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;

a sentence cut short 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 has already been made.

                ****

Words twirled like sugar cubes
                            by silver spoons
into porcelain cups are not enough.

They’re useless.

Images are different.

With careful consideration
they will change the world,
                            or else become exhibitions
to be sold & then interpolated
into the process of rebellion:

they won’t threaten the system.

                ****

We drown in noise, suffocated by information.

Anhedonic hedonism,
                            cynicism,
& one more beer, one more smoke,
just one last line of coke;

desperate times & desperate measures,
insanity as a 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
                            which is to say,
it changes your perspective;

to hold contradictory thoughts,
                            is to survive
& thrive, like weeds & not flowers.

                ****

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

words no longer matter on the page.

Now only screens change the world
& dreams become as tacky as a pearl necklace,
draped around the neck

                ****

So now of, course, we want not just answers
but solutions;
                            desperate measures:
give us insanity & you can have it back.

Don’t think that we lack the courage needed:

we know what must be done,

we just don’t know how to do it…

                ****

They say that thinking of these things
will only make matters worse;

those of us for whom the drugs don’t work are told
                           to focus on the small things
& ignore the dying world,

drowning us all.

So:

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

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

watch as the butterfly flickers away…

 

A New Year: Part ii

A New Year: Part i

This year violently begins
            & our eyes
                open again.

Winter now literally keeps us warm:
Spring heat
            – 20 degree February

Last night,
            I had a dream,
that poetry still mattered &
you presented me
            with lilacs as
                    behind you
the crowd demanded answers, but
we calmed them with elegant words.

Then I awoke,
                to this world
where desire is just another
        commodity,
            identity
                is money
        & the roots of memory
are concrete foundations;

the old bones of Moloch
who has long since claimed the dead land,
as
    every day
        more bodies
            pile up in the streets.

So wide-awake, or still
stubbornly clinging to sleep,
            we divide
along well-worn lines:

            the only lilacs
I’ve ever seen in this city,
are those you once showed me
beneath a cracked screen,

in a world run by cunts,
where the terrifying truth
is that our very existence
makes us all complicit
with a system
    built upon suffering
        & destruction.

This year,
    the seasons
       have rejected our measurements,
& forced our predictions
        to confront us.

Now is the time for new values,
    now is the time to choose:

            Which side are you on, &
                what is to be done?