The Future


So on Saturday I did my first show in Brighton Fringe 2014 – not Moonshine (which is coming up on Thursday), but Poets – SLASH – MCs at the Spiegeltent. This was some kind of twist on the annual Poets vs MCs showdown which takes place every January, and it was a very entertaining (if unusual) event. At the end, I had to ‘battle’ legendary (and slightly terrifying) poet Rosy Carrick, which I think went quite well, although she did compare me to “some kind of unholy combination of Worzel Gummage and a brunette Boris Johnson”. And that was before the battle even started. I’d like to think I gave as good as I got, leading the crowd in a sing-along misspelling her name (know thy enemy). Although I think my favourite bit was the compliment-off, where the usual cusses were cast aside in one big poetry-rap love-in. If it wasn’t slightly creepy it would have been touching. The show kicked off with a spat between seagulls and pigeons (for reasons I never quite figured out), and I spent much of the day before making this seagull hat. Someone actually asked me “where I’d got it from”, which seemed to imply that there’s a shop somewhere selling badly-glue-gunned seagull caps. If only that was the case. Whilst my ‘battle rhyme’ was perhaps far too punctuated with doggerel to ever have a place on a Serious Poetry Blog, I’m quite pleased with my seagull poem. And here it is.

The Future

You were the future once
Bold brandishers of tuna sandwiches and chips
You stride beaches and pathways
In daylight
Lording it over the lords of the air

On rooftops we shriek our battle cry
Watching the sun dip like an oiled plum
Into a buttery sea

The town is ours
The city is an abandoned whelk stall
Your bin liners are tender prey
Your saturday morning lie-in
As we proclaim mastery
Of everything we survey

The day we learn teamwork
Is judgement day
Your snatched sandwich punctured
Like an archduke from history
An alfresco lunch crackles in the air
Becoming a long-forgotten concept from mythology

No-one owns seagulls
You are an albatross
Draped around your own neck
Like a mantle of leg-iron

Breakfast is over now
Tiffin is over
Dinner is over
Supper is over
Midnight feasts in the Andersen Shelter

The future is white, glossy, feathered
The future stalks streets and rooftops
The future is a descending fish
Skewered before it hits the ground
The future is an iron-clad umbrella
The future is our left-overs this time
The future is murder

Look to your dustbins, mankind
A new dawn has arrived
And the gulls reign supreme

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