November 15th, 2011


Not a subtle poem

For The NYPD who apparently really did destroy five thousand books duringthe raid on Occupy Wall Street and then had someone claim they did not

These are the ways in which you kill a book.
You pick it up, and tear out every page,
slowly, deliberately, in a rage
or in a toilet, hung upon a hook.

You trample it in mud. You hear it squelch.
Leave it to dry where it develops mould.
Burn it on bonfires – policing makes you cold.
Sling it in crushers – listen to the belch

as the machine digests all that was wise
and true, the crunching of its leather spine.
And when you do this, know that it's a sign.
Next they will ask you to pluck out your eyes

harden your heart, tear justice from your mind,
their perfect servant, idiot and blind.

And more

For Mayor Bloomberg
A rich man, who's the servant of those rich
who buy and sell him. Mayor and a whore,
he knows that money is above the law
he knows that wealth can make the law its bitch

He skivvies round tidies us all away
has free speech gagged, books pulped, and tents torn down
for burning, people beaten. In his town
the law is what he and his masters say

it is. And if you dare to make a noise
to criticize their follies and their crimes,
he'll get you told off in the NewYork Times,
then on a cold night, he'll send in the boys

to club you from the dream that you are free
or that New York's still a democracy

(no subject)

Zucotti Square 15th November

Tucked warm against cold air; a sudden rip.
Your tent's fucked and a boot prods at your back.
Wake up, get out. Outside you hear a crack
a gunshot or a blow. On tongue and lip

Burning of pepper, cover up your eyes,
too late, grab at your stuff, it's torn away.
Your five minutes is up, you hear them say.
Blind half-asleep you try to organize

the people near you, stagger to your feet,
holding each other, saving what you grab,
a phone, a pillow. Someone calls a cab.
It's waiting for you when you reach the street

He doesn't take your fare. Three blocks away
regroup, resist, recover, wait for day.