This Be the Verse
They FU@%||*#@ you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were FU@%||*#@ up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
This poem is all about blame. No wonder that the only outcome the speaker can perceive and advise is stated in the penultimate line and, especially, the last definitive verse. This type of “self-talk” is passed down the generations, from adults to children in an uninterrupted chain of toxic behaviour patterns. So who’s to blame? Man, of course. Vague. Is it not? So what is there to do? It’s human nature’s fault anyway! Is downright cynicism, nihilism, the anaemic why-botherism and other yes-buttism the only range of options available? Will this be the verse?
Contrary to the last statement in the poem, it is when I had my own “kid” that I left the eternal present of not responding; that I finally entered the realm of history and generation which stopped the blame loop. I, so to speak, started to regenerate. Before my daughter, blame used to be my alibi for not making decisions. But it was at the very moment the pro-ject of a child made its way in my life that I began to ask myself what I was really afraid of, what was holding me back. Like the speaker in the poem with his/her universalisation of “Man”’s experience, I used to look at the problem too globally, too obsessively, which I believe is what kept me in the blame loop for so long. I began to ‘Forgive And Give’
The soul cannot blossom in
Bla bla bla bla bla blaaamme
Hysterics on and on and on and on and
The soul blossoms in freedom and
Freedom at the heart of
My first voyage to the moon
Give what for