by Tom Hubbard
Cardboard covers the flesh in a smitten street,
While, immunised from sudden empathy,
Flesh covers pasteboard as high chancers greet
Dank festivals of mediocrity.
Their very bodies crust into a mask,
And those who hark at them are marionettes
Of paper that absorbs, who scarce will ask,
And take no thought for future raged regrets.
With giant flapping banners of their creed
Rank gigglers march the unwoke to the abyss,
Brake at the edge; their followers proceed
To rising tides. Their masters smile at this,
Self-halted by their adolescent crazes,
Fiddling with their privates while the planet blazes.
The image is Evening on Karl Johan Street, by Edvard Munch
Tom Hubbard is a novelist, poet, and literary historian.