after William Blake
This isn’t a town you’d like to visit.
Arriving one night, I wandered through streets
Whose lights were smashed, I stumbled with the blind.
No guide. No map. Wheelchairs, I think, were dumped
in alleys. Beggars crawled on their knees, squeezing
their plastic cups like rosaries. One man screamed
for help, but no one came. I hurried past,
too numbed to care. And outside an open window
a mother wept for her hungry child
while a drummer thumped out his merciless tune. He,
at least, was getting high. Then the window slammed shut,
crushing someone’s fingers, crushing someone’s hopes.
I wandered on through each darkened street
until the sky burned red and howled and cried
and a god, just waking, yawned and fell back asleep.
Like metallic Furies machines clanged clanged clanged
churning out their mind-forged manacles;
blood ran down the factory, the palace walls;
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