(From) McCool, Chap 2

by Aidan Andrew Dun

Here’s a portrait of modern London from the opening of Chap 2 of McCool. Incidentally, the first sonnet was written before the credit-crunch!


June in the vast metropolis.
The city like a sinking ship
dives in flame through an abyss
of houses, towers; seems to slip
down an incline of despair,
through a filthy atmosphere
of getting as opposed to giving.
Can these be said to be the living,
who drag themselves through the streets,
briefcases and laptops supercharged
with that worldview which has enlarged
the vested interest of elites?
Look, isn’t that the great Titanic
submerged beneath the North Atlantic?


London Town of the oligarchs:
it’s so elegant by the river;
and if you live close to great parks,
such pleasure. It’s a life-giver
to be anywhere near greenery,
otherworldly scenery,
waterbirds that glide across your cares,
suave, white, unruffled millionaires.
(Swans, among aquatic avians,
seem the yachts of the feathered races.)
Equity traders don’t change places
with dangerous Rastafarians
whose meditations in the night
cool down a neighbourhood gunfight.


Their verdant city is far away
from these barrens of the town,
dustbowls of inner decay,
zones of ultramodern meltdown.
Fogs of marijuana hang here,
toxic fumes in octane air.
As gangs loot, as the war drags on,
summer rasps the name: ‘Lebanon.’
Here the red mist is intense,
it’s WWIII on television,
squad cars, icecream vans, in collision,
all sorts of other disagreements,
police sirens, Teddy Bear’s Picnic,
blowing through a wilderness of brick.


McCool was published by Goldmark in 2010. Forgive the blatant salesmanship of linking you to the book, as Baudelaire said, we poets are as much marketplace tarts as anyone else when it comes to flogging our stuff…