Voice

(Circa 2011)

The movement moves fast

There’s a patchwork of placards

And a river of marchers

Flowing by the Thames

And the endless succession

Of classrooms and basements and bars

Where we devised the making of a new world

‘Stronger together, shoulder to shoulder’

Impeccable logic

But sooner or later

You also have to stand alone

And suddenly everything’s slow.

Heart thunders in my ears

Utterly legless but pulled up by my

Grandmother’s hands and jostled

By the ghosts of my class to SPEAK!

To say something, point somewhere,

Anywhere but backwards

In the face of all this savagery

The manifestation of all they warned

Capital would be

And already seeping into the bones

Of the Next Generation

Hate to say it because, you know,

“Pessimism of the intellect optimism of the will”

But it probably isn’t never too late

For the Beast to be killed

So we sort of need to move on this…

And it’s not like I had nothing to say

(How can anyone who’s seen any of this

Have nothing to say?)

So I stood

And my Nanna’s invisible shoulder

Kept me upright

“We’ve had enough of the bombing

And the lying and the thieving

And of living in a world where

Nothing is held sacred

Nothing is free

From the mechanised grip

Of the Company

Of the politics of hate

And the economy of madness

That consumes all matter

And tosses it like so many

Dead bodies on the

Altar of Infinite Growth

The Priests of Progress

Gather around their acronyms

And their projections

(Which never go down)

And perform voodoo

Against the body politic

Feeding the market on human flesh

Chanting constantly

About the End of History.

We’ve had enough of that too

What an insult!

This, the end of the line?

This violent, garish,

Poisonous mess,

This all-encompassing apartheid

Of all people from all people

And the planet

And from knowledge?

This carnival of spiteful caricatures

That calls itself a ‘discourse’

Little more than a

Chorus of slogans masquerading as

Free expression?

Enough of that too

Don’t talk to us about freedom

From the Penthouse Suite on the 43rd floor

You, who climbed up there

On the backs of blacks

And the dreams of great women

And the fingers of the factory kids

And kicked away the ladder

Now you’re going to talk about

‘Natural inequality’?

Ten thousand years of darkness dispelled

By… ‘equal opportunity’?

And opportunity to what?

Climb over each other to kiss the ring?

Trade ipods for the right to sing?

Drop democracy for the right to vote?

Settle for this

And surrender hope?

The prince of Wall Street

His Priests of Progress assure us

History is ended and we have no choice

But not

While we still have a voice.

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