Saturday, 24 September 2016

Rubbish That!

I seem to be a bit out of phase here (or ahead of the topical curve), because last week's poem already addressed the issue of rubbish, specifically litter on the beaches and in the seas around Greece. That being the case, a different slant on the theme is required this time.

The word rubbish is thought to have evolved from rubble and rubble is what iconoclasts leave behind when they smash things up, so I'm going to defer to our American cousins' tendency to create verbs out of nouns and will write about rubbishing stuff.

It seems to be human nature to deface or destroy for ideological reasons. Maybe it's not so far removed from animals posting their scent on top of other animals' scents to establish territorial rights.

The rising tide, be it racial, religious, political, cultural, even generational, rubbishes what it seeks to sweep away. I suppose it does this in order to render powerless whatever magic and allegiance was attached to the icons of the old order in the interests of survival of the new.

The first band I was in, at school, was called Pussy Smash The State. This was at the cusp of the seventies, when rebellion was the norm and we thought we'd topple the establishment by cutting a musical swathe through to a revolutionary dawn. Actually, what we really hoped to get was a spot supporting the Pink Fairies when they played a May Day gig at our school. It didn't happen. I guess we had plenty of attitude but not enough ability - six years too early for punk!

I remember seeing early Christian symbols carved onto the walls of temples in Egypt, and one only has to think of the desecration of religious totems in Holy Wars, Reformations, Revolutions and by conquering hordes down the ages (right up to the recent demolition of Palmira by so called ISIS) to understand the deeply unpleasant and destructive power of the iconoclastic urge.

The rubbishing doesn't always have to be so physical. Satire tilts at icons in an acceptable way.

Today's poem attempts to give the idea a humorous twist... still a work in progress so this is not necessarily its final form.


Postcard From The Ruins
While I still have hands to write,
let me dash off these few lines,
just to reassure my friends
everyone's having a smashing time
at the Iconoclasts' Convention.

We registered, then trashed reception,
threw our badges in the bin
but kept the gratis poisoned pen,
the hammer and the bunch of ten.

So far we've punctured the lungs
of the singer of songs
and butchered a poet's rhyming cutlets,
broken the back of hope for the future,
burned a few manuscripts just for fun
and it's still only day one.

We've toppled the fiddler from the roof,
hobbled the saints a-marching in,
defenestrated the arbiters of taste -
a window of opportunity too good to waste,
and broken off our nose to spite our face.
Who knows how far this frenzy will go?
Yours in haste, Venus de Milo.

This Saturday Blogging malarkey has reached something of a personal milestone. After two years at the typeface - with four weeks off for bad behaviour - this has been my 100th blog. I know a few of them have been rubbish, but I hope on the whole they have found favour. Thanks for reading. Have a good week, S ;-)


Adele said...

There are some wonderful lines in this poem. Very witty.

Steve Rowland said...

It's a work in progress - not happy with some of it so there will be changes to the poem, but deadlines are deadlines.