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Marcel Lucont’s ode to London

The red-wine quaffing laconic Frenchman and ‘Live at the Electric’ star explains his love/hate relationship with London, via the medium of poetry

By Marcel Lucont
As my Gallic Symbol tour follows the arteries of Britain, inevitably it finds itself in the heart, at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre. In honour of this, I present at you an exclusive piece of Marcel Lucont poetry about the city. You are welcome. Enjoy.

Filled with chips, a rabble paces
Chartered streets’ familiar faces –
In between the coffee brands
That chemist, that newsagent and
A mobile shop, a one pound store,
That supermarket’s tricolore.

A nation, still, of shopkeepers,
The choice of shops diminished,
Baristas’ Thameside vistas sprawl,
Perpetually unfinished.

A pity a city so steeped in tradition
Must entrust its spaces to those on a mission
To penetrate skylines against their volition,
Content to present them in any position.

Whose memories of Olympic glory
Justified them voting Tory,
As lefties to the bourgeoisie
Unleashed their latent zealotry.

And to vote in a mayor who looks like a bear
While forgetting that bears also bite
Is a typical move for a populace who’ve
Let their politics drift to the right.

And as they sell each public service,
Telling you you all deserve this,
If you’d only shirked much less
You wouldn’t now be in this mess.
You’ll work, you’ll die, that’s when you’ll rest, a
Londoner does not siesta.

And do the public protest, bitter?
Or take to tweeting tuts on Twitter?
But why would you make a stand?
A million march, placards in hand,
To be ignored and still get tanks,
Or bonuses for bailed-out banks.

Keeping up with Kate and Will,
Insisting a monarchy’s relevant still.
Like warbly creatures with oversized heads?
At Disneyland Paris go see them instead.

Keep tempting tourists in with torture,
Bloodied dungeons, tales of slaughter,
A ripper slashing rich men’s playthings,
The criminals now hold your savings.

Plus a new crime – eyebrow theft,
Leaving maidens’ heads bereft,
So they must paint them on themselves,
A look resembling startled elves.

Angry West End hordes binge-drink
For fear they may emote, or think.
The brighter the lights of the bars that they dwell,
The dimmer within are its clientèle.

Oh London, though my words sound rash,
I visit you, you give me cash,
Is that not what you’d have us do,
All us plebs who sale in you?

London, London, never resting,
Living life headlong and fast,
If a man is tired of you,
He’s tired of life sans overdraft.

London, sixth largest city of France,
Bonne chance, bonne durance, vive la différence.


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