Hell, Re-Harrowed

It was pissing with rain in that pock-marked town,
so I took a trip down to see the damned
bankers fallen into bomb craters terrorists blasted,
disingenuous carpet salesmen sucking meat sweet
from souls in offices cavernous. Money-ravenous, kernel-brained
yes-men knot yards of yellow silk at their necks,
fat people fear failure, feeble dreams full of sex.
Economists preach to idiots “debt doesn’t matter” –
stipendium peccati mors est served on a gilt-edged platter.
Doctors dole out medicines that deny nature,
death to antidepressants: do better with acupuncture.
Then Lady Money-come-lately cracked off a line
May they find salvation; may their souls be saved
but I just shrugged, said I doubt it, thumbed my phone
till my eyes dried, my battery died. Defrocked
Simonists, all smiles, sell the public quantitative pleasing,
financial unfreezing, fiscal Immodium, a word come
from the Fed could unfuck everyone. A fair ful feelde of folk,
the meene and the ricche,
but who knows the difference?
Grit your teeth and get on, obesity obstructs,
we are indebted to fat and sugar, employed by
sugar and fat, moral, immoral, know-it-all. More than that –
absolutely empty. Populus in tenebrem, dentem pro dente
and the rest of that shit; rex gloriam, dominem virtutem
who fled for the hills, vacated his vocation, faked it
on that cross, no big loss, there’s a cast of craps
who would have done it. For I would mercy all mankind
but nobody would notice; I’d negotiate eternal life
though surely the damned would deny the price.

The author of six books of poems, James W. Wood’s work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in the UK, the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia. His 2011 thriller Stealing Fire was selected for the Rome Film Festival. He writes about books and music for newspapers from a rock in the Pacific, where he lives with wife, son and dog. Set sail to find him: @James_W_Wood.

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