17. How Comes It Then

Out of need maybe in lack
of adequacy but no sudden entry
don’t we always just accept then
these circumstances for full slavery?

Each time, each time I tell you
we accept the natural right of rulers
we thrust ourselves into darkness
a world of no colour or light

As the sun sparkles we must
build up into some true many
rejoicing in diversity & need to
help eachother live into this light

And darkness – any intensity of purpose
purely against what the few lay claim to
that world of random murder, constant hate
in which we feed upon the bodies of the weak

The predators take off & thrive
on the tolls we pay for air & earth
these circumstances not of our own choosing but
each day of acceptance shall be our blame

OK, then, summer, & it’s delicious
but waiting on the beach for due attention
won’t get us anywhere – get a pen, all
the unbroken instruments of this world to write

Don’t care if it’s too personal, don’t
care if just impersonal, least said
but be the best & most perfected
open to all our pleasing games

Swimming, like that good god1, with-
in the world with which world we are all in
-volved, supported say by all its gaiety & mess
no fuss, no, but being here one evening

You can go on, to flourish
in this deep summer where the warmth
tends this world now – not distant
& not sad:
           but here

Where the earth is filled with slaves, yes
& despots’ weeds crunch out the ecosystems
abased & prostrate, no, needn’t be
stripped to our rich bodies we shall live here
                                               to swim
                                               in summer light
                                               & hide in
                                               its darkness too





 1  you remember? – the unknown one?

16. To Live for Obedience and Mean

No – processed giggling too much
I think I do, ya
With the ruling elite reimposing power
The new transnational feudal order
All the folkways full fucked
I tell you


The sun glitters above
the great shapes of the city
they have no colour or light


The sun glitters above this lake
glistens & scintillates
dancing in a crowd
beautiful as alive


Oh – luscious darkness too
intensity of purpose
pushing in
then out


I’ve never been first class
That’s not fair
– but absolutely


“Artists, in old age, should not appear eagerly grateful for belated attention to their work. A decent courtesy is more than sufficient.”

Gilbert Sorrentino, Something Said (Dalkey Archive Press, 2001), p 434 – cited by Jenny Davies, “Well you Needn’t, Motherfucker: Sometimes Underground”, in Armand, p 105.


Dangerously personal
– may be less dangerous
than the dangerously
don’t y’think?


Ganz ohne groß Umtrieb, wie der liebe Gott tut
Wenn er am Abend noch in seinen Flüssen schwimmt.

Brecht, p 106 “Vom Schwimmen in Seen und Flüssen”


To flourish
in the deep summer
when the warmth tends
this good world real


How comes it then that earth is filled with slaves?
Millions on millions prostrate in the dust,
Rank are the despots’ weeds which now o’er-run
How comes it then that minds are thus abased?

from Edward Rushton, “Human Debasement: A Fragment” (1793), in ed. Roger Lonsdale, The Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse (OUP, 1987), pp 792-3