This is how we live now (if you were born after 1984)

Expensive mistakes made to wait
for the cancelled screening of lost futures.

                            Never mind,
just watch the trailer;

sentence brought forward for bad behaviour,
particular particulates chosen
                            for both air & water.

Which method of suicide would you like?

No need for haste,
we have a decade to waste first,
                            & anyway
the decision was already taken
from us.

We just failed to notice.

                ****

Desperate times & desperate measures,
insanity as reflex against insanity;

                            a litany
of clichés & new prescriptions
for yet more medication.

Don't question
the efficacy, or the necessity
or the cause,

just take what you're given & be grateful
someone is pretending to listen.

This is how our problems are solved now…

                ****

Pull out the roots & the flower wont grow,
just like weeds won't;
                            to consider
weeds to be as beautiful as flowers,
is to consider the power of words
to change the world.

To hold contradictory thoughts,
                            is to survive
& thrive, like weeds become flowers.

To speak of flowers is to disappear
into the ideas of others but this
is consistent with the insistence that
                            nothing can be
new until it's too late:

words no longer matter on the page.

Now only screens change the world
& dreams are as useless as a pearl necklace,
draped around the neck.

                ****

Those of us for whom the drugs don't work
are told to focus
                on the small things
& ignore the world dying
all around us.

So:

crouch down to a round, purple flower,
notice the green-tipped wing of a butterfly
upon it.

Reach for the phone as reflex
                to take a photograph,
& watch as

the butterfly
flickers away…

Do’s & Don’ts

Pay no attention to the world outside of your city,
or the sunlight bleeding across the sky.

Don’t look at the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson,
or allow yourself to cry.

Do not listen to the Gymnopédies everyday for a month,
while taking commuter trains;

don’t look at single-platform stations as you pass them by,
or aimlessly observe the detritus trying to hide
 
in the fringes of everything. Never create, only consume
but don’t drink alone so much that you

begin to loose your mind…

***

Listen to teachers & parents & always do as you’re told,
exercise regularly & deny you’re growing old.

Listen to Spotify playlists & buy the latest clothes,
have faith in reason & that technology will save us all.

Always assume a community is just a collection of potential enemies
waiting to steal everything that you own.

Believe that you are where you are through merit alone,
& drink only in moderation.

Ignore the homeless, have faith in the government
& believe that you are free.

Teach your children to respect authority
& do the same yourself.

Use razor-blades only to remove hair,
not to mutilate yourself.

Learn to accept your place…

***

Choose pleasure over meaning, close
your eyes & let advertising
do your dreaming for you.

Ask no questions, you’ll hear no lies:

it’s the only way to survive.

Here, there, everywhere*

When meaning twists & coils
over & over again, &
becomes the slain god-monsters of
our ancient ancestors;

when the specific, the particular
is devoured by these monster
        the other ceases breathing
        undeserving of sacrifice
to the mess we’ve made:

        this is our fate,
neither a bang nor a whimper

        but a mass-psychosis

            with an ironic posture.

* Here, there, everywhere – Sam Kriss

Bipolarity in Post-Modernity

Here I’m alive; a mediocre, twice-
failed suicide,
                hypomanic
in hyperreality
writing unremarkable poetry,
failing to be
               Homo Economicus, but
I’m not the only one

I know;
        this system fucks us all,
why do you think so many of us are depressed?

                There is the voice,
have you heard it too?
                Telling you
it’s all your fault,
a flaw,
a weakness:
            
                – worthless piece of shit,
                can’t just get on with it.
                You’ve got so much privilege:
                just look at how much you can get when
                half the world lives on less than
                you earn in an hour.

                Don’t be so pathetic: you don’t deserve it –

Sometimes, I think the voice is right.

Sometimes,
I realise what it really is:
            
the propaganda of our disgusting society
that’s wormed its way inside of my psyche.

& yet knowing this doesn’t help

because
        this mind of mine can’t find
meaning in
the featherweight consolation
       of ironic distance.
I need
the romance of defiance;
I need
        all or nothing.

When Politics fought Art it ended
with a bullet in Mayakovsky’s heart,
for stamping on the throat of his own song;

when Art met Capital it ended
with Johnny Rotten complaining about homeless people
spoiling the view from his fucking disgusting L.A. mansion…

& when Politics starts fighting Capital,
that’s the sound of the revolution starting.

So now we have a choice to make:

“Revolution or suicide”**

* The Accursed Share – Georges Bataille
** Guy Debord

Never let me forget…

For S

Never let me forget
how much
I wanted to forget
the way you looked when I left you in bed
this morning,
to face the dawn & the dawning
knowledge that the futile elegance of
transcendent vision
allowing us to see
the meaningless mystery
of everything,
means nothing to me
compared to you.

As every breath in my lungs
pulled like wet leaves through mud,
you looked
so beautifully
at peace:

a rare orchid on the far shore of sleep…

In that moment
knowing
I had to tear myself away from you
only to throw myself into
the world where bullshit reigns supreme,
felt like a betrayal
because I forced myself
to forget:

Forgive me.
It was the only way
I could make myself leave the bed;
leave the island of peace
where our bodies press together,
to travel across the filthy sea
of the city
that doesn’t give a fuck about you or me
– or anybody at all –
to work for the wealth of others,
so that we can sleep beneath
a roof & between warm walls;
& we
can eat without the need
to raid bins to survive, & I
can return to you again.

So never let me forget that this human world we live in
is disgusting
& you
are the only reason
I remain within it.