Thursday, 04 October 2018 09:30

National Poetry Day: Anatomy of a Bomb Scare

Written by
in Poetry
National Poetry Day: Anatomy of a Bomb Scare
Image by Alix Emery

Anatomy of a Bomb Scare
for Jacqueline Walker

by Kevin Higgins

Tasks such as this are typically implemented
on deniable mobile phones,
ordered by a raised eyebrow or nod
fourth or fifth floor
of an unpainted, concrete building,
about which no more can be said because,
for reasons obvious to both
The Guardian and the Daily Star – though they
choose different language to say
so – the security services never comment on
operational matters.

It’s the unanimous advice of a committee
of twenty seven former Attorney Generals,
the Chair of the BBC Board of Governors, and all ex
Archbishops of Canterbury (living and dead)
that for reasons of national well-being no record must be kept
of the twitchy eyebrow or official-looking
nod of the head in question. Such things are done
by loyal servants of things as they must remain
when sending round Balaclava-d policemen
(and women) might prove counterproductive.

On rare occasions some independent maniac
in a top floor flat with hardly any windows
who generally speaking couldn’t organise
a butt rub at a tantric sex party,
to which he’d never be invited anyway,
inspired by the sweaty ravings
of our Twitter bots which unlike Russia’s
don’t exist, miraculously manages to plant a bomb,
and as at Bologna, Dublin, Monaghan
puts a mass of concrete and angle-grinders asunder,
leaves jaw and shin bones separate
from the heads and legs to which they were
until seconds ago attached, there
in the foyer for some rank and file cop
to collect, bag and label;
or drives a box of nine inch nails
into what we consider politically expendable eyeballs
at five hundred kilometres per hour.
Such actions are a bonus
and we welcome their contributions 
to our ongoing struggle,
though they’re not officially sanctioned.

Mostly our task is to convince
people we don’t exist,
except in the minds of pink eyed conspiracists;
to tend the fungus doubt
that the likes of you,
dear victim,
probably divide your Mondays
between subsidised yoga and phoning in threats
against yourself.

Read 2473 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 October 2018 09:42
Kevin Higgins

Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer, and satirist-in-residence at the alternative literature site The Bogman's Cannon,