Editor’s Note: What better way to start off the new year with a timely poem by our Poet Laureate, Ian McLeod? Consider your past as you look to the future. We wish you a very, very happy new year, as we reclaim Western Culture.

The Sea calls,

doesn’t She?

She calls

and I fall

fall deep into the

Laurentian Abyssal

near the Continental

Plains where so many

aeroplanes and ships

are lost.

Lost, just because.

I’ll swim to the Marianas

beneath Nothing Atoll,

I mean, Bikini, Bikini Atoll:

what’s left after The Bomb.

The Bomb, The Bomb,

all-consuming like the tongue’s fire;

a bitter draught of poison, ire,

contempt, regret.

I remember that day, the day

of the end. It was all supposed to.

I liked it that way: history tied up neatly with

a pretty red bow.

“A thousand more years

of the same old crap,”

as Chung said.

And just as Mankind must suffer,

so must I.

Being a part of it

and all.

Ten years hence, will I say “Ten years thence,

I was here on such-and-such day

talking to so-and-so

listening to them talk about what-was-that

and commiserating with the Roasted Swan,

the one sung of in the Songs of Buren”?

“Misery! Misery! How charred I am,

and thoroughly roasted!”

My translation is made politically correct

for your mental protection.

A prophylactic against forbidden thoughts.

Were I a slave to the aesthetic,

the roastedness

would bother me.

I could be resigned,

consigned to forever being roasted,

and that roastedness would henceforth be my lot.

Or maybe, despite my present roastedness,

I could believe in a non-roasted future.

Not just believe, but know it,

know it down to my marrow.

Encore une Verre.