
and I hope that it gets up your executive nose
as much as your anal timekeeping rules
are a pain in my arse,

and I somehow make it to the bus stop,
start reading my tweets in the queue,
and find that fucking dickhead, Clegg,
is saying how much he admires

What does that Westminster posh-boy know
about the hopelessness of waking in the dark
before another day of toiling for a boss
that you think is a twat,
every minute of the working day
a betrayal of all your ideals,
a punch in the face from a pair of brass knuckles
sculpted to form the word compromise?

Probably quite a lot actually,
but a deaf guy in a Chilean mine
could hear the dog-whistle he’s making,
same as that crap about curtains closed all day,
demonise the disabled, the unemployed,
the casualties of a neoliberal war
on the idea of universal human dignity,
the notion that you can be worth something
other than a salary, an arsehole’s idea of Sparta,

where you can throw people out to die
and still be the hero, turning beings into burdens,
and we all know where that leads,
the first Nazi posters showed ‘cripples’, not Jews,
and I wonder how far Alarm Clock Britain really is
from Kinder-Kirche-Kuche-land,
and I wonder who the next group will be
in Nick’s purely-rhetorical crosshairs:
trans people who cost the NHS less
than it takes to lance one boil on Thatcher’s arse,
old people who’ll be told that Dignitas
is the only way to ease the 'pension time-bomb'
that’s ticking like the clock that Clegg’s so fond of?
Asian men or long-haired ex-English teachers
with a ‘creepy’ taste for poetry?

And the Nescafe turns sour in my stomach,
I gag to keep my bolted cornflakes down,
and I hate that scheming right-wing scum
are trying to say that getting out of bed
puts me on their side somehow,
when it’s only rage against their fucking world
that stops me staying on my arse forever,
and I realise that I have to change my tune
Julianne’s acoustic melodies will have to be replaced,
and tomorrow morning, I vow that I’ll wake
to a voice shouting Fuck you,
I won’t do what you tell me.

                                                                     *    *   *
Nick Clegg can kiss my fucking snooze button.

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