photo of the late great poet genius W.H. Auden.

FILMIC (after WH Auden's 'Stop all the Clocks')
written by: jim bellamy

  Prune down the angels to the wick
Snuff out all candles, unbake all bread
Spoil all trenches with a slick
Ferry the living to the dead
Where blows a lover, deal
A fatal flaw to all that call
Mar all saviours with a weal
Slash the cinema seats and stalls.

  They were the shivers of the silver screen
Where their blood flows, the curtain thralls
Retire all vision to the dumb
For now no good may come of all.
Lash the usherette to the sedge
Unravel torches down the hill:

   Crash the armies through pithead
Mess the crowd till life lies still
Where crows a regime's alms,
Dash the lights and kill the spiels
Where glows a face of calm,
Gnash each drama round the keels.

   They were all we owned
Where they lie dead, there may be none..
Embalm the filmic gods with bones
For now all love is done?



PRAYER BEFORE DEATH (after MacNeice 'Prayer Before Birth')
I am not yet dead; O fear me: fear me as the spider spins its utmost,
shutmost web,
O fear, fear the spinning of my head.
I am not yet dead, dissolve me:
dissolve the man I am that night may shear away my span, that the darkness
might persuade the devils I have made; O, dissolve, dissolve the man I am.
I am not yet dead; destroy me: destroy me in the way that lovers do, in
the manner & the kind of the unrequited grind; crush me, burn me, entirely
umake me, that I, devolved to darkness, might repine.
I am not yet dead;
console me. Console me with apples, comfort me with tears; come, console
me with the leastmost dream you own, with the leastmost dream you have;
console me that others may not die; console, comfort, endure me, make the
agony there lie down at last; come, console me with your plea.
I am not
yet dead, enhearse me: enhearse me in the parts that the actors cannot
play nor watch nor own; as the actor speaks, let your sadness spume, let
the curtain rise & rise; enhearse me in the spotlight that shines in the
fly-towers forever, nor ever cease the mania in the green-rooms, the mania
that sings & wails; enhearse me in the old ways, in the damage done to
present existence; come, enhearse me as you will, as you condone.
I am not
yet dead; O fear me, let not the madness of my life contest the pretty
words you rhyme, nor those pretty words come near me. I am not yet dead; O
kill me. Kill me with the strength that comes to cherish love's decree;
let now no fear depose you, no word ignite you, no insult dissuade you;
come kill me with your passion, your beauty & your love; let nobody sway
you from the place you tread, from the streets you walk, nor even from the
lover you choose to hold; O,
kill me, kill & kill again, as much as you
are lovely, let your wonder strike me cold; allow, as much as you allowed
my dreams, this light in my heart to end; & if not kill me, then do not
perturb the death within me, & if not kill me, then do not disturb the
dying that becomes me.
Let no man tell you that you should not kill me;
come, kill me, rend me, or else adore me.
Copyright JDB 1998.