The World According to Trump by Rupert M Loydell

The gun he killed with
doesn’t count:
it is not a gun law issue.

The women he fondled
do not count:
it was not sexual assault.

Money sent to offshore banks
does not count:
it is not tax avoidance.

Those who object
do not count:
they are simply wrong.

Those who are colored
do not count:
they are not American.

The election he won
counts for everything:
it was not rigged at all.

Donald Trump
cannot count.
His days are numbered.

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Sheer Bravado by Rupert M Loydell

Sometimes, of course, it is sheer bravado,
wishful thinking about what could have been.
times it is because I do not remember,
retold the story so many times
it has become fiction, a truth gleaned
from photos, memoirs, friends’ anecdotes,
overlaid with a veneer of middle age.

It probably wasn’t like that
but I remember it as better then.
Gigs were cheap and plentiful,
London was a great place to live,
and the world just was, a place
of potential and possibility, not one
devoid of promise and spare cash.

I worked shifts at the hospital,
spent a summer mixing chemicals
in a factory, another teaching sailing
to kids in the USA. New York
was simply wonderful, hot and
cheap to live in; a year in Coventry
brought me down to earth, taught me

things I didn’t want to know:
how people were different and lived
as they chose, how people were poor
and couldn’t live as they wished.
Forty years later, we’re all the same:
broke and trapped in a consumer dream
we can’t afford and wouldn’t wish

on anyone. Hidden away in our village,
we’ve escaped the worst, but friends
are back on the dole, on the streets,
worn out from corporate bullshit
and the forms they always need to fill in.
Sometimes the future seems sheer bravado:
we need to stand together, not give in.

Rupert Loydell’s books are published by Shearsman Books and Knives, Forks and Spoon Press.

Quiet Prayer by Rupert M Loydell

It was not a quiet prayer.

When it came, it was

wrenched from him, in anger

or pain, possibly both, but

it was definitely a shout

not a whisper, was certainly

something directed at god,

certainly heartfelt and

demanding, absolutely sure

of its reasons and concerns.

 

It was not a quiet prayer,

it was a scream of grief

ripped out of the night,

pain from hearing the worst.

It was primal and personal,

a shout about being alone

and not knowing what to do,

a request for a compass,

a map and survival rations.

But mostly a demand for love.

 

It was not a quiet prayer

and it whispered its way

around the village, out

into the world. Elsewhere,

on their knees, others

were shocked at the raw

hurt, the need; took prayer

upon themselves, spent time

begging for mercy

and pleading for his soul.

 

It was not a quiet prayer,

it was prayer nourished

by dissolution and despair,

a loud eccentric mash-up

of energy and anger,

questions and desire,

despair spun loose

into the world to see

where it would go and

if anyone would answer.

 

[first published in Third Way]

The Best of Both Worlds by Rupert M Loydell

The marriage was a write-off from the first night.

After the plumbers, builders and barristers, comes

the most exciting contemporary art show in town.

 

Images and sounds, and how they go together,

turn out to be an artistic narrative of a wounded

young man with yesterday’s empties on the ground

 

or abandoned on windowsills. The music scene

is exploding, the best of both worlds, though

less of a bonanza than expected. It’s no surprise

 

that boys should rebel and break loose, then

cordon off the other. Adolescent transgression

is a richly painted surface that appears to have

 

some kind of extra dimension. There are quaint

optical effects, professional struggles with

tragedy, and still one last act to come.

 

Spurt Splat Thwump Splish. Blessed with

an extraordinary ear and new-found prestige

this is less about the past and more about

 

the future. Performances begin this weekend.

This is music without sound, a spectacle

which generates sticking-out ears and lines

 

that morph into the sound you make in your head.

You read as you hear as you look, only to find

yourself coaxing a fragile soundtrack out of

 

a prolonged struggle with nerves, hysteria,

colitis, stomach cramps and migraines.

Glassy letters shatter like cat’s teeth,

 

giving an unregulated feel to dance events

scissored straight from the pages of cartoons:

bleak communist blocks in pale grey skies.

Ahead of the Game by Rupert M Loydell

We are too slow at escaping, too good at sitting still and enjoying the lives we have made. We need to be ahead of the game, selling up, moving on, making new friends.
..
We have become bogged down with what we own and worrying about where to go and what to do there. Other places we know all have their charms, and there are worse things than sitting alone in the sun with wine and a book for company.
..
We should not fear silence or the language of others. We could learn, would get by. We should stop chasing the past, stop expecting success and go and live where we want. Survive there, be there. Make a new home and a new life.
..
We must stop acting scared and compromising. We can never be rich, financially or culturally, where we are; it would be nice to be both, but health and food and peace & quiet would be enough for me.

Admit One by Rupert M Loydell

Things we want go sour, what
we aspire to is not attainable.
We get old before our inner youth
expires, dreams disperse as our knees
give out and we have to buy a new car.
The urban metaphor of heaven is no use
to us in the village of confusion,
the city of God seems a long way off
although we’re nearer now than ever;
but it’s hard to read the signs,
harder still to stay on track.
..
Admit One. I clutch the ticket to a
well-ordained, human paradise,
we think of as a new England,
Albion, or a tidier version of
where we live now. A tsunami
of vision literature arrives in the post:
someone has seen angels and ghosts,
been told what to write. These visitors
do not cure my arthritis or let me sleep,
cannot tell me what I should do.
I am still having to make it up
..
and pretend I am in the right.
I am not an out-and-out charlatan
but there are peculiar practices
to observe. I write words in lines
and pat them into shape, type words
that fly through the air to others
as screens flicker in my room.
You would not have thought
it possible, but this is not magic,
it is science; is what the world
has become the whole world over.
..
The remains of my past lie
in a neat and unremarkable
graveyard in the suburbs.
Opinion does not echo anymore
and the bus that used to take
me to school grumbles past
as if I had never moved away.
Regrets and mistakes are everywhere,
we can only hope for the best.
Oh earthquake driver, god of tides,
stop the clock and say hello.

Desert Island Discs by Rupert M Loydell

The doctor on the radio
spoke about operating
during war and made me cry.
Down-to-earth, matter-of-fact,
way out of my experience,
he’d operated and stitched,
dismembered and mopped up
worldwide, often in the dark.
..
Machine-gun toting militia
looked on, nurses ran
for cover as lights dimmed
and unseen bombs exploded.
He answered the questions
and introduced his next
piece of music, different
worlds colliding in song.

Apocalyptic Annunciation by Rupert M. Loydell

It was a matter of national security,
the President had to be informed.
But he was busy with his grooming regime,
practicing presidential poses in the mirror.
He had all the moves down pat, had almost
memorised the nuclear push button code,
and remembered who he now was.
..
But who was this blonde woman
who said she had come to debrief him?
Was that an innuendo? Just how
attractive was the power he had?
His money, fame and fortune?
Oh, national security. Homeland alert,
undercover cops and time to dish the dirt.
..
He stared at Carrie’s earlobes,
tried not to look at her breasts
or ask her if he could have the pleasure,
kept his hands down by his side,
fiddling with the gadget in his pocket.
‘Mr. President, what have you done?’
The world on fire outside went white.

Done and Dusted by Rupert M Loydell

When she killed herself
it was all over the papers.
Everyone knew, then
everyone forgot, talked
about something else.
There were TV reports
and neighbours’ tributes,
some actor friends
said nice things but
then it was as though
nothing had happened,
as though it was all ok,
done and dusted,
just another day.

..

Previously published in International Times.

annunCIAtion by Rupert M Loydell

Mary, goes the conspiracy theory,
was set up, framed, scapegoated.
She was pregnant already, it was
Joseph or an unknown boyfriend,
her father abused her as a child.

It was a prophecy, it was foretold,
the men in black were on the case,
secret agents or aliens infiltrated
the village. We need to see the files,
hear the tapes. And so it came to pass.

..

This poem is from IMPOSSIBLE SONGS, a lofi booklet by sarah cave & rupert M loydell [analogue flashback books]
which are all poems about annunications.