Not Tonight

One hundred years of solitude, within one day,
between four walls.

The ever-returning thoughts of failure;
                                        red to ochre
bloodstains all over the wall,

then the one memory that broke your fall
returns
                                       as the pale shimmer
of a phosphorescent ghost…

No,

not tonight.

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,
to change 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…

 

The War

Is my story more exciting than yours?
Or did you get those scars in a bloodier war?

The pen can be mightier than the sword,
but guns would kill us all.

If only you could summon up the balls,
to stain the floor with your bullet-ridden corpse

                            or

vomit away your soul

                            &

say goodbye with the sound of broken bones
& a leap into the unknown.

Would your mind change before hitting the ground?
or would you leave with a taste of regret?

The war started before you were ready,
the fighting will fall silent without you knowing,

                            but

you were never ready for anything

at all.

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 all 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.

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 so 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 L.A. mansion…

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

So now you have a choice to make:

“Revolution or suicide”**

* The Accursed Share – Georges Bataille
** Guy Debord