John Dickson

The Persistence of Football Results on Bealey Ave

as the full moon lights up the city

in which I finish these verses,

as in the freezing, in the falling snow, up there,

on the all grinning, all scheming balcony,

deputy chairman Clementis removes his hat

and places it on the chairman’s bare faced head,

as we, the crowd (collectively embracing

our death bound selves for once),

as we begin to sing,


During the nineteen eighties, when all the

gamblers were toasting the killings they’d made

buying and selling junk bonds on tick, chip

on both shoulders, I balanced: Mercedes? BMWs?

German Holdens with greedy snouts. And as for Ladas,

when one of those clumbered by: Hey guys.

Whadya call a Skoda full of food?

And then one day, I turned a key.

And at first spark of the BMW’s

fuel injected, quietly thrumming motor,

on my instant breath, I forgave myself.

What a car, eh!

What a wheelie on my road to Damascus,

my newly installed, six valved heart,

a slyly brutal French art house movie

in which the middle class audience (knowing

the safe distance from themselves),

watch Granny Le Grande slaughtering

the pet rabbit stew they’d eat anyway

without one single memory

of a bleeding, opened out throat,

the aging boxer, saved from drowning

by a pleasantly spoken man who enjoys

eviscerating frogs, becomes a friendly capon,

and the oldies fall in love all year round.

And if there’s to be a tragic end,

then it’s one for them, way over there

on the wet side of the bed, the middle-aged,

third way socialist snags weeping their jaffa

tears over love at last sight: Arletty’s pale,

supposedly anguished face, vanishing

with relief into us, the couldn’t care less,

once singing crowd.

So before my paying up day (The

principle of hope, eh? The ends of history? Oh,

go get stuffed), on the methamphetamined,

triple bypass avenues and shady dead end streets

of late post modern capital, I’m the blue

propeller, enjoying, while they last,

all the freedoms of our now almost

goebblized world: Trippen shoes? Wow!

Three pairs, please. Irish linen suits, eh. Four of those then.

And while you’re wrapping those Japanese olives,

hand me those invitations to Zeralda’s feasts.

Thus exhilarated by our new order,

I enjoy everything that’s left, except, my maties,

for one small irritating thing: the drongos

who drive UAV’s, Patrols, Pajero’s, Safaris,

and who tailgate my BMW while driving

their out of our way trucks with car brakes.

And when that happens? Oh deary deary me,

it’s just Broken Nose Jimmy and me,

two upright administrators from Southland,

no boozing no dancing no swearing,

no a-laying of our hands on that MaryLou,

in our Main Street Motel we be just 

a-watching those Internet movies,

and with our petrol headed arteries

choked to the max, in Uberalle’s bazooka ute,

we run the stadium streets: That Patrol

there, eh bro? No, Jimmy. That Safari there, eh.

They wanna go off road. Then praise be, eh bro.

Their word’s ours. Road rage, my maties?

Tiny Twin Towers in every street.

But today, at the corner of Manchester

and Bealey, when I happened on a crash

involving a car that somehow was still

travelling to where it was going to

before the driver of a Land Cruiser,

his eyes glazing over the which one tonight

from the lumpen-proleteriat invested streets

(the whores, I mean, you know, my maties,

the service industry crowd strung out on P),

and talking, perhaps, on a cell phone

while listening All of the day and all of the night

to Classic Hits FM, had failed to give way,

and glanced unerringly off at last sight

into the rear of yet another Land Cruiser,

today, I stopped, and walked back.

And before it vanished forever

into whatever traces shall remain of us (a

carbon based life form that lived only once

amongst two hundred million galaxies),

while two mustaches and a lady from

Fendalton in black FFM nylon stockings,

talked precisely about insurance,

along with the rest of the crowd

on our footpath balcony, I applauded the car,

a barely dented, battleship gray Skoda

I can’t speak for the others, of course

(they’d just think I was full of shit, and I am),

but what I saw today on Bealey Ave

wasn’t just any old car,

but an aging steel worker from Prague

who’d somehow survived the times

when the dyslectic dialectics of history, up there,

on their all scheming, all vodkolised balcony,

had all by themselves, and without

making one ideological error in case

the alert, yellow eyes of their sponsor

(a five foot two, jovial father of the

singing crowd), cited them too

as class enemies of the revolution,

and they got themselves arrested

and beaten and beaten and beaten,

and after the usual orthodox confession,

had their frontal lobes obliterated,

chunks of their bone and brain tissue

spewn out across floors in such senseless

patterns the dialectics themselves

still don’t have enough random

access memory to reassemble the shatter,

but enough, then, to present,

in the falling snow, in the freezing,

the same old promises promises

of the worker’s heavenly state

where the dreaming crowd could go on

singing 7/7 of holidays by the sea

wearing neither shoes nor coats

as they worked the people’s treadmill,

a central committee’s five year plan;

the times when you wouldn’t talk

to those who owed you an answer,

because when you looked at their eyes,

you saw only the cunning of those

who knowing the forelock distance

not only used the people’s noose,

but also (in one of those radical

interventions so pomped up these days

by the usual well paid theorists

of excusing truth), air brushed

from all the Party’s documenting photos,

a deputy chairman placing his black hat

on a bare faced chairman’s head,

and his coat, and his smile, and his life;

and if you woke after that, after drinking

the plasma of broken words, cheap

Russian vodka until 5 am,

you were still falling through traps,

your memory abandoned to memories

of memories that had happened for real:

“Arrest Stasova, too. Turned out she’s scum.

And Kirsanova? She’s too closely involved with Yakovlev.

She’s scum, too. And Muntzenberg?

He’s a Trotskyite. Try and lure him here.

And if he comes. Arrest him. And then

you beat and you beat and you beat”,

ah yes, my maties, the times of the people’s state,  

when choked between history kill

and the need for decent shoes,

resistance was the good old ways

of fucking up the bosses: missing files,

swarf into machines, defective parts in cars,

and yes, eh, jokes in passing: Hey Postie.

These new stamps with Lenin, they don’t stick.

Comrade, you’ve been spitting on the wrong side.

So tonight, as I, an aging steel

worker from Prague who’d survived the Nazis

by building Skoda motors for the Wehrmacht’s

Tiger Tanks, and later, the Party,

by assembling cars designed by committees,

as I accelerate down Bealey Ave past

the Spartakus Stadium in my by now

modified BMW after watching my team

winning the championship final,

barely hearing on the FM radio

my grandchildren had bought me,

the latest news from Radio Prague,

Doctors Leaving For Better Wages,

Violence Growing Amongst School Children,

Illegal Money Lending (the same hourly

on the minute, one size fits all prop-agenda,

we listen to all of the day and all of the night

on the Classically Mature SM Hi

of the free market economy

provided to us now care of our new sponsors,

the miraculous mandarins of late capital

and their soft path fascism, up there,

in their all laughing, all full of it,

give the punters what we want

credit cards and sport corporate box);

as I accelerate into Fitzgerald Avenue,

no longer trying to balance the happiness

of searching through old wardrobes

for the brief freedom of alternating

nudity and fancy dress

and Deputy Chairman Clementis’s broken neck,

but knowing now there’s no safe distance

when you’re being hung, or shot

and that in all cases, it’s never the bosses,

but the work of the singing crowd

yet again collectively embracing our us

that gives our kids decent shoes

and those unruly mouths that talk back;

as I, an aging steel worker from Prague,

no longer overstaying in the land of promises,

as I carry our invitations to Zeralda’s feasts

down the methamphetamined

24 hour a go go stadium streets that now

claim to benchmark what’s left of our hearts;

as the full moon lights up the city

in which these verses were begun,

I’m smiling back at Mary Lou’s let’s fuck smile

and her black seamed FFM stockings,

because, comrades, in the quiet of my voice,

I’m also still happy with our latest result:

Skoda TWO, Land Cruisers NIL














































































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