Unlettered Generations (December, 2010)

Here it is again.
Peculiar clarity; mirth in gravity,
Break your chains before white
Bone dust marrow turns to medicine
– apocryphal remnants.
Dizzy, complacent, imagineless.

No letters left in the alphabet for our generations.
Cavalier declarations from the ‘90s
(As puerile and dismissive of
How we create as how we destroy).
Fetished horizons.
Metaphor all smashed up, crammed into language,
Words, embarrassed, leaking vessels:
A world alive with horizons
Burning Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
From the inside out.
Never to arrive. Can’t be put out.

Black as the night, a new beauty dances
At the fringes, retiring the old language,
Seizing the old, beating heart of words
Long accustomed to
Some uncompounded rage
Which, when affronted, Splits atomlike
Into a brilliant white light,
Gold showers to assuage and placate.

“Surely,” implore the young fringe,
inked creatures of the unlettered generation,
“there is madness in this all when
We can’t express the moment of the
bombmaker’s Holocaust without praising the colour?
The ‘Brilliance’ of White awash in the
Horror of cracked streets in an unlit night?”

They shake their heads and smile
Clamour to remind us that they were once young too.
The Man pivots on his chair,
Kicks from beneath his desk a dustbin.
We glimpse inside our exuberance, our difference,
And other children’s stories.
A Tolstoy, dusty and morose, stares longingly
Below.
They penned him down,
a hero alone through his antiquity,
loving character in a Classical gang of
Circle A, bearded wonders –
The also-rans in races a hundred years
Since forgotten.

The honest amongst them smile not at all,
Paralysed motion, gesture without form,
Shadows pencilled in by familiar words
And Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

 

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