James Scully

All That Is Solid

Gon: Here is everything advantageous to life.
Ant. True; save means to live. —The Tempest: II.i


all that is solid melts into air
the great globe itself
all that is holy is profaned

heavenly highs,
cloud-capped corporations,
idyllic Ponzi schemes,
the post-colonial seminars
of colonial regimes

all gone, kaput

so melancholy Prospero
retiring from the tiny island
that saved him it was
after all, only a stage
is reduced to living
in his own skin

there is no island,
no stage

no spirit slave

gone is Caliban,
bad breath gone,
excruciated teeth,
his disabused truth
no less self-absorbed
than the gobbledegoo
of Prospero’s motley crew

the whole bunch
went out & got
drowndéd in the icy waters
of egotistical calculation


. . . gone & left
drifting impassioned over them
the wrack of a still youthful Marx,
the species drama of the Manifesto
poignant in its nakedness, catching
a rhetorical lift on the long withdrawing
wash of The Tempest

a grand gesture to usher in
the anguish of the age
we ourselves live & will surely
die in: compelled to face
the real conditions of our life
& our relations with our kind . . .

we who imagined no world
beyond the one we fell into,
stupefied hardly believing
what was happening is happening
even as we are even now


into the sea of wreckage & plunder
that long ago imagined us

James Scully © 2013