Stop writing Literature, You garrulous Indian


Stop writing Literature, You garrulous Indian

for Eric Mottram (1924 - 1995)*

 a life of toil for the man in the centre
 a hub in the peripheral tireless wheel
 
   where he go then where he go this working man
   he go on waking people   working at waking man
  
no words cling now no words meant in blame
the tongue  he lash the words  they now tame
 
no shock of blast open laughter rock the hall
everyman there say    there sure were a man
 
a man  no fear cowed    in communion to other
made for no gods   made for no demons either
 
all men he know best when he see just once
no second thought resurrect the man if bad
 
so go tell the magi   no trek in sight in sky
here a man be born  here he so sure die
 
other no like see one so bright stand up high
other no like feel like sky fall low into ocean
 
what make ‘m i say with feeling so just
is sure he different  he force hisself work
 
work work work   work an’ again work
he work nite an’ nite so 50-hour in day
 
   where he go then where he go this working man
   he go on waking people   working at waking man
 
where you go from word born here now
turn and twist   all whoring the alphabet
 
‘don’t write anything you can get published’
so publish only what you can’t call your own
 
writing like reading’s a public coital act
so showing your work is exhibitionism
 
‘why don’t you send your stuff around
keeping it to yourself’s sheer masturbation’
 
reading-watching-listening’s just voyeurism
so sending wares around is prostitutionism
 
    where he go then where he go this working man
    he go on waking people  working at waking man
 
he it was in minesweeper capture aurora borealis
message from extrasensory enter into he word
 
in Bengal waters alone he hear No-man cry
only in deepdown psyche water drip drip dry
 
then on land he no see reason to the fight
so he let he wrists spill he guts to the fill
 
then he take the world on all by he torn self
he spare no skin in dug-Malayan-jungle-out
 
what he do  what he think he do   he no tell
everybody meet man an’ no see albatross hang
 
he no tell story like ol’ mariner in dream
he go wake people from dumb dead trance
 
many many people high up no like this act
some call him stuckup other just ‘im damn

             where he go then where he go this working man
             he go on waking people  working at waking man

 
is all he do then     what kind of working this
is big work man ‘cause most body dead sleep
 
    where he go then where he go this working man
    he go on waking people  working at waking man
 

 © T. Wignesan 13-15 October 1995. Pub. in "Radical Poetics (Inventory of Possibilities)", London, 1997.
 

* Eric N. W. Mottram held a personal Chair, since 1983, in English and American Literature at King's College, University of London where he was first appointed as lecturer in American Literature in 1960. A prolific poet (34 vols.) and critic (15 vols.), he also taught at Zurich, Singapore and Gröningen after obtaining a Double First in English Tripos from Cambridge in 1950. He was a recepient of the American Learned Societies award in 1965 and had also subsequently taught at North Western University and New York University at Buffalo. He edited 22 issues of the Poetry Society's Review in the seventies and was largely responsible for introducing Beat literature in Europe. He authored Algebra of Need on William Burroughs.

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