Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kenneth Fearing

En Route

No violence,
Feeling may run high for a time, but remember, no violence,
And hurry, this moment of ours may not return.

But we will meet again? Yes, yes, now go,
Take only the latest instruments, use trained men in

                conservative tweeds who know how to keep their
                mouths shut,
The key positions must he held at all costs,
Bring guns, ropes, kerosine, it may be hard to persuade our

                beloved leader there must be no violence, no violence,

No violence, nothing left to chance, no hysteria and above all,
                no sentiment,
The least delay, the slightest mistake means the end, yes, the    

Why are you worried?

What is there to be worried about? It's fixed, I tell you, fixed,
                there's nothing to it, listen:
We will meet across the continents and years at 4 a.m. outside     
                the Greek's when next the barometer reads 28.28 and      

                the wind is from the South South-East bringing rain      
                and hail and fog and snow;
Until then I travel by dead reckoning and you will take your   
                bearings from the stars;

I cannot tell you more, except this: When you give the sign     

                our  agent will approach and say, "Have you seen the
                handwriting?" Then your man is to reply, "We have
                brought the money";
So we will make ourselves known to each other,
And it will be the same as before, perhaps even better, and we    
                will arrange to meet again, as always, and say good-bye     

                as now, and as we always will, and it will be O.K.; now     

But what if the police find out? What if the wires are down?     

                What if credit is refused? What if the banks fail? What     
                if war breaks out? What if one of us should die?
What good can all of this be to you, or to us, or to anyone?     

                Think of the price--

What are you trying to do, be funny? This is serious;
We must be prepared for anything, anything, anything.

--Kenneth Fearing

New & Selected Poems
[Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1956]

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