Postcards from Malthusia DAY FIFTY-THREE: Nicolas Spicer

Towards the End


… and still the stiffs in suits who took life seriously

busied themselves about a rotten magic

original to eighteenth-century, rational

Christian men of sound commercial means,

stinking & scratching in nice white linen, signing

the usual bills for sugar, slaves & tea,

not overblessed with intelligence or foresight

but very pleased with themselves & their enormous

scope of action.

                          They could decide one day

‘Value is fungible across qualities, if you don’t understand

here are men with guns to better explain’, & lo!

these that were trees are woodchips, this that was useful

sequestered under a trademark; & this was a planet

where people could keep on living, never mind.




Nicolas Spicer was educated at the universities of York and Newcastle upon Tyne, and lives in Sheffield. His collections Landscape with Forgeries and Lines on the Surface are available from Contraband Books at


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