The Dim-Post

September 15, 2010

Poetry of the day

Filed under: poetry — danylmc @ 9:25 pm

David Cunliffe has posted a short poem about politics over on Red Alert. I’ve reproduced it here, but added some selected verses from Howl by Alan Ginsberg. See if you can tell who wrote which line:

Politics For separates the politicians from the people.
It does not begin with those it seeks to serve.
It does not build trust, but breeds cynicism.
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
Politics With starts with being.  Not doing, not telling.
Spectral nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
It comes from the heart.  The gut, not the head.
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body!
It is grounded in relationship.
It is built through partnership.
Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
It is about the We stuff, not the Me stuff.
Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!
About a fair chance for every Kiwi kid.
Whatever their situation or the size of their parents’ wallet.
What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
It means working together for a better future for all of us.
Ten years’ animal screams and suicides!
Politics With is worth fighting for.
It is in our DNA.
And how we must be.
Crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons.


  1. That’s the third worst poetry in the universe.

    Comment by Will de Cleene — September 15, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

  2. A line from a Mitre 10 advert seems to have sneaked in as well.

    Comment by Richard — September 15, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  3. Oh dear god someone bitch slap that leftard fanny face.

    Comment by leon — September 15, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  4. The point being?

    OK pollies should not post “poetry”. Sigh.

    Ginsberg always wrote crap anyway.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — September 15, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

  5. Another bullseye, Darryl

    Comment by Tinakori — September 15, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

  6. This seems as good a time as any to drudge up his Harvard poem:

    “I am Harvard”

    Halcyon days
    Bronze walls strong rising
    From lime green glimmer.
    White towers and golden domes –
    Revelries and reveries
    Reflect in sleepy waters.
    Forget me not
    For I am Harvard
    And I am yours.

    For one short year or two
    I suckled you
    With potent milk
    Of truth and learning.
    You know my strength
    You know my weakness.
    They are in you
    For I am Harvard
    And I am yours.

    I did not teach you
    Your most important lessons,
    Of life and love
    And learning with your peers.
    Go now forever different –
    My driven sons and daughters
    Relaxed, impassioned, persevered.
    Go now and take me with you
    For you are Harvard
    And you are yours.

    Comment by n — September 15, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

  7. I give up Danyl. Which bit was which?

    Comment by MacDoctor — September 15, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  8. Is the last line part of the oath of office for parliament?

    Comment by garethward — September 15, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

  9. “granite cocks!”

    Classic Cunliffe, right there.

    Comment by marsoe — September 16, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  10. “Crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons.”

    That’s a description of his hazing ritual at Havard isn’t it?

    “Spectral nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!”

    If that doesn’t evoke an MFAT posting in Washington I don’t know what does. Mans’s a genius.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — September 16, 2010 @ 4:26 am

  11. This is a trick post, isn’t it?

    It’s ALL Cunliffe’s work … he’s been on the ‘shrooms again.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — September 16, 2010 @ 7:22 am

  12. has this week made life easier or more difficult for a satirist

    Comment by NeilM — September 16, 2010 @ 7:57 am

  13. What with Garrett and Hide’s revelations, you have to ask why is Cunliffe posting this now? What other bad poetry does he have in his closet that has been leaked to the gallery?

    Comment by insider — September 16, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  14. Move over, Vogons!


    Comment by JC — September 16, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  15. I saw that post of Cunliffe’s at RA and just cringed. Damn, RA is turning into Myspace.

    Comment by SHG — September 16, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  16. What the hell is Myspace?

    Comment by Pat — September 16, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  17. aghhagghahhahahahaha this is too funny

    Comment by Michael — September 16, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

  18. I didn’t realise that Alan Ginsberg and David Cunliffe had so much in common ! Just feel their spirits intertwine as the political tryer morphs into the existential and abstract ‘be-er’…..trying too hard ( whether from the gut or the head ) was definitely not cool for the hippies. Especially arch hippies like Ginsberg. They usually ‘tried’ much less than average. It was almost like a contest of who could try least, the pacifism endorsed by some eastern religion where you shouldn’t harm anything, but you could probably express your love by having sex with it….which could result in accidental harm.

    Comment by — September 16, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  19. Excuse me! Ginsberg a hippy? Never. Get it right.
    Ginsberg haunts the beatnik space, not hippy space.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — September 16, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

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