Sunday, 20 December 2009

GURU OF THE NORTHERN LINE


GURU OF THE NORTHERN
LINE (LONDON: THE
POST-IRAQ SETTLEMENT)

phantom cop
with a real sub-machinegun
watches me slouch by as
spy-cameras switch and focus,
three suits tap lap-top encrypts
through Starbucks glass at me

tracking suspect poems
in my head, thermal-imaging
for unwise sympathies,
subversive syllables spooling
from my pockets,
incendiary thoughts
leaking in DNA-streams

of breath
as Cromwell watches pennants
across Westminster shadow
‘the only good war is no war
the only bad peace is no peace’

but hey, Oliver,
if al-Qaeda don’t get me
the state will…

---------

black mass throbbing square
in motion, if not in Movement,
ancient imperial streets still vibrant
with warm meat of new life,
paved with pizza-
pack, fast-food wrap

and a guru on the Northern Line
stands his turn in sandals and saffron
queuing in line for nirvana…

Published in:
‘VAN GOGH’S EAR no.4’ (USA/ France – January 2005)