Sun News presents this poem from 1999, for those who fondly remember the turn of the millennium, and for those who missed it:
Where will you be when the millennium dawns?
Eating Faith’s popcorn as she pokes a kernel
in the bored room of chicken fat directors –
Or on the thirty-third floor riding
on jetsam and then some,
calculating algebra or adjusting the null,
Did you know 007
is a Russian spy?
Area codes of betrayal
splayed out on a platter
proof perfect in the lab of cyber and data
The stand-up courts of espionage
declare: the lipstick was Chinese –
in the borderless crown of epitome
the Boers beg burrow, and William, in memory
Such a fine line, whilst
the shaman shame the Mandalay
crime symbol of Old age
wrinkled lips smack deranged.
As the bombs burst out laughing at America
in her cage –
so far cocooned Rubbermaids,
a brand and yet she’s still his mother.
Lemon-crushed ice melted in the zero
but in the seventh year
they’ll be squinting yellow
hello Cher-Nobel prize, that’s no disaster
as Mongol tribes ring circles round their yurts
whilst Shanghai sluts
National isms fade….. Then swish,
Tibet’s Dalai Lama a holy wish.
But where is Richard Gere?
or is he here whilst the pope hails a New York yellow cab
munching on Moishe’s pastrami on rye
as he preaches, “Jesus is a lie”,
gee!, what a swell guy.
Trying to keep a vision intact
in fact when the grassy knoll
knobs on a hill
Steve Jobs will be popping Silicon pills.
But where will you be in 2001?
by heaven’s ground or
on hellish earth, a dearth
of hell-bent escapades.
Pyromaniacs igniting a key to light
and drill the oilrigs whilst
Argentines, Chile’s and peppers bore.
A glimmer, and glamour but what of spiritual matter
as one. No matter,
what arrow is worth a shot
to the center of the narrow
uranium shores – sinking Siberia
and from North to South
from pole to pole
the core is a hole –
rapidly slowly decaying,
no delaying for
in 2007 when females reign
their arctic path melts down
the cheese exports from South to North.
Then comes the lucid moment when Charlie says,
“Love my tuna raw and red,
it’s not important; it’s only the form
that’s the norm. But it’s in his head.
The fish are all dead.
Is he standing at the parapet?
or cruising down the Nile
creeping up the mouth
petrified in Petra
No, no, no that was 1999.
A suicide, a carpet ride
As the big ball glides
sirens screeching to the floor
police in military attire attend the ball.
And there goes Richard Branson.
He guides a sonic craft to virgin
planets none too small.
The Islamic brigade
have got it made
not in the shade of the light of Mohammed’s
oil, that’s spoiled
the bubble which bloated then burst:
amassing hunger and grievance and fuss
over earth’s lonely thirst
for a signal, a clue as to what the hell to do.
Yet in the background swooned
A Trappist’s delight
rejoice in a drink
dubbed live overnight
in their cheeks of disguise
(was it pie in the sky or peach schnapps in their eyes)
as they sang,
“Show me the way to next whisky bar……”
Photo: Versace plate for the year 2000. In the collection of C. Cunningham