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