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i.m. Douglas Barbour who died yesterday.

Been a while since I thought a poem was a pop song
Instead of a Walter ppk to the heart of the superstructure,
Interrogating the very concept of linguistic designer thoughts;

A poet never changes their spots, just their t-shirts, the ideas
At the core of a human are not easily ironed out with ironic
References to transhumanism, or Mao; no, we can smell fear

Of losing the bank vault to the Beagle Boys, we know when Herr
Nobel really likes the boy with the bowl cut, or the red lingerie.
It’s a deontological low point when Django Unchained may be

A cogent argument against slavery, and history isn’t; but
That’s a filmic nostalgic revenge fantasy; we have to save
A planet from ourselves with only The Poetics, and conflictual

Arguably biological imperatives driving cleavage between
The nation-states and free-floating transnationals in the way;
We know more words than we can fathom ways out of the sack

The kittens, which includes us, are in – the Rawls Ideal Kitten
Sack theory of Justice – but it took Oakeshott to put poetry
At the centre of a disinterested worldview; some conversations

Aren’t about power, or me and you, or the science of bees,
Though all of these should be truly engaged with, and co-determine
All actions we choose to claim we decide when we kill with a spy

Sent to do the bidding of an elected democracy, give or take a few
Computer alterations of the ballots along the rocky road to freedom.
I’m unclear on what it is we need to do to overcome our own resistance

To what needs to be done, and maybe happy families, love, gyms,
The earnings including bonus of a good person, can’t lead forcefully;
What if the very genre, the tropes, the dramatic shape of the play,

Is the problematic issue? The ideology of ideologies, the fact of speaking,
The art of artifice, the ability to make shit up, is the stumbling block?
My cat owns zero property, is a year zero creature, unshaped by much

More than breeding, instinct and how he’s been cuddled since birth;
So even animals, then, are part of the set of objects controlled
By ideation’s desiring hands, the caresses of want, supply,

And superfluous demand. Petrol is missing, anger soars, Volvos halt
The army comes out, to deliver the gold dust that runs
The world; how will a universe without fossil fuels go?

I guess the battery kings will collude with the electricity kings,
Who will intermarry with the waterfall kings, and the wind kings,
And the electric cable kings, and the rare mineral kings,

And the kings who design five-time-faster than sound rockets,
And these will decide who gets the manuka honey, who fiscally
Owns the Labradors, the Persians, British Blues, Siamese,

The Pekinese, and all the other behaved pets we will still call ours,
When we run out of things to own, when we have no murderous
Needs in our societies’ wince-inducingly compromised hearts.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021


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