Three new poems from Martin Jackson

I saw Martin read on Friday at Broadcast’s Greatest Hits event and very much enjoyed his own poem, as well as his choice of ‘covers’ from Burnside and Stevens. Martin was born in Warrington and having previously worked for a number of large advertising agencies quit in 2007 to focus on his own writing. He lives in Hackney, was a founding volunteer at the Ministry of Stories, teaches writing at a university and works in his local pub. He received an Eric Gregory award in June and his first novel is pretty much finished too. A good year, then.

Saatchi: compositions in Black and Red
no. 1

On Ecopoiesis


Research told us about
the Basics of Adulthood.
Tri-decade transitioning
is something hard to conceive.
Childhood dreams are dashed.
We are not special.

Achieving autonomy
is not linear, as hoped,
but soft drinks are well-placed
to deliver moments
of self-actualisation.
The hoped for better you.

We called the solution
Grown-up Innocence
and proved it using
a two-minute mood film
(Home Alone, Trigger Happy,
Shrek’s donkey snorting cocaine)

followed by storyboards.
We explained that the fridge
would have only eggs, milk, juice,
and that it would be more ‘fridge’
than the fridge in the drawings.
(Smeg, without being Smeg).

There were rushes and rough cuts
and we elevated the dramatic tone.
Early CGI was circulated
against our strict wishes.
There was a meeting to explain
why we had to be trusted.

Weekly WiP meet-ups
became daily FTP downloads.
The sigh at the start
was made to suggest:
‘I want nothing more
than to go there.’

The one towards the end:
‘I’m thankful for having
avoided so many deaths.’
We were too far down
the line to zoom into
the personality of the fruit.

A timeframe was constructed
around David Bellamy.
Concerns his delivery
lacked clarity dissipated
as less words became
more powerful. More filmic.

The packshot was pearlised.
The splat icon took weeks
to be satisfactorily rendered.
There were sunbursts and lens flare.
Fingers of god were made punchier.
They were brand properties.


Women were targeted
through Quality Press
and supermarket six sheets
after the family food panel
was replaced by a brainstorm.

It was to be real fruit
but treated differently.
A hyper-reality of fruit.
Blimps and hot-air balloons
good enough to eat.

AMc signed off helicoptered bushes
after consulting with her scientist.
There would be butterflies (native)
and flowers (various, unimposing).
It would be 8am BST.

Mountains were to be archetypally Scottish
but greener, with snow-speckled peaks.
Things would not be seen from a worm’s POV
but from the POV of fallen, heroic fruit.
Worms were not to be mentioned. They are not taste.

AMc was sent a copy of final outdoor.
Outdoor was well-liked and circulated to all.

Saatchi: compositions in Black and Red
no. 2

On Dialectical Reasoning

Know how to start. Create
appetite. Beware of ticks.

There is always a room.
Understand it. Change it.
Rehearse with a stranger.

Brutal logic always wins.
Tell them what you’re going
to tell them. Tell them. Then
tell them what you told them.
Avoid textual fatigue.

Don’t borrow someone’s watch
to tell them the time.

For handovers: just stop
and seamlessly hand over.
Be yourself. Watch for ticks.

Saatchi: compositions in Black and Red
no. 3

On Social Democracy


Spencer suggested that more TV is better,
despite the plans as sold. MPs see it, are reassured
things happen, so can reassure others.

We awaited operational and policy details
but PG and even GB were becoming involved.
CR was scoping from a distance.

Status was urgent. KP, IMc, SV, SW,
BW, TK, GE, JJ, GC, KC, SN and MJ sat down.
We had to read the Tax Back findings.

Econometric modelling was to be closely stuck to
in terms of timing. There was a CiC ethnic LTC
document rumoured but unseen by anyone.

SV was merchandising old tracking data
to programming teams via chartless summaries.
Milk cartons were definitely still possible.

Future planning meetings were becoming essential
but no one knew what would follow them.
A low take-up on ethnic was reported.

If Craig was charged ½%
and Josephina 2 x ½%,
what would Ahmed be charged?

All liked the suggestion to use analogy.
A leaky pipe. A hole in a boat.
Trousers falling down, gradually.


Everything about 2006 changed.
Milk was definitely gone.

We were asked to sit down
on the brocade of context.

The tone needed to get worse.
It had to develop and become far worse.

New mothers had to be targeted, but when?
They had to have decisions made for them.

Timings became very squeezed
at the back end.

There was a con call to discuss London-
centric Bang/Pak/Black communities.

We had to construct a story,
then work out the logistical tale.


There was no ethnic research.
None had been commissioned.
We produced a general campaign
targeting the usual targets.

We remembered the translation holiday.
Naked were to send invites for the rounders game.
Critical timings were sent through instead.
April was unlikely to happen.

Read another poem from Martin here

  1. August 29th, 2011

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