Towards the End
… and still the stiffs in suits who took life seriously
busied themselves about a rotten magic
original to eighteenth-century, rational
Christian men of sound commercial means,
stinking & scratching in nice white linen, signing
the usual bills for sugar, slaves & tea,
not overblessed with intelligence or foresight
but very pleased with themselves & their enormous
scope of action.
They could decide one day
‘Value is fungible across qualities, if you don’t understand
here are men with guns to better explain’, & lo!
these that were trees are woodchips, this that was useful
sequestered under a trademark; & this was a planet
where people could keep on living, never mind.
Nicolas Spicer was educated at the universities of York and Newcastle upon Tyne, and lives in Sheffield. His collections Landscape with Forgeries and Lines on the Surface are available from Contraband Books at www.contrabandbooks.co.uk.