Heathcote Williams 1941 – 2017

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In the nineteenth century the Rebecca rioters
Objected to tollgates “confining the rabble”.
They distracted the constables standing guard with a play
While they turned the tollgates into rubble.

Likewise the Luddites sneaked under the radar,
Disguising themselves in female dress,
They then took hammers to the mechanical looms
That were sacrificing them to ‘progress.’

***

In 1871 the Paris Commune declared Paris
To be the site of a “permanent festival”.
With their autonomous liberated city still haunted by the guillotine
This was considered more preferable.

In 1968 the revolutionary festival spirit broke out once more,
Enhanced by the Situationists’ declaration
That it was the revolution’s job to serve poetry
Not the job of poetry to serve the revolution.

 

                      -Heathcote Williams fromRevolution’

 

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