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Revolution, Inc.

This social movement protest is brought to you
in association with Pepsi –
putting the pop into popular demonstrations
for generations.

If all that shouting is making you hungry,
try the all-new McDonald’s GuevaraBurger ®,
available now at all major marches.
Just look out for the Golden Arches.

We are also delighted to inform you
of our 3 for the price of 2 offer
available on placards at the moment –
choose from a wide range of slogans,

including “APPLE EACH DAY KEEPS THE FASCISTS AWAY”,
“STARBUCK THE SYSTEM NOW”
and “POWER TO THE PEOPLE, POWERED BY GOOGLE”.
Stay fresh and youthful

even when being brutally beaten by the police
with the soothing balms
of Clinique’s “Revolutionary You” skincare range,
cleansing tyranny since the Ancien Régime .

We hope you enjoyed this protest brought to you
in association with Pepsi,
but before you go, why not enter this survey
for a chance to win

a better world, free from injustice and lies.
Terms and conditions apply.

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Christmas Commercial Break

These days
I head for the mountains,
safely out of reach
of the avalanche of campaigns
for new perfumes and TV tie-ins
or someone’s latest book.

Up here a stillness surrounds me.
And, in the solitude,
there hangs a kind of poetry,
which, incidentally,
can also be found
in the book mentioned above.

At peace now,
I watch as the winter sun
melts the mountain snow,
in much the same way
as a collection of poems (£12.99 – available in all good bookshops)
can unfreeze a heart,

and I think about the rock beneath us,
and the wonder of us,
our singularity,
each of us unique
like a book with its own individual identifier,
(e.g. 9781783523054)

and Christmas
becomes magical once more.

An example of the kind of book you might find featured in the first stanza of this poem.

O Do Not Ask If I Am Beach Body Ready

O do not ask
if I am beach body ready.

Observe how the folds
of my stomach ripple
like the wind-pulled waves.

Feel these pale buttocks,
smoothed by the sand-grains
of time.

Note these milk-white limbs,
useless and stranded,
washed up whalebones.

Consider the tufts of hair
which sprout on my shoulders
like sea-grass.

And listen to the lapping
of my socks
at the shores of my sandals.

And you ask me
if I am beach body ready?

The Man Who Was Trapped Inside A Stock Photography Catalogue

You will see me smiling
on overcrowded tube trains,
gloating over my home insurance policy,

pointing triumphantly at a sales report,
to the incredulity of my colleagues,
in corporate brochure spreads,

beachcombing with my Facebook family
in a glossy back page advert
in a doctors’ grubby waiting room.

I’m pristine; my white teeth gleam,
blue eyes twinkle, I possess no wrinkles.
My hair is impeccably tousled.

I am subject to the tyranny of perfection;
an ad agency’s immaculate conception
with inbuilt marketing collateral damage.

Just for once, I would like my spreadsheet
not to add up, or my shirt to be stained,
or have my stock photography wife and kids up

and leave me when my drinking gets too much
following poorly-made investments with the money
I stole from a charity box for crippled orphans.

At least it’s quiet in between assignments,
as I sit and wait here, in the catalogue,
and reflect upon this terrible beauty
we have both been born into.