Note of Hunger

[In The Footnotes]

There was a rat
in the heart
of Dickens that
ate away at him.

You can find everything
in the footnotes.

You can spend hours
in their margins.

You can arm yourself.
You are Spy vs Spy.
You can give
everything in the text

a shot of adrenaline,
a battery charge.

A rude wake.
A muffled tear.

The smell of the workhouses
comes up through the floor.

The sounds of
the children
as their bones
become brittle
in hard beds.

The claustrophobia
of the chimney sweep
is given legal parameters.

A rat makes its way across the
secret history of
snuff and Mudfog
to snack on the
salivating eye of a student.

I roll up my sleeves.
Not to get to work.
But because it’s warm
in the workhouse.

My eyes aren’t dry they
stayed up with the orphans
long enough to hear their
stomachs churn in on themselves,
nibbling at the lining.

The riots are breaking out,
the poor are organized
with fire and fury and
the full stomach of the court
is foul, is fallen into full view.

You can smell it on their breath.
Something is rotten.
Something is happening,

in the footnotes,
you can hear the heart
of the orphan
beating to Beethoven’s 6th.

Smashing with a frail fist,
the locks on the food cupboard.

PR men don’t exist yet,
they’re still wet dreams in
Hitler’s unborn henchmen,
but propaganda is as old
as Constantine.

All the King’s men
can’t hide the

The one that breaks the truth up
passes it around in
edible, ingestible morsels.

The collection plate is full.
The cup runs right, right over.

Everyone asks for more truth.
Everyone dreams of escape.

Nobody gets out of it without answering.
The clergy are not even safe.

Footnotes for all of them.

Let them have knotty
endnotes, if not.


Saturday Morning Epiphanies

It is not the farmers fault.
They love the land.

It is not the burden of the little
towns and villages,
they love their portion of it.

It is not the school teacher
who told me to write and
it is not the burden of
the young lovers in the bush,
they’re too busy with the love.

You can hold a protester to the
fire and you can bend the farmer,
you can even break some of them.

It is not the ocean of bodies in
Guy Fawkes masks.
As much as you would like it
to be, they are not your terror’s source.

It is our mere, gargantuan size.
And there is nothing to do about it.

Nothing but wake,
shake a few more dreams onto the page,
and wish for more time,
fewer crowded shoppers,
more cyclists than two car homes,
less salt and more organic,
some sanity mixed into the
mad, mad shuffle of the mid-week
scourge on the soul,

and then to wake again,
on Saturday,
ready to divulge the daily secret
to whomever woke as well.

to know it is nobody’s fault,
but your own, but also that
the victors, the spoils and all that
other good stuff,
is yours as well.

Today’s epiphany, brought to you by
last night’s dreams.