The Agonist Journal

Howling Back


I have seen the best minds of my generation
made mad by social constructs, gender confusion, and father hunger,
dragging themselves through the white privileged streets
at dawn looking for a therapist,
demonic hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the feminine in the machinery of an Antifa counter-demonstration,

who wealthy and bug-eyed and high
sat up vaping in the supernatural darkness
of hot water flats on the dole
floating across the tops of warming cities
contemplating Marx,

who bared their brains to amphetamines and alcohol
and saw Mohammedan angels driving Uber SUVs
through women and children promenading before the sea,

who passed through universities in safe spaces blinded by the silos of social media
hallucinating human rights as a form of animal liberation
among the scholars of Gramsci,

who were never expelled from anywhere,
because they were dweebs publishing obscene odes
attempting genderlessness
on the windows of their skulls,

who were made mad by psychotropic drugs and Ritalin and Prozac and CNN,
reading Tupperware poetry at identity parties,
steeped in diversity and equality,

who worked for PhD’s in whiteness and other ridiculous ideas and CV’s to
fuel advertising agencies for transgressive lifestyles
and queer forms of social engineering impossible for the classical mind,

who chained themselves to cities
and never left Fitzroy or Northcote
or Footscray for more than an afternoon,
until the wheels and children brought them down
shuddering mouth wracked
and battered of brain, all drained of brilliance
in the bleak light of freeways holding back the bush,

who sank all night in subconscious light
through the stale beer afternoon in the desolate Dan O’Connell bar
listening for the apocalypse on the wind-powered jukebox
blasting drug-crazed open section angels through the whisky dark.


What sphinx of cement and aluminium,
what Pomo rubric cube of an art gallery bashed open
their skulls and ate up their brains and imaginations?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness!
Recycling cans and unobtainable retirement accounts!
Ben Lerner’s children screaming bad poetry in the Williamsburg subways!
Kanye and Kim K. sobbing as they lead armies over the edge of the world!
Lonely divorced old men weeping in the parks!
Banished misogynists in backsheds!
Pederasts in priests’ robes, fathers rotting in caravan parks…

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of the Moloch!
Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch!
Moloch the heavy judge of men!
Moloch Antifa fascists! Mindless bullies of the ordinary man!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison of banishment rained down on freedom
of thought and freedom of speech!
Moloch the accusers of racism!
Moloch the accusers of homophobia and Islamophobia and misogyny!
Moloch the feminist gaze which does not know what to do with men!
Moloch the gendered alphabet with fingers pointing!
Moloch the social justice warriors from private schools claiming to be working class!
Moloch the history wars, the exaggerators and the silences!
Moloch the academy grown fat and powerful through privilege and untruth!