Prose from Poetry Magazine

The Final Manifesto

First in a series of eight manifestos.
"History will forget you and salute us."

  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 30th, 2009

Poet Joshua Mehigan grew up in upstate New York and earned a BA from Purchase College and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. He is the author of the poetry collections The Optimist (2004), winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize,...

Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In
  1. February 4, 2009

    Poetry free

  2. February 9, 2009
     Sean Smith

    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.

  3. February 11, 2009
     Kelly Graham

    what is the translation : Parla quando piscia la gallina.

  4. February 24, 2009

    "You [should] speak [only] when the hen pisses," i.e., never.

  5. March 4, 2009
     Dan Williamson

    I do like 14.

    I wish it could be so,

    particularly in Boston.

  6. March 17, 2010
     Suzy Fitzgerald

    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.

  7. September 17, 2011
     Sonny Bolisha

    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.