Remember! Your poems don't have to be inspired by politics, alone. There's much more going on in your world, both locally and globally.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

for the Stansted 15

Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease, and so the R&D Blueprint explicitly seeks to enable cross-cutting R&D preparedness that is also relevant for an unknown “Disease X” as far as possible.


disease X represents

the flash-drives full of martyred friends

the murals whose eyes you can’t put out

the secret slideshows shown on bedsheets

to comrades hiding in the hills


disease X represents


the breath which we breathe on you 

the knowledge we share


disease X represents


our refusal to answer the questions whose answering

is mandated by law, the referral to lawyers

who cannot be afforded, the good work of lawyers

regardless, the virulent brown goulash

served through iron cat-flaps in Styrofoam trays

the masturbation into paper cups

the rag-pickers, card-scammers and lesbian mothers

the good and bad migrants, the friendless and their friends

the guerrilla paramedics, organ-grinders and thieves

the class coalescing for want of a class


disease X represents


the willing foreclosure of futures

which do not end in grief, the return of the gaze

the huff of breath rich with pathogens unknown

the tracing of banned words in filth, the moue

the return of the paper unsigned


disease X represents


your refusal to believe we would choose to subsist on so little

your demented insistence on finding out why, as though

the way which you ask us is not itself a cause


disease X represents


the exorcism of the cop which you put in our heads

through the refusal to think ill of our friends, whom we love

through the refusal to mourn the death of those

dead only in the most trivial sense

through the banned touch of hands in the pockets

of concrete overcoats, the obvious erection

on the back of the dirt-bike

running memory cards through the demilitarised zone

the reckless proclamations of love through the encrypted app

sweet enough, we have to hope, to radicalise the judge


disease X represents


the explicit search for the necessary evil

the conscious acceptance of the status of a bomb

the incendiary touch of hands between friends

which brought down the plane from the sky

© Matt Broomfield

'Stansted 15': Protesters who locked themselves to plane guilty

The Guardian view on the Stansted 15: a sledgehammer prosecution

Matt Broomfield is a poet, activist and writer currently living and working in Rojava, in solidarity with the socialist-feminist revolution there. He can be found on Twitter at @hashtagbroom

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