Make It New

Posted: September 14, 2013 in Chat
Tags: ,


What thin glitter shop windows wash us with;

the High Street is grimed with us, the prink

of a kicked drinks tin guttering to a grid.

You sensed a rhythm in this, a hymn of sounds

and noise. I only saw what appalled.

We both found it here, the iteration of us

in a sixties Lambretta, and the op-art graffiti

of the situationist. Everything on offer;

the High Street, a front for the redundant idea,

looks at us like old friends returning.


And the flowers flaking from the lamp post, peeling

apart, mark where they died… the ghost bike:

never forget…

Make it new, the imperative

and peeling apart like the pain of bereaved families,

community. The pain made new by once forgetting.

People died here again. Bend your head beneath it,

know you are only one, that this is too much,

that you need us all. And never forget, know

to hurt is to live.

  1. Natalie van Gaalen says:

    Your capacity to make the familiar unfamiliar never ceases to touch me in some way M. Reminiscent of the philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guatarri,. Great stuff x Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2013 15:52:38 +0000 To:

    • Gee that’s really good of you to say. Glad to have got across.
      Admission time: I’m not as familiar with Deleuze and G as I should be, Ahem – just between you and me, that is.
      Thanks enormously for the good words.

  2. This is a truly wonderful poem, for the sentiments it expresses. Thank you, Michael.

    • Thank YOU, K – as always!
      It continues to bother me that people try to ‘get over’ what makes us human and not monsters – the horrors people have done.

    • Hi Karen – this continues to pull me apart, there is a quote from Christa Wolf I used in a blog, writing of Ingeborg Bachmann she wrote: ‘In her poetry… she reveals a person who… is willing and able to endure the conflicts of our own time.”
      It’s that ‘able’ – anyone who is able to do that must be by definition some kind of monster.

      As you wrote, The Holocaust has shadowed all your life. I feel it too, not as immediate as you, I lost no one. I have struggled and struggled to ‘come to terms’ with it so we can get on, move forward. I think this is at the basis of our present crisis: the concept of progress and moving on: it now seems utterly perilous to disregard the past, history.
      This is what I am coming to realize is the main rift between my way of thinking and the language-based writing coming out of America.
      I’ll work more on that another time.
      I am with you.

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