matt martin

in 1965 the poet harry fainlight attended london’s royal albert hall      to read at the international poetry incarnation      countercultural youth crammed tiers of seats to imitate the audience at a victorian operating theatre      there to watch surgeons like allen ginsberg and adrian mitchell save the body politic by lancing with language the napalm-filled cist of the vietnam war      but then fainlight came on and dissected himself      in his poem the spider he unspun an acid trip during which he had fixated upon a particular cobweb      he was inspired by how an arachnid on l.s.d. weaves its silk traps asymmetrically      as he read out the poem his ribcage cracked open      each bone paddling air as one limb of the ulcerous spider at his core      “all lines of power      fiscal or muscular      radiate from there”      self as nexus of the collective hallucinations that constitute capitalism      finance figured as flashing through networks and thrumming in repetitious cycles      prophesying high frequency trading’s lysergic unreality      this was not what the audience had come to hear      his reading was as asymmetric as war by guerillas against a conventional army      those booing from up near the rafters enjoyed the perspective of u.s. air force bombers      but what is your favourite line in the poem

     •    “an ulcer is the brain of commerce”
     •    “myself already a fat successful old spider just back from doing big deals in the mental brokeries”