Bonfire 451

I made a mighty bonfire
from remaindered copies
of The World According to Jeremy Clarkson

and saw the dance of sparks on
the stupid face emblazoned
upon a thousand covers turn to flame

spreading quickly across his name
and spine, until the pages caught
and raged in flickering fury.

Warming to the task, I threw the
complete back catalogue of Jeffrey Archer
onto the heap and the crowd grew larger

beneath the November night sky,
drawn in by the spectacle as
the paper crackled and smoke curled high.

Out of bags and rucksacks and pockets
came copies of The Da Vinci Code,
Twilight, Naomi Campbell’s Swan,

Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich,
as the bonfire trembled and twitched
and turned fifty shades of orange.

Caught in the passing of a sudden breeze
were heard the shrieks of a hundred
ghostwritten footballers’ autobiographies.

I don’t know how long we stood there,
in silence, admiring our handiwork,
our funeral pyre of inanities,

a bonfire of insanities.