Homage to Hardial Bains (1939-1997)
George Elliott Clarke
Between shit and Shakespeare,
Shelley lies, and is beautiful.
Fucking annoying distinctions,
his pages glister—furious as April
water, intractable—infringing on
public corruption, until false eyes
stink. He is precious anything,
knowing history as one long butchery.
But you, Bains, you were the bane
of Capital—that sadomasochism,
and damned the shit that is money,
and damned that shit called money,
impeaching Nietzsche, and clawed
off bankers' coldly horrifying masks,
for you hated medieval-vile police,
and let poems comfort you at night,
save for Pound's acrylic lyricism:
You saw how his lines scummed over
with green slime, bacterial blooms.
He was the Satan of the bad writers.
If workers would machine-gun bosses
into bloody pits, we'd never surrender
plushest April, panting coolly in rivers,
nor the garbage-annihilating blossoms.
We'd let princesses perish in broken cars,
photographers crawling on them like lice.