On looking back into the mosh pit

I've been asked, by people following my blog, to include the poems I read on my recent poetry tour, so I'm putting them on here, then will be providing links back here from the blog. Hence...


On looking back into the mosh pit


This was never about fun, you rotten liar,

never about fun, but something higher,

never about fun. Yes, about drums,

pounding like the feet of some

thing slouching toward Bethlehem,

and, yes, about the Bedlam-rush

Blake and Kerouac once felt behind their eyes,

but to spell ecstatic as just happy is to lie.

This is not happiness. This is where happiness

comes from, but the feeling here expressed

is more than just a sticking-plaster smile.

The make-up and the clothes mean more than style.


Exile is the option chosen here, self-imposed

retreat from a weekday world purporting to oppose

the slavery and cruelty that the normal folk like us

perpetrate: the laughter on the bus,

the joshing in the corridor, and worse

where authorities will not look, out of choice,

the turning shoulders and the pungent looks,

the managers who have no time for books,

the bookshop shelves which creak beneath the weight

of self-help schriffts which seek to venerate

their smiling rule. No negatives allowed!

The can-do nostrums of the lucky and the proud.   


All the girls who cut their hair like boys,

the boys who paint themselves to look like girls,

know, all, how it feels to be crushed

by the weight of a world so criminal

and so obsessed with being proven right,

it calls out in its sleep for punishment. By night

the west is lost in dreams of youth gone wild

and risen demons,

by morning once more lulled

to acquiescence by the television sermons,

by the guys in suits who talk before the game;

will drink its coffee and displace its pain

again on these young shoulders, wishbone-slim

in fishnet tops, and go back to its usual kind of sin.


But morning’s far away. For now, the hurt,

the covert cultivar of rage each one has brought,

finds in this pounding dark a place to effloresce,

to bloom in noise and loving violence.

gender/sexualitypoetryrock and roll

◄ A Short Course in Suicide Writing

What are you afraid to say? ►


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