Imagefor DPAC and against the Dean of Westminster


There he flits in liturgical Watts and Co. vestments
by way of camouflage, to conceal a mysterylessness
white as his cassock albs and detachable dog-collar,
diaphanous, his mind a Hello! of non-Anglican celebs
materialising into his lens: ah Mrs Medvedev…!

Reverend Erectus, may we squat in your Gethsemane?

Erectus stood on his Xtian bourgeois hindquarters
transfigured by rainbow smugness. We rolled up ramps
to the Sanctuary Lawn. “What? You’re too busy watching Neymar
on SKY? You’re interceding for Neymar as the new messiah?
You’re too high in the Murdochian azure to talk to us?”

“We have watched you avidly in the divine sitcom,
Reverend Erectus! Congratulations on your beneficium living
and on joining the rolls of Abbey divines. Foxes
have holes but when the disabled are evicted en masse
you and ATOS shall intone: Lift up thy beds….”

(The Reverend Erectus is upwardly mobile, blue-rosetted,
terrified of the differently mobile, trespassing on his premises
asking for wheelchair accessibility to the heavens,
trespassing against him, the Very Reverend Erectus,
one of the most evolved Primates in all England.)

“You feast in your Cellarium and Jerusalem Chamber
wining and dining the Rowan Williamses and Justin Welbys,
backslapping, toasting the Palace with Lachrymae Christi
but not inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind
as instructed by the Lord, because they can’t pay you back.”

“Our bodies are like tents we live in on earth – Corinthians –
and thus it’s painful when police stand on our flysheets
and we cannot erect temporary homes of our own.
While on the grass, Your Rectitude, we could make admixtures
of mud and saliva, if your eyes are giving you trouble?”

“Your Uprighteousness, your Right-wingeousness,
you have thought of everything but how we feel,
oh Dean Erectus, oh Very Reverend Erectus.
Why not weep some holy water onto our wheelchairs
while American tourists pay to ogle the royal corpses?”

“Clearly you see through the eye of the penis of God,
the prick of conscience flaccid with parthenogenesis,
echoing Old Testament ballaches. Nits pick your brain;
it doesn’t take a Socrates or Jesus to work out why
you’ve abandoned the halt etc. Your vine is withered.”

We chanted in the downpour, we chained our scooters
to the gated property of God, making a petition
as if to win back human rights by some miracle;
but the Godhead frowned and 500 policemen cracked
into action, like Roman legions magically farting tear-gas.

May the spires cast pointed shadows on your Per Vias
Rectas. May CCTV show you falling into the realm of matter
with shares in Wonga shooting to the milky way.
May you and the archangels enjoy your after-party
while we are baptised by water cannons, christened at last.

Arise from the kettle of Gethsemane. Your prayers are answered.


N.B. This poem is a very free adaption of ‘L’homme Just’ by Arthur Rimbaud

Film of the occupation:


Rimabud’s poem with a literal translation:


About Niall McDevitt

Niall McDevitt > poet > author of b/w (Waterloo Press, 2010) and Porterloo (International Times, 2012) > urban explorer > radical pedestrian who leads Shakespeare/Blake/Rimbaud /Yeats walks, among others.
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