Blackburn, counterclockwise, Dangerous Woman, DNA, dockyard confetti, etymology, evil coupling, flange, gimlet, internal fixation, Jahannam, jam, Man United, Manchester, Manchester Arena, Mancunian, nuts and bolts, Ormskirk, Preston, retronym, Rochdale, Salford, Salman, screw loose, shrapnel, suicide bomber
(Manchester Arena: Image by Pitt-yacker at
In Hope Street they manufacture nuts, bolts…
The company is even called ‘Nail It.‘
(Man United usually does just that.)
Salford, Manchester, Blackburn, Ormskirk,
Rochdale, Preston – all ‘nuts and bolts‘ places.
Their people are frank and they don’t quibble
over distinctions between flange and jam.
They vote ‘righty-tighty; lefty loosey.‘
At weddings there’s no ‘dockyard confetti‘
and shrapnel is small change in a pocket.
They know their hardware inside out and don’t
excuse idiots who have a screw loose.
They expect ‘Salman’ to mean a ‘blessing’:
that’s what the etymology suggests.
But they can differentiate as well –
‘Dangerous Woman‘ is just a concert
and not a female suicide bomber.
When someone with internal fixation
and tensioned beyond proof starts to behave
in a counterclockwise manner, they know
that it’s not about connection, coupling,
But they had no time to crack
a nut who suddenly raised his own head;
someone whose helical rage respected
no one else’s DNA – who spiralled –
blasted into Jahannam’s lowest pit,
not in a blaze of glory, but in shards
of eye, shoulder, thumb, rib neck and hex bolts.
‘Human being‘ needs a modifier.
We need to qualify with retronyms:
‘compassionate‘, ‘decent‘ or ‘evil,’
for we no longer know what is ‘human‘-
neither do straight-forward Mancunians.
Yet their gimlet eyes saw glimmers of it
in the selflessness of those who helped them.