Die DePfeffelschrift PAGE ONE : Jacqueline Saphra

The Dilemma    

‘Sunak and Truss to battle for votes as campaign heats up’ (ITV 28th July 2022)

It might be her, it might be him:
the poor, the profits, dodge and spin,
it may be him, it could be her:
his non-dom-stash, her Moscow fur,
the fake of faith, a British grin,
a deal, a shake, a shifty hymn:
And did those feet … it’s sink or swim,
stiff upper lip, it’s him or her,
a warring pair of saboteurs.
It might be her, it could be him
who’ll take the baton, lead the tour
and cook the corpse, then strip the skin
and suck the juice from every limb.
Who’ll burn the bones and drown the din?
Maybe it’s her, maybe it’s him,
the choice is dank, it’s all a blur,
it will be him if it’s not her:
a rotted man with gold to burn
or whey-face with her blue concern
as brittle as a glacier.
It’s trick, it’s luck, it’s hook and lure,
it’s fire and flood: the future’s grim
with sticky her or slimy him,
it’s lip and liar, whip and whim,
this sunken island’s sunk with sin,
the filth is rising to the brim:
and floating up – look! Her and him!
And either way you can be sure
the palm and sleaze will still endure.
Whether it’s her, whether it’s him,
who cares whose wake we’re drowning in?
It makes no odds: it’s him or her,
so kiss the kids and as you were.
It’s guts for garters in the end
and either way we’re fucked my friend.


Jacqueline’s collections include All My Mad Mothers, shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot prize, Dad, Remember You are Dead (2019), and One Hundred Lockdown Sonnets (2021) all from Nine Arches Press. A Bargain with the Light: Poems after Lee Miller (2017) and Veritas: Poems after Artemisia (2020) were published by Hercules Editions. Her most recent play, The Noises (2019) was nominated for a Standing Ovation Award. Her next collection will be out from Nine Arches Press in Summer 2023. She teaches for The Poetry School.

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