Tenebrae Vincunt: A topical Hypertext Poem for National Poetry Day.

Tenebrae Vincunt

A topical hypertext poem for #nationalpoetryday

TV3 people’s debate
Was how it was billed.
But it cost nothing to those in power
owning the studio filled.

Late night liquidities,
times bailout varieties ,
add water of life ,
Means.. ..
zero strife for that shower.

If mobile magnet O Brien
is paying the wages ,

You sit up, you beg, roll over, or dig
distant meters, well away from humanity

a commercial prophet written off in
his own heavily mortgaged land
one finger of Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand.

So late last night I switched on my TV to find a program called ‘the people’s debate’, a town hall style discussion on upcoming 2014 Irish budget priorities being facilitated by the respected journalist Vincent Brown. A lot of frustrated people in the large audience wanted to make points and of-course such a squeezed time limited format proved entirely unsuitable for any genuine and meaningful depth of discussion. It was ideal for football pundits, a mere few seconds, (“or just one more sentence”) to contribute and convey concisely what were mainly valid criticisms of the current economic and social state of our country.

The over-all cumulative effect of such required quick ‘Who are you?’ plus soundbites plus context explanation eventually made the non-media savvy look and sound more like football hooligans than football pundits, but then that’s the type of debate (when it is kind of allowed i.e. unlike RTE Primetime’s extended commercial for Irish Water) that is being encouraged, a confusing, angry, seemingly ill-informed electorate, spattered with a few supposed all-knowing suits, the agenda ultimately being set by overpaid spin doctors resplendent in their odious and unseen efficiency. The camera jumped from one angry/sad person to another, no real focus on the fundamentals and even less on actual solutions.

Our once proud mother Ireland having been utterly corrupted by boom, bust, and Trokia bailout, and as the current government repeatedly foooks us all, she may finally have become a capitalist whore. A friend of mine, who survived a hit and run accident that left him with a broken back and eventually on crutches for almost two years told me, he was lucky. He had finally been able to stop worrying, he understood that 99% of the things he worried about never happened, it was what he didn’t worry about that nearly killed him.

I spent most of the week before last with my ill 83 year old mother in my nearest semi-functioning hospital watching her, the health system, and the patience of a nation, deteriorate before my eyes. I paid 7.50 Euro to park in the hospital car park for 1 hour & 15 minutes. Now she’s finally home, I visited my convalescing mother early this morning and her residential street was already looking like a war zone, with angle grinders spewing dust everywhere, trucks and vans parked strategically on footpaths, while anxious and edgy helmeted workmen roamed around in packs, putting plastic barriers outside houses, large trucks and finger pointing laying a different type of groundwork as they appeared to get set for another unjust and unwanted battle with ordinary citizens.

The transfers of wealth that have taken place in this country are scandalous. The decimation of local and community groups has been abhorrent and the disregard and insensitivity shown to ordinary decent people shocking. Attitudes to the artificial human divide created between working poor and unemployed is one being used for political scapegoating, work work work work.. is their new solution to everything. Where perhaps as Osho said, work is actually slavery without the out of hours responsibility. Somewhere in the middle are working public servants, no longer serving the public but serving (under duress) the new capital whore, all her political minions, and what appears to be that exclusively fiscal agenda. Here is a new form of colonialism, where through the offices of our ‘ big business people’ we are subject to international cartels, corporations and financial extortion in the name of economic progress. Where we are doing so much better than other PIGS basketcases… yet Iceland is never ever mentioned. The people we elected now appear comfortable with what’s gone on, they champion the new economic model and appear prepared to sit back, count pieces of paper (or silver maybe) and shuffle excel sheets while our little country dies of a kind of social syphilis as the planet burns, all to feed a capitalist greed for growth.

To try to channel my own deep felt frustrations, explore my empathy with so many Irish people who are finding these times very tough, and tough in senses other than the purely economic that the politicians love to harp on about, I decided to make a hypertext poem that reflects just a snapshot in my emotional ranges of the day after watching a bit of #Vinb last night. Poems have so many levels.. and technology allows us to add even more.. let me know on twitter if it 'works' for you 8D @clevercelt

Hellboy fans and scholars of Latin will already know that the phrase “in absentia luci, tenebrae vincunt” literally means, in the absence of light, darkness rules (or overrules to be more precise)