I am in that long drag
of democracy between
betrayal and the next election.
What should I do?
has fractures in its tarmac;
is like earthquakes;
turns me into a fault line;
turns our stomachs;
leaves our mouths
plugged with denials;
stitched shut with a pencil; // if no one speaks of terror then
// perhaps we will not know it when
// it comes so tell me lies if lies are
// what you have inside your heart
// don’t follow us and find yourself
// in pieces where we fell apart
marked X; // with no men left to pick the fruit
// or sow the fields or dig the
// trenches and so we all turn into
// farmers bury our hearts in the soil
// and go to work
is a non-neutral it;
is an unexploded bomb.
What should I do?
I’ll shuttle from this city
like cathodes emit heat;
escape from this un-exploded bomb with
a radar blip;
a grey cross on my flag;
my nation ruptured by that long drag
through police files;
of pencils in the boxes
top left to bottom right;
top right to bottom left;
through the pieces of me they have gathered;
and I will kill the Prime Minister I will slip in behind the wooden panels of democracy and kill him with the heavy gavel of democracy and I will kill him and I will cut WAR CRIMINAL into his chest and hang him in a gallery and I will call it WAR CRIMINAL and they will ask for my signature and I will deny everything.
Some brief context: this was written around the time of the illegal invasion of Iraq, when I was writing poems with titles designed to test whether one could be arrested in the West for writing poetry. This title was probably the most benign/coded (I've also removed the dedication), but I soon realised people were actually being arrested for this stuff and I was just being immature. And this comes with a big disclaimer, that it didn't and still doesn't condone violence toward any individuals. The poem filtered into a portion of ‘Static Exile’ and the ‘DVD Extras’ in Static Exile. (Yeah, I know, shameless plug, but it is back in print and I am completely broke.)