Wednesday, 28 September 2022 07:44

Expelling England by the Pound

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in Poetry
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Expelling England by the Pound

Expelling England by the Pound

by David Erdos

Selling England By the Pound is the name of a famous Genesis
Album, one of their best where the lyrics mix social comment
With romantic muse and word-play, but in England this week,
Kwarteng’s cutting of tax to high earners raises the rich’s rates
Of disinterest in the fate of the poor’s pale array

To near farcical heights as the Hitler-haired Rees-Mogg
Preens and prattles. His offshore millions pre-Brexit banked
Won’t be risked. While the rest of us count the coins
As with the death of twenty and fifty pound notes we lose value;
The measuring of increasingly meagre resources

And the accounting of such will be brisk. As prices rise
And people go to bed in leg-warmers, or in their coats,
Fearing winter, which after the summer’s sweltering heat
Claims the night. Which is colder round here,
Than a witches tit. That old saying makes me nostalgic

For the world in which I first learned what was right.
That world was flawed, don’t get me wrong, but in saying,
It still felt somehow safer, especially as we are spiralling now.
Doom’s a drug. From the crash of the Crown, to the sense
That there is no-one left to protect us. In Liverpool, Sir Keir

Steers his conference into a possible moment in which
The concept of chance and change gets a plug.
‘This could be a moment for Labour!’ He says. But how to define
That sharp second? His speech was platitudes, mostly; a verbal
Toasting that was more like a cup of tea, or Dad-hug.

We needed to hear it of course. As Prime Minister Distruss,
Unknowing, says nothing. Ill-equipped, or unwilling, she was
Once described as inept. I wonder what she listens to? I doubt
Its Peter Gabriel’s singing, Steve Hackett’s solos, or those
Tony Banks runs; so which muse or fuse has she kept?

Phil Collins’ drums and Mike Rutherford’s bass ground
That album. But how are we grounded, as once the rug’s
Been pulled, the floor fails. Everything is happening so fast,
Even Fiona Bruce on the Ten O Clock news says it.
Torn from her antiques, it appears we’re the items

Which could very well be up for sale. England has flailed.
And would seem to be failing. There is no Moonlit Knight
Now approaching and the track After the Ordeal can’t be
Honoured as events today stall that song. Why can’t we get
Correct representation? And what is wrong with a system

That lets people like Truss come along? Incompetence
Pours like incontinence in this country. Meanwhile Italy
Startles with its Far Right turn. Events spike. Where is hope
To be housed, practically? In religion? For the religious, yes,
But for others, cold and untold stories strike. It is no longer

Safe to assume, Was it ever? Everything now seems uncertain.
Same as it ever was? Talking Heads. About as far as you get
From those boys from Charterhouse, Pimlico and
Phil Collins’ Chiswick, but if I listen to Once in a Lifetime
Those lyrics truly fit today’s dread. ‘This is not my

Beautiful House!’ ‘This is not my Beautiful Wife!’ and etc.
‘How did I get here?’ How indeed say the dead.
Who must be watching appalled, or glad to be out of it,
Maybe. My own departed are as alien now as far space.
Part of another time, a lost age, which can’t really have

Been all that different. Perhaps my friend, its the pace.
Things seemed slower. But then we had Thatcher,
Pinochet and Pol Pot. And they were leaders for sure,
Albeit in the wrong direction. Now, all sheep stumble,
As the dog has lost voice and plot. I think about the real cost

Of today’s moronic decisions. Whoever wrote Macbeth
Really had it. Time is an idiot’s story. So, are we to learn it,
Or one day look back proudly on the vomitous vows
We won’t stomach and the lines and life lessons
That in needing so much more, we forgot?

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David Erdos

David Erdos is an actor, writer, director with over 300 professional credits. He is a published poet, playwright, essayist and illustrator. He has lectured on all disciplines in theatre and film for leading performing arts colleges, schools and universities around the world.