on human conditions

(i)

italy crushed on austria
rushed
that’s how the Alps were made

england & america had a dispute
turned their backs    walked apart
that’s how the Atlantic was made

of course it’s all bollox on stilts
england & america  austria & italy
simply geography

they have no motive
     they have no i

we invent an agency
that isn’t there


(ii)

the cliff collapsed
     the day the boss swore at Sid

when Frank got there
     the river bed was dry

the wind sang
     my dog’s
          favourite lament

that year the peas
     did not flower

they had no motive
     they had no i

we invented an agency
that was not there


(iii)

history
our collective history
the language we talk
the culture that brings us up

the we

we have agency
the agency of i and each and us

am & was


(iv)

eaten by admiration
and respect
and fear
and impact
and import

and shat out in stories
family tales
sermons and myths
our identity

and we give it agency
give it name
the agency of us
the name of am & was


(v)

you do understand
this is a religious poem
don’t you

you do understand
whom i’ve just introduced?


(vi)

ah
the difference
is conmen
and the abuse of power
and soothing peoples’ terror
and the abuse of power
and giving an acceptable purpose
and the abuse of power
and guidance for the confused
and the abuse of power
and the loss of disorder
and the abuse of power

putting a policeman in everyone’s head

is that an abuse of power


(vii)

it takes courage to sit on this see saw
with a rare cool reflection
when most are yelling through their genitals

a courage i don’t have