Submit a Poem
Get Your Premium Membership
spacer

from Proverbs of Hell

Written by: Rg Gregory | Biography
 (a) radical

ban all fires
and places where people congregate
to create comfort
put an end to sleep
good cooking
and the delectation of wine
tear lovers apart
piss on the sun and moon
degut all heavenly harmony
strike out across the bitter ice
and the poisonous marshes

make (if you dare) a better world

(b) expect poison from standing water
  (iii)
lake erie
why not as a joke one night
pick up your bed and walk
to washington – sleep
your damned sleep in its streets
so that one bright metallic morning
it can wake up to the stench
and fermentation of flesh
the gutrot of nerves – the blood’s
green effervescence so active
your skin has a job to keep it all in

isn’t that what things with the palsy
are supposed to do – lovely lake
give the world the miracle it waits for
what a laugh that would be

especially if washington lost its temper
and screamed christ lake erie
i don’t even know what to do
with my own garbage

pollution is just one of those things

go on lake erie
do it tonight

(c) drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead

(i)
isn't the next one
easter egg

  i don't want to live any more in an old way

yes it is

  to be a socialist wearing capitalism's cap
  a teacher in the shadow of a dead headmaster
  a tree using somebody else's old sap

  i want to build my future out of new emotions
  to seek more than my own in a spring surround
  to move amongst people keen to move outwards
  putting love and ideas into fresh ground

  who will come with me across this border
  not anywhere but in the bonds we make
  taking the old apart to find new order
  living ourselves boldly for each other's sake

then love is

  if you ask me today what love is
  i should have to name the people i love
  and perhaps because it's spring
  and i cannot control the knife that's in me
  their names would surprise me as much as you

  for years i have assumed that love is bloody
  a thing locked up in house and a family tree
  but suddenly its ache goes out beyond me
  and the first love is greater for the new

  this year more than any other
  the winter has savaged my deepest roots
  and the easter sun is banging hard against the window
  the arms of my loves are flowering widely
  and over the fields a new definition is running

  even though the streets we walk cannot be altered
  and faces there are that will not understand
  we have a sun born of our mutual longings
  whose shine is a hard fact - love is a new land

new spartans

  i haven't felt this young for twenty years
  yesterday i felt twenty years older
  then i had the curtains drawn over recluse fears
  today the sun comes in and instantly it's colder

  must shave and get dressed - i'm being nagged
  to shove my suspicions in a corner and get out
  what use the sun if being plagued with new life
  i can't throw off this centrally-heated doubt

  accept people with ice in their brows
  are the new spartans - they wait
      shall i go with them
  indoor delights that slowly breed into lies
  need to be dumped out of doors - and paralysis with them

no leave it
there's still one more
the need now

  the need now is to chronicle new times
  by their own statutes not as fag-ends of the old
  ideas stand out bravely against the surrounding grey
  seeking their own order in what themselves proclaim
  fortresses no longer belong by right to an older day

  i want to gather in my hands things i believe in
  not to be told that other rules prevail - there is
  a treading forward to be done of great excitement
  and people to be found who by the old laws
  should be little more than dead
      this enlightment

  is cutting like spring into a bitter winter
  and there is this smashing of many concrete shells
  a dream with the cheek to be aggressive has assumed
  its own flesh and bone and will not put up with sleep
  as its prime condition - life out of death is exhumed

it's the other side
is so disappointing
no thanks
leave it for now

(ii)

there follows a brief interlude in honour of mr vasko popa
(the yugoslav poet who in a short visit to this country
has stayed a long time)
and it will not now take place

  this game is called x
  no one else can play

  when the game is over
  we have all joined in

  those who have not been playing
  have to give in an ear

  if you don't have an ear
  use one of those lying about

  left over from the last time
  the game wasn't played

  this game is not to do with ears
  shooting must be done from the heart

  x sits in the middle of the ring - he
  has gone for a stroll up his left nostril

  how can he seize a left-over ear
  and drag it under the ground

  hands up if you have been shot from the heart
  x comes up in the middle of himself

  in this way the game is over before
  it began and everyone willy-nilly

  has had to go home
  before he could put a foot outside


(d) enough! – or too much

   reading popa
   i let fly
   too many words

   i bang away
   at the seed
   but can’t break it

   hurt i turn to
   constructing
   castles with cards

   if you can’t split
   the atom
   man stop writing



Comments