by Peter Raynard
Poverty is the worst form of violence. - Gandhi
Violence reads the autocue with a lobotomised look
a curled lip creased amongst a thicket of words.
Violence has a black belt in tunnel vision, where
on various occasions, birthdays, christenings, weddings
he is violence-in-waiting silently, observing the direction
different dialectics of a drunken argument will take.
Lord Almighty Violence takes to his pulpit, sharing the bread
of unwavering damnation upon those ignoring his massage
of dark facts obscuring the non-canonical, evangelical
roadside placard messages, extolling Violent body parts
passing judgement day on dead soldiers, same sex
brothers and sisters, drugs and drop out pleats
from the impoverishment of a blank sheet of blood-
stained paper, recycling sweat off Violence's knuckles
Violence draws up a personal independence plan
for the alcoholic, so soaked it gets him a job
behind the bar as an optic. Violence is the Order Paper,
pointing questions towards an obfuscation of meetings,
greetings and beatings. Violence does the doorsteps,
canvassing your cheeks seeing which way you blanch.
This is the way Violence operates, taking you back,
popping a couple of caps between the eyes
of your royal deference. It's all about being left
with empty plate options and no cutlery
so eat up quick whilst you still have the fingers
to count the days down. Just hope it adds up to nine,
leaving a middle one to stick up for yourself with.
Peter Raynard is a writer and editor of Proletarian Poetry: poems of working class lives. He has been widely published and his debut collection Precarious will be published by Smokestack Books in April 2018. His poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto will be published by Culture Matters in May, 2018.