You posed the Southern Question
while waging war in the trenches
of bourgeoisie fantasy.
You drank languages & histories.
Mussolini drank your blood.
Unswayed by victory,
you refused to genuflect before teleology.
Breaking with Hegel–surpassing Croce–
you made prose into poetry.
Fragile wrists pouring over notebooks
in a staccato more rigid
than the bars of your cell.
You are the particles of shivering light,
on the crossbars of your smoky windowpanes.
Recipient of deposits made by history
without the benefit of an inventory.
The task, you said, is to make that inventory.
You are the politics your body rejected.
Optimism of the will,
pessimism of the intellect.
You are eyes-wide-open despair,
hope plus seeing, will plus being.
Vico’s son, made by history
the “we” born into poetry.
You are the name on the lips
of every freedom hungry soul.
Agitator of peasant visionaries,
mobilizer of dreams forged in factories,
democratizer of beauty, leading
the Communist Party
to question reality.
For the US Senator testifying
to the House Ways & Means Committee,
you are an agitator
for the destruction
of Western democracy.
The jottings your sister-in-law
removed from your prison cell quietly,
the unpublished masterpiece
that will merge with eternity.
Family torn from your arms,
your wife removed in Russia,
your son seen once in the airport
before he vanished from your horizon.
You directed his education
from your prison cell,
Gramsci, whose mother
considered her son
the state’s enemy number one
Anti-utopian of universal equality,
theorizer of the new society,
you are no martyr, Gramsci,
just an organizer
rooted in reality.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones