rebellion is free before eleven o’clock


noise and noise and make it louder
speak the devil so the angels all envy
and while the night is deathly pale
set fire to yourself to draw the crowd

they flock and run and pack together
each at the wheel loading the stakes
with chips that look pretty and impress
the bewildered but those who know
don’t have to look once to smell the
stale odour of bill posters and hoardings
glamorising the abandoned high street of the soul

keep pushing the nose against the mirror
outrage the dead who do not care either
for carefully conceived traumas
and expertly executed dilemmas
and the cab has come cos he has to go home
as the other arrives at the door

there were days when i would wince at this
days when hatred would dwell where a playful
sense of folly now skips and laughing
making recreation of anthropology
here is the next generation of humanity
as unaware of themselves as of the history
they take such pains to produce authentically
completely oblivious to their parody

come out, they tell me, come out and get drunk
get completely paralytic- the Portuguese friend has coke
are you finding a man tonight, one asks the other,
a black man who can fill you up?

it’s not even sad, its not even a tragedy
it’s comic in all its grim pretension
and as they stream in i recognise each character
streaming out i return to my room
giving thanks that such heretics exist among us
who are so predictable and so well groomed


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