Marx, As Usual


[A poem of mine from an unpublished suite of poems on great philosophers called I Love Sophie.]

Marx, As Usual

As usual this kid wanted to be a poet.
Started off with the usual fairy stuff:
elves, gnomes, sirens,
pale maiden meets robust knight

who shoots through for the wars
(Jenny dear, is that a summary?)
Stuff like: worlds howling death songs
to us helpless apes of a cold God.

Thankfully my lawyer father disapproves.
Then the usual student duels, locked up
for noise, drunkenness, banned weapons,
heaps of debts, get engaged to gentry Jenny.

The usual hassles with the Prussian cops
for my radical journalism in Cologne,
the usual collapse of a communal pad in Paris,
the usual deportations from France, Germany,

finally the usual squalid bed-sit in London.
In penury and sickness most of our kids die
before three, the usual affair with the faithful maid,
Jenny often close to despair, I escape

to the pleasant wars of political intrigue
and the British Museum Reading Room.
Spend haemorrhoidal years writing Kapital
that I proudly submit isn’t all that usual at all.

Kept in pocket money and cigars
by comrade Fritz re-directing capital
from his well exploited workers to me, and
bastard Bakunin calls me democratic dictator.

Ha, the great putschist oxymoron of anarchism!
Activist envy because he didn’t have my brains
to put philosophy back on its feet.
Now that the other-worldliness of truth

has disappeared, the truth of this world
will be established by revolutionary action.
The root of man is man not God,
internal man a society now alienated

from itself, society a slave market
of commodities filled with the theology
of money, that universal whore,
through which all men must now pass

to survive and lose themselves completely
before they tip into consciousness of their own
transpersonal misery, in radical action shaking
the thrones of all circumstance that keep man

bent, bereft, unfree, to finally found
sweet freedom’s reign, nature reconciled…
(Footnote: Kapital volume one went
completely unremarked, so wrote my own

critiques positive and negative,
then died
before volumes two and three,
as usual.)


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on April 8, 2014.

8 Responses to “Marx, As Usual”

  1. I’d like to see more of these vignettes! IS ‘Sophie’ any connection with Sophie’s World?

  2. […] Marx, As Usual. […]

  3. insightful as usual, peter….felt like you humanized the legend…

    • Thanks Kristi. Yep, very human like all of us, and a right bastard occasionally, like most of us. But in the end I guess, despite the personal being political, to me it’s the profound thought that counts, divorced from the human failings. Probably most great thinkers and artists were all-too-human, often unpleasant, when experienced up close and personal, so nobody should be deified.

    We are many but the opposition is powerful & devious, crafty with all control safely sewn up and discreetly tucked away under veneers of superficial gloss, which divert attention away…
    As my mentor George Orwell said somewhere, just because something is so doesn’t mean it should remain so: We’d still have serfs and slavery were that the case, burning witches…
    Some say our society is being undermined by too much wealth with access to unlimited power to change the lives of anyone who doesn’t dine at the Top Tables of “Our Society”. If it’s so how can it be changed? Are the Power Possessors simply going to let go? So how can it be done- how can the strength of one group of like-minded people be used against its control, get it to loosen its grip on unwarranted privilege?
    The simple unfairness of a few having vast wealth and the influence that goes with it , has to change in radical ways. We know how the world operates: You got money you got influence.
    Why should this continue so forever? It’s unfair, its wrong.
    Vast wealth was never obtained by fair means. Share it back with those who were exploited in the past.
    They are still exploited NOW. It should come to an end.

  5. There is an awesome one man play called Marx in Soho written by Howard Zinn. He does the same thing, humanizes the legend, haemorrhoids and all. It’s very moving.

    Remember Nickweech, capitalism is crisis. It can jump around a lot, a la David Harvey, but every shell game meets its moment.

    • David Harvey= Leeds United’s goalie & Scotland? Sounds more he’s from Aussie Rules perhaps.
      Take main point about Cap’ism in crisis. But we been stagnant for 6 yes = no real change, benefits not trickling down. Have people all become resigned?

  6. Human beings as usual. Business as usual.

    Nickweech, you may be thinking of AFL player, Brent Harvey, who played 364 games for the Kangaroos, or Robert Harvey, dual Brownlow medalist, and 383 game player for the Saints. Or maybe not! And perhaps we are resigned. Sleepwalking Zombies. Sunday off. Monday start again. Well, at least for us in the land of plenty. Waiting for the buzzer. BZZZZZZZ. Ok, times up, you lose! Some 150 or so years and David Harvey’s still talking of 17 contradictions of capital and the end of capitalism? Perhaps just coinciding with the end of the world as we know it. Offer me alternatives and I decline!

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