I don’t normally find myself taken with poetry that comes out of fiction, but Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon has some that I’ve come to really appreciate. Particularly surprising to me because his fiction is heavily politicized, and he’s quite a leftist. I’m not inclined to hold a fiction author’s politics against his or her work – but the poetry was written by a character who seems to very much reflect the author’s beliefs. Still…
Is it a wolf I hear,
Howling his lonely communion
With the unpiloted stars,
Or merely the self-importance and servitude
In the bark of a dog?
How many millennia did it take,
Twisting and torturing
The pride from the one
To make a tool,
And how do we measure the distance from spirit to spirit?
And who do we find to blame?
How shall I explain the dying that was done?
Shall I say that each one did the math, and wrote
The value of his days
Against the bloody margin, in an understated hand?
They will want to know
How was the audit done?
And I shall say that it was done,
By those who knew the worth
Of what was spent that day.