John

John squats in a run-down flat in Duddingston village with no hot water or electricity. He got into Islam through free curries at the mosque, and busks in the Sufi, freestyle Urdu and Scottish traditions, in a circuit around Edinburgh and the Kingdom of Scotland. He has toured as far north as Shetland and as far south as Cape Town. His family pays £100 into his account each week and the rest he makes up with busking. He did try to teach a guy but the guy wouldn’t believe in Allah and his angels so he had to stop. He wants to spend his last years in a studio, recording everything he can, fuelled by ganja, cigarettes, and a big bottle of Jack Daniels.

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I WANNA HEAR A RIGHT-WING POEM

I wanna hear da liberal howls of anguish sliiiiiide through the room
As I give dem anodder
Turn on da spit.

Come to ma family-friendly barbecue event
All dese lovely juicy wealthy white faces strung up togedder and screaming
When dey used to be rhyming along to da Huffington Post as Upworthy bait.

Y’know my modda always got me on her knee and taught me:
If you don’t have anyding worth saying, don’t say anyding at all!

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I want to hear da rumble
                                        tumble
                                                 grumble
                                                 of sweet-scented
                                                                       rose-pink
                                                                                   umbrage!
As you all knock back your heads and take junkies’ breaths on echoes
                                                                                                                                echoes
                                                                                                                                               echoes
                    dat’ll reverberate
and                                    ruminate
and                                    stagnate until da next time when dem echoes
                                                                                                                                echoes
                                                                                                                                               echoes
                                        get up our noses like chilli geckos
See?! I can rhyme similes too!

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I WANNA HEAR A RIGHT-WING POEM
A poem just like da poems of my blessed youth
C’mon, someone’s gotta be willing to channel da spirit of
Rudyard Kipling
T. S. Eliot
Philip Larkin

I wanna hear da trickle
                                        trickle
                                                 trickle of red
                                                                        red wine on da head of Margaret Thatcher
for her anointation at her coronation
        GOD SAVE DA QUEEN!

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I wanna hear a right wing poem!
Gimme a sonnet on free market economics
I’m preaching liberation for da pinstripe suits
As dey swing deir briefcases round
                                                                  and around

Gimme an acrostic
Nobody over da age of 10 writes acrostics any more, and dat’s a stain on our national heritage!
Gimme an acrostic on sound economic policy
And down da side da baby reads
C
O
N
S
E
R
V
A
T
I
V
E

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I wanna hear a right wing poem
I wanna hear da sound again of arteries bursting on stage in unholy
                                                                                                                           unrighteous
                                                                                                                                                  hydraulic rage.
I demand change that we can’t believe in
I feel stifled
Bring me my rifle
I’ll shoot literary pinko pigeons down
                                                                  BANG BANG BANG
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The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money.
The donkeys have stashed our hard earned cash into their new refurbished studio barn apartments
          under their new organic hay mattresses.

They are drinking
single malt fifteen year oak cask thistle whisky
and smoking rhododendron cigars
with our money.

The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
and used it to buy up precious brownfield land and
re-turf it with Lazy Lawn™.
They sit in their plastic field all day
and nibble on cowslip canapés.
Braying idle, wealthy chatter
Meanwhile, house prices continue to skyrocket.
We are living in slums.

The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
and put it into bonds, shares, and circles.
We don’t know what a circle is yet but they seem to be doing well out of it.
          Last week they all bought head massagers.
(Why are donkeys buying head massagers? They have hooves!)
Now they just sit in a pile next to the gym ball they bought with all our money
(Waiting for the day when the donkeys will hire human servants to administer)
(the physical cranial pleasure that comes with taking all our money)

The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
and is using it to fund a trip to Barbados for disadvantaged donkeys.
(What’s the point?)
(I thought they were all disadvantaged.)
They are going to Barbados and drinking long clover ice teas
whilst lying on specially designed donkey-shaped sunbeds
and riding specially designed donkey jet skis
built to order at great expense with our money.

The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
and bathes in honey bought from our hard-pressed bee keepers at exploitative prices.
In the evenings, with our money, they go to the donkey opera
          and the donkey ballet
Inviting professional colleagues from their old work days
to extract special favours.

Nobody is holding the donkey sanctuary to account.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Donkey Sanctuaries puts pat questions to the Chairman of the Board
          as he leans back, fiddles with his long fluffy ears, and narrows his eyes
The donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
and we are out of jobs
nobody needs anyone to print out leaflets any more
or put on charity bake sales
because the donkey sanctuary has taken all our money
(Send help)

It is natural:
for cows to have four stomachs
for male giraffes to pummel their necks together
for spiders to spin webs
for a rat’s teeth to never stop growing
for houseflies to buzz in the key of F
for elephants, humpback wales, and humans to go through menopause
for starfish to expel their stomachs and digest their prey
for sperm whales to eat a ton of food every day
for chameleons, octopus, and arctic hare to change colour
for Bonobos to say hello by fucking each other
for anacondas to have month long orgies/sex contests
for the common smooth-scaled gecko to reproduce without males
for all clown fish to be born male
for birds to build nests, termites to build mounds, and humans to build coal-fired power plants
for at least 90% of cheetah cubs to die
to kill
for swans to mate for life
for female ferrets to die if they can’t find a mate
for female praying mantids to eat their mate
for Black-tailed prairie dogs to kill the offspring of their relatives
for male seahorses to be pregnant
for koalas to have two vaginas
for koalas to have two penises
for many waterbirds to stand on one leg, though scientists still don’t know why
for elephants to mourn the dead
to feel hungry
for Tyrannosaurus Rex to be extinct
for humans to try and bring back wooly mammoths
for humans to interbreed tigers and lions
for puppies to be born blind, deaf, and toothless
for 75% of wild birds to die after 6 months
for frogs to hydrate through their skin
for crocodiles to eat stones
for humans to build cars
for some moose to try and mate with cars
for algae to grow on the back of three-toed sloths
for the spring peeper frog to survive freezing over winter
to love
for bombardier beetles to shoot near boiling toxic spray of their anus as a defence mechanism
for sea cucumbers to expel their internal organs out of their anus as a defence mechanism
for tarantulas to replace their internal organs during moulting
for horned lizards to shoot blood out of their eyes
to hate
for some humans to be born with what they call Down’s Syndrome
for male bees to be turned out of the hives for Winter and be left to die.
for cuckoos to exploit other birds’ labour
to feel remorse

And it is never, ever, ever natural to be gay.

I see you,
Eighty-four white men
staring down at me
in your fur-lined gowns
and white bow ties
From your rows and rows
of elegant black and white frames.
Each with a plaque:
Initials
Surname
Years.

So self-assured, but
not any more
Now you are dead.
Now you are eighty-four dead white men,
and there is nothing
to be so self-assured about,
Is there?

Who were you?
Who were you when you were alive?
Not now that you are dead,
because now that you are dead,
You are nothing.
But who were you?

Debating Union Presidents?
Everyone used to listen to you.
But not any more.
Now no one does,
Because now you are dead.

Actually
probably not all of you are dead.
Some of you are from the 1970s.
And it is statistically improbable for you to all have had fatal car accidents.

I see you
1970s white men
staring down at me
in your fur-lined gowns
and assorted neck ties.

So self-assured
with your thick hair
and large moustaches.

But now those fashions are dead.
Now the fashions you grew on your own face are dead.
And there is nothing to be so self-assured about, is there?

Now you are probably bald,
and whilst you still carry around
the self-assurance of your
Historically privileged status
as a white man who is not dead,

you have already begun to die inside,
and you know it.

Actually,
not all of you are 1970s white men.
One of you is a 1970s black man.
At least I think it’s the 1970s from the shape of your glasses.
It’s hard to tell because the plaque has fallen off.

I see you,
Probably 1970s black man,
in your fur-lined gown and tie.
No one knows your name
because your plaque has fallen off.
No one has bothered to replace it.
For all I know,
You’re probably as dead as the rest of them.

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