Decadence is a real thing.

We’ve seen it, with our own eyes.

But our eyes become blind to the things we



European decadence leaves a trail…

A trail of leaves in a rusty park

Is something eternal. But the people are

Thanking their lucky stars. Stars? Yes

Don’t think they have aligned and colluded for you

You are the residue, the growth inside

The festering tub. And the tub has to be

Washed out every once in a while.

But before this, there is



It is in this that we may set a scene.

Children in white, crosses round their necks

Run from Chapel to the fountain square,

Catholics give wine to their children, but only on a Sunday.

Disgrace can be decadence, but it’s not always. So the woman who

Champagne’s in the morning and wanders the high

Streets at midday is feckless. But we can allow for it.

She’s forgotten her Chinese handbag,

And it’s not even



Meanwhile, men on scooters begin to think the Colosseum

Was made just for them. It’s not a monument to a

Fallen empire. It IS a falling empire, funded by gift

Shops, German tax dollars, Scandinavian exchange rates.

The sun beats down, as ever – or so

We’re told. Everybody likes a little pizza.

And that gorgeous piano is there in the apartment block



But nobody can play it. Many who did

Play have forgotten – and the young today?

Well, they’re concerned about their hair coming through,

Electronic drugs, loves, and getting through tired,

Old religious practices, than learning the piano.

This is what European decadence sounds like, to both ears.

A failed composition, but with the machine

That engineers it’s existence still turned on. Gas is on low.

Except for the gas of the chatter about class,

And good breakfast places, the secret loves of

Mary the receptionist, and do you think

That name will last forever?


March 2015.


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