There stands the layered concrete-block
And at the edge I stand on its third floor
Like the wise old sage in smart casual trouser beige
And my vacant eyes eye for a vagrant mind
That takes idle pleasure in the things it sees
Lord, make me pleasure-sought
Or make my worth decrease.
Can this country, then, be built? More than ever before
The doubt larger looms, sticks out its poisoned edge
As their careless thrown red basketballs
Fall through the ring. Mad drummers sing
And where, once, my eye for the common bled
Where, now, my nose their sweet sweat marks take,
My fists hang tight, though it’s not their right, to shake. To shake.
Can there be another day
Another chance for those that lost
To these to whom what’s darling
Is to them not as hard as frost?
In another place, with another sun,
Those attitudes stripped to earth
Inverted. As casual as casualties. From either side done?
Can this country, then, be built? No point
Me raise that point in here – national boundaries,
To these, are as easily shed, diffused, shed
As the feathers are plucked off poultry dead.
Is there anything they would offer me
Than that transitory hard on?
Will my brains ooze out, then, when and if I come?
My sobriety is sunk and I walk this masquerade
With the prospect of coming out
Alive after fleetingly getting laid
And like a ghost as I walk
As a ghost acknowledged
My joints rattle silent, my cells clatter mute.
I sustain. I refute.
This country was won by war
And the whore who walks past me
By Town Hall, daily, at five past seven
Stops. Smiles out. Gaily. And
In the all-knowing Buddha-like tone
With which she uttered, was condensed for me
All that really mattered: “Your lace is undone”.