Saturday, 11 October 2008
The Sins Of The Calf
This is a complex poem, it is a description of what is happening now in London as per the financial collapse as the city slows down and people lose their jobs, a vision of what will happen in the future to this country when the riots break out, a vision of the Biblical apocalypse as defined in Revalations and a description of the dehumanisation of human beings as mere 'functions' of the system, parts of the machine. The poem narrates that this apocalypse was begun by our people worshipping the Golden Calf of Capitalism which was personified by the sale of the work of art made by the British artist Damien Hirst a few weeks ago.
The Sin Of The Calf.
"These are your gods, O Israel,
who brought you up out of Egypt."
I watched as a golden calf was worshipped,
In the market place of London,
Then paraded through the city and enthroned,
Upon an altar of high art, as an idol,
For the masses to adore and desire.
In a womb of glass it waited,
For crowds to come and bow before it,
And its eyes of death reflected the gaze,
Of all those who gazed forth upon it.
For its horns glittered with avarice,
And were spread wide like the legs of a whore,
Whilst its hooves of crescent gold,
Appeared to me as setting suns,
Portents of a chaos about to occur.
Three numbers are upon its brow,
The sign of a revelation unfolding,
Its meaning the Seventh Seal breaking.
Now the nodding donkeys stiffen, the flow slows,
As does the heart of London itself,
Its black blood pumps sluggish,
Thickening along dark veined streets,
Clotted with crowds around the block,
Queuing to take their money back,
From an empty locked box called a bank.
Dead flowers that had wilted in a vase,
Of concrete, steel and glass,
Red roses of sorrow,
White lily’s of loss,
Had been tipped into the gutter,
From a window on the thirteenth floor,
Of an office block in Canary Wharf,
The black waters in which they had bloomed,
Stunk of rotting flesh and ran into a drain,
Which grimaced and gurgled with delight.
The machines and their system are broken,
And the dead lay scattered as typewriter keys,
Whose thin stems of silver steel,
Are strewn upon the streets,
Each open mouth forms a letter,
Some an ‘O’, some a ’Y’.
I think they were trying to tell a story,
But the sentences were broken apart,
And made no sense.
All the deposits are now debts,
And our lives are trapped in empty vaults,
As we sit in silence before a ticking clock,
The worthless paper of promissory notes,
Scatter like spent ash on the wind,
From pyres burning in Threadneedle Street.
As winter stretches forth with dark claws,
To cull with cold the poor, the weak and old,
The river Thames rises, oil black and seething,
For nothing now can stem this foul tide,
The chains are loosed, the barriers broke,
And so the Beast breaks free,
Red and wild in its flood,
Runs the river of anarchy.
The TV tells us all to stay inside,
As blue lights flicker across the walls,
Screaming to streets nearby.
Then as the lights begin to fade and dim,
Death rides forth upon the nights dark tide.
A Catcher In The Rye enters the city,
Seeking prey and a life to take,
I saw him flick the flywheel of a lighter,
Just before the streets came apart at the seams,
Breathing in the shadows of bad debts,
That break upon an ebb,
The Wolf sees its chance to advance,
And as the crescent moon arises,
The flowers of evil begin to bloom anew,
Scented with fury and petrol fumes.
As fingers press the keys of a piano,
From white to black then back again,
The notes upon a wire rise, flock and scatter,
Arousing a dirge from its dust and sleep,
That drifts in tatters through the night,
Drowsy in the distance it lopes the wind,
Whilst a child weeps in a strangers room,
Somewhere in the neighbourhood nearby,
Whose sacrifice the Golden Calf demands,
So that normal service can be resumed.