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Bill Herbert

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  Song of the Marchmen

From Merzbau to Mithraeum
we march along this wall:
if we saw Picts we'd slay them
but Picts are bloody small.

They've got into our bloodstream
they've got inside our heads,
we think we're pigging Latin
we're pigging Picts instead.

There's Pictish on our bus tickets
there's Pict yeast in our bread,
and when we march upon this wall
there's Picts climb in our beds.

Our sperms have nanoPicts attached
that leap onto our eggs,
and when we march through marshy grass
we've leech-Picts on our legs.

A Pict is everything we hate
because we've never known:
from Dada art to the feel of Fate,
a Pict's what we can't own.

A Pict's the thing that lives upon
the tongue-tip of our doubt,
a Pict's the virus of our dreams
we drown out with this shout:

From Mithraeum to Merzbau
we fear they will attack,
so when we've marched from there to here
we turn and march right back.