The day today,

where the source of

what it means to

deconstruct, to question,

to critique, to resist,



I had felt the loss for days beforehand.


I came from one place to the next,

to follow him.


Transported to study and learn and try and be

like that man, that gentle man

who turned law inside out

and told us how it was –

and was not.


And to pass today

just as other endings

come by …

all endings being the same.


I am taken back to



pinching myself to stay awake during

hefty Foucauldian surmisings,

transfixed by Force of Law-ings –

utterly petrified by the

language of sovereignty.


I would sit mute,

where last night’s events still

dripped across my burnt septum,

my tear-stained cheeks.

The imposter of imposters.


But he never said anything,

never judged – he must have known.


Today I find it hard to write, to think, to breathe,

as a scholar

who came to the job

because of him.


Today I am reminded that

I was so conjured and brought to life,

by that man who inspired.


How the years have gone by

and law is so obviously shit.


But praise that someone

who can take the dirt

and make you see what

delight, play, violence

and menace,

law can be,

all at once.


Those who can tear through the bullshit

with such beauty –

the example that rallies

the next,

revealing legacies,

as they really are.


The role of the wordsmith,

the verbose academic,

the densely jammed page

of flowery language –

I love.


Cut, drawn, quartered

by the market,

he leaves us in times where

the intellectual does not write,

does not think.

The intellectual copy edits –

snapshots and titbits,

abstracts and metrics.



barely gathered at all,

before contact hours –

and now contact tracing.


This man who inspired

is removed

with such a

deference of mind and pen

that is borne of a time where

there was still an outside.


Impact was not quantified,

but his enduring presence regardless.


We are feeling him now,

we’ll be celebrating him later,

we read him before we had seen him,

we followed him to Birkbeck.


Thank you Peter Fitzpatrick.

Rest in peace.


22 May 2020

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