A poem

I first came across this poem in Hardt and Negri’s Multitude, but in these dark days, it seems relevant — differently, but perhaps even more.

On the Suicide of the Refugee W.B.
(for Walter Benjamin)

I’m told you raised your hand against yourself
Anticipating the butcher.
After eight years in exile, observing the rise of the enemy
Then at least, brought up against an impassable frontier
You passed, they say, a passable one.

Empires collapse. Gang leaders
Are strutting about like statesmen. The peoples
Can no longer be seen under all those armaments.

So the fugure lies in darkness and the forces of right
Are weak. All this was plain to you
When you destroyed a torturable body.

One might substitute “debts” for “armaments,” but it amounts to the same thing.