Nation of the UNMARLED

On the first day

 

An inconsequential man

completely unremarkable

couldn’t be less emphatic.

By the kindest people’s standards

he might as well be dead

slept for fourteen weeks

then woke up in his bed.

Sits up, folded at ninety degrees

arms in the air, mouth wide open

sucking up the dust like

a whale shark sucks plankton.

 

He sits there until the sun gives up

waiting for something unknown

unstirred, at a perfect right angle

his joints forgot what they were for.

You’d doubt he’d ever change his ways

but he might.

 

On the second day

 

His body starts to move

listen to the creaking and clicking

as he unlocks his unremarkable

skeleton, a stalk of oxygenated blood

And muscle. The whole vessel revives.

Brain and body ready to fuck the world,

kill it, or at least run away from it.

 

“I am the UNMARLED man.”

Gets out of bed without making it

leaves his boring flat

marches down the street

with that UNMARLED look in his eyes.

Finds a large Government Building

sits down in front of it, at a right angle

hands in the air, goes sharky again,

mouth sucking in the urban particulates.

7 times worse than smoking a cigarette

but for the moment he does not care.

Leers at the receptionist through the window

as she rummages through the files

on a Government Computer.

 

Unlikable security guards appear,

in their serious Government Uniforms.

Can’t get a word out of him, so they pick

him up and throw him down the road.

 

He freezes, everyone thinks he’s homeless

but soon he will be revived again.

 

On the third day

 

Creak, creak. Ventricles fire UNMARLED blood

through the arteries, the UNMARLED Man

gets up and plunges through the market

leg after leg, looking like he wants it.

Battering through the bodies, the perfect skittles throw

crashes into a melon stand on purpose,

Melonskulls crushed and split on the cobbled

market floor with the labels and pieces of cardboard.

The melon man is not angry, but intrigued.

“Look at me. You are now UNMARLED.”

And with that the man sat on the floor,

90 degrees, arms, mouth, shark….

“Come with me. Bring your melons.”

They walked through the market

dumbfounded faceless civilians.

Nothing was said and all eyes stare at the UNMARLED,

The crowd step back, giving them their

own path, like they were war-lords

returning from a long and historic victory.

 

On the fourth day

 

Outside the Government building

the UNMARLED sit, this time- with melons.

Sitting together facing the glass. Unmoved.

The receptionist lady sighs, she can’t find her file

so she sits down at the desk, sees what’s outside.

Realises she’s UNMARLED, switches her

computer off at the button, and wanders out.

Joins the pair, and sits, like them,

With melons, becoming then,

staring through Government Glass.

The security guards don’t last long,

They throw their ID badges down the drain.

 

After hours, the Original UNMARLED man turns to

all, and cries “we are the UNMARLED, throwing Melons!”

and with that they were thrown, they smashed against

the building, melon flesh and water falling down the panes.

The siege lasted 9 hours. Melons were restocked faster

than they could be catapulted and thrown.

The building defaced, humiliated, crying melon juice tears.  

The UNMARLED growing in numbers, faster and faster.

Men, women and children of UNMARLED.

 

On the fifth day

 

It’s all getting out of hand now.

A scruffy man, desperate, losing the will to breathe

arrives at the automatic doors, hands up,

He’s practised his speech, he greets the UNMARLED

falls to his knees. “Let us go! You can have our building!

Please! I am unmarled, just like you!”

The UNMARLED did not like the way he talked

the way he dressed, the way he moved, or his face.

“This man is not UNMARLED. Show no mercy!”

they stoned him to death with cantaloupes,

stampeded over the body, and bundled through the doors.

Government Bodies pleaded to be spared, but

All were torpedoed and rocketed by the watery fruits

(it takes a long time to kill somebody with a melon)

and cast from the windows, to be discarded in the rivers.

 

On the sixth day

 

After the fighting and the capture of the building,

the original UNMARLED man, washed the melon off his

clothes and climbed the stairs and stood on the balcony

facing the thousands of UNMARLED. All sat at 90 degrees

hands in the air, mouth open sucking in each other’s

UNMARLED breath. As he began to speak,

the flag of the UNMARLED was pitched on the roof.

 

“We are the UNMARLED men, women and children.

We have taken the building

we have taken the city

we have taken the GOVERNMENT,”

It couldn’t have been less spectacular.

 

On the seventh day

 

Nothing but, absolutely nothing but

 

Nation of the UNMARLED.

 

A Creative Writing Seminar

 

So basically I was in this creative writing seminar. Everyone was reading their poems about things and the lecturer was commenting on how sick we were at poetry and stuff occasionally and we were all handing out sheets of paper with our poems on them to the class and writing things on them if we felt that that was a necessary thing to do.

“I particularly liked the metaphor about (insert metaphor). That was a tremendous image, it really was,” the lecturer might say about someone’s poem.

“Yeah that was really good actually,” someone else might have said.

A guy called Dave who always wore burgundy Superdry clothes had to read his poem. I really didn’t like Dave’s poetry, because it was a bit depressing and sometimes a bit pretentious.

 

We marched together, like imperial soldiers

your arm round mine, tied to my ulna like rope

up the mountains, as if Ben Nevis was only a hill

and you were my perfect future. 

 

“Nice one Dave,” we all said.

One student covered her eyes with her hand in order to conceal a tear which had escaped from her face.

“Are you okay?” the lecturer asked Hannah.

“I’m fine! I’m fine!”

“It was a very touching poem,” the lecturer conceded.

“I’m fine! Fine!” she said, endeavouring to cover her face now more than ever- which had turned vermillion.

She was probably fine. She just had an extremely personal connection with heartfelt verses, such as the ones that Dave produced every week, that was all.

“Thank you Dave. Thank you very much.”

Dave smiled to himself and put his pen in his mouth feeling a bit satisfied with himself and also a bit like Sartre. It was my turn to read a poem now. Which one should I read? errrm errrm errrrm errrrm…

As I was deciding, I saw the lecturer withdrawing a pouch of Golden Virginia from his pocket. I decided to read the one about the depressed squid that I’d been working on for a few weeks.

Then the lecturer pulled out a pack of King-sized rizzla.

 

I float through Sea, I float through the salty water

like an octopus (but I am actually a giant squid)

 

“Sorry to interrupt James, does anybody have a train ticket or something? Making a roach you see.”

“Yeah sure,” Caroline handed the lecturer a train ticket (rather obsequiously). Everyone fancied the lecturer to a certain extent.

“Thanks. Do continue James,” the lecturer said as he effortlessly crafted the perfect roach.

 

I plunge through the darkness, propelled

like an extra-terrestrial missile, armed only

with my tentacles of cruelty and contempt. 

 

I looked over to my lecturer who had now ground some weed and was gently dispersing it across the tobacco, until there was little left to see within the paper but a thick blanket of powdery light green leaves. The smell of haze spread across the room like a friendly cloud. I continued…

 

I have an eye that is too big, and terrifies everyone.

Why do I move in bursts, why do I buffer through the sea?

I don’t belong here. I am depressed.

The class showered me with applause.

“Wow James that was probably your best yet I reckon,” one said.

“I loved the buffering. Squids do move like that!” said another.

“I love the way you portray depression as a thing that affects creatures as well as human beings,” another.

“You’re a genius James.”

“Thanks,” I smiled.

There was a bit of a silence. The lecturer revealed an extremely long and perfectly shaped spliff, removed a key from his pocket and packed the top down nicely. Then he folded the top over, preferring the folded approach to the twisted one. We all know that the folded approach is the more sophisticated, and that the lecturer had definitely made the right decision there. The lecturer tapped the finished product on the table and held it between two knuckles.

“Well I have to say James. That was an outstanding poem. How do you come up with stuff like that? You’ll have to tell me some day… anyway in the mean time, I think you’ve deserved it; would you like to do the honours?” the lecturer handed me the spliff and a bright red clipper with a massive yellow smiley face on it.

I lit the spliff and it was really harsh. Then I passed the spliff all the way round and everyone had some.

“Great seminar guys!”

Then we all went home really stoned and wrote a bit more poetry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry: A Caution

Caution: Do not write a boring or sentimental poem.

Caution: Do not use a word processor unless your fountain pen has broken.

Caution: Do not write on papyrus or about papyrus.

Caution: Do not applaud bad poets because they tried.

Caution: Do not read your poem in a voice like you are slowly dying.

Caution: Do not turn up to a spoken word night, read your own mindlessly

self-indulgent verse with unsolicited pride then leave without realising

how much of a cunt you are.

Caution: Do not write a poem without including death at least twice.

Caution: Death.

Caution: Do not read poems about sexuality or gender politics unless you

are convinced you are performing to a group of open-minded fascists. 

Caution: Do not address your poem to the sky.

Caution: Do not address a poem to you unless you want to address me personally.

Caution: Free verse is a bit shit really.

Caution: Do not pretend you ever understand poetry.

Caution: Do not write poetry.