DAY THIRTY-SIX – Neil Fulwood


(after ‘Privileged Instructions’ by Hans Magnus Enzensberger)

It is, if not forbidden,
then strongly discouraged
to accost strangers
on street corners, in pubs,
at the doctor’s, and declaim
to their faces or their retreating backs
“Don’t blame me, I voted

                And it is more than
strongly discouraged to engage colleagues
in useful debate; to question
that wasted protest vote; to bang
the drum for unionism
and anti-austerity and basic
human decency.

                        And it is
frowned upon – and let our leaders
leave us in no doubt: this is
“frowned upon” as in Guantanamo Bay –
to speak a word in protest,
to speak of proportional representation,
to speak of an opposition party without a leader,
to speak of the ravages
and the dismantlings
of the first hundred days
and the next hundred
and all the hundreds of days
that stack up on the racking
that strains under the false promises
and u-turns and shiftless PR
of another term in office.


Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah‘. His poetry has featured in The Morning Star, The Black Light Engine Room, Ink Sweat & Tears, Butcher’s Dog, International Times and London Grip. He lives in Nottingham, subsidises several real ale pubs and hasn’t managed to get fired from the day job yet.


4 thoughts on “DAY THIRTY-SIX – Neil Fulwood

  1. I had been wondering only this morning, Neil, about how far the government’s anti-‘radicalisation’ programme could be taken…

    PS – How long before there are questions asked about young people running away from home and ending up in a Poetic State?


  2. Thanks for commenting, Geoff. I just hope that when they round up the dissidents they realise that poets generally aren’t bomb-makers or dab hands with a sniper rifle. (Well, not all of us!)

    The People’s Republic of Poetry is definitely an idea I could get behind.


    • A cautionary note… if you haven’t already done so, do read or at least glance through ‘The Pike’, the Lucy Hughes-Hallett biography of the poet d’Annunzio, which goes a long way to explaining the origins of fascism in his poet-led breakaway city.

      But otherwise go for it!


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