Antonio Gramsci knows only too well
the limitations of ‘common sense’,
hunch-backed, fading away in his Turi cell,
constantly in pain –
while the ‘natural’ and ‘inevitable’ nature of man
plays itself out in the Senate,
the Sardinian countryside
and the Fiat and Lancia factories of Turin,
where ‘parliamentary immunity’
is a phrase that is to be found wanting.
Somewhere, the Sunday church-goer ambles home
with the songs of starlings ringing
in his ears. And the question must be asked,
would he defend his Christ, the lessons of love
if the cost of love became pain
or nights in the wilderness,
or the necessity that some of what he clung to as truth
was not so… or would he join in silencing,
in the taking up of stones?
In Buenos Aires, Juon Perón considers Nuremberg ‘a disgrace’
while the eminent Bishop Hudal,
‘duty bound’, thanking God,
(Spiritual Director of the German People resident in Italy)
and Father Draganovich (that Apostolic Visitator)
are issuing Vatican papers
for Franz Stangl, Gustav Wagner, Adolf Eichman
and Ante Pavelic – names to be reckoned with,
patriots, men of action. The Roman ratlines
to South America ring with their triumphs.
Comrade Gramsci, we know it only too well,
the history of all hitherto existing society
does not belong to science,
the very idea is ‘abstract’ and ‘fanciful’.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, consensus culture never killed anyone,
King Victor Emmanuel has no need to pull the trigger
to silence your brain for twenty years,
and the irony is not wholly lost on his daughter, Mafalda
who eats her last ever meal at Buchenwald.
The rest as they say is hegemony.