I am Spartacus

It started with a charge of gimmickry.
The self-elected thought police,
complete with their ‘No disrespect’ upturned palms,
felt the need to extinguish Chaplin
by kicking his cane out from underneath him
while muttering something about music halls
and how this ‘New phangled philm
would never take off’.

Paltry farmers the lot of them,
with their clipped winged birds;
‘No man shall fly,’ believe me, believe us,
for I am God and in the beginning was the word -
clinging desperately to the left-hand margin.
Any port in a storm.
‘Lower your sails, lower your sails,
we don’t permit piracy on these here shores.
We have rules,
formulated by the great majority,
and you will be grateful,
shrimp man,
even if it hurts your teeth
like wool on enamel,
or we’ll boil you alive
for daring to try and cut water with a knife
when everyone knows butter’s easier.’

And he went pink,
prawned by embarrassment,
but no matter, offence was not intended -
ABH, maximum sentence five years.

In the stationery shop
(E for envelope)
old lady trolley wheels got tangled,
strangers laughed and then one asked
’What’s your trolley’s name?’
For an instant, a minor moment,
the response was elusive, permitting a tiny gap,
a miniature chasm of thought fullness.
’Mine’s called Jubilate,’ she said,
answering her own question,
‘shouting for joy, singing, oh yes’.
‘In all things be happy and adventurous.’
‘Of course,’ she replied, and gave a crafty wink
which was put in a pocket
like a lucky penny
for later use.

Reading Lawrence
(Upton, not DH),
on the problems of the ‘experimental’;
there’s a man who plays the trumpet,
in Chicago, wearing a lab coat.
He says he’s ‘A research trumpeter’.
Thank ye gods that he’s avoided
orchestrated pit falls,
the traps set by badger baiters,
and poetry haters who have no idea
how to be restless or inventive.

Invoke: to summon a demon already in existence.
Evoke: to summon a demon of your existence.

So yes,
there was a conversation about bankruptcy,
one person thinking of money,
the other of intellectual degeneracy,
same difference when all’s fair in love and war.
‘He kept telling me to get a job,’ she said -
of course, of course, par for the course
when knives are for butter not water
when Blade is a film with Denzil Washington
when George has been forgotten –
’Better to be alone than in bad company ..


Kirk Douglas crouches in a filthy cleft,
chained to the man on his left -
Antoninus, Ambrosius, Androngenous,
such pretty eyes.
Crassus, on the other hand,
with his clean face and impeccable authoritarian ease
is pleased at the sight of beaten men.
‘Slaves you were and slaves you will remain’.
But freedom isn’t a bucket of cold sick,
the regurgitated remnants of something once swallowed
brought back up with an apologetic retch …
And as each man stands,
denying the proclaimed ‘natural’ order,
refusing to give up a body of their work,
so was born liberty, piracy and creativity.
Hear this:

I am Spartacus


Brighton, United Kingdom

  • Artist
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