Poems

‘A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.’  ~ Franz Kafka

Below is a selection of anti-odes to a post-resistance era moulded by US cultural imperialism.  The experimental approach draws from a variety of influences spanning punk, Bill Hicks, the writing of Kafka, Dostoevsky and Orwell, and the remix technique as used in a lot of underground dance music.

In 2019, I wrote my first long-form poem, The Cycle Diaries, extracts of which can be found here.  Earlier experiments into painting and poetry can be found here.

Easy Rider Ending

‘It’s real hard to be free
when you’re bought
and sold in the marketplace’

liberty invokes fear

‘All art is propaganda’

when all are afraid
no one is free

‘Abandon hope all ye who enter here’

depart from soul
there is no beauty
love adrift at sea
there is no meaning
reason in absentia
there is no future

‘We blew it’

no one has agency
in a homogenised blob

The Heroes Die.

© Christopher Sharp

Panoptic Psychosis

See What’s Happening
I’m Lovin’ It
BIPOC
Just Do It
Cis
You’re Either With Us or the Terrorists
LGBTQIA+
White Privilege
Further Faster
Support Our Troops
Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History
ANTIFA
To Inspire and Nurture the Human Spirit
Adidas Is All In
Moving Truth Forward
Think Different
Unconscious Bias
Shock and Awe
Where’s the Beef?
TERF
Axis of Evil
This is Who We Are
Open Happiness
White Fragility
Built Ford Proud
A Diamond is Forever
Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands
Because You’re Worth It
MAGA
Vermont’s Finest
Fair and Balanced
Fake News
BLM
Real News. Real Honest Opinion
hello_
Don’t be Evil
Defund the Police
See What’s Next
BLEXIT
Be What’s Next
Latinx
Make Every Minute Matter
Power to You
Capture and Share the World’s Moment
It’s Quick and Easy
We’re NBC, Just Watch Us Now.

© Christopher Sharp

2020, A Shadow Falls

Without warning, dark clouds gather
suddenly, he falls into the abyss
inner turbulence, overwhelming dread
the battle is already lost
they smirk at a mask
as always
if only it could aid one’s prospects
but he has gone
and before him stands
infinite nothingness
the abyss
all there is
among the flotsam
anonymous footsteps
tread softly in the sand
the gentle sea
laps at the shore’s
reflection of infinity
he sees everything
feels nothing
the sky darkens
rain falls
passing her as a contour
he sits on a precipice
dizzying eternity looms
all around
light fades into the distance
beneath showers
disappearing through clouds
on the horizon
innominate, a mere droplet
engulfed in turmoil’s fatigue
organs wrapped in barbed wire
he contradicts predictable assumptions
wishing he could go back
he knows not to ask the clock ‘why?’
it’s better to be alone
walking invisibly through the abyss.

© Christopher Sharp

The Underground Man (2020)

A familiar old tale reboots.
Its updated plotline has scribbled out.
Dissent written into the design.
‘How can you be on the left if you have a Smartphone?’
‘Write down your number then,’ she tuts.
Tracked and monitored.
Consumes and assumes.
Just like everyone else.

Anonymous as shadows he wanders.
Missing spring’s moorland birdsong.
He doesn’t understand this place.
A fog looms in his mind.
‘Why am I so tired, so disinterested?’
He doesn’t understand himself.
He wants to believe, without reason to believe.
It’s not all to be absent roads.

© Christopher Sharp

Prophecy

If it was once about this
it’ll soon be about that

They must believe this
so they don’t believe that

You must talk about this
and utterly ignore that

They must talk about this
so they don’t talk about that

You must let them act on this
in ignorance of that

They must forget the fact this
clearly means that

You must remind them of this
so they don’t remember that

We must contradict this
and contradict that

We pay you this
to write nothing about that

If they question this
you do not answer that

You must show them this
so they don’t think about that

If they still question this
you must vilify them for thinking that!

Make sure it’s always about this
and give no thought to that

There is nothing true about this
or true about that.

© Christopher Sharp

2020, Untitled (remix)

Watching glistening hues dance their sparkled, rhythmic jams toward a mist draped horizon.

The sound of the sea setting to sail dissociation of melancholy…a departure met with a smile.

Railroad
from the city
to the hills.

Thatched cottage near the river
me, painting in the old barn.

When you reach the summit
don’t fear the space.

Lead me into Wonderland.

Water flows
like states of mind
you’ve seen me here before
as I have you
yet we remain strangers
as one.

Gathered to shore
in peaceful union
resting beyond sight
after many journeys
awaiting long journeys
to come.

I follow your melody
leading me into the unconscious
as I do
to harmonise consciousness.

Dizziness decreasing
maybe it works…
farther and farther fades
the sensation
of other realities
as I look
into the distance.

What followed was terrifying
though I could see it coming
harder than you think
to get through it
strange
how a day on the job
is much easier.

Difficult to stop
the creation of what you fear
I step through the doors
despite anticipation
perhaps save for another day
when I’m feeling more confident?
Too late
we depart
the ticket conductor interrupts
I could tell what she thought
was I jumping the train?
I was
but not for the reasons she assumes
the distraction helped
and I paid my fare.

In solitary flight
through uncertainty above
green hills, beyond clouds
drifts a wandering dove.

To an acid flashback
where Ganesha revealed
the secrets of space
and time.

White clouds drift by
bus stops in the rain
along a breeze travelling
afar where history remains.

© Christopher Sharp

2018, Bluetown Railroad

Part One

Clouds gather
above a barren
landscape of figures,
beyond orisons
haunting
wastelands
of shattered dreams,
owing shadows
stealing futures
from behind the ether.

The Spider relishes:
‘Family of Swans
Shot Dead,’
‘Man Stabbed to Death
For his Trainers,’
‘Security Guard
Killed with Screwdriver
Stopping Thieves
Stealing a Chocolate Bar,’
I walk by
empty buildings
lining streets
of cardboard homes
this, it calls ‘Civilisation.’

Beyond horizons
stratified,
a war on airbrushing
sweeps decadently
the dust of
broken bodies
under deserts
scorched by profits,
from ancient Babylon
to Yemen,
are we not to oppose
rotten eggs laid
by that which eats them?

The ancients foretold
of man communicating
through ‘webs in the sky’
and he would lose
all wisdom.

Psychopaths are most adept
to attain the goal,
hence hypocrites
swarm a lunatic
like flies on shit,
for the Spider loves
nothing more
than absurd
soap operas
celebrating itself.

Mother Earth weeps
for the innocent slain,
the Spider remains
laissez-faire
laying railroads
journeyed by carriages
coated in plastic,
Parisian ideals vanish
into the mist.

The Spider insists
I should laud
self-obsessed lyrics
‘Revolutionary’
in clichéd jingles
ad nauseam,
horror tranquillised
by vacancy.

Marching to its demise
banality tunnels
through labyrinths
of panic,
followed by flies
eating despair
attached to palms,
suffocating in isolation….

Still, it
rolls on … and on and….
I listen to its soundtrack thinking
maybe man can recycle after all?

All the while
Mother Earth weeps
at empty words
on redundant platforms,
poisoned by a Spider
ensnaring all in a web
of Spectacle
termed ‘Civilisation.’

Part Two

Worked all her life
paid her taxes
paid heed to the rules
voted Tory and read the Mail,
now,
amnesia slinks
along a ward,
memories
of falling brushed
into the dark’s embrace,
vultures circle
to feast on scars
and though she cries,
it’s all in vain
for soon,
her son, itinerant,
if the scavengers once fed
get their way.

‘It’s strange being
an ordinary person.’
A lament that fades into the wind,
vanishing like raindrops
in the ocean.

Shattered bodies line trenches
with the poor
lining pockets of the rich
fighting another man’s war,
never would he hold allegiance
to the viciousness
of flags,
preferring an alternative
anthem,
now,
labours for breath,
maybe he’ll pull through,
I understand
his ambivalence,
as much as it breaks
my heart.

‘I’m happy to no longer
be part of it.’
Musing upon a game
he risked everything for
but no longer recognises.

I return
to a future
sold.

‘How has your day been?’

I wonder,
why respond
when I’m unable to say
what you presume to hear?

Today
is a game
I
do not
recognise.

© Christopher Sharp