Pop-Up Policies, by Kevin Higgins


“Less despair” Fergus O’Dowd TD

These past few years you’ve been through
days of general terribleness.
We’ve been here (or hereabouts).
Recent studies show slightly less
despair in people’s hearts,
and in other parts of their anatomies too;
that we’ve succeeded
in temporarily reducing
the number of new cases
of tuberculosis and cholera
among the insignificant.

Over the next five years we’ll open
pop-up concentration camps to process
the workless, in disused convents
and condemned psychiatric hospitals
on streets we, as a country, spend
far too much time trying to pretend
aren’t there.

We will solve the problems
our health services face
by filling our hospitals with pop-up doctors
with pop-up diplomas got
from pop-up colleges
we’ll encourage used-rubber glove
salesmen (and women) to set up
in public toilets people
are afraid to go into anymore.

We’ll facilitate the creation
of pop-up old peoples’ homes
in cinemas and pool halls
shut since the last century;
in which you’ll be able
to cheaply dispose of your
more irritating relatives.

In the cultural sphere,
we will turn this country’s many
ex-telephone boxes
into pop-up palaces where dying
arts administrators can spend
their days of ever reducing light
in peace, sushi, and whiskey.

The explosion of pop-up funeral parlours
everywhere you look
shows the resilience of our people.
We will introduce measures
to ameliorate the pain currently being felt
by some of these entrepreneurs
due to the recent slight
fall in the suicide rate among the bankrupt,
which we’re pretty sure
is a blip.

KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogman’s Cannon Satirist-in-Residence