Prose from Poetry Magazine

The Final Manifesto

First in a series of eight manifestos.

by Joshua Mehigan

  1. We see you.
  2. We know who you are.
  3. Your ideas are worthless.
  4. Your aesthetic is stupid.
  5. Your “technique” is a welter of narcissism, superstition, and habit.
  6. All your little tiny ideas, all your whoring attempts at creation, and you yourself are nothing, nobody wants you, we despise you, it’s in our nature.
  7. You should be kept as a pet.
  8. You are a Philistine, the Paul Bunyan of decadence, an acromegalic fraud.
  9. You are a minnow, a speck, a stain.
  10. The genre humain is sick, and you are to blame.
  11. You are a necrophiliac.
  12. You are a museum of irrelevance.
  13. It will take years to make Art vital and important again.
  14. You are from this moment forbidden.
  15. As the Italians say, Parla quando piscia la gallina.
  16. We are here now.
  17. Our aesthetics is empirically grounded.
  18. Our taste will be raised to principle.
  19. You and your band of jays will be flushed out.
  20. Yes, Art is resurrected today: Victory is ours!
  21. History will forget you and salute us.
  22. Here you are, and here is oblivion.
  23. This is the final manifesto, and the only one.
Originally Published: January 30, 2009


On February 3, 2009 at 7:56pm Jazmin wrote:
Poetry free

On February 9, 2009 at 2:42am Sean Smith wrote:
Poetry free?

"You are a Philistine, the Paul Bunyan of

decadence, an acromegalic fraud"

This is iambic pentameter with some

poetic license (21 syllables, 20 if the "e"

is silent in the acromegalic word ([ack-

ruh-meg-uh-lick)). I had to look up two

of the words in the dictionary to get it.

I bet you pronounced it ack-row, I did

too. :)

This is poetry.

On February 10, 2009 at 2:22pm Kelly Graham wrote:
what is the translation : Parla quando piscia la gallina.

On February 23, 2009 at 4:08pm jameson_hughes wrote:
"You [should] speak [only] when the hen pisses," i.e., never.

On March 3, 2009 at 4:30pm Dan Williamson wrote:
I do like 14.

I wish it could be so,

particularly in Boston.

On March 16, 2010 at 9:18pm Suzy Fitzgerald wrote:
There is something so incredible about this piece. I love the format, I love the title and I like #7 as simple as it seems.

On September 17, 2011 at 6:48am Sonny Bolisha wrote:
Despite how delayed this comment is, I wish to voice it anyway. This is not poetry; it is the mark of a glorified anarchist, one who idealises narcissism and deems nihilism as a field for their poetry to flourish. You think words like necrophilia and acromegalic deem you worthy of writing an influential manifesto? With my comment, that makes seven, seven people out of millions of others who will never read it.

POST A COMMENT welcomes comments that foster dialogue and cultivate an open community on the site. Comments on articles must be approved by the site moderators before they appear on the site. By submitting a comment, you give the Poetry Foundation the right to publish it. Please note: We require comments to include a name and e-mail address. Read more about our privacy policy.


This prose originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2009


 Joshua  Mehigan


Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and earned a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Influenced by the poetry of Philip Larkin, Jorge Luis Borges, and Edgar Bowers, Mehigan writes intelligent, morally complex lyric poems shaped by a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Critic Adam Kirsch praised The Optimist in a review for the New York Sun, observing, “Mr. Mehigan is Frost-like in the . . .

Continue reading this biography

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.