Teleology, by Jonathan Taylor

The refugees from an Apocalypse yet to happen are flooding through the time-gate in bloodied rags, marked by the Antichrist, trembling from earthquakes, scorched by stars and planets crashing to earth, chewed and spat out by dragons with various heads, nibbled by locusts. Tens of thousands have already perished en route and most who reach […]

Boris’s Holiday by Jonathan Taylor

The only thing they have got to do is clear the dead bodies away. – Boris Johnson, 2017   A skeleton straightens a bow-tie in the hotel mirror behind him. On the beach the bikini undead block his way. He steps over them. Spectral sandcastles are crushed underfoot by ghostly children stampeding into transparent waves. […]

Crap Allegory by Jonathan Taylor

For Stuart We need to talk about the burnt-out tower a fuck-off middle finger raised to gentrification in a rich part of London. We should speak about the burnt-out tower an immigrants’ incinerator blackened by poverty against a bourgeois sky. I want to write about the burnt-out tower how ash rained down in showers onto […]

Oedipus and Tiresias by Jonathan Taylor

After Sophocles   Beloved Oedipus, there will always be a Tiresias sitting tight-lipped in the corner of chamber, pub or courtroom, not saying what he is thinking, his eyeballs an opaque mirror on plague, famine, massacre, a city of wailing and ashes.   Beloved Oedipus, you can interrogate him, beat him, even arrest him for silence under […]

This year all the mirrors have shattered by Jonathan Taylor

for Helen   and the mansion is a labyrinth of reflections, corridors shards, rooms fragments, faces cubist. Passageways lead to themselves. Kitchens teem with the poor chewing cutlery. In living rooms pianos have been detuned. The library’s shelves are full of hollow books that double as ash-trays. Few speak aloud though refined voices murmur through […]

This year all the mirrors have shattered by Jonathan Taylor

for Helen   and the mansion is a labyrinth of reflections, corridors shards, rooms fragments, faces cubist. Passageways lead to themselves. Kitchens teem with the poor chewing cutlery. In living rooms pianos have been detuned. The library’s shelves are full of hollow books that double as ash-trays. Few speak aloud though refined voices murmur through […]

Laughter Epidemic by Jonathan Taylor

It all started with besuited newsreaders sniggering while reporting a massacre: anchors passed it on to correspondents who passed it on to interviewees who infected millions of viewers.   A neurologist compared it to the plague in Tanganyika, ’62, but was crying before he could finish. His po-faced colleague diagnosed mass psychogenic illness but farted […]

Savile Row by Jonathan Taylor

The white men in suits fucked up the whole Scooby Doo ending in an episode that’d lasted decades, unmasking victims rather than culprit. He’d never bothered wearing a mask till he was buried. Afterwards the suits might be heard muttering remorsefully into their swirling Chardonnay We’d have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t […]

Election post-mortem by Jonathan Taylor

Following the election pundits explained why the pundits had got it so wrong. We are sorry, they said. We underestimated the People, they said, their universal love for one another, their beautiful way with strangers. Our polls were black holes sucking in the light. Our pie-charts were sieves through which a hidden wellspring of crypto-hippies […]

The Great Inundation by Jonathan Taylor

After a vision of Fr. Balthassar Mas, 1630   I dreamed of a great inundation, everything swallowed by a wave moving up the Thames like a leviathan until only England’s highest turrets and steeples reached above the flood. The best were saved, lords and ladies on their battlements, clergymen clinging to spires, hems of cassocks […]

Musical Anthropocene by Jonathan Taylor

After Thea Musgrave, Green, and Robert Macfarlane   We are the irruption of noise into music: ariosos disintegrate in our hands while discordant clusters round low F shake the earth beneath our feet.   Our symphonic scores rot, violins are resurrected as trees, but that tremolo F remains below all and remains to the last, […]