Clare Saponia

Waste Disposal

Where is the drive, the imagination, thought, instinct,
self-imposition that gets you to a better place,
a higher plain? What have onlooker’s seen
but savage and stupid, binge-like broken instincts,
toxins with no quick-fix antidote, freak-show-style contestants

cooped up in grim-rimmed chicken grids for homes,
their bladed cages promising sharper, steelier freedoms
beyond and stab at the sleekest glint of self-improvement.
Inevitability is government policy at its most austere, MPs
playing bow and arrow from the glistening turrets of Shitehall.

Social mobility is segregating buses and schoolrooms
and city centres; it’s being granted permission to breathe,
to smell the weed-wrangled breath of your neighbour
on the other side of the wall: his rising damp, your rising damp:
in the soup with asthmatic, nicotine-hungry kids

who are kicked in the head before they know
what disadvantaged is.

Clare Saponia © 2014

[These poems are taken from Clare Saponia's
forthcoming second collection, The Oranges
of Revolution (Smokestack)]

Tahrir – Before the Tambourines

In the stretch from tyranny
there were lists, long and sly;
alligators squeezing out the remnants
of back-splashed teargas, their offspring
tendering batons

and a wrench of rubber bullets
casually raining down in bastard
sound mutinies, mapping out
the swamps of oceanic quicksand:
the challenge of Saracen-plump
assault tanks; of torn, swept-up,
pissed-on squares, of poorly
equipped clash-crowds

with nothing but freedom-speak
on their side, nudging their pride.

They lick the wound of the rule
of law. They aim and fire by
street-strike; unhinge the backbone
of Tahrir vertebrae for vertebrae
in their million-dollar, million-man
marches. They kick the badest

and blackest of bad-arse back-teeth,
a salad of real-life pirates whipping
the brittle with a flat lacquered hand.

It glides over state sceptics with only
solvent credibility; a spill of constitutional
die-hards and sectarian bloods flow
cocktail-smart like a fast-forwarded

pilgrimage. Artillery rounds select

death in thin symmetrical zigzags:
armoured carriers have eaten out
the still panting offal of revolution
amidst a rich mix of lithium-kissed
lies; the potbelly of propaganda
prefers its favourite pre-dinner binge
out of the newspaper. Silence

becomes a veil of dehumanisation,
a sword of guilt; a volley of bullets
and suspended killings interspersed
between stale election sweats:

interim Cabinets with interim love
potions but no remedy. Just bile.
Offshoots. Revisited. Same again.

Clare Saponia © 2014