With grit and humour Zeppelins takes on the speed and surrealist chaos of the metropolis at the beginning of the 21st century. A sequence of sonnets oscillates between two very different cities: a London at the centre of a terrorist scare and a Liverpool enjoying its renaissance as European City of Culture. Both cities are probed as places faced with challenges as well as centres to be celebrated. The title poem ‘Zeppelins’ uses the bombings of London in the First World War to reflect another use of manmade machines to inflict violence on civilians: the London underground bombings of July 2005. The day of the bombings itself is captured in the poem ‘Axis is’ whilst related afflictions carried out by the government on the other side of the Atlantic is tackled in ‘Abu Ghraib’.
Counterbalanced to this are private poems of love, proposal and marriage. The book begins with ‘A Proposal’ and through a marriage diary written in Barcelona, ends with an attempt to position the new and unique poem in the history of ‘The Great Sprawling Love Poem’.
Urban, inquisitive and with a restless interest in the now McCabe writes about BNP Dagenham, Pete Doherty’s arrests and the Essex reaction to England’s exit from the World Cup in 2006. Playful and serious, with an eye for the strange and comedic, this is a book about what it means to be alive in a city as we head towards the second decade of the 21st century.