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“Tattoo” by Landeg White

This poem is released for the date of the combative November 14 2012 general strike called for the entire southern european area. This is a general strike that has heard a specific call to go beyond simply one day of refusal, towards an entire rejection of the manufactured crisis of capitalism. For insurrection and the destruction of the existent.

(to the sound of Greek bagpipes)

Today, the Greek Government
executed by firing squad
1000 pensioners, along
with 2000 workers, as part
of a package of financial
reforms, to reassure
the markets and permit
the Troika to release one
more tranch of the bail-out.

How one feels for the victims
In all this, the bankers
criminalised, shorn
of bonuses, the markets
bearish, nervous as
kittens, the green back,
the pound, the tsunami
floating yen, scurrying
between time-sealed

vaults and safe-havens,
exposed to the sniping
of credit default swaps
as Molotov cocktails
rain down relentlessly
from Fitch’s, Moody’s,
and S.& P.’s. Will
the friendly Troika
contrive fresh reforms?

Will our young friend,
the euro, be vaporised?
Growth is a must, come
what may, be it 3000
health workers hung,
drawn and quartered,
4000 firemen burned
at the stake, even
the odd politician garrotted.

Landeg White

Landeg White is a scholar, translator, novelist and poet, who has taught at universities in Trinidad, Malawi, Sierra Leone, the University of the West Indies, Trinidad, the University of Malawi and was the Director of the Centre for South African Studies at York University. Among his various books are studies of V.S. Naipaul, of Mozambican and Malawian history, and of southern African praise poetry, together with five collections of poems. His translation of Camoes’ ‘The Lusiads’ won the Texeira Gomes prize for 1998. His most recent book is “Studying to be Singular: John Gabriel Stedman, 1744-1797”.

http://www.landegwhite.com

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 at 4:17 pm and is filed under Library.