It’s hard to hear
when the apathy is deafening.
Ears wide shut you coast the backstreets
as cracked as the pavement and as inert as the concrete
of the passe urban jungle you travel as an insect.
And you are an insect:
because the shoe is always on the biggest foot
ready to tread you down from behind the
nearest boutique window.
You’re a Game Boy,
and you’re fumbling desperately for the relevant buttons
without realising the batteries are flat.
A six-minute misadventure with a round of Tetris
showed you the ropes of regurgitation.
But you can’t falsify a brick wall,
though you’re attempts and superficiality are genuine.
You’re no longer dabbling with counterfeit-
as far as common knowledge goes you’re the finished article.
Put that in your blog and smoke it.
The Fly behind the fourth wall had a dream
of being the first insect politician,
that’s the 1986 version in case you were wondering.
Well, they’d have their work cut out with this campaign.
But make no mistake- this is a horror movie-
but the blood and guts are missing.
And the cock and balls are absent from the orgy,
though you’re halfway there now everyone has started
wearing their underwear on the outside.
To endlessly take stock takes its toll
when there are five chances at the tube entry gate
and six girls are aimlessly heading for just the one.
Individuality making its concessions
in matching denim and shrug gestures,
all the way across the board
and down to the platform.
And if ID says jump
then it’s do or die anyway for not doing,
you fucking stick in the mud.
Forgive me this Vice, vitriol is my biggest.
And despair is closing in on second place
when I’m looking with short luck
for the few amongst the many.
The few that don’t mind a bit of truth
with their overpriced vodka latte.
The few looking past The Look and
feeling meaning in their sentence,
not simply playing the drab hand
at the pretenders only non-plussed table.
So don’t mind the acid tongue,
it’s an acquired taste,
and who’s into listening anyway?
You can’t sell awareness in a magazine,
and everyone’s a tourist when you care this much about not caring.
But at the very least afford yourself a soul-
because it’s the one authentic concession you can grant yourself.
IDEL HAND 2012
By Jack Mullinger
Photograph by HsienLoong Lim