X

(or how I learned to stop worrying and vote for fascists)

 

 
in the polling booth 

I was in touch with a feeling of both privacy and primacy 

that I could take my clothes off so to speak   

commune directly with the powerful ones  

to bless and/or to curse  

that I was possessed of both mastery and integrity 

my X  

like a spark of gnosticism like a Roman coin 

 

                  but suddenly I found myself under the humongous crush 

                  of something more great more naked 

                  the huge limbs and muscular tissue of the body politic 

                  all-inclusive multi-coloured 

                  street-drinkers traffic-wardens middle-aged men in lycra etc. 

                  everyone I’d ever known blood brothers voodoo haters 

                  everyone I’d ever met in a million awkward unsatisfying meetings 

                  that yet left me with something of a good feeling hopefully them too 

                  long-forgotten encounters lager-fuelled assemblies with people in foreign 

                  geographies not to mention psychologies and economies 

                  men in aprons talking of Zedekiah

                  daughters of Albion hunting like Maenads 

                  politicians I’d actually seen in the flesh and imagined 

                  spontaneously cudgelling before CCTV came in 

                  poets and left-wingers I’d fallen out with just for the sake of it 

                  the booth was like a beehive  

                  a population-sized rugby scrum in which the agonised bodies 

                  were elbowing kicking jostling kneeing one another  

                  fighting for the magic marker one stroke of which  

                  could change life change human society for the better 

                  before long cheap corks were popping the lunacy became user-friendly 

                  the competitive collaborative 

                  the conservative so anarchist as if to simulate orgy 

                  (it definitely reminded me of Dublin in the rare old etc.) 

                  I was hungry but the only food was drugs  

 
the situation autocorrected itself 

with an invigilator’s cough 

I was alone again or,  

fully clothed,  

sober, 

hating wth a kind of religious mania 

all the people I’d just partied with  

 

                 so you know what? 

                  I signed my X  

                  in the fascist box 

                  but when I tried crossing it out it looked bolder and bolder 

                  anyway  

                  it wasn’t a magic marker anymore 

                  it was a pencil the same pencil 

                  I’d always been suspicious of 

                  that they could rub out with government rubbers if they wanted to 

 

 

 

 

 

Niall McDevitt


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