Friday, November 7, 2003

the small print

It’s midnight, and I’m not off to sleep yet, and I’m alternately craving lemon, and fudge. I’ve finished ‘The God Of Small Things”. I wrote 5 poems tonight, and one yesterday. All with my ‘special ink pen’, the Sharpie I half-stole from the Zine fair. OK, whole-stole, I knew exactly what I was doing as I did it. Didn’t I say at the beginning of summer that I was growing up, learning to take responsibility for my actions?

Tonight I felt the first edges of a new continent creeping into my consciousness. The neon night-lights of cities, Sarah Cashman and new men, the sunlight and new mornings. The six months that will have no other words but New.

“Be still, my heart.” Sings Mirah. “My ticktock ticktock clock, oh were it to stop,”

Reading about the Beating of Velutha in The God Of Small Things, tonight, made me for a second see Tragedy (like a rip in my tent suddenly showed me the storm outside), the Tragedy of split lips, bent bodies and broken ribs, helpless eyes closing, blood on breath. (Eggs on Toast.) That this doling out of violent power is much more imbedded in human action than the peaceful days would like to admit. That it has happened over History, that it plays a thread-like role in the rug of History, and that it is not pleasant. If we try and make it pleasant, it is only a coping mechanism, a way to turn Death into a smiling aunt. But Death’s grin won’t be metamorphosed. We try and make violence funny, comical, so we can forget that it is otherwise, that hideousness demands a place as big as its opposite. We are not a culture of Ugly, at least we don’t want to be, on the outside. We want everything to be pleasant, even our death, our rot. So we turn it into televised breaking bones, a well-timed stomach punch. Not actually real, we say. Death is only a punishment, a consequence, one of many, it can be avoided. The small print says, “According to consumer perception.”

No-one reads the small print.
And the big print is all propaganda.
Its easy to see why everyone thinks we’re doomed.

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