[A poem of Peter Lach-Newinsky’s from an unpublished suite of poems on great philosophers called I Love Sophie.]

Marx, As Usual

As usual this kid wanted to be a poet.
Started off with the usual fairy stuff:
elves, gnomes, sirens,
pale maiden meets robust knight

who shoots through for the wars
(Jenny dear, is that a summary?)
Stuff like: worlds howling death songs
to us helpless apes of a cold God.

Thankfully my lawyer father disapproves.
Then the usual student duels, locked up
for noise, drunkenness, banned weapons,
heaps of debts, get engaged to gentry Jenny.

The usual hassles with the Prussian cops
for my radical journalism in Cologne,
the usual collapse of a communal pad in Paris,
the usual deportations from France, Germany,

finally the usual squalid bed-sit in London.
In penury and sickness most of our kids die
before three, the usual affair with the faithful maid,
Jenny often close to despair, I escape

to the pleasant wars of political intrigue
and the British Museum Reading Room.
Spend haemorrhoidal years writing Kapital
that I proudly submit isn’t all that usual at all.

Kept in pocket money and cigars
by comrade Fritz re-directing capital
from his well exploited workers to me, and
bastard Bakunin calls me democratic dictator.

Ha, the great putschist oxymoron of anarchism!
Activist envy because he didn’t have my brains
to put philosophy back on its feet.
Now that the other-worldliness of truth

has disappeared, the truth of this world
will be established by revolutionary action.
The root of man is man not God,
internal man a society now alienated

from itself, society a slave market
of commodities filled with the theology
of money, that universal whore,
through which all men must now pass

to survive and lose themselves completely
before they tip into consciousness of their own
transpersonal misery, in radical action shaking
the thrones of all circumstance that keep man

bent, bereft, unfree, to finally found
sweet freedom’s reign, nature reconciled…
(Footnote: Kapital volume one went
completely unremarked, so wrote my own

critiques positive and negative,
then died
before volumes two and three,
as usual.)

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