St. Pauls, December 21st, 2011

                                                          after John Berryman

I am the martyr mouth and the war mortician
I am the frightened massacre in the mind
I am the CEO cocktail and the Ugandan mother
I am the cancerplan, the chavplan
I am half-brained but a whiz at the remote
I am two eyes fixed on my viewer, blind

I am strung like a government puppet
I am taxed in the citadel and the time bomb
I am the Hokusai-sized hole in the earth
I am the president at the child’s grave
I am the spidery border guard, the tanks eye
I am the politician painting a blood page

This is solstice at St Pauls:
Respect. Not to be wintered away
With a handful of greasy notes and coins
While they gasp ‘Thatcher Still Lives’
In shame, in shame, in shame. I am Yule
Beginning life, 30,000 years at the wheel



James Byrne




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