“New York is a giant sinking pile of crap compared to what it used to be. Literally sinking, now that the waters rise much more quickly, the winds blow even much harder that the scientists predicted. Lately I like to imagine that I will have the privelige of seeing in my lifetime real estate values in the city plunge wildly, in free fall, as Climate Events force Permanent Visitors to admit that they pay top dollar to perch on a coastal landfill…”
This is Rebecca Wolf writing in Goodbye To All That, a compilation of stories written by current and past NY dwellers, most of them telling how the city ruined their lives. My view is that they themselves ruined their lives; never before have I come across such a bunch of neurotic, self-obsessed third-raters, who couldn’t make it no matter where they perched their scrawny arses. New york…New York…
Was a murderous thug;
He buried his victims
Wrapped in a rug;
He shook hands with the devil
And royalty too,
Then joked with the pastor
whose credentials were few.
Now he’s on the long slide to eternity
Smouldering with others of that deadly fraternity.
SCOTTISH HISTORY LESSONS
The Romans came
And Brittania stretched
As far as the Antonine Wall
But the Picti in Caledonia
With their faces and bodies painted
Forced them back to Hadrian’s Wall.
Then the Gaelic Kingdom of Dal Riata
Welcomed Columba to Iona,
Who turned the pagan Scotti Christian.
Soon the Anglo Saxons of Bernecia
And the Viking hordes came too
And so the first Kingdom of Scotland was born.
Down the years it was
House of Alpin
House of Dunkeld
House of Baliol
And House of Stuart
In a rule of three uncontested centuries.
James V1 also inherited the Throne of England
And Stuart Kings and Queens
Ruled both independent Kingdoms
Until that fateful Act of Union in 1707
Finished Scotland as a country
In its own right.
Bonnie Prince Charlie tried and failed
At Culloden his protest stalled
And Cumberland his forces mauled
For him there was no other chance
He ran the gantlet back to France.
Now Scotland has its chance again
You had it once, a nation then.
Independent, free, no tyrant’s yoke
For Scotland freedom’s not a joke
Fight like a fishfag, Union be damned!
Your hills, your lochs, your lives… Your land.
“They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.”
― Philip Larkin
“Poetry is nobody’s business except the poet’s, and everybody else can fuck off.”
― Philip Larkin
THE VIEW FROM MY WINDOW
Old women with polished perms on fat heads
Men tinkering with diseased cars
Dogs taking their owners to the park –
Where they converse with their friends
And crap indiscriminately.
The Postman, the Milkman and the Gasman,
Two door-to-door leaflet saleswomen
And a posse of Jehovah’s.
A stray cat or two
And twenty five chimney-stack pigeons.
Then there are all those aerials-
Like one-legged storks-
Looking down on the patched-up pavements.
Where have all the front gates
Absconded to, I wonder?
Frightened away perhaps by all the leering
FOR SALE signs
Constantly peering over their shoulders?
I guess that must be it.