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the line-up

Marcelle Olivier

what was once in the poverty of educated poets
— the hymn of the old-time greeks or of sassoon —
now comes like spitfire
an unsatisfied war fought by the at-least-recognisable
everybodies
selling night-raid manifestoes
outside the entrances of bookshops
— alive as if they were in trenches!

what hell they must have suffered!
in agony all those gutting hours
demoralised boys in under-appreciated poses
with their porn mags and their subs
and the gleam of mediocrity suicidal in their shells
over poets-coffee on the long

oh, i ache for the impossibility of true warfare!
left are only the needless blisters
of crops that never would have grown
napalm-less
they permeate like soldiers on 32mm
the once blood-filled
and bright
fields of sugarcane and corn
in the price-less second-hand colours
of encouragement’s entourage

what was once the murderous desperation of requited love
— the moist cadences of tsvetayeva! —
— the pools of measureful kipling —
now roll like greased tanks towards the east
a new dawn for every arrogant conscript
in an anyone-house-wife skirt
they walk into the battle of words
clutching at their guns and the ghost-drawn invites
innocent only of the certainty of unpublished death
but mesmerised by
such opportunity!

boontoe


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