Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Two poems by Tim Scott


    The Form of an Armoured Car (Belfast, 1977)


A Saracen’s squat tonnage shudders through
the lines of flat-faced houses. Its heartbeat pulses
on their window panes as soldiers scatter
into pre-established patterns: defilade, enfilade, duck
and cover, run. Boots clatter over cobblestones.
An officer shouts. His public school English ricochets
off walls. The street vibrates
to disciplinary rhythms: the binary pounding
of the old one-two – the communal yes and no
of us and them.
                      A tricolour winds in
backwards through an open upstairs casement.
A sheepskin rug is patted down, loosened
floorboards realigned by shuffling feet.
The engine revs again inside the bookcases and shelves
while children who have learned to meet
authority with silence are ushered into backrooms
                                                      and kept low.


    Dali’s Telephone and the Liberal Left


after Paul Muldoon’s ‘Something Else’


As we paused by the plinth on which the phone’s case rested,
that inverted, perspex tank, I
imagined my fingers round its kilogram of rancour
and thought of camouflage, blue blood, your tongue’s delicious

pink turned to the boiled hiss
of a lobster
and how no-one gives a fuck about the Irish card
you play. In my head, I heard a ringing, then a sizzle

like I’d lifted that crustacean from its cradle
and pressed its icy shell against
my ear. I thought again about connections, about its livid mass,

how I’d like to swing it hard
and bring it down across your face – relentlessly, unstoppable
till we were soaked in empire red and I could think of something else.