Pandemical Polemical Boris Johnson is PM, not representing Us, just Them, the Few that would deny a penny to the poor deserving Many. Let's hope we can undo this schism unmasked by an algorithm, undermined by a disease that mutates like a passing breeze. Yet the monstrous mutant, hale and hearty, to be rid of, is the Tory Party along with all it's City mates, financial backers, initiates in the ways of exploitation, greed and mutual masturbation, wankering each other off with their snouts deep in the trough. There's a plumby job for a girl or boy who's dedicated to destroy any whiff of Socialism. "Let's build another algorithm to wipe out any tiny chance that people become free to dance the dance of vibrant Liberty around the trunk of Freedom's tree." Yes, Boris Johnson as PM has writ these words and posted them, a subtext of his vile wit; surely we're fed up with it. Surely we can build a fight to rid us of this cancerous blight. Let's populate each local street, encouragingly entreat a revolution of we proles to lift our hearts, light up our souls; to urge us proletariat to start a fiery samizdat, a clandestine publication promoting urgent liberation from these feckless, bloated twisters. So what we need are stout resisters organising every place where there is a human face, a mouth to feed, a child to tend, the lonely one who wants a friend, the needy sick, the unemployed, the desperate and the near destroyed. Let's rise together and follow the call, see these exploiters head for a fall from the grace they, in error, think that they merit. Let's do it! There's only a World to Inherit!
Millennium And a child said, "What's a millennium for?" Her tousled hair a shroud of shattered glass in buildings of brown dust once called home. We saw her there, shoeless and unsouled by someone else's appetite for war. They have no names, their voices shrill champagne, producing more than we can dispose of, profiting in the marketplace of time, from the ruin their ravages obtain, to reinvest in their needlessness, their heedless acquisition of the fruits of our labour, love, unworldliness. Whoever it was invented time ignored it's circularity, the endless repetition we provoke. Unconsciously, the pages that we turn reject the notion of diminishment, the book that never ends, the chapters filled with errors we commit and recommit, unable to do anything but repeat, unerringly, the blunders of the past and, surely, there's no repeal, no exclusions from this acquiescence to chains of petty common sense that pin us down, victims of this war. Look, see the evidence of collusion, the slack-jawed acceptance of this fate; the Pleasure Dome overfilled with cake, the fanciful millions counting on a win, who want this or that to so enhance the days made unacceptable by pap, a place in the instant fames provided by a media mogul always on the make. The culture of the specious mobile phone, the phoney conversations that we make, an anomie of quasi-cultural norms insisting that we all stump up the cash. Here is the landscape of those putrid dreams mad politicians make so much of. A picture of consensual mistrust reformulated in a hooligan's fist. A phobia formed of old bourgeois terror fearing the loss of property and power. The hypocrisy of condemnation when the dispossessed mimic their ruler's lust for prominence pictured on a tarnished coin. The notion that the world is always ours. Here we find this death mask replicated by the fifty-eight found stifled in a truck. So let us ask what this millennium obsession is really, really all about. Can anyone truly know the answer how an arbitrary notion by a Roman king or, maybe, someone sitting on a throne doing the daily function we require, came to be adopted in this way, to justify this image of ourselves in this ultra-comic cosmic show? Perhaps the naming of time is a disease politicians and the rich employ to bolster up their privilege and power? Yet this argument is too absurd. It requires suspension of disbelief to grasp a fact so obviously at odds with promoted cultural norms that vaguely cite Judeo-Christian sages as the source of wisdoms we've received for countless years, drummed ceaselessly into our weakened wills. All religions' touts so mock themselves. You want to say the clerics should take a chance, recognise that truth can have no edge, no end, no absolute, no borders to be crossed, no arms to reinforce itself, no place. Where land is, there a people will walk, build, sow dreams of starlight in their children's cries. Laughter and grief have ever beset us all. How much a man needs or a woman needs is mirrored in their children's eyes, reflections in the deep pools we drink from, where the sun splits light, illuminating power, the hate of it. How much more is there than the sky, the places where the insects go, oblivious? Who brought down these dark ominous moons turned now towards us, teaching us envy and means to build fences of crazed wire? Could we have resisted the sea or did it seem like home, something we love ineffably, invested with it's ownness, unownable? Place your hands in pools along the shore where the tides recede revealing rocks we slip upon. We have no footing here nor ground to place our flags among the scuttling things. Draw your hands toward you, cupped to capture light, spilling salt as the deep sound soothes us still, beating like blood through our wombs, until we fall asleep like an infant, cradled in it's arms.
In the presence of the dispossessed In the presence of the dispossessed, their grubby sleeping bags lining the streets, some asleep, others with hands outstretched, their eyes averted or a challenging stare thrown out, this feels a lot like impotence. Who do we give to, all or none at all? A few, then smile and try to ignore the rest? Comply with requests for only a few pence to buy a tea or shelter for the night or walk on by, aloof from their despair? Whatever we do it makes no difference. A handout or two is neither here nor there when what's required is a struggle for the right to shelter, food and warmth, replacing fear, a common purpose meaning that we care. A struggle to upend the status quo that ensures the needs of capital come first. To stop the fact these folk fuel the fires that forge wealth and profit for the few but leaves this human debris lacking light.
Mills Spun cotton casts a web upon the town. Dust arising from the yelling looms infiltrates the workers' living rooms, the soot filled smoke slowly settling down. Across the terraced houses, ranged in lines on cobbled streets, they hear the hooters blare signalling a change of shift, the hardware of machines are worshipped in their shrines. The mills are like cathedrals of the cursed louring over Rochdale in the rain. They hear the manufacturers refrain, "From labour, we get profit reimbursed". But during the American Civil War they refused to work with cotton picked by slaves and wished plantation owners in their graves, though they were hungry, out of work and poor. The towns of Lancashire were built by mills, the labour of the spinners toiling there. I hear their voices spinning through the air up from the plains into the Pennine hills.
La Viree de Galerne, October 1793 There were at least thirty thousand of us armed, not to mention the hangers on coming along for the craic, a gaggle of everything you could think of, lads only half grown and beardless, banging on incessantly how they'd screw the Reds and fuck Robespierre. Kids too and tarts hitching their skirts when we wanted it. We'd fought through a dozen towns and killing makes you want cunt. And the old men there to make the soup, ladling it into cupped hands as we marched. Bread we stole and wrung hens necks outside peasant farms, plucking on the move. We crossed a river, the Loire someone said, through Normandy and, up ahead, Granville. The Brits should have been there according to Monsieur Henri but, shit, they weren't. We'd been suckered and then we were surrounded. We beat back, forcing the pace, the fucking cold killing half of us. The rest were hunted down. The civvies were butchered in thousands, kids, women and the old ladling men mown down, great pools of blood, brown as their soup, crusting the earth. Christ, it wasn't human and the end came finally at Savenay. We came out of the woods at last, screaming our surrender. The frost melted as they shot fifteen thousand. For two days the guns were never silent. Mercy is not a revolutionary sentiment.
Gone Viral The corona virus, Covid 19, attacks all the organs including the spleen. The splenetic response of the government teams is making it not what it seems. External threats are always required to keep us in check, making us tired and sick, not from virus but hypocrisy and capital's complicity. The bastions of privilege slam down their gates to keep out the proles and other ingrates. They're scared they'll succumb to a horrid infection; "Give us vaccine; a crooked election!" The disease that they fear is not the corona or other like virus that apes it's persona. No, it's more a political, alien schism, Democracy and Socialism. So whilst we, the people, look out for each other and treat all our neighbours like sister and brother, the oligarchs, those who live over the tracks, are busily watching their backs. Yes, they'll launder their cash to beat back the threat of a small revolution designed to upset hegemony that is stitched into their spleen. Nowt to do with Covid 19.
Signs The drums beat on as we clear our ears and wait on answers Blair can't give. We question what he thinks he means. The children of Baghdad sleep on, air hums with lessons hard to understand, like a dose of napalm. Vietnam haunts our past, horrors we can't name or even bear to think about: a girl stripped of skin with open hands. The gall is what enrages most, although we too legitimise those things we know they do. Perhaps we have invoked the Lionheart, a rampage through those countless other lives, sanctified within the vicious heat of his belief; profit legalised by a sword or suicide bomber in a car intent on virgins and the peace they bring. A girdling up, existence past all care of infants in the dust, their stare benign, bewildered by that blightedness the race to covet souls and oil seems to embrace. It's said we've seen this many times before. Take Potemkin's rage against the far from certain Turks, Napoleon in Egypt, the Siege of Stalingrad when Hitler groped the deadly teats of Mother Russia, Mai Lai, Verdun, Gallipoli's southern shore; a carpet laid with young and fragile flesh consumed before the Gorgon's staring flash. We take account of what is dearly paid, this disequivalence of the betrayed. I was raised with names my dad took from his dead two comrades, lying still beneath the sand they fell upon, carrying out the deed commissioned from a bunkered Thames. They send these young men in their place to fight the fiend. They told young Arthur Wesney his place in time is assured by sacrifice; a theme refined by martyrs ever heading to their tombs. Young David Baker's limbs spread by a mine foreshadowed Laos, Cambodia, Palestine.
Grundrisse Karl Marx was a funny bloke, always writing, always broke. He lived at a pace that was pretty hectic polishing Hegel's dialectic, and he taught us to see things through the prism of historical materialism. Now Friedrich Engels was his mate, who he loved to love and loved to hate, but wealthy Engels funded his pal so Marx could write Das Kapital, a work so learned and profound we can analyse from solid ground. But Karl, too, liked to fight and drink and brought his family to the brink of poverty with his spendthrift ways after spending all his days researching and writing in the British Museum to create a secular Te Deum, leading to a promised land with socialism close at hand. Though before that, the dictat of the proletariat, an interregnum on the way to communism, one fine day. Yet Marx and Engels' biggest hit, which even opponents have to admit gave revolution the good to go, was The Communist Manifesto, a work so beautifully crafted and writ that few could disagree with it; a succour to the working class that equality would come to pass. And the best of all seduction, grabbing the means of production!, eventually, it must be said, but not before Karl Marx was dead. And we're still striving, all ends out, to bring this prophecy about. It's one step forward, two steps back, for what we need and what we lack are the means to bring it to fruition. It's not through want of intuition, intellect, or derring do, it's lack of will to see it through. We sometimes make some ground, in part, and see a revolution start, but rarely does this task succeed; for victory, we must indeed act like those we would replace, indulge in violence, with a human face, until our hearts become a void, a graveyard of the paranoid. Once we start to lust for power we get fucked up, our spirits sour, and efforts to reorganise the just provision of supplies leads to fighting between old friends for necessary means and ends. "It doesn't have to be this way", I think I hear old Karl Marx say whilst on his latest drinking crawl round public house and music hall; "Don't put the horses behind the carts, when Time is called, that's when it starts"!
Keeping it Right We've been on strike a few times now. We're not concerned about the reason but for the smell of the picket line. And when it's over, armbands stowed, work is brighter for a time, scabs slinking in as we look bosses in the eye. No one can quite hold our stare.
Prince in Blue Genes "Prince Charles Fears Genetic Disaster" (Daily Mail, 17th May 2000) We read in the paper Prince Charles is dismayed by science and scientists wrecking the place. "A bloomin' international disgrace" he said, then knelt down and prayed. It's something to do with the way that genetics are tinkered with, reproducing some freak reproduction whose nature and chin are too weak to understand human aesthetics. One look at his family's history's enough to tell that a simple genetic disaster occurred when Queen Vic was spliced by her master, Prince Albert, all proud, in the buff. And thus Charlie's mum and Philip the Greek are both blood relations of Vicky and Bert, whose seed is widespread among the inert royal families of Europe's shit creek. Poor Charles, self deluded, sounds almost ironic as he preaches on genes and how they morphose. He is, in his pomp, like a king with no clothes. We'd cry if it wasn't so comic.