Oyster Boy Review 12  
  January 2000
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» Levee 67


Homage to Hardial Bains (1939-1997)

George Elliott Clarke

Between shit and Shakespeare,
Shelley lies, and is beautiful.

Fucking annoying distinctions,
his pages glister—furious as April

water, intractable—infringing on
public corruption, until false eyes

stink.  He is precious anything,
knowing history as one long butchery.

But you, Bains, you were the bane
of Capital—that sadomasochism,

and damned the shit that is money,
and damned that shit called money,

impeaching Nietzsche, and clawed
off bankers' coldly horrifying masks,

for you hated medieval-vile police,
and let poems comfort you at night,

save for Pound's acrylic lyricism:
You saw how his lines scummed over

with green slime, bacterial blooms.
He was the Satan of the bad writers.

If workers would machine-gun bosses
into bloody pits, we'd never surrender

plushest April, panting coolly in rivers,
nor the garbage-annihilating blossoms.

We'd let princesses perish in broken cars,
photographers crawling on them like lice.