Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse –

I saw you in a 1967 picture lecturing endlessly

On the defects of (perhaps)

Totalitarianism, and even Marxism.

The tables had been set, the podium and the loudspeaker –

Were not so different in constitution and shape,

As they are today.

However, this is an altogether different topic…


The guests sat with their legs crossed and I do not know

If they understood a whit of what you said

Or even cared a fig for it at all.

Only I could see you thundering like that Nazi

Who had become notorious for snatching university positions.


Perhaps, your words were as light as whey and they passed like air

Straight through their ears like right-angled beams.

Was there a woman with a knitting yarn or a man with a semi-porn magazine?

For a minimum attendance was absolutely necessary.

Only one, seated near the dais,

With his socks drawn down to his ankles and the hairy overgrowth visible

Was trying to make out a sense of this apparent non-sense.

He was in-charge of these implements which you, yes Marcuse, you

Were in possession (but for a time)

And when your overwhelming

Lecture would be over in an hour or so,

He knew that this awesome ‘game’ shall be over as well.


And so, he was wise enough to make a sense of all.

Perhaps, he had that little grain of vision

To know that they were growing impatient with each of your words.

And so the impending claps sneezed into their palms.

So he sat, with his eyes downcast, looking at a fly

Or at the tremendous strength of finality

Strange but stubborn that was edging –

By and by…

Arnab  Chatterjee

About Ijagun Poetry Journal

Ijagun Poetry Journal is a quarterly journal that provides a platform from which we can tell our own stories in the authenticity of their multiplicity through the poetic medium. We don’t want to hear these stories from our master “griots” alone; we want to hear from those mastering their art, too. Hence, we aim at publishing new and emerging poets. We also welcome the works of established poets in order to encourage the poetic genius of those mastering poetic art. We prize original works that conform to, break or reinvent conventions. Again, we accept reviews and critical essays on poetry. We also accept powerful art works and photographs that make us appreciate the "poetry" in everything.
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