Poetry: Concessions

Poetry: Concessions

Words: Jack Mullinger
Image: Nataša Cordeaux

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.


Poetry: See a Jay

Poetry: See a Jay

Comment: A Whole Lot Of Gosling

Comment: A Whole Lot Of Gosling