On Distinction

Original Text: 
Rest on the Flight into Egypt (London, On: Brick Books, 1999): 62.
1We won't pretend we're not hungry for distinction
2but what can ever distinguish us enough?
3This country, this language won't last long, the race
4will die, later the cockroach, earth itself,
5and last this beer bottle: silicon fused by man,
6almost indestructible, like a soul:
7it will go spinning ever farther from the nearest thing
8until space, continually deepening, drowns in itself.
9Yet we keep a hungry eye on old schoolmates
10and everyone born in the year of our own birth,
11and spend the nights in ranting over them,
12their money, fashionable companions, pliant critics.
13To live just a little longer than they do:
14that would be triumph. Hence exercise and diets,
15and the squabble over who will write the history
16of this paradise of demons casting each other out.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Brick Books permissions department.</b>