I’ve written ✏️ another poem. I make no more claims for it than I did for the previous two. In fact, I think Ahistorical Survey is clearly better than this one. But I’m so surprised to find myself writing poetry that to me it’s remarkable that it exists at all. It would be too much to expect it to be good as well.


Is this what Shelley meant? How can we know
lawmaker from the law? Hobbes thought it moot:
law is the sovereign’s will and nothing but.
But now the law itself is sovereign, over
lawmaker, court, enforcer — even you.
An endless game of leapfrog the ref wins.
Or not exactly leapfrog? Not a game:
rather an accelerating arms-race.

An unacknowledged law is not obeyed.
It must be promulgated, known by most.
Contrariwise, the lawmaker is best unnamed:
ignored, of no account, a faceless clerk.
None of us needs to know who drafts the bill:
MacSpaunday — or Douglas Adams’s cat.