Affirmative Action

Mark Ford

In the original raree-show, of which this is a pale
Imitation, phantoms swore and hurled mountains at each other;

Tiny, endless columns of red-jacketed soldiers
Adjusted their busbys before attacking a farmhouse;

And ‘White Light/White Heat’ blared
From bank upon bank of shuddering loudspeakers.

Now a vast customer complaints department
Imposes everywhere its blinkered theories of art.

Come on, Government! You’re supposed to be in charge!
What about these here hooligans running naked through the streets?

What about the stream winding through pleasant meadows
And the cows brooding in the grass?

What about midges, and toffee-apple, and washing days?