Alec Derwent Hope
He that is filthy let him be filthy still.
Like John on Patmos, brooding on the Four
Last Things, I meditate the ruin of friends
Whose loss, Lord, brings this grand new curse to mind
Now send me foes worth cursing, or send more
– Since means should be proportionate to ends –
For mine are few and of the piddling kind:
Drivellers, snivellers, writers of bad verse,
Backbiting bitches, snipers from a pew,
Small turds from the great arse of self-esteem;
On such as these I would not waste my curse.
God send me soon the enemy or two
Fit for the wrath of God, of whom I dream:
Some Caliban of Culture, some absurd
Messiah of the Paranoiac State,
Some Educator wallowing in his slime,
Some Prophet of the Uncreating Word
Monsters a man might reasonably hate,
Masters of Progress, Leaders of our Time;
But chiefly the Suborners: Common Tout
And Punk, the Advertiser, him I mean
And his smooth hatchet-man, the Technocrat.
Them let my malediction single out,
These modern Dives with their talking screen
Who lick the sores of Lazarus and grow fat,
Licensed to pimp, solicit and procure
Here in my house, to foul my feast, to bawl
Their wares while I am talking with my friend,
To pour into my ears a public sewer
Of all the Strumpet Muses sell and all
That prostituted science has to vend.
In this great Sodom of a world, which turns
The treasure of the Intellect to dust
And every gift to some perverted use,
What wonder if the human spirit learns
Recourses of despair or of disgust,
Abortion, suicide and self-abuse.
But let me laugh, Lord; let me crack and strain
The belly of this derision till it burst;
For I have seen too much, have lived too long
A citizen of Sodom to refrain,
And in the stye of Science, from the first,
Have watched the pearls of Circe drop on dung.
Let me not curse my children, nor in rage
Mock at the just, the helpless and the poor,
Foot-fast in Sodom’s rat-trap; make me bold
To turn on the Despoilers all their age
Invents: damnations never felt before
And hells more horrible than hot and cold.
And, since in Heaven creatures purified
Rational, free, perfected in their kinds
Contemplate God and see Him face to face
In Hell, for sure, spirits transmogrified,
Paralysed wills and parasitic minds
Mirror their own corruption and disgrace.
Now let this curse fall on my enemies
My enemies, Lord, but all mankind’s as well
Prophets and panders of their golden calf;
Let Justice fit them all in their degrees;
Let them, still living, know that state of hell,
And let me see them perish, Lord, and laugh.
Let them be glued to television screens
Till their minds fester and the trash they see
Worm their dry hearts away to crackling shells;
Let ends be so revenged upon their means
That all that once was human grows to be
A flaccid mass of phototropic cells;
Let the dog love his vomit still, the swine
Squelch in the slough; and let their only speech
Be Babel; let the specious lies they bred
Taste on their tongues like intellectual wine
Let sung commercials surfeit them, till each
Goggles with nausea in his nauseous bed.
And, lest with them I learn to gibber and gloat,
Lead me, for Sodom is my city still,
To seek those hills in which the heart finds ease;
Give Lot his leave; let Noah build his boat,
And me and mine, when each has laughed his fill,
View thy damnation and depart in peace.