Neither tribal nor trivial he shouts
From the city’s center where tramcars move
Like stained bacilli across the eyeballs;
Where people PER in composite buildings
From their protective gelatine of doubts,
Old ills, and incapacity to love
While he, a Joshua before their walls,
Se. newspapers to the gods and geldings.
Intrusive as a collision, he is
The Zeitgeist’s too public interpreter,
A voice multiplex and democratic,
The people’s voice or the monopolists;
Who with last-edition omniscience
Plays Clotho to each gaping customer
With halcyon colt, sex crime in an attic,
The story of a twice-jailed bigamist.
For him the mitred cardinals sweat in
Condaves domed; the spy is shot. Empiric;
And obstreperous confidant of kings,
Rude despiser of the anonymous,
Danubes of blood wash up his bulletins
While he domesticates disaster like
A wheat in pampas of prescriptive things
With cries animal and ambiguous.
His dialectics vfill assault the brain,
Contrive men to voyages or murder,
Dip the periscope of their public lives
To the green levels of acidic caves;
Fever their health, or heal them with ruin,
Or with lies dangerous as a letter:
Finally to enwrap the season’s cloves,
Cover a somnolent face on S.days.
© Irving Layton 🔒