Monday, 18 April 2011

Poetry - Spring

For my favourite season...


Hello there, old friend… yes I’m sure we’ve met before.
Your sunlight warmed my face before.
Where have you been? They said you were dead.
Were you hiding?
Were those your sleepy eyes that crept out from under the blanket of ice?
Was it you who secretly incubated this year’s young
Whilst the world outside froze and died?
They sent you into exile, didn’t they?

They forced your warmth and bright colours into hiding,
The land now favouring a thousand shades of blue and white
As your evil sibling wreaked havoc upon it.
But you have returned - you have reclaimed your throne; you always do.
You called upon your armies of daffodils and snowdrops,
And green buds like bullets hanging in the air,
And executed the revolution upon your tyrannical brother beautifully,
Just like you always do.

Welcome back, old friend.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Poetry - The American Wet Dream

Hello all, this is a poem which was written as kind of a response to Allen Ginsberg's 1956 poem 'America', which sought to represent his anger and disillusionment with his homeland during that period - the age of McCarthyism and Cold war fever. the original poem can be found here. My response, written in the same chaotic, stream of conciousness style, tries to investigate what, if anything, has changed, 55 years on.
Thanks for reading!

The American Wet Dream

Toss me a hand grenade - I think there’s one in my raincoat.
April 15th, 2011, War number whoknowswhat- the final destruction of our United States of consciousness.
America says we don’t do that kind of thing anymore.
We are at peace, she says.
We are the candle of hope and we light the torches around the world.
We are the protectors, she says.
Freedom - one nation under God.
But where is God now?
Nietzsche was right, he’s dead.
We killed him. America killed him. I don’t think we’re sorry, either.

Joe, if you could only see us now – you’d be so proud.
Too bad you couldn’t stick around to see the fruits of your labour.
We’re still finding them, rooting out the ‘ists’.
Bringing them to justice, just like you taught us.
Your lessons did not go ignored, how could they?
We are the tail-gunners now that you're gone.
But your rose of protection is covered in thorns, Joe.
It’s ripping the garden apart. Thank you Joe.

The past lies like a nightmare upon the present, that's what them Russians once said - them knew the truth.
The times they have a-changed, just like Zimmerman said they would.
But you haven’t changed, America.
You still silence your people and spy on your children,
Just like you always have.
Is that how a patriot acts?

No no, fuck this. You know all this already, America.
Ginsberg already told you, but I don’t think you were listening.
January 17, 1956 – remember?
You know who you are, America,
One nation under God.
The Time changes, or is it just the man of the year that changes?
No, everything changes.
Everything changes but you, America.

Roses grow in the garden now,
And the garden is forced to care for them equally,
but how it longs to cover them in branches,
To hide these godless creatures from the sun.
One nation under God.
Freedom? Freedom died in your arms long ago.
With one hand you caressed it and begged it to stay strong.
With the other you held the pillow and smothered its face until all of the life had drained.
You left it for dead, America. Suffocated and empty.
One nation under God.

One Nation under God, indivisible.
In your offspring's name you are the world's protector;
you send your sons and daughters to be fitted for coffins.
You sold your children to Chaos, just like you always have,
but did anyone check his heart, to see if it was still there,
when Johnny came marching home?
The children don’t like it when Uncle Sam comes to visit.
He makes them do things. Horrible things – things that they shouldn’t speak about.

Whatever happened to the heroes?
To Kerouac, Kesey, and Ginsberg? And them alike too?
Gone, she told me.
Our founding fathers have turned to dust.
They beat it long ago.
But it’s not the flesh and blood that matters. Not to me anyway.
It’s the idea. The spirit. The legacy – that’s what’s important.
The decade changes, but still the witch hunts go on.
Everyone’s a terrorist.
Everyone’s offended.
Everything else changes, America.
Everything changes but you.

The American dream? Sure, I remember that.
The American wet dream they call it now -
the greatest thing on earth until you wake up and realise what is truly going on.
Wake up America.
You promised us Freedom, America.
You promised us hope, America.
America, you promised us love.
You promised us justice, America.
You promised us change, America.
You betrayed us.