NEWS OF THE WORLD
News of the world.
Atrocity and triviality
in a sickening surrealistic remix.
A merry-go-round of tv cameras
running with the bulls
at a revivalist rodeo and barbecue.
So much depends upon suffering.
So much depends upon
looking at everything
from every point of view imaginable
without seeing anything.
The naked woman.
The peeping tom.
The culpable light.
The complicit night.
And the pundits and the fools,
the holy men in between commercials
being consulted like discussion panels
by clean announcers objective as bleach
who express their umbrage in tones of grey
without smudging the mood too much
like an eyebrow of a cloud
rising over Auschwitz
as if they were strangers passing by
the corpses of the audience they want to reach.
Gluttony swells like a spider in a panicked web
tearing under the weight
of the consumer and consumed.
Corruption dresses up like bad meat
in the celestial chiffons of its innumerable blessings
and smiles successfully all the way through the interview
as if the taste of its own shit were as sweet
as the financial butterflies born of the fiscal maggots
who are eating their way through us all.
A child is raped.
A child is starved to death.
A child is poisoned by the water she drinks
like a waterlily in a sewer,
an orchid in the shadow of an outhouse.
A child is sold into perversion
like an unviolated taboo
to be abused like a threshold.
A child is showered in fairy dust
even as stars of white phosphorus
burn like the stars she wished upon
through her skin.
A child is taught to kill to belong
to the rabid scavengers of the ideology
that savaged her parents with glee
in the name of a more corrupt liberty.
And the senators mourn her plight publicly
like a baby racoon in the teeth of a heart-breaking night
as they adjust their opinions to their hair-dos condolently
and encrust themselves like tiger mussels
to the polluted lakes of their word.
Home-grown honesty snuffs the cocaines of celebrity
and buffs the camera light
with just enough virtue
to true itself to its own high like the movie-star
of a new religion opening its cheesey smile
like a crackhead in prime time
who loves you all
for being bathetically more tragic than him.
The whim of the moment
whips the oxcarts of discipline
like the sadistic masters of a reality show
that juices its ratings with masochists
that nobody wants to know
and everybody watches.
A running shoe runs off
with the foot of a child
like a spoon with the moon
she stepped on
like one small step for man,
one giant leap for mankind.
In the disinfected Petrie dishs
of the microcosmic lenses of our one-eyed seeing
a child trembles in toxic shock
like an incurably observable disease.
And all the lies come true in spin and print
and all the roses of blood and beauty
are tainted with dewdrops
that smear the mirrors
we hold up to our own self-natures
like the tears of shape-shifting worms.
And the new mondo of enlightenment is
no matter how the fortune-cookie breaks
it takes a seasoned liar to recover from the truth
by sloughing the skins of his sins
like cosmic snakes and condoms on the moon
cast away like the used rubbers of his regenerative mistakes
and as always among these unclean finger-pointers
when their dicks go limp,
the first stone in the hand of the last chimp.
The reek of their righteousness
is an inert gas
in the Etruscan linear B
of the neon marquee of a sleazy hotel
where even the clock cheats on the bell
that signs you in
with the wry smile of an empty wallet
that doesn’t kiss and tell.
For political reasons hypocrisy prays
for a world that it’s abused for so long
even its cries for help
have turned into unholy cliches.
Lizard-brained hatred so cold.
So many swine-hearted Herods
still leaning over their cribs
to murder them in their sleep
like dream-seeking militia in the night
or the whistling missiles of American might
surely the children of the world have learned by now
they’re wholly and solely disposable.
Surely we’ve taught them
yesterday’s manger is today’s begging bowl
and for all the daisy chains and haloes of rain
we might have lavished
on the good soil of their innocent strawberry hearts,
today we drop thousands of anti-personnel mines from the air
to blow their petals off like body parts
without giving a shit
whether they love us or they love us not.
And surely they’ve noticed by now
given the millions that die each year,
whole Congos of the innocent,
that when St. Peter Moses or Muhammad
opens the gates of heaven
like a Sudanese refugee camp to let them in,
the key that turns the lock
is always an Ousi, an M-16, or an AK-47.
We’ve torn the new moon from the old moon’s arms
like a fanatic with a hammer
in front of Michelangelo’s Pieta.
And whatever lies you’ve been brought up to believe
to keep God up your sleeve
like a gun with a bell in a steeple,
whatever simulacrum or likeness of yourself
you mutter to like the echo of your own voice or don’t
as if you had a choice,
what kind of eyeless insanity is it
that proves its love of God by hating people?
In the name of what you believe.
In the image of what you conceive.
In the spirit of your passions.
In the genome of your bloodline.
In the memory of the senses
you’ve martyred to your thoughts.
In the light of your wisdom
and the nights of your unknowing
when you were a strawman
pieced together from the short ends
of drawn lots to see who would risk being you
when you stood alone like a holy tree in the lightning
and waited for clear signs
that you could be more than this.
In the shadow of the logo
of your obscene lovelessness.
In the depths of your demonic despair
everyone’s your peer and equal
when you’re as worthless as everyone else.
And even in the heights of your aspiration
where your runaway kites keep getting tangled in the powerlines
that burn them like bad notes in a musical loveletter
that never got as far as feathers,
o my mad brothers and sisters,
mutant progeny of the unforgiven,
video spawn of the bored and unlucky,
misspent lees of the wines of life
like the bloodstain of a miscarriage in a marriage bed,
cannibalistic corpse-muck in an Armani suit
shrieking for war like baby-food,
what have we done to the children
in our frenzy to feed on one another,
what have we done to their eyes,
their ears, their mouths, their noses,
their hands, their feet, their skin, their minds, their hearts, their souls?
Flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, bone of our bone,
Eye of our eye and breath of our breath,
and the light by which we know the light
of the unimagineable worlds
that blossom into being.
Disinherited child of a death that was not your own
when one man’s scheme backfired in yours
like a dream you’ll never have again.
Child of horrors and sorrows and nightmares
that have outgrown your hand-me-downs
like the oilslick of a second skin
that fits you like an eclipse,
did you know you
even before you were born
you were already
an exile, a refugee, a casualty in the womb,
that there was a bomb under your crib
that was primed to go off
just as you were learning to walk,
just as you were learning to tie your shoes?
It’s as if all the children now on earth
were born too early for the future
we keep trying to correct for them
like the same prophetic mistake
as if the chapter and verse of our fate
were merely a spelling error,
and we could right the good life
in the Jonestowns of our hearts
by killing our children for their sake
in the name of a better start.
Geraniums of blood on plaster walls
where she carefully attended
the distress of her dolls.
And ghosts in the gravepits of her eyes
that know of abysses deeper than death
where no one’s ever gone with a camera.