Citizens emerge from the woodwork and claim the right to bear arms against anyone they deem to be not on the same page as them. These villainous vigilantes place their freedoms above all other rights and obligations. Even above the ten commandments of Christianity that most of them claim to believe in. The whiff of cordite is in the air, threatening to usurp the alcoholic odour of hand sanitiser. Boogaloo boys and others wander the streets of US towns and cities dressed in paramilitary clothes and armed to the teeth with outlandish weaponry. As tempers flare over racist atrocities, so the orchestrated insanity gains in intensity. All of this plays to the crude theatre of the surreal that American politics has become. I can hardly bring myself to tune into news bulletins for fear that the madness has been further ramped up. I try to occupy myself with distractions, today I finally framed two Japanese ink paintings that I made in 1999. Whilst I looked for pins to fix picture hooks to the wall with I came across a gold wedding ring in the bottom of a tin of assorted DIY bric-a-brac. I have no idea how it came to be there, nor who it belonged to. I’ve not opened this tin for a good twenty years, but this piece of 9 carat gold weighs in at seven grams. Scrap 9ct gold currently fetches up to £18 per gram so that’s a cool £120 I never knew I had. Luck it seems is unequally distributed around the globe. I cannot stop the thoughts of bullets severing spinal chords that enter my fevered brain. Not even this joyous piece of serendipity can supplant the feelings of horror that overwhelm me as I watch Trump’s Red Death Masque unfold minute by minute, lie by lie. The situation is grossly obscene, somebody or something, please take me out of this mindset, away from the pornography of ritual anti democracy and unconstitutionality as performed by four five and his perverse family on a daily basis. Unfortunately I know that when I awake tomorrow it won’t be over. Sure enough I wake to news that a seventeen year old boy has opened fire on unarmed protestors in Wisconsin. I worry for all my good friends in America. The fork tongued ghoul exhorts his followers to call for twelve more years. Twelve more years to wage war on his own people, sow division between wasps and everyone else. The first lady glides onto my TV swathed in khaki and delivers the most egregious speech calling on people to pull together whilst her husband sends in the national guard.
Reason, democracy, trust, These things lie trashed in the dust, Bile poured by unbottled djins, State fabric smashed like ninepins, All the rednecks drink it up, Yet they too lap hemlock cup. Empire’s end, never pretty, Nihilists bring mendacity, One aim, protect privilege, Rob, lie, burn, spurn tutelage, Announce new normal, rain chaos, Wave sweet reason adiós, Dream’s over, now demons bask, In light from Don’s blood red masque.
Harry Rogers, ranting in the Yellow Room, 27th August 2020.
The pale rider saunters into the car park at Tesco’s. She fiddles with her pearls as she observes the obedient socially distanced queue who, in turn, wait patiently to purchase their fuel for the future. The rider hides her identity behind a cloak of invisibility, dismounts from her temporary steed, and slides microscopically along the line in search of a new carrier. Most of the people deny her entrance because they have taken the precaution to bar the way with masks and bandanas, but there, almost at the front of the queue, stands a non-conformist. Unmasked, proud of the T Shirt he wears with the slogan Masks Off, Let’s Be Real emblazoned across his chest. The rider does not hesitate, she wraps her wispy tentacles around his head and pulls herself sinuously into his sinus cavity and awaits his next breath to carry her deep into his unsuspecting lungs. He remains haughty and unaware that he’s been chosen. Inside his lungs the rider leaves some seeds and then departs on the next exhalation from which she floats languorously back to her invisible charger. She remounts and they slowly trot past the front of store security guard and amble by the table with the hand sanitiser dispenser and paper towels, on into the fruit and vegetable section. She rides up and down the aisles, she deliberately follows the red arrows marked out on the floor, and, once, spurs her mount to leap over the shelves straight into the midst of a family group as they gently argue about ice cream flavours. More seeds are sown and eventually the rider leaves for pastures new. She spurs her invisible horse down to Aldi. Another hotspot, more human receptacles, the breeding goes on. Meanwhile other riders await starter’s orders in a variety of situations. Waves lap gently, waiting for the inevitable rollers to break on winter shores.
Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, 27th August 2020.
Soon your tower gonna fall I heard your whippoorwill call Shreiked in the middle of night Now it’s time to put things right. You tell lies the easy way Like Jimmy McGill they say Two hours on make up and hair Spread snake oil everywhere. Better take off your golf shoes Listen to reckoning news Go downtown and take a look Put away Goebbels playbook. Young folks are your nemesis They can’t stand your wind and piss Your shallow state is not free, Hang you from Joshua tree Pittsburgh rusts on in the rain We won’t hear your voice again Whimper beyond your last scream As we end your bad daydream People on the streets will jive After the fall of four five. Once more hope anew we’ll bring Then we will hear skylarks sing.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 24th August 2020.
Two young refugees paddle a kayak, Watch as the flycatchers circle this craft Not a high spec sea going pro kayak Able to cross over English Channel Only a cheap inflatable kayak For recreation in pool or still lake. Only a faux imitation kayak. For two to try and paddle such a craft From Calais to England is sheer folly Embarked out of utter desperation Resulting from unjust situation. One boy drowned the other demoralised Meanwhile millionaire British bankers Circle the globe in super yacht Sunseekers Fifty four metre luxury cruisers Tell me, where’s the fucking justice?….. Where?….. Where? Human Rights? What are they?
Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, 24th August 2020.
This, the ultimate expression Of complete social distancing Is now open public knowledge. The Sunday newspapers are full Of column inches about yurts, Staycations, fences and trespass. Photographs of Prime Minister In Knitted wooly bobble hat, And hipster lumberjack checked shirt. Just another ordinary Geezer on summer holidays, Cut off from civilisation, Plucking strings so pizzicato, In private Caledonia. Have his grades gone up or down? Are his algorithms working? Kitchen spad cabinet smirking, As we are played again for fools.
A Welsh golden eagle dies in the hills, Student high fliers well know how this feels, Llywodraeth have failed to act fast enough, No wonder young voters will cut up rough. Demise of justice, first ministers fault, Education system not worth its salt. Meanwhile, on his jollys, Johnson’s away, So nobody knows what he’s got to say. The Brexiteer Reich grinds close to it’s end, Cummings events? Dear god, heaven forfend. Control slips away, they go round the bend, It’s all got too much for this lot to mend. Whilst bailed MP deletes his twitter feed Pandemic chaos is too hard to read.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 18th August 2020.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 18th August 2020.
I wrote this for a friend who had a falling out over social distancing.
MAKE YOUR OWN HONEY
Covid, Brexit, Marmite, Starmer, There’s always gonna be something. Art and music, TV, Fashion Humans all have different views, Sometimes things flare up with passion, Heard from the pews, or on the news. Sometimes one has to stand ones ground. Go dancing to a brand new jive, Be the one with the coolest sound, Fly home each day to your own hive. Life can be sad, can be funny, Press on and make your own honey.
Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 14th August 2020.
New normal in New New Labour, Where new general secretary Implements new instructions From new leader To newly depleted CLPs On the new scenario For new style meetings. This is the brave new world That new centrists have created. New old ideas from New old prognosticators No new debates On new reports, Or new expulsions, Lead to new lows in membership levels. A new party may come soon, This is nothing new. Will a new day dawn? I wish I knew.
The special relationship between kleptocratic assassins who cannot see beyond the maintenance of the corner that the ultra wealthy have painted themselves into, has created the condition of misery for millions. The turn of the millennium policies that wholeheartedly embraced globalisation jointly espoused by neo liberal politicians has dragged us into the maelstrom of rapid decline in manufacturing, public service provision, infrastructural repair, and the welfare of social structures. This is not some fictional ramble along a bramble choked coastal path that we can easily turn back from and go back home to the comfort of tea and cucumber sandwiches enjoyed in the rose tinted past we are encouraged to think we relished in the make believe idyll of the post second world war years. This is a full throttle roar along a Randian dragstrip, paved with the failure of individualism, exposed as a dystopian nightmare by the paucity of intellect, and will, now so clearly revealed by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when the major capitalist economies transmogrified from being democracies into kleptocracies, perhaps behind the scenes there has always been a certain amount of brown paper envelopes filled with public cash being transferred into the bank accounts of senior politicians and their families and friends but surely never has it been quite so blatantly obvious. The handing over of more than a hundred million pounds for the supply of faulty facemasks to a company with no previous experience in PPE is treated as a mild mistake by the media. Had this been a Labour administration the right wing monolith that passes for a free press in this country would have been howling from the rooftops. As it is parliament is in recess, the new normal is in full swing, confusion rules, panicked residents in coastal and rural areas are fearful of the much trumpeted second wave as people flood in for good old fashioned staycations. Denial by groups of anti vaxers who terrorise shop workers as they try to do their best to implement ever changing rules and guidelines demonstrates clearly that the New Normal is a place where the wafer thin veneer of civilisation has given way to barbarism overseen by leaders who wallow in decadence. Winter is coming and the kleptocracy shows no sign of slowing down, I try not to dream of a no deal Brexit. Unfortunately there is no where to run to. In these circumstances lock down is the only haven of safety.
I watch the Axios interview Special with Four Five Not seen American president Tell so many Lies. Shuffles papers, points to fake graphs, Checks manuals and books, Four five reads ghost stats, no one laughs, Not even white house crooks.
“If you test more, you find more, We test more than most Fake media lie about the score.” He believes his boast. The one fifty K? He shrugs his shoulders, “It is what it is.” It is what it is? Is it what it is? Is this what it is? This is what it is, So four five told us.
Now we know for sure Know he does not care About the people and the poor, Neither the rule of law
Sociopaths play politics Promise greener grass Smash young people with riot sticks Gas them on their ass. This is what it is, Naked Fascism. It has come to this, This is how it is, It is time for change, Four five got to go.
Harry Rogers, In my hut, Thursday, 6th August 2020
How are things in El Dorado, Now that the curtain has drawn back? Have you found all of the fool’s gold, The meth, the cocaine and the crack? There’s nobody left to score it, Since Corona came down the track.
Fool’s gold Fool’s gold Y’all been chasing Fool’s gold
There is no more Ambrosia To feed your artificial gods. All your rock stars and their shite words Have been devoured by techno hogs, Power brokers now rule nothing, The people have let loose the dogs.
Fool’s gold Fool’s gold Y’all been chasing Fool’s gold
Things now can change for evermore, Behind the masks we all get real, If we want to love each other We tell the powers how we feel. We stand together on the streets Shout it loud, we will never kill
Fool’s gold Fool’s gold We will not chase Fool’s gold
El Dorado El Dorado How are things in El Dorado?
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, midnight 3rd August 2020.