A new poem by Hugo Brucciani

[Editor’s note: at this stage of his life, Brucciani, apparently embittered by failure and given to extensive substance abuse, now opens and closes his poems by arguing with an imaginary critic. He also has a product-placement deal with Nando’s.]

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Photo: Simon Alvinge / Alamy

lockdown is like the end of the world

by hugo brucciani
april 2020

you say my poems are
the stoned ramblings of a
half-baked moron?
well, fuck you

dear reader, please
add a short
pause after each
line
think of it as
the rhythm

here in the garden in an
infinity recliner, i wonder
how does it feel to
be a bird? hey, bird
does your tiny mind
bliss out when
you soar?

you soar like
a metaphor on
the wings of
my imagination

but
your wings are
real enough to
transcend any
metaphor

but
it’s hard to
acknowledge feeling in
others

people
birds

we have
advanced awareness but
can’t control it

for some, its
shininess is too
reflective

they live in
shiny bubbles
pretending to
connect and
hoping it works
to a point at least

(what shiny beast
saunters towards Nando’s
to be born again
as a chicken?)

others connect better yet but
it’s still not enough

think of us as
an evolutionary dead end
nice while it lasts
apart from when it’s not, like
now

it feels like it’s the end of the world
the end of the road
for us and our one thing after another
farewell cruel world
it’s all your fault

your human nature failed
its epic test
failed to fulfil its
promise

got so far, only
couldn’t connect with
the, you know, thing

couldn’t connect, so
couldn’t relate, so
we’re self-destructing and fuck it
if we’re going down we’re going to
take a lot of other life forms
with us

to whatever is
supervising
good try, and
better luck next time

the multiverse will
carry on evolving but not
with us and not with
life as
we know it
Jim (lucky to be
worried about by
Mrs Dale)

so we’ll never know
how the multiverse evolves
we’ll never see
the bigger picture
that’s the worst thing
here in my bubble

still, could be worse
my worst thing
never knowing
could be a third-world problem
the one we made
could be a pile of shit but
it’s not that bad or sad

it’s OK. it’s fine
it’s only love, and
that is all
love of my life
love of it all

fuck some universal purpose
let’s live for the future
the one that’s got people in it
and birds
and bees

fuck the self-destruction
let’s kiss it better
love it better yet
save ourselves
save our souls
are we saved? not yet

Save

a shallow epiphany, you say?
well, fuck you


[Editor’s note: In this poem, Brucciani seems to see humanity as a failed experiment in multiversal connectedness. For an alternative (if equally bleak) view – of life as a crop – see his poem, God the farmer?]

More tea, Vicar?

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Photo: Shutterstock / Borsmenta

Q: Why do people say, ‘More tea, Vicar?’ when someone farts?
A: It’s a joke about the thin veneer of civilisation covering our all-too solid animal nature, and our embarrassment about it – always good for a laugh.

It’s a joke about the incongruous congruity of a human (the vicar) representing morality ordained by a supernatural supreme being (God-based civilisation), an undeniable animal stench (the fart), and the consequent irreverent humour (the joke).

God being spiritual, and farting, animal, the saying ‘More tea, Vicar?’ humourously encapsulates the tension between those two worlds of meaning. The tea is a healing balm. The fortified wine that might then be produced closes the wound. Tea and sherry – closure medication for our divided souls.

But how does the vicar come into it?

Imagine a semi-mythical English past where people, whether working-class or middle-class, called their front room, if they had one, the parlour.

The parlour was the best room, reserved for special occasions. One such occasion would be a visit by the vicar, the Church of England parish priest. The family would wear their Sunday-best clothes, and tea would be served using the best service.

The conversation would be somewhat strained, due to the status of the guest depending on a shared tradition of faith in a supernatural supreme being (a belief which would inevitably cause some doubt in the minds of all concerned, not least that of the vicar).

During an awkward pause in the conversation someone, perhaps nervously, lets rip a loud fart. To allay the even more awkward silence and the undeniable animal stench, Mother – who, traditionally, pours the tea – brightly asks, “More tea, Vicar?“.

(Traditionally, Father may relieve the tension with a cheerful “Better out than in!“, thus enabling the conversation to sputter on. Fortified wine might shortly be produced, to the relief of all.)

Beware the talking animal

image
I’m not an animal Image: source unkown

Beware the talking animal
Do not trust its word
Ignore this traitor’s warning
Pretend you haven’t heard

Help me, help me, help me
My life is just a mess
Can you tell me if it’s worth it
Or do I have to guess?

Is it getting better
Or is it getting worse?
Can there be a blessing
Concealed within the curse?

Yes, I’m a human being
But I hate the human race
I look into the mirror
And I hate my human face

Beware the talking animal
Do not trust its word
Ignore this traitor’s warning
Pretend you haven’t heard


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