‘Video Art’

Freehand Rachmaninoff

Mouth Piece

Highly Problematic

“I knew you’d like the Enemy! He’s the person
May pen in plastic fashion a new verse on
The Heldenleben and colossi’s lot,
Or with his pen put penclubs on the spot.
He knows to live comes first. No bee in his bonnet
Outbuzzes any other that lands on it.
His balance is astonishing when you consider
He has never sold himself to the highest bidder,
Never has lived a week for twenty summers
Free of the drumfire of the camouflaged gunners,
Never has eaten a meal that was undramatic—
Without the next being highly problematic.
Never succumbed to panic, kaltes blut
His watchword, facing ahead in troubled mood.
He has been his own bagman, critic, cop, designer,
Publisher, agent, char-man and shoe-shiner.
What he has just narrated of double-dealing
Is nothing to what he could, of professional stealing,
Of the betrayal of unpublished texts to ladies,
A court d’idees, and other crimes (his fate is
Of course to be a quarry of rich pickings,
He’s the bull’s-eye of ‘brain-pickers’ like the dickens)—
Of unwelcome names bluepencilled in an article
Caught in the act, and minding not a particle
(We suffer from a strange delusion—that is
That our age is ‘straighter’ than was grand-daddy’s!)—
Of that discrimination against all writers
Suspected of having eyes in their heads. Good fighters
When-driven-in-corners are common: but here’s a fellow
Who does not wait to be trapped—an aggressive fellow!
I was sure you’d like him and that was why I brought him—
It was a piece of luck it happened that I caught him.”

Lewis, Wyndham: Collected Poems and Plays. Ed. Alan Munton. Manchester:Carcanet 1979, 60.