Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Cracking The Flags

Another piece of World Cup fiction here, this one by Sarah Clare-Conlon, I'll let her give you the introduction:

"I was in the Howgills in Cumbria, watched the match in a pub then went
hiking across fields in the blazing sun past marshy bogs and thought about
how some might take drowning their sorrows to extremes. I tried to use
the repetition of words, sounds and ideas, along with the repetition of the
last line and the decreasing 11-9-7 rhythm of each verse, to convey a sense
of depressing inevitability and pointlessness, especially following the
initial hopeful flag-waving antics the nation puts itself through. Anyway,
see what you think..."

Cracking the flags, by Sarah-Clare Conlon

The crackle of England flags in the stiff wind
The stiff drink drowning England's sorrows
on a cracking-the-flags day.

A damp squib, a squabble, a sticky quagmire.
A drowning in the depths of despair
on a cracking-the-flags day.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Another piece of World Cup Fiction. This takes place only 12 years ago. Oh, France, how you have fallen...
It was longer originally but I couldn't find a way to end the longer piece so I cut it.

Mother died in France in the summer of 1998. 9 July. Before France were crowned victors and the country erupted. We had gone to France as a compromise – she wanted a holiday in Europe and me and my father wanted to be wherever the Word Cup Final was. My mother will never know that we were part of history – the first French World Cup win. That was when it became apparent, I knew the outcome, the rush of celebration that swept through a country, the drunks down the Champs Elyse, when she did not. It angered me – how could she not know? How could she hide herself from this knowledge? Once every four years life was pushed forward and history was made and she was ignorant to this knowledge. Even with her limited interest in football she would find herself gripped by the stage and the players and this year, when she was right in the centre of it all, right in the centre – for a brief moment – of the universe, she gave it all up. The intoxication by spirit, by beauty, by dancing, the tricolore draped across Paris and she was nowhere to be seen. She had written herself into a private World Cup history shared between me and my father where every four years the week before the final would be the memory of her body, still, motionless, unknowing.
She created that history, that story and shared moment yet is unaware of any of it. She will remain unaware of every victor from here. Of Italy, of South Korea, of Robbie Keane in the 90th minute, of ecstasy. She knows nothing.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

World Cup Haiku

Here's a very small world cup inspired piece taken from my experience of watching the Mexico VS France game on a big screen in the middle of Prague.

Beer drips down my face
Your arms in ecstacy
As the final whistle blows

Keep writing your football stories/poems/world cup inspired pieces and be sure to send them to: submissions@badlanguagemcr.co.uk for the chance to see it published on the blog!

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Incredibly short one this time round, based on the news story that North Korea has hired Chinese people to act as fans for their matches.

It's called Fan.


They hand me a flag and a shirt and a ticket.

They tell me to cheer like mad.

But not too much.

Not enough to cause a fuss.

I tell them not to worry, I’m a professional.

I was on this soap once, I tell them, and I was pretty good.

They tell me to hold the shirt up to my chest. It’s too small.

They try and find me a larger one.

Remember, they say, you’ll be out there representing our country.

I can’t say anything negative.