After Paris, Friday 13th, by Kevin Higgins

Professional sidekicks immediately begin
showing elected officials of diminutive significance
where France is on the map and how to spell

Spectator columnists begin
Ejaculating fiercely in their pants. People
with no known opinions
begin expressing them freely
as a drunk piddling on a pavement
their ancestors also once
ecstatically piddled all over,
during the Franco-Prussian War,
or the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

The Prime Minister of tiny
Ireland tearfully remembers the time
Padraig Pearse brought
Maximilien Robespierre
to Ros Muc, as he signs
the book of condolence. Everyone agrees
now is not the time
to question

the melangé of antibiotics, cortisone,
shark liver oil the patient’s been on
this past fourteen years
though her face is turning
blue. There is a time
and a place, and we’ll hopefully
never get there.

After the great successes
at Baghdad, Falluja, Kabul, Helmand;
the obvious answer
is bomb Tunisia, West Beirut, Bradford.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the south of the country
the Minister for Public Defecation
writhes about in a bath
of hot mustard to celebrate

this even better day
than the time he injured himself
bravely issuing a press release
against the gypsies who so obligingly
battered a constituent’s granny into
the Kingdom no one ever gets to.

KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogmans Cannon satirist-in-residence