Communist Poetry

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Samotnaf
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Jan 28 2010 04:16

Here, an original EJThribb, which I hadn't realised existed until I googled it 2 minutes ago. Certainly up there in the top ten of my list of communist poetry:

Quote:
Lines on the Death of Chairman Mao

So.
Farewell then
Chairman Mao.

You are the
Last of the
Great revolutionary

Figures. You
And I
Had little in
Common

Except that
Like me
You were a poet.

Though how you
Found time
To write poems

In addition to
Running a
Country of
800 million people

Is baffling
Frankly.

EJ Thribb

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Choccy
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Jan 28 2010 13:49

We've seen 'em come and we've seen 'em go
But we're the boys who are in the know
We're back have you missed us?
We're back you could have fucking kissed us
We're back been away a while
We're back with our combat style
Pretenders to our name
We're back we're in the game
We'll take you on and sort you out
'Cos that's what combats all about
We're back been away a while
We're back with our combat style
You want the real men?
We're back we're here again
You know what we're fighting for
We're back we're combat 84
We're back been away a while
We're back with our combat style

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Choccy
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Jan 28 2010 14:37

RAID 'convenience'
"an embryo, a fetus, a baby is in progress.
no consideration is shown for the unwanted child awaiting in the womb.
banning is not prevention, but it's a step in the right direction.
the coat hanger will always be there for those who maintain the slaughter. abortion is mass genocide, practiced through the ease of convenience."

EARTH CRISIS 'firestorm'
Street by street. Block by block. Taking it all back.
The youth's immersed in poison--turn the tide
counterattack. Violence against violence, let the roundups begin.
A firestorm to purify the bane that society drowns in. No
mercy, no exceptions, a declaration of total war.
The innocents' defense is the reason it's waged for.
Born addicted, beaten
and neglected. Families torn apart, detroyed and abandoned.
Children sell their bodies, from their high they fall to drown.
Demons crazed by greed cut bystanders down.
A chemically tainted welfare generation.
Abslolute complete moral degeneration.
Born addicted, beaten and neglected.
Families torn apart, detroyed and abandoned.
Children sell their bodies, from their high
they fall to drown. Demons crazed by greed cut bystanders down.
Corrupt politicans, corrupt enforcement, drug lords and
dealers; all must fall. The helpless are crying out.
We have risen to their call. A firestorm to purify.

Yorkie Bar
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Jan 28 2010 14:43

It's funny because under all the macho language and purple prose, all I can hear is "drugs are bad, m'kay?".

mike-servethepeople
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Jan 28 2010 23:10
Quote:
Wasn't there a poem which Mao wrote which went like

I wash my prick
in her cunt

No there wasn't.

The only reference to this is in Li Zhisui's The private Life of Chairman Mao[i]. On page 364 Li states:

[i]I suggested that he should at least allow himself to be washed and cleaned. Mao still only received only nightly rubdowns with hot towels. He never actually bathed. His genitals were never cleaned. But Mao refused to bathe. "I wash myself inside the bodies of my women," he retorted.

There are two possibilities with this: one, that it is true in its entirety. Mao used earthy language and preferred the dirtiness of peasants to the cleanliness of the landlords and intellectuals. Philosophically a good position, but not one to be implemented at the expense of personal hygiene!

The second possibility is that is one of a number of fabrications inserted into Li Zhisui's original text by right wing academics recruited by Randon House to ensure the book was a huge scandal, with Mao as a deviant sex monster - the sort of thing that might turn it from a book of limited interest to one with massive sales based on salacious insights.

You can make your own judgements on Li Zhisui's moral character as a person who fled to the embrace of US imperialism in his declining years. Since you (Lllien) are a young person and still working your politics out (as per your profile on this site), take a look at http://chinastudygroup.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/manufacturing-history-xulin-dong.pdf .
It is lengthy but provides some insight into how Li Zhisui's "expose" was written.

Even assuming that Mao shared your predilection for “lots of casual fucking” (your profile again) – and by the way, good luck to both of you in that – isn’t it a little bit hypocritical of you to take a quote that no-one else than Li Zhisui was privileged to hear and embellish that with the literary refinements of anglo-saxon four letter words, dress it up as a “poem”, in order to piss on the face of a man whose party and government brought undeniable changes for the better to Chinese women?

Here’s how Mao expressed his emotions about the new women of China (oops, sorry, obviously loses a bit in the translation):

MILITIA WOMEN
INSCRIPTION ON A PHOTOGRAPH
--a chueh chu
February 1961

How bright and brave they look, shouldering five-foot rifles
On the parade ground lit up by the first gleams of day.
China's daughters have high-aspiring minds,
They love their battle array, not silks and satins.

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Lexxi
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Jan 29 2010 00:34

Weirdo Maoist Freak:

Quote:
No there wasn't.
The only reference to this is in Li Zhisui's The private Life of Chairman Mao[i]. On page 364 Li states:
[i]I suggested that he should at least allow himself to be washed and cleaned. Mao still only received only nightly rubdowns with hot towels. He never actually bathed. His genitals were never cleaned. But Mao refused to bathe. "I wash myself inside the bodies of my women," he retorted.
There are two possibilities with this: one, that it is true in its entirety. Mao used earthy language and preferred the dirtiness of peasants to the cleanliness of the landlords and intellectuals. Philosophically a good position, but not one to be implemented at the expense of personal hygiene!

LMAO. I knew it wasn’t a poem & I knew the source of where the quotation originally came from. I was just being facetious and copying what someone had humorously written on another site. But thanks for protecting the integrity of Mickey Mao. red star

Quote:
The second possibility is that is one of a number of fabrications inserted into Li Zhisui's original text by right wing academics recruited by Randon House to ensure the book was a huge scandal, with Mao as a deviant sex monster - the sort of thing that might turn it from a book of limited interest to one with massive sales based on salacious insights.
You can make your own judgements on Li Zhisui's moral character as a person who fled to the embrace of US imperialism in his declining years.

Quote:
Since you (Lllien) are a young person and still working your politics out (as per your profile on this site), take a look at http://chinastudygroup.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/manufacturing-history-xulin-dong.pdf .
It is lengthy but provides some insight into how Li Zhisui's "expose" was written.

I’d rather watch paint dry than read a book defending the inaccuracy of claims regarding the sexual activities of Mao. I scarcely care one way or another about Mao’s sex life, or indeed any part of his personal life. My politics are worked out enough for me to know that Maoism is nothing more than a liberal bourgeoisie ideology.

Quote:
Even assuming that Mao shared your predilection for “lots of casual fucking” (your profile again) – and by the way, good luck to both of you in that – isn’t it a little bit hypocritical of you to take a quote that no-one else than Li Zhisui was privileged to hear and embellish that with the literary refinements of anglo-saxon four letter words, dress it up as a “poem”, in order to piss on the face of a man whose party and government brought undeniable changes for the better to Chinese women?

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical of scum like yourself to dress yourselves up as communists, yet have only ever in practice betrayed and spat on the working class and real communist militants? Isn’t it hypocritical of you to even talk about "women’s rights" when the only reason that such changes were brought were, like all developing capitalist countries, for the expansion of the working class and the accumulation of capital? That it dressed itself up in rhetoric about the emancipation of women is irrelevant.

And I wouldn't (have) pissed on Mao even if he was on fire.

Quote:
Here’s how Mao expressed his emotions about the new women of China (oops, sorry, obviously loses a bit in the translation):
MILITIA WOMEN
INSCRIPTION ON A PHOTOGRAPH
--a chueh chu
February 1961
How bright and brave they look, shouldering five-foot rifles
On the parade ground lit up by the first gleams of day.
China's daughters have high-aspiring minds,
They love their battle array, not silks and satins.

Of course, China needed as many soldiers as it could when it crushed various rebellions and gave support to reactionary groups along side its ally the US. Sorry, I don’t think the glorification of militarism has anything to do with the abolishment of gender lines, nor do I think the gender make up of an army of a reactionary state is at all relevant to whether I'd consider that state 'progressive.'

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Tojiah
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Jan 29 2010 00:41

How dare you disrespect

!!!

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Lexxi
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Jan 29 2010 00:52

geNdurrr equAlitY

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Tojiah
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Jan 29 2010 00:57

HOT

mike-servethepeople
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Jan 29 2010 02:34

OK Lllien, so she can crack walnuts with her butt. Nice....

You say:

Quote:
Isn’t it a bit hypocritical of scum like yourself to dress yourselves up as communists, yet have only ever in practice betrayed and spat on the working class and real communist militants?

I didn't realise we'd met. Where do you know me from?

BTW, here's an earlier betrayal of and spitting on the working class and "real" communists like yourself. Sorry for the lengthy intro:

Australia is a nation created by British colonialism, which seized the southern continent from its indigenous owners in 1788 and succeeding years. Ruling class historians describe this as "discovery" and "settlement" and even today try to deny that the process was one by which one group of people, the colonialists, used violence and the threat of violence to overturn the traditional rights of another people, the tribal communities of Aboriginal Australia.

As a Second World country, Australia is denied its full rights to independence by imperialism. The injustice of this is visited many times over on the indigenous peoples, many of whom live in worse than Third World conditions.

Twenty-six years ago, the Texas-based multinational Amax decided that it wanted to drill for oil on the Noonkanbah pastoral lease near Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. The traditional Aboriginal owners saw themselves as custodians of the land and it’s Dreaming sites and resisted this encroachment on their land. The labour movement swung into action behind them.

The right wing Premier of Western Australia mobilised the state forces behind Amax and a vicious police presence was used to guard a convoy of 49 Amax trucks on their journey from Perth to Noonkanbah, 3000 kilometre to the north.

Twenty-five years later, in December 2004, the Noonkanbah community won a native land title claim to 1811 square kilometres of their traditional land.

The "place of the goanna" refers to an indigenous belief about a part of the mining lease being sacred to the large Australian lizard called the goanna.

The wedgetail eagle is a magnificent and majestic bird, the largest of Australia’s birds of prey.

TRUCKS OF AMAX

Like Nazis marching
into Poland
comes this convoy
from the city:
snake of chrome

with snake-evil task,
the trucks of Amax,
going to Noonkanbah,
place of the goanna,
to rip and tear.

In this time and place
a Nazi raid
into the lands of those who
with sacredness and gentility
uphold civilisation
against the perfidious
god of profit.

With conqueror’s sneer
at the roadside few
the police drive straight
at the camera crew

Superiority – so base, so low,
as on the trucks of Amax
go…

In my dull routine
far from the jellied
heat of the road,
an aching to fight:

to swoop from the skies
in wedgetail glory
leaving the trucks of Amax
gory

But police stand guard
with batons hard
along the road
to Noonkanbah…

Under the banner of plunder
the Nazis march today
all through the great
Down Under
if Amax has its way.

And a fight it shall be,
for in these things -
incompatibility!

Compassion and the greed of the plunderer
Respect and the superior man’s contempt
Understanding and the arrogance of the profiteer
Independence and prostitution to the foreign dollar
Freedom and police in the pay of traitors

No - there are no
swastikas, only dollar signs

but like Nazis
marching into Poland
go the trucks of Amax

..............

Regards,
Weirdo Maoist Freak

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ocelot
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Jan 29 2010 11:17

Not even a poetry thread can escape Godwin's law...

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Devrim
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Jan 29 2010 11:33
mike-servethepeople wrote:
Like Nazis marching
into Poland

The Germany invasion of Poland acted as the spark to the Second World War as a result of which between 60,000,000 and 80,000,000 (i.e. at least three times the current population of Australia) died.

Perhaps you need to get a bit of perspective.

mike-servethepeople wrote:
As a Second World country, Australia is denied its full rights to independence by imperialism.

Superb! Is this somebody just making a parody of Maoism? Revol perhaps?

Devrim

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Lexxi
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Jan 29 2010 15:26

You'd think it would be a parody of Maoism, Devrim, but what else is Maoism but a parody of Marxism?

The Maoist 'movement' in Australia has a long history of supporting republican/independence movements in order to 'free' Australia from the imperialism of Britain and the US grin , frequently along with conservatives and other nationalist groups. The left as a whole also generally supports private-property land rights for Indigenous people.

Boris Badenov
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Jan 29 2010 16:21

lol maoists. That's so 60s dude. We didn't land on Plymouth rock, Plymouth rock landed on Mars!

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2010 04:00

Not exactly "communist poetry," but...

Uncle Son

He was just a workin' man,
Simple rules and simple plans,
Fancy words he didn't understand,
He loved with his heart,
He worked with his hands.

Liberals dream of equal rights,
Conservatives live in a world gone by,
Socialists preach of a promised land,
But old Uncle Son was an ordinary man.

Bless you Uncle Son,
They won't forget you when the revolution comes.

Unionists tell you when to strike,
Generals tell you when to fight,
Preachers teach you wrong from right,
They'll feed you when you're born,
And use you all your life.

Bless you Uncle Son,
They won't forget you when the revolution comes

and

Oklahoma USA

All life we work but work is bore,
If life's for livin' what's livin' for,
She lives in a house that's near decay,
Built for the industrial revolution,
But in her dreams she is far away,
In Oklahoma U.S.A.
With Shirley Jones and Gordon McRea,
As she buys her paper at the corner shop,
She's walkin' on the surrey with the fringe on top,
Cos in her dreams she is far away,
In Oklahoma U.S.A.,
She walks to work but she's still in a daze,
She's Rita Hayworth or Doris Day,
And Errol Flynn's gonna take her away,
To Oklahoma U.S.A.,
All life we work but work is a bore,
If life's for livin' then what's livin' for.

Two songs from the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies album. Pretty amazing stuff imo.

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Tarwater
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Feb 3 2010 04:38

There's a crack up in the ceiling,
And the kitchen sink is leaking.
Out of work and got no money,
A Sunday joint of bread and honey.
What are we living for?
Two-roomed apartment on the second floor.
No money coming in,
The rent collector's knocking, trying to get in.
We are strictly second class,
We don't understand,
(Dead end!)
Why we should be on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
People are living on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
Gonna die on dead end street.
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
On a cold and frosty morning,
Wipe my eyes and stop me yawning.
And my feet are nearly frozen,
Boil the tea and put some toast on.
What are we living for?
Two-roomed apartment on the second floor.
No chance to emigrate,
I'm deep in debt and now it's much too late.
We both want to work so hard,
We can't get the chance,
(Dead end!)
People live on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
People are dying on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
Gonna die on dead end street.
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
(Dead end!)
People live on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
People are dying on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
Gonna die on dead end street.
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
Head to my feet (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
How's it feel? (yeah)
How's it feel? (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)

-Kinks

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 3 2010 04:57

Nice one, so how many more pages before this sufficiently degenerates for me to post lyrics from:

-Springsteen
-Cock Sparrer
-RATM?

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2010 04:59

Ray Davies really is something else innit.

Boris Badenov
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Feb 3 2010 05:01
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Nice one, so how many more pages before this sufficiently degenerates for me to post lyrics from:

-Springsteen
-Cock Sparrer
-RATM?

Improved rather, from the stalinist crapola of the first pages to what is essentially GOOD STUFF. That said take your Cock Sparrer and shove it up your RATM.

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Devrim
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Feb 3 2010 05:03
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Nice one, so how many more pages before this sufficiently degenerates for me to post lyrics from:

-Springsteen?

from the first two albums that he is sort of embarressed about which have really weird lyrics, or his later 'more normal ' stuff?

Devrim

Caiman del Barrio
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Feb 3 2010 05:08

The River's the example that springs most instantly to mind. I'm not hot enough on the lyrics to the first two records, they're more whistly, foot tappin' awesomeness as opposed to chest-thumpin' awesomeness.

That said, we've had a Western Maoist already, so I wouldn't be lowering the tone too much if I tried to present Rosalita as communist cos it's about a pretty Mexican girl...

John1
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Feb 4 2010 03:58

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mike-servethepeople
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Feb 4 2010 06:47

I entered uninvited
Forgive me my intrusion
Searching for “communist poems”, not “lib-coms”:
It was sadly my confusion

Freaky weirdo Maoist martyr
Deserved his lib-com lashing
Cyber dangling stuffed piñata
Who was he to come gate-crashing

Samotnaff
Thanks for Thribb, EJ
Happy to read some more of his
Sometime, someday…

Lllien
Sweet little darlin’
You can go and fuck
Dear dead Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili

Comrade An,you started this
Farewell…zaijian…gaobie
But there’s one last thing I want to say:
Mao zhuyi wan sui!

Samotnaf
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Feb 4 2010 07:04

Presumably Richard's post above is one of William Burrough's cut-ups (arbitrarily taking words cut out of an article or ten and sticking them together).

Well, just recently I downloaded some 'Libertarian Communist' software which included Burrough's-type cut-ups, amongst its choice of "structural forms", though I've yet to try the 'cut-up' form as it doesn't produce anything remotely interesting (e.g. Richard's "poem").

This 'Libertarian Communist' software is an update of a very old "Theory-by-numbers" software from way-back when PCs were called "New Technology", which the ICC and others have been using for the last 30 years or so (basically, it works like "Painting by numbers": it's structure is various correct attacks on Trade Unionism and Nationalism, with blank spaces for details like dates, bureaucrats' names, countries, "revolutionary groups", etc. which you 'colour' in with the specifics).

Anyway, this new version is "Left Communist/Anarcho-Communist/Situationist/Council Communist/Whatever-ist Poetry", and it's a lot more sophisticated, less predictable, than the old stuff from circa 1980. It can do any poetic form you want, adapted to various versions of your opinions. What you do is give a 30 word precis of your ideas about a given subject (e.g. Marx, Kronstadt, the CNT, etc.) and click on a poetic form and/or poet's name. For example - I clicked on "Shakespeare, Macbeth" as one of the forms and "General Theory" as subject matter (having given my 30 words), and it came up with this:

Quote:
Tomorrow, and wage slavery, and forced passivity,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of wasted time;
And all our resignations have lighted submissive spectators
The way to dusty Capital. Out , out, brief candle!
Life in class society's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a lie
Told by the ruling class, full of sound and fury,
Signifying commodity relations....

Then I just changed it to "Hamlet" and this came up:

Quote:
To revolt or not to revolt: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in daily life to suffer
The Asbos and humanitarian aid of outrageous capitalism,
Or to take arms against a swamp of constraints,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep;
No more; and, by a sleep to pretend we end
The heartache and the thousand bureaucratic shocks
That our enslaved life is heir to, 'tis an illusion
Determinedly to be opposed. To die, to sleep;
to sleep: perchance to watch Eastenders; ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death those compensations which come
When we have finished the day's wage labour,
Must confuse us with lies. There's the respect for alienation
That makes calamity of so long a living death;
For who would bear the armies and ideologies of time which is money,
The oppressor's delirium, the proud person's degradations,
The pangs of a world without love, the law's irrationality
The insolence of authority, and the spurns
That patient merit of commodities takes,
When he himself might settle his accounts
With a molotov cocktail? Who would hierarchies bear
To grunt and sweat under a weary pseudo-life,
But that the dread of something after the death of class society,
The undiscovered world from whose absence of boundaries
No revolution returns, this dread intimidates the will
And makes some of us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to possiblities that we know not of?
Thus consciousness without practice does make cowards of too many of us;
And thus the creative hue of revolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of impotent thought,
And adventures of great courage and historical moment
With this self-doubt their currents turn awry,
And lose the chance of anti-capitalist action...

The I did the same with William Blake and his poem "The Tiger" and this came up:

Quote:
The Ryot

Ryot Ryot burning bright
In the forests of the night:
What commoditys’ hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

On what street corner or street cries
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare we aspire?
What lucidity dare sieze the fire?

What the bricks against the chain?
In every furnace was they brain!
What new world? What clear grasp
Dare its lively tremors clasp?

When the kids returned to watch TV
Or Diluting life with SWP
Did the State smile, its work to see?
Did the powers that make them sheepish make thee?

And what molotov, beyond art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to thunder
What dread anger? And what dread plunder?

Ryot Ryot burning bright
In the forests of the night
What other-directed hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Not bad, imo.

These took about a minute each, but it can churn out some poetic forms at the rate of 60 per minute (e.g. the EJThribb I posted about Mao and mike_servethepeople above took just one second; same for rhyming couplets - I guess mike_servethepeople has the same software). Others it produces a little slower - about 6 a minute; the following limerick took about 10 seconds:

Quote:
There was an old prof called Cleishbotham
Need some old lies? - he's sure got 'em
He treats critics with venom
Like his hero - dead Lenin
Who liked critics so much that he shot 'em

Likewise, this one:

Quote:
There was an old chanter - Baboon;
Not singing scat, he'd just croon
He knew just one song
And sang far too long
Far too slow, out of time, out of tune

Not King Lear, more Edward - but not bad for 10 seconds' effort.

The Haiku (7 syllables, 5 syllables, 7 syllables), however, despite its brevity, is, on the surface, deceptively simple but takes a lot longer to create (about 10 minutes); e.g. this one about our favourite Left Communist international organisation and would-be party (not the all-night variety):

Quote:
The icy sea freezes all
Drowning in notions
Archtic. Sinking not thinking.

As I said, deceptively simple.

Anyway - it does everything - clerihews, for example ...these two came up, the first, a fairly obscure one about Alf:

Quote:
C.D.Ward
Makes me bored

Unlike his hero HPLovecraft, he's usually 'correct', safe and detached

Almost invariably writing in a flat prose few have ever mis-matched

and:

Quote:
Mr.Weeler
Wordsmith, spieler
Never a thing to say
But says it anyway.

Or doggerel - for example:

Quote:
Alas! Anarchism now mourns for her professor extinct -
The late and the good Prof Howard Zinn.
We hope his soul has fled to communism beyond,
Where are everlasting lectures of which we are fond.

Then there are elegies, sonnets, jazz poetry, acrostics, double dactyl higgledypiggledies, epic poetry, epistles, nonsense verse - you name it, it's got it. And even poems in the style of virtually any poet whose style is predictable : e.g. e.e.cummings, Pam Ayres, John Hegley, Pinter, TSEliot, etc.
It also does song styles - rap, ballads, Bing Crosby ("I'm dreaming of a red and black Spartacusmas"), etc. (though it doesn't do fairly unpredictable lyrics, say in the style of The Kinks,of whom Vlad seems to be a fan).
But it does do nursery rhymes... this one came up:

Quote:
baa baa red and/or black sheep,
have you any wooly ideas?
yes comrade,
no, comrade,
300 rags full of cliches
260 for Master Lenin,
39 for Dame Montseny,
and maybe just 1 for the little proletarian who struggles along the lane to the end of alienation, following the straight and narrow path of alienation itself, keeping just one step ahead.

Brilliant, no?*

Download for free from: www.theresnopoetrylikelibcompoetry.com

*No

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Feb 4 2010 07:40
Quote:
Improved rather, from the stalinist crapola of the first pages to what is essentially GOOD STUFF. That said take your Cock Sparrer and shove it up your RATM.

God, can someone tell me one bad thing about the "shock troops" album? I doubt it.

Ray Davies is almost just as good (credit where it's due)

Now that you've found your paradise
This is your Kingdom to command
You can go outside and polish your car
Or sit by the fire in your Shangri-la
Here is your reward for working so hard
Gone are the lavatories in the back yard
Gone are the days when you dreamed of that car
You just want to sit in your Shangri-la

Put on your slippers and sit by the fire
You've reached your top and you just can't get any higher
You're in your place and you know where you are
In your Shangri-la
Sit back in your old rocking chair
You need not worry, you need not care
You can't go anywhere
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la

The little man who gets the train
Got a mortgage hanging over his head
But he's too scared to complain
'Cos he's conditioned that way
Time goes by and he pays off his debts
Got a TV set and a radio
For seven shillings a week
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la

And all the houses in the street have got a name
'Cos all the houses in the street they look the same
Same chimney pots, same little cars, same window panes
The neighbors call to tell you things that you should know
They say their lines, they drink their tea, and then they go
They tell your business in another Shangri-la
The gas bills and the water rates, and payments on the car
Too scared to think about how insecure you are
Life ain't so happy in your little Shangri-la
Shangri-la, Shangri-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Put on your slippers and sit by the fire
You've reached your top and you just can't get any higher
You're in your place and you know where you are
In your Shangri-la
Sit back in your old rocking chair
You need not worry, you need not care
You can't go anywhere
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la

"Arthur" as a concept album is solid communist poetry all the way, now that I think of it.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Feb 4 2010 21:43

mike_servethepeople said

Quote:
I entered uninvited
Forgive me my intrusion

etc.
Well the software from
www.theresnopoetrylikelibcompoetry.com (see above) has come up with this reply:

Not so much your lack of invitation
That caused such sarcastic irritation
As your senseless hero-worship of Mao,
Ignorance of Chinese women - and how!
Anti-imperialist? - don't forget
The anti-Empire Mao made in Tibet*

Rhyming couplets are truly the best, no? Such a popular 'easy listening' form is essential - we must treat the plebs like Mao did with his Little Red Book, and like pop stars and others do in the West - as the childish peasants they basically are.

*(By the way, according to 'Socialisme ou Barbarie' , it was the Tibetan ruling class, with the Dalai Lama as part of them, that first 'invited' the Chinese State to quell social unrest there because they couldn't control things on their own; only the Chinese State overstayed its welcome. )

And how about this from The Kinks -

Brown - you really got me going
you got me so I don't know what your class is doing
Sarkozy - you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night

Yeah - you really got me going
You got me so I don't know what anybody's doing
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night

you really got me
you really got me
you really got me

Obomber - you really got me going
you got me so I don't know what your class is doing
Chavez - you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night

Yeah - you really got me going
You got me so I don't know what anybody's doing
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night

See - wanna set myself free
Don't wanna be takin' false sides
Rulers, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night

you really got me
you really got me
you really got me

Oh no...

(solo guitar)

etc. etc. etc.

John1
Offline
Joined: 14-06-09
Feb 5 2010 04:30
Samotnaf wrote:
This 'Libertarian Communist' software is an update of a very old "Theory-by-numbers" software from way-back when PCs were called "New Technology", which the ICC and others have been using for the last 30 years or so (basically, it works like "Painting by numbers": it's structure is various correct attacks on Trade Unionism and Nationalism, with blank spaces for details like dates, bureaucrats' names, countries, "revolutionary groups", etc. which you 'colour' in with the specifics).

tongue

As for my poem...I was watching Dada - Europe after the rain documentary and nicked the idea from there, can't get anything past you can we. My aim wasn't for it to be deeply 'interesting' but to elicit some kind of response other than the poems on here had done up to this point. I think it kind of worked a little. Or perhaps it had none or very little effect?

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Feb 27 2010 06:21

Richard - been on holiday from libcom, but back to reality (or is it the other way round?).
I'm not sure if your "can't get anything past you can we?" was meant ironically, since I attributed your cut-up to Burroughs not Dada, whose techniques Burroughs, hardly original, burroughed from. Should have sussed that - thanks for making me see the connection.

The link you gave - Dada - Europe after the rain - was kind of interesting, though it's like yet another repeat of anti-art turned into art - subversive during and after WWl, hardly subversive almost 100 - 40 years later (see "Closed window onto another life", which I co-wrote; see, especially the chapter "Taste and Tasteability: Taste - ancient and modern", but also some of the other stuff - particularly the bit on the attack on Duchamp's "fountain"/urinal - is relevant to a critique of dada). Also, I highly recommend Vaneigem's A Cavalier History of Surrealism, which is an excellent counter-balance to the uncritical pro-surrealist video, and includes a lot of interesting takes on Dada, Breton, Artaud, Peret, etc.

Of course, Dada, particularly German Dada, as the "Dada - Europe after the rain" video shows, was a lot more radical than any of the tame Tracy Vermin or Damien Hearse dada imitators. Even the sound poems are funnier than anything modern dada imitators produce (though I'm certainly not recommending better imitation). However, "True dadaists are against dada", they declared - but that too can become an ideology. "Dada has no pretensions", they declare - but that too became a pretension.

The video recounts Breton meeting a patient in hospital who claims that the war is a fake, bodies taken out of morgues and placed on the battlefield for the cameras, etc. Reminded me of a guy I knew who said, after the April '81 riots in Brixton, "It was all done in a studio". He was already past the half-way mark to madness, and had been very into Vaneigem's take on nihilism (which critically appreciates Dadaism as part of nihilism) - and it seems that the fall into subjectivism as a reactive rebellion can all-too-often lead into madness (eg Artaud). Perhaps "cut-up" is a form of madness made into art - because it leaves everything to chance, and submitting to chance might seem 'open', but it's like being an open sewer - ( Tom Lehrer said, "Life is like a sewer - what you get out of it depends on what you put into it", but really it should be "what you get out of it depends on what the various forms of external authority put into it", but that's not at all funny ). Cut-up is as determined by this sewerish life as anything else and isn't a genuine opposition to the material base of the rigidity of linear thinking, any more than de Bono's lateral thinking is. Like all techniques and methods, its use is totally dependent on the aim of its user, and dadism's/surrealism's aims of trying to destroy the stifling atmosphere of dominant life and culture by cultural means ended up in reinforcing/reforming what it hoped to oppose. Surrealism's reactive ideology against "reason" probably comes from the oppressive "rationalism" of French post-Revolution culture, which never had the same power in anti-rational Britain (hence 'Alice in Wonderland' and Edward Lear have always been perfectly compatible with the dominant nonsense, which is not to say that there aren't some good bits in both, just as there are in Monty Python, which can be used in a subversive way).

The video you mention quotes Hans Arp as saying that his former dada friends, turned Stalinist, "conscientiously ... mix poetry and a 5 year plan in one pot". That almost sums up some of the poetry recommended in this thread. Yet maybe we should consciously mix "poetry" (the subjective) with an objective attack on the various "termite state"s that Arp refers to. Cut-up is a technique, but like all techniques, in order to use it radically against external authority (if you're not to be determined by whatever crap external authority arbitrarily flushes your way), you have to use it with your semi-conscious thoughts and desires - to try to push yourself against this chaotic cut-up world/life in a determined way. It's a bit like automatic writing - sometimes you come up with some funny expressions you'd never come up with by just writing in a normal 'theoretical' way, but on their own they communicate nothing to others other than some vaguely "poetic" aesthetic nonsense; used more consciously (having found such expressions by chance) they can make your critique more striking, poignant, more hitting home than just the standard objective way. Though some people go overboard with this subjectivity,often losing sight of what they really want to say by getting stuck in clever clever language games (I'm thinking of some of the Tiquun-influenced stuff being produced now in the States) . It's a delicate balance between 'objective' research and subjective expression. And that shouldn't just be applied to rigid writing habits or fixed methods of 'theoretical research' (e.g. the standard University-prescribed methods of Aufheben's articles) but to the practice that theory should be part of - life, and the struggle against the life the "rational" forces of the commodity imposes on us, has to be an interaction between rational choice and chance encounter, between conscious decision and seizing fairly arbitrary chances (e.g. the way people fighting the cops will suddenly find a practical interesting use for the things around them that they would normally have just seen as things "out there"). Subverting the way we cook and eat, our sex lives (if we have one), our walks round where we live, our travelling, our conversations, our daily practical habits in all aspects of our lives - subverting by the experimental interaction of chance and conscious choice, depending of course on the different margins of freedom our different situations in this world permits us - should be as much part of our attack on this world as experimental writing.

By the way, since St.Valentine's day, this is the Chinese year of the tiger (metal tiger, not paper or electronic one) - so Blake's poem, as a development of his proverb from hell in his book "The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell" (a beautifully subversive title for its time), "The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction", seems worth producing here:

THE TYGER (from Songs Of Experience)

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

(1794)

I reproduce it here because I've looked at it a couple of times over the last 2 weeks. What's your (or anybody else's) interpretation of this? It seems that, despite the fact that Blake inevitably (given his epoch and his geographical location) believed in some kind of God, there's a kind of critique of God, particularly as some absolute fixed thing, in this - though saying this hardly says enough. I've never managed to read E.P.Thompson's book on Blake, hardly getting past the first few pages, because it seemed so academic and unnecessarily clever clever, but maybe other people here have gleaned something from it, or from other analyses of Blake............?

Don't want to get into a spectacle of erudition, as a friend said libcom forums encourage - but these long rambling thoughts tend to come to me at this time of the morning after a strong cup of coffee..........

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Feb 27 2010 12:12
Nazim Hikmet wrote:
From stone, from bronze, from plaster, from paper,
from two centimeters to seven meters,
from stone, from bronze, from plaster, from paper; his boots
in all the squares of the city, under which we lied,
in parks, over the trees, his shadow:
from stone, from bronze, from plaster, from paper,
his mustache: from stone, from bronze, from plaster, from paper,
inside our soups in every diner,
in front of his eyes in every from,
his eyes from stone, from bronze, from plaster, from paper.
Gone he was, one morning,
gone was his boots, from the squares,
his shadow from the trees,
his mustache from our soup,
his eyes from our rooms,
and relieved we were of the oppression of thousands of tons
of stone, bronze, plaster and paper...

...

Nazim Hikmet wrote:
On Living

I

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example--
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much and to such a degree that
for example, with your hands tied behind your back,
your back against the wall,
or in a laboratory
with your white coat and safety goggles,
you can die for others--
even for those whose faces you've never seen,
even though you know that living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously that
even at seventy, for example, you should plant olive trees--
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don't believe in it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

II

Let's say we're seriously ill, need surgery--
which is to say we might not get up
from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we'll still laugh at the jokes we are told,
we'll look out the window to see if it's raining,
or still wait anxiously for the news...
Let's say we're at the front--
for something worth fighting for.
There, in the first skirmish, on that very day,
its possible to fall down on our face and die.
We'll know this with a curious anger,
but we'll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which might last years.
Let's say we're in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years,
before we can get past the iron doors.
We'll still live with the world outside,
with the people and the animals, with the struggle and the wind--
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.

III

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest ones,
a gilded mote on the blue velvet--
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut
it will roll along in pitch-black space ...
You must grieve for this right now
--you have to feel this sorrow now--
for the world must be loved this much
if you're going to say "I have lived" ...

Wouldn't actually consider him a communist after early twenties, but nice poetry imho.

Samotnaf
Offline
Joined: 9-06-09
Feb 27 2010 14:05

Leo - imho pretty boring poetry.

And what's 'nice' about it ? ('nice' conjurs up Pam Ayres - and at least Pam Ayres has no 'communist' pretensions). Does 'nice' mean writing - in the early 20s when he was in your opinion 'communist' - a poem commissioned by Ataturk to rouse Turkish volunteers in Constantinople to join his struggle? Even for a Left "communist" like you there must be some contradiction, or was Turkish nationalism progressive up to this point in your terms? (at least Byron died for a nationalist struggle, which about 100 years before Ataturk, was certainly relatively progressive; besides, he wasn't fighting or writing for "his" country). Of course, doing commissioned work and 'communist' poetry are not contradictory in your ideological terms, because you probably write for your organisation under (unpaid) commission, but the content of the form and content of his poetry is vapid and empty compared with, say, Brecht at that time.

Does 'nice' mean saying "Living is no laughing matter"? Better to say that " laughing is no laughing matter"; i.e. the split between humour and seriousness has to be suppressed, something Nazim Hikmet doesn't even attempt to do. Does 'nice' mean "dying for others"? The only person I'd die for would be my kid or for other kids, and even then, it wouldn't be for them, but for myself - because I know I couldn't live with myself if I didn't risk my life if I could save theirs' when theirs' was in danger. Does 'nice' mean this typical Stalino-Leninist notion of "communist": so nice to die for the Party, for the Organisation, for the 5 year plan, for the alien Other. As Vlad said a lot earlier in this thread, 'Anyone who thinks that Stalinist poetry is "nice" should be waterboarded' (quote from memory, possibly slightly inaccurate).

What exactly was 'communist' about the guy? Or are you so used to talking in your sleep with others who talk in their sleep - without anyone telling you you're all talking bullshit - that you consider such questions over the top? Maybe I should leave you to rest in peace.

Of course, I'm taking all this far too seriously; most posters don't even bother to think beyond the surface - but then, as Nazim Hikmet almost said,"you must critique with great seriousness".

Btw I put "communist" in inverted commas above in reference to you Leo not just to slightly annoy you, and even less to come over as sectarian but because you don't even try to follow the supposed logic of threads, which is that posts are meant, more or less, to follow some of what has been said before in the thread - that's part of what "communist" means - something to do with communication. And you definitely didn't address a single thing that has been said on this thread at all. And if I'm pissed off, it's because your unthinking nonsense and that of your organisation is all over this site, and you completely ignored not only everybody else's post, but my last one posted this morning in response to Richard's, a post that required a little more reflection than your insipid philistine stuff. If it seems ridiculous to bring this up in an exaggerated manner on this thread that's because this particular version of sterile braindead politics has possibly sabotaged what could have been an interesting discussion on dada, surrealism and Blake - which if anyone isn't scared off after this rant of mine, would be a far more useful focus than just churning out people's favourite poems without any discussion.

A friend said that libcom creates an atmosphere where everything is reduced to an equivalent because nothing is consequential. If people are serious about "living and critiquing with great seriousness" then being rude to these Leninist politico bores should be number one priority. Instead they get away with rubbish and lies and people are so used to it they think why bother? Doubtless people will say I'm being self-important and excessively aggressive; however, if I thought that what I said was the equivalent of every tedious ICC hack that farted on this site just to draw attention to themselves, I'd be seriously suicidal.