When The Well Runs Dry
by Alan Dunnett
I got to the piss-edge last night
sharp and painful like an infection
with you below looking up
from a hole in hell.
I thought, this must be a joke
after all the admonitions
but then there's no telling what people
may do and be done by
in spite of precautions. Listen,
it is not too late. I know I said
I would never leave this place
but I failed to see the future.
Surely I can change my mind?
This could be a first day
instead of the last no burning no
ash to swallow.
I'm getting up. I'm on the move
before the rafters fall in.
Talk to me differently.
It is not reason
not a question of reason only.
I am doing these things
like a killer as if I live
outside myself and my beliefs
count for nothing but it doesn't matter.
People learn to use guns
and we reply because we have to.
That's history. Crucifixions
on either side and winter
coming on although it is still warm.
In the streets are banners
and megaphones sounding
through open shop doors,
marching, democracy, discussion,
disagreement. Let me help you up.
It's not too late.
The drawing is by Ann Course, who studied at the Royal College of Art and lives and works in London. Her films and sculptures have been widely screened and exhibited, including Tate Britain/Modern, Royal Academy, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Angel Row Gallery, Stroom Den Hague, Galerie Barbara Thumm, The Drawing Room, the Rotterdam Film Festival, Oberhausen film Festival, LUX gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. She teaches at Central Saint Martins and Camberwell College of Art.
Alan Dunnett is a poet, active union member and former theatre director who now works at Central Saint Martins, London. His poems have appeared in magazines and ezines including Dead Ink, The Recusant, Militant Thistles and Communist Review.