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To make a man of a mouse

Take a mouse, cut off its tail,
And make it stand up, hobbling
On crutches named Pride and Honour.

Feed it with many things -
The bitter bile of frustrated years,
The sour curds of congealed dreams,
The sickly sweetness of petty triumphs.

Make it breathe the rancid stench
Of Gucci-scented wretchedness
And middle-class motionlessness.

Retain the ability to compete fiercely,
For scraps thrown by the rich,
The instinct to abandon the weak
In moments of testing danger
and to gorge as if tomorrow will die.

Put in a hundred emotions -
Petty envy, religious zeal,
Impotent greed and the craving bloodlust
Of seeing neighbours stumble,
The joy of minuscule cleverness,
The urge to steal coins from blind beggars
And to luxuriate in the pain
Of butchered animals. Add above all
A genocidal hate of all that is not me.

Suture on a thumb useful for strangulating,
A beer belly bursting
With undigested unpleasantness,
A lye-laden tongue,
And the tribal smirk of triumphant bigotry.

The mouse is now made man.


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