Make Do

1

We are the clowns of the Wage Age,
the footsoldiers hopping along
the tracks, waiting for the next convoy
to mow us. We are
the casualties.
The sounds of cash machines
lullaby us, and the infinities
they are/we are building, for you,
for you,
for us,
the sound of the billions
injected here, injected there,
not in our veins or in our arteries:
in a network intangible as God,
loathable/lovable as God,
fickle as God, un-
necessary as God, un-
forgiving as God.

Life would be easier
had we been born
a bank.

2

Were we
a bank
we would be
rescued.

Were we
a bank
we would not
be let die.

3

In your embrace I thought
I saw a remedy. I know
I saw
a denial.

I want you as a screen.

And for this I would give
up
my home cinema.

4

In undergrounds
we stare.
There is a mass perspiring sweat.
Together we go through
the same tunnels, the same
darkness. Our shared experience
pushes us apart.

We share the newspapers we do not bin,
we share the trash, the doom. Perhaps
I could love you?

(But we have come
to the end
of the ride.

(And ALL CHANGE,
PLEASE
)).

5

Were we a bank, we would have ties
with a (foot)bridge, we would be felt up by
water.

Were we a bank, we would have a sibling,
a twin, always under our gaze.

6

I know the citizens of the polis,
of the accro, of the metro,
the mega and the megalo.

We use the poles
to dance and strip.

Billions of us, billions of us,
thirsty, thirsty, thirsty.

I don’t know
you
you
you
nor you.
I know
no one.

7

Morning headlines:

“MAN CHATS UP BARBIE DOLLS”
“WOMAN GIVES UP HOME CINEMA FOR AN EMBRACE”
“WOMEN OVULATE APRICOTS, MEN EJACULATE CAKE ICING”

PM headlines:

“MAN FONDLES MANNEQUINS”
“WOMAN GAVE UP HOME CINEMA FOR AN UNREQUITED EMBRACE”
“WOMEN OVULATE KINDER EGGS, MEN EJACULATE CUSTARD SAUCE”

Evening headlines:

“MAN COPULATES WITH HIS IPHONE”
“WOMAN GAVE UP”
“WOMEN OVULATE NUTS, MEN EJACULATE MUD”

(It could have been poison).

8

Soldiers of my boundless nation, you are
not an army, you have
no uniforms. You are a head, a head, a head, and
a face, and
a face, and
a face.

***

We are:
– raised by gimmicks.
– descended from punchlines.
– abandoned by posters.
– adopted by slogans.

This is
what we are worth.

We have:
– been moulded on a bench.
– grown up between school terms.
– repressed quite everything.
– decayed in offices.

The cleaning services came twice a week
to bin our strips of skin.

We are scared of:
– the hairy animals.
– living alone.
– living with company.
– living full stop.

(Notwithstanding dying).

We lala it away,
we lala it away,

while dreaming like crazy.

9

And now down the main road:

Look at the whore, the whore of the Wage Age,
the whore who fucks
not for money – who fucks for love.

The whore who gives out her body
for free, who shoves it up
all hands, maniac, hoping
someone holds on to it,
hoping to hit
a jealous claw.

She leads the life of the lost souls,
the plight of the lone souls.

Her birth was cursed by CEOs,
by the cosmos.

They cursed her with
lackings.
Looking closely,
beyond the breasts and the marrow,
underneath the lid of sorrow,
you see –
you see that she
has one hole too many –
and really too narrow.

It is the hole through which
what could make her complete
evaporates.

10

Little whorie, I also see
what no one sees:
I see your humbleness,
and your degrees,
and your fire at my parties.

The violence of your dance
in this blurry kitchen
is your hymn to chaos,
challenge to decadence. You know
the laws and the morals, they have shaped your
disgust, and curbed
nobody’s soul. You brush
them off, panting. Your realm
is of freedom, and you drink more
venom.

This bloodbath is
your scene: in vino veritas
and in wino a mass, heretic priest preaching
for the good of the good, urging you on to try
the cure of Epicure, whose wisdom teeth were long,
always stained by liquors. Ravenous fangs!
You too
must eat, must beat and cheat
and sin, and bitterly regret
the neglected mornings, the troubled afternoons,
the skins that were unscarred, the juicy fruits unsucked,
the many unlicked lids and uncharted bodies
where your hooky fingers
could have planted
your flag.

You must
betray, beguile, delight in your treasons – revelries! revelries!
bathe in the pools of doubts – the rejuvenating ponds – and regret
the regrets. Stand in the rainforest while the grilling rain rains,
the tornado threatens. In those heavy jungles, your aim is
survival, your ideal
existence, and your conscience the yellow fork-tongued snake
with the mortal sting
curled around the palm tree.
You juggle with your guilt, three firelit torches
circling around your head, coming
to no standstill.

Those ballons are your lungs,
those little sticks
your bones, and this great pump
your heart
that can never
be stopped.

And when you spin,
inflamed, on top of this table, you summon
an excess, invoke adrenaline
to smother your pathos. You seek
a mouth to kiss, and a spine
to caress, with a full set of ribs
that will be used to sculp
temporary husbands.

Little whorie, what an addict!
This thing in your liver
is called a crave.

And so all day
she’ll rave, sprinting across
the streets, throwing herself
at knees. Tall men pat her
bare chest and drag her on
for miles, her belly cut open. On train platforms
they shake her off, and she has left
a trace
on their raincoats.

(Sometimes
she even slips
a note.)

11

Inside page 3:

‘When he was found
grabbing the loins of his iPhone,
strocking the buttons as buttocks,
he was singing it a lovesong,
the only one
he knew by heart, the only one
one needs to know.
He had his tongue
between two limbs, and the song goes
I love you I love you I love you
for three minutes fifty (longer would be
too long). In crescendo.
His eyes had popped
out of his head, his skull was touching the ceiling,
his trousers lay flat on the floor, and he rocked
to and fro, sometimes
hitting the wall.’

12

Oh my Mummy,
you have grown old,
you have gone deaf,
and the world has bled me.

I am your young
who climbed the trees
to build my nest.

We were always
so late.

13

I sleep with you, holding your hand
pale as my hand.
I CANNOT
sleep alone.

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