"While Trying to Make an Arrowhead in the Fashion of the Mattaponi Indians": a poem by Kevin Powers

We are born to be makers of crude tools.
And our speech is full of cruel
signifiers: you, me, them, us. I
am sure we will not survive.

No. I am only certain that the
pine trees that ring this lake in Virginia
are occasional, that I sit between them
at the water’s edge,

cast two stones against
each other and rest.
For we go down
through these
terrible hours
together.

***

Kevin Powers is an Iraq war veteran whose award-winning first novel, The Yellow Birds, was published in 2012. His debut poetry collection, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, will be published by Sceptre next month.

This article first appeared in the 05 March 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Putin's power game

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Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May

Our sincerest thanks to the pop star for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to a very boring awards show.

Now, your mole cannot claim to be an expert on the cutting edge of culture, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2017, it’s that the Brit Awards are more old hat than my press cap. 

Repeatedly excluding the genres and artists that make British music genuinely innovative, the Brits instead likes to spend its time rewarding such dangerous up-and-coming acts as Robbie Williams. And it’s hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Which is why the regular audience must have been genuinely baffled to see a hint of political edge entering the ceremony this year. Following an extremely #makeuthink music video released earlier this week, Katy Perry took to the stage to perform her single “Chained to the Rhythm” amongst a sea of suburban houses. Your mole, for one, doesn’t think there are enough model villages at popular award ceremonies these days.

But while Katy sang of “stumbling around like a wasted zombie”, and her house-clad dancers fell off the edge of the stage, two enormous skeleton puppets entered the performance in... familiar outfits.

As our Prime Minister likes to ask, remind you of anyone?

How about now?

Wow. Satire.

The mole would like to extend its sincerest lukewarm thanks to Katy Perry for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to one of the most vanilla, status-quo-preserving awards ceremonies in existence. 

I'm a mole, innit.