Neil Campbell is this week's Sunday Morning Poet and he is one of the great ones. Campbell is the author of fiction about working and how working doesn't work well for everyone. It's a year already since his collection of short stories, Licensed Premises, published by Salt saw the light of day. This poem, Flames is from a new collection, Lolling Back Knackered on the Plastic Seats. It's worth reiterating that Neil is one of the most important writers alive today. And so if you haven't, previously, go seek his books.
These lyrics of Patti Smith
take me back to thoughts
of Rimbaud before his gun-running
& it’s like this, the sickening politics
the machinations of soulless arseholes
brazen faces across the TV news
two days running, well they made me
want the deeper pools of poetry
& it isn’t so much throwing in the
towel in the face of these party political
bastards so much as keeping the towel
& never starting the fight
in the first place.
How can you
fight these monsters when their minds
work in such devious & devilish ways?
Might as well depict them all
on murals twenty feet tall, flames
around their red rimmed eyes.
© Neil Campbell