on human conditions


italy crushed on austria
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


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


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


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


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

you do understand
whom i’ve just introduced?


the difference
is conmen
and the abuse of power
soothing terrors
and the abuse of power
purpose invention
and the abuse of power
disorder loss
and the abuse of power

putting a policeman in everyone’s head

is that an abuse of power


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