somewhere near megiddo,
empty dust city in a poor valley,
its holy unholy avatar;
with detroit in background,
new york in background,
washington left to fend off dogpack imaginations,
london a screen for chopped limb and stink,
paris a mistake now corrected back
to abandoned marsh village on septic banking,
moscow ice darling,
beijing concrete boiling,
with a black breeze
hurtling over all
and into every crevice,
he finds a rent metallic casket
by a ravine trash-full of mango peels,
flutes, silk pajamas, and books.
terrific, he said.
we had opened up that lid and let it all fly –
dead trees, faces shrouded in magenta
with burned eyes,
a wailing that went on and on
but we had stopped our ears and pushed ahead
with lamps and bulldozers,
guns and gin.
hammers to nail hands to charred symbols.
nails on blackboards.
it had all ended too slowly to be officially noticed.
rot increasing far out at sea.
sargasso triangle in our heads
land falling before relentless chewing of greedy teeth.
unexplained mutations of remembered familars.
oiled-up trivia on papyrus, on monitor,
on showcase pillars on street corners,
on every mind ad infinitum,
"per aspera ad astra"
no more than mystic hokum
from a man
behind a curtain.
he spat on a patch of bare earth.
his blue gray muscles
remembered what had failed
and he recited that bullet dharma:
no more demands,
no fear of summons,
no still unbroken law.
no etiquette, no condescending nod
to willing suspension
of social code.
no notion of art.
no callused palms,
no ridges on index fingers.
I can do better
at an unchanged moon.
someone, he thinks,
but it will
someone will say
and we’ll get back