Sarah Quigley

Mass Adidas

Running out of words, searching for inspiration,
walking out for air, somehow I keep coming back
to you, Adidas, with your transparent walls,

your shelves full of stripes, and your cupboards
full of cotton remedies to put the whole damn
miscellaneous world to homogeneous rights;

your ceilingless changing rooms from which
arms reach up in red-and-blue determination
to be cool at all costs, look nothing

out of the ordinary, appear sporty in an urban
playground without sweat or visible exertion,
slouch effortlessly between day and night,

hide origins, gloss over emotions,
and grow hair long to cover up possible betrayal.
Wear the three-pronged crown to deflect

attention, don the stripy armour, pull up
the hood, pull on the boots, and leave
the glass candy-store looking like no one,

looking like everyone: this is the cult
of anonymity, the devil of our century,
chasing away romantics, thinkers and solitary
individuals, banishing art.

 

 

Running to the Tune of the Foot God

Oranienburger Strasse: difficult to pronounce
and harder to navigate, a frozen river running
through the middle of the city, Frankfurt tourists
bumping along its surface in black leather coats,

strung-out families shunting end to end,
occasionally nudging into restaurants and shops,
while I run, as I always do, on my beat-up shoes,
leaping for solid ground, skidding on ice,
heading for Mecca

all in white and twenty-foot high,
balanced on the face of a bullet-pocked
building, sublime in the dim light
of this frosty, breathy Berlin night,

keeping his poise for several long months,
unheeding of snow, oblivious to jackhammers,
deaf to the trams that crawl around his feet:
he is god of the Foot Locker, and he holds

to his aquiline nose a pristine shoe
that has never been touched by human foot,
while beside his gracious and oversized head floats
a cloud of alluring italics: The Fragrance of Exclusivity.

I dodge and sweat through the slushy
tourists, heading for the one clear deity:
that tender holder of tissue-paper,
that keeper of athletes’ dreams;

the crowds roar and my muscles reach,
and my heart cries out to achievement,
to excellence, and the end of the street:
to what you might call, be you poet or runner,
a definitive finishing line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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