I’m sure it’s because of my English tongue and my English ears,
That it always sounds most odd to me
To talk of it as he or she.
We haven’t had such talk round here these thousand years –
We stopped such arbitrary splits
And brought all hes and shes to its.
But were we ever minded to go back to where
We see the world as him or her,
Then which for each should we prefer ?
Is this or that a manly or a feminine affair ?
Are dogs all girls and cats all boys ?
Who cares ? It’s arbitrary noise !
Like Adam naming ev’ry beast,
We then must wander through the earth
From brother West to sister East,
As if the rocks are giving birth,
And sex the sexless mule and yeast,
And war and peace and speed and girth – And love…? Now there’s a viper’s nest !
Let’s stick to neuter, that’s the best !
And negative spin,
Strong verbs and weak verbs
With preference baked-in.
Group B and Group 2
Subconsciously mocked –
Loaded and cocked.
We’re judging the diff’rence
From concept to mouth,
And neutral assessment
Is all heading South.
If depression is a black dog,
Then I reckon that
Paranoia is a grey rat:
Small and sulking,
Squeaking, skulking –
Yes, that’s about the sum:
A greyed-out rat who always looks askance –
A rat who feasts on ev’ry crumb,
And looks for plots in ev’ry chance.
A rat who thinks the world must think
About his each and ev’ry thought –
A rat who sniffs at ev’ry chink,
And always find the intrigues sought.
He pads in silently, and whispers how
The world conspires to bring his doom,
The righteous woes that plague him now,
His whiskers twitching in the gloom.
Then scuttles off to disavow,
And seep his piss across the room.
This is the time of the viral star:
Of the unintended baritones,
Of sudden blasts on nose trombones,
And the throaty roar of bass catarrh !
The husky whisper strains with grief
To the beat of mints against the teeth.
Out of work and out of dole,
While high on blues and low on soul.
And all the songs we’d ever hear
Were old, and theirs, and insincere.
We hung around in aimless bands
To stop us feeling suicidal,
But the Devil makes work for idle hands –
And boy, were our hands idle !
So we are why the faithful flocks
Must mumble hymns while Satan rocks !
We’re drowning-out the choirs of Heaven
With three-chord worship at 11.
His music fills a hole in us,
It hugs our pockmarked skin –
If God gave rock & roll to us,
Then Satan plugged us in.
Do I find I have nothing,
Not one-thing worth saying,
Just faffing and milling.
I must stretch out my nothing,
My say-nothing saying,
In space that needs filling…
I’ve been here before,
And I’ll be here again,
And again evermore.
And each time is longer,
And each time is worse –
So churn out a poem on lacking the verse.
The song is the same,
So is the tune –
And my thoughts are a hiss
And my spirit is flat.
Looks like it’s a long afternoon
Like the time before this,
And the time before that.
I’ve said all I said,
And I’ve said it before,
And my muse is still dead
And my think-nothing head is a victim of war.
We blow through our haul,
Then find we’ve got nothing
Where once we were tall.
Our thoughts hit a wall:
From red meat to salad,
From flying to fall.
What can I say,
What can I say
When you come round to call ?
Shall I read you the ballad of sweet Fanny Adams,
Or sing you the song of sod all ?
My thoughts on love and politics
Have authored pamphlets by the score –
I’ve told them twice and thrice and six,
Since days of teenage yore.
I’ve made my case and made it strong,
I’ve preached and pleaded with the throng,
From Tory-shires to Bolsheviks
I’ve met them all and all before.
I’ve set the world to rights so long,
And still the world continues wrong –
There’s no point labouring a fix
We both know you’ll ignore.
It’s time to sing a diff’rent song,
It’s time to bang a diff’rent gong –
Or else I’m dreaming just for kicks,
And dreaming should be something more…