2016-04-16

The police in different voices

He Do the Police in Different Voices was T. S. Eliot's working title for The Wasteland.  Eliot was quoting Dickens:

...Sloppy is a beautiful reader of a newspaper. He do the Police in different voices.

The idea for this poem sprang to me fully formed one day.  The idea being to take a narrative, such as might feature in a detective or police procedural genre novel, and tell it using different characters to provide the different voices.

I'm not sure whether the idea of using historical characters was there from the beginning...  I think so, because I started looking for a suitable philosopher very soon.  When I hit on Heidegger, who was infamously sympathetic to the Nazis, then that gave me the fully formed idea of using European historical characters who lived through WWII.

Magritte lived in occupied Belgium.  Stanley Unwin was a Morse code operator at the BBC.  Marcel Marceau (Marcel Mangel) was a hero of the French Resistance and claimed to have first developed his miming as a way of keeping children quiet while smuggling refugees.

Unwinese is a marvellously expressive language (marvespress languicity uply grail) and I recommend its study to all those who are truly serious about linguistics.








The police in different voice



DS Martin Heidegger

Must crime imply a criminal?
is what we need to know.
Let us consider evidence,
the crime, the criminal,
and the theory of the crime
as separate ontological domains.

Let us bag the remains
and also these fragile fragments
from the floor.

The body is being dead,
the knife is being on the ground,
the fragments have a quality of brokenness...

...however, I shall show
that evidence is not fact,
fact not real,
and reality is not "Being"
in any sense I can relate to
and also the witness may have lied.

DI Rene Magritte

Ordinary objects in extraordinary light:
some object did not hang, unsupported,
and when it hit the ground it broke

why?  Did the victim or the assailant smoke?
And if so how?  We may believe what we perceive
paints a picture of what took place
but this image is treacherous
as any other, and these fragments
are not a pipe.

DCI Marcel Marceau

(Because the Chief Inspector is a man of actions
more than words, his statement will be read
by the renowned criminologist,
Professor Stanley Unwin.)

Observe the chiefspector looksee the crimescenery
and glassnify large-up the tiny bits
the sergeant found. Indeed not a pipesmokey
but a woodflute! Commency source
this crime outside the buskstreet. Where

nothing for but bravely clamber the roadlength as the wind
puff to blow him back the way he first strole in
and at the finial end bang slap
straight into the suspicial stranger
lurking the other way.

But what now?  Oh no!  The criminole
somehow identitheive the chiefspector
and he's carriage of misjustice slap bangy locked up
trying to find his way out of the invisicube
for thirty years without parade.



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