Fabricatmosphere

There's creatures
on this concrete,
soaking up the rain
in their shivers.

They wrap themselves
in clown masks
to warm their faces,
and we all become our covers.

We build walls of collectives
classes and criminalisation,
which are polite dehumanisation,
to ease the mass's conscience.

The ambition of self-preservation
is prescribed by the ignorant
to those who want to stay breathing,
and on their plastic pedestals.

Desperation is manufactured
to perpetuate egoism,
for that is the structure
of our shield from the wind.

Still, You can get frost bitten
or feel the warmth of freshly spilt blood
through the latex gloves
of your spending.

All these ambitions:
our fabricated atmosphere,
are prescribed by the ignorant
to those who want to survive the recession,

they safeguard from thought,
and personhood,

for particularity is not found in consumption.


***

Written during the last week of May and the first week of June 2013, out of the cognitive dissonance caused by working with the homeless in the shopping/clubbing town of Watford. 

This is a time when the poorest of the country are being squeezed worst by benefits cuts*, and those who do have money are saturated by empty consumerism. This poem is an appeal to the latter to look outward, and a critique of how the media and government often generalise homeless people as irresponsible benefits-hounds + beggars.


*I don't think benefits are a great solution to the problems faced by homeless people, but over the last 2 generations a dependancy has been developed and it is irresponsible to take away what is depended upon too quickly and without a careful process of transition. Also the benefits that have been cut this April are ones that will are affecting only the most desperate (Crisis Loans) and those who would be making progressing  into independent living (Community Care Grants). This means it will take longer for individuals to reach a point of independence, when they can live free from government handouts, thus not actually saving the taxpayers any money, and hurting a lot of poor people in the process.

Comments

  1. Nice poem, I agree with your analysis of the situation as well. The upside down politics of Jesus say you start at the bottom of the pile, the solutions to our problems aren't top down they're grassroots. They won't come from conservatives wanting to cut benefits to make people more self reliant and they won't come from the left wanting to maintain/ expand centralised welfare.

    The only way things will change is people learning to care for their neighbour and hearts of both the rich and poor being changed, one by one until we get to a stage where there will be freedom from the government and other human authority, freedom from addiction, freedom from pain and suffering, but I think that's what they call the Kingdom of God but that's what we are here to advance.

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