Tuesday, May 25, 2010




Live what you believe fanatically

in blind obedience to a theory

and you’ll end up

as deranged as the facts.

The stars will still shine for you

but only in braille.

Live according to an ideology

that possesses your life

like an incubus in every detail

and you’ll wind up

blooding your abstractions

like a flesh-eating disease

reserved for the death of your children.

Everyone knows that white light

is all seven colours of the rainbow

but your eyes are weak

and your mind can’t stand the light

and you paint your window

like a voyeur on the inside

with whatever you want to see

and then standing before the mike

like an empty picture-frame

trying to throw some light on the matter

you say Look. What a view!

When blue isn’t around to ruin the neighbourhood

and the ghettos of the constellations

come out at night like Poland or Belgium

wearing yellow stars on their sleeves.

You open your mouth to speak

and racist pigs gather around the trough

like movie-stars pundits and prophets.

Cannibalistic paragons of obesity

with shrunken heads 

who eat their own

and then pick people out of their teeth

as if they were the baleen

of blue whales sifting krill.

Satanus redevivus!

The devil has overcome life

and arisen from the womb victorious

to reform the body of the law

like gangrene

or Texas politicians

fucking with our myths of origin

molesting the minds of our children

by convicting the Big Bang

of original sin

because it didn’t hold up

its limp trigger-finger to God

like the second amendment of Adam

to the National Rifle Association

who sent Moses down from his mountain

like Charlton Heston to Columbine High School

to upend his own commandment

by asserting the democratic right of everyone to kill

children in the classroom

with automatic weapons.

In Arizona

Herod denies citizenship

to the firstborn of Israel again

to the firstborn of Latin America

to the firstborn of Palestine

to the firstborn of humans everywhere

to keep from being dispossessed

by his own nightmare

and again he will die

like the mother of maggots

giving birth to generations of the unclean

that shall bear his name down through history

with the papers to prove

when he gave up his birthright

to human decency

he was naturalized by the obscene.

These fat sleaze-bag used-car salesmen politicos

fat sleaze-bag realtors

fat sleaze-bag lawyers

ferociously ugly women

porky men with surrealistic hair-dos

trying to talk like accordions

with punched-in catcher’s mitts for faces

and the social graces

of vinegar bleach and lemons

and bodies that make evolution

want to revoke their green cards

fat sleaze-bag bankers

fat sleaze-bag politicians

the money-molesters

fat sleaze-bag brokers in the Wall Street snakepit

trying to pull lucky rabbits

out of their crooked tophats

like chimneys corrupted for years

by economic creosote

fat sleaze-bag c.e.o. s of slick snakeoil corporations

fouling the earth

fouling the seas

with the black blood

of haemoraging eclipses

tent caterpillars in bankrupt trees

hooded like the KKK

trying to pass themselves off as silk worms

fat sleaze-bag lobbyists

fat redneck mind-bunting hooligans

trying to have a same-sex relationship

with their guns

all dungheaps covered in snow

to quote John Webster

knots in the heartwood of humanity

worms in the rafters

quicksand undermining

the spiritual cornerstones

of our common humanity

running for public office

reeking like outhouses

with plans for the Taj Mahal.

Hydrophobic mind-runts with rabies

frothing and snapping at people

who want to get on with their lives

like water in a desert that seldom blooms.

Closet Nazis with unmappable genomes

that run on for miles

like large intestines


barbed wire

and tapeworms.

Union differentiates.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said that.

And I say true individuals are born

of coming together

not standing aloofly apart

like the gates of a garden

they’ll never enter

like a thief

through their own back doors.

Arbeit macht frei.

Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

And it’s savagely clear

the planet is smothered in us

like an upgraded explosion of microbes

Slavicly protected by our own gigantism

as everything’s getting smaller and darker

through the wrong end

of our expanding telescopes.

But that’s precisely why

one mile east being one mile west

when you look at someone else’s child

new come to the world as a unique being

as a mystically specific mode of being

you look for the similarities

not the differences

knowing the distance

between the seer and the seen

is the distance between blue and green

an island with a brown bridge

between the opposing shores

of black and red

the distance between your two eyes

when they’re absolved in the one seeing

like tears that don’t come between

the living and the dead

or the painter and his palette

greying his blues with orange

because every individual

is the sum of the same watershed

that conceived all of us

like rivers and lakes and rain and clouds and seas

just a moment ago.

So who are these nabobs of gravity

these blackholes in the galaxy

these illiterate fridge magnets

these dark farces of black matter

trying to say who gets to adhere

and who doesn’t

what stars will remain homeless

in cramped detention centers

for being from the wrong constellation

on a braille starmap

and which will be given

cheap housing in the back alleys of the zodiac?

It’s rare to find anyone

since human history first began

who wasn’t born on stolen land

so I ask you big continents

on behalf of all of us grains of sand

everyone of which

contains a universe

as infinite as the insight

that lit Blake up like a firefly in the night

where does one thief get off

refusing the birthright of another

like the baby Solomon held up to the sword

to divide the mothers

like blood and land

like water and wave

like love of life on earth

from those who try to own their birth

like a great occasion of little worth

inflated by a volatile slave market

into the false divinity

of a fraudulent housing derivative;

I ask you corpulent captains of industry

arming the lion

arming the lamb

how are you going to keep

us worms of the earth

from tunneling into your afterlife

when the leaves on the tree of man

turn colour in the fall

and cover your ass in passports

like so much mulch

wasted on your rootless coffin

that isn’t going anywhere?

Even when the sun comes up

like a fat Arizona sheriff

with a fucked up star on its chest

that used to be Venus

before it morphed into Lucifer

but now looks like a swastika

broken and battered by the rain

growing in the wrong direction

like something laid on a grave

when the sun comes up

like a fat Arizona sheriff

and looks over the flowers

trembling in its light

as if it were a lightbulb

in an interrogation room

where they question the dandelions

like illegal immigrants

who crossed the border

on the coyote of the wind

and the inter-racial poppies

are indicted for their gypsy blood-lines

and deported home

to the corner of the yard like weeds.

When the sun rises like an Arizona sheriff

and looks over the flowers of the earth

and says Papers please!

and nothing blooms

everything is afraid to bloom

because everyone here

is here from somewhere else

like cherry trees from Palestine

the crusaders rooted in Europe

or crainial coconuts that bobbed

like Orphic skulls across the Pacific

until their prophecies grew like palms

on isolated desert islands.

Papers please

and the flowers hug the shadows.

Papers please

and there are no wildflowers in the meadows.

Papers please

and the rose tries to disguise its accent

so that no one knows it’s from Persia

via Rhodes

hence its name.

Papers please

and the waterlily moves away from the window.

Papers please

and even the cactus

only shows you its thorns.

Papers please

and the bull of the moon

that hangs low over the desert like a skull

sees that all-American cape of red blood

you wave aurorally like a flag at half mast

or an eclipse of things to come

and that solar sword of white light

you drive deep into the heart of things

like a matador that hates

the darkness within him

and takes it out on the night;

sees how you abuse the laws

to thaw like milky ice-cream

all over your apple piety

as if you’d just taken a bite out of the serpent

when the apple tempted you

to drive the mothers and children

like orchards out of Eden

for showing you the wrong blossoms

when you demanded

they show you their papers.

Papers please.

Where were you born?

Where did you first see the light?

Do you walk like us?

Do you look like us?

Do you talk like us?

Do you think like us?

Do you bury your dead like us?

Do you feel things like a cellphone?

Do you see things the way we do when they’re televised?

Do you believe in the same God we do

now that he’s been disguised

in the image of us

and granted a revised birth certificate?

Papers please

but it’s the humans that are torn up.

Papers please

and a young Mexican mother mourns

a young Palestinian mother mourns

a young Sudanese mother mourns

their babies were born

with the wrong-coloured face

in a place of thorns

in shacks built

of leftover crosses and crescents

in Arizona Darfur and Gaza

where fascist phrenologists check

the bloodlines of the rose

by measuring the distance

between the eyes and the nose

they cut off to spite their face

they cut out like the heart of a race

that is forced to live

like illegal aliens among cannibals

that delight in eating their own

like the Titans

before they were overthrown

by the Olympians.

Papers please

and on the whole wide inhospitable earth

and it’s easier to find a place to die in

than it is to find a bit of dirt on which to live

or will you now start digging up corpses

like a dog

and repatriating the bones 

of those who were buried here illegally

among these others just as far from home

holding up their passports

like gravestones to the law

to prove death issued them

the right credentials

to be left in peace alone.

Papers please

and the white bull of the moon

that was wounded into abundance

by a blood sacrifice

that was more than enough to go around

more than enough to seat and feed everyone

above the salt at the feast

seals its wounds like borders

and lowers its horns

the way Moby Dick

squared with the Pequod in a rage

when his head was in another medium

and tramples the sour grapes

of the bad blood

that soils the wine

like the defilers of people

down on their knees

at the peepholes of God

compiling a racial profile

on the pick-up sticks

of their own mixed beginnings

in the Book of Changes

because they thought they heard an accent

when she said Fiat lux. Let there be light.

And she wore a veil in public

like Isis Queen of Heaven

like the black madonnas of the Aquitaine

whose tears fell

into the holy blood grails of compassion like rain

that falls on everyone alike

to heal the ailing kingdom

rooted in the hearts of humans

without asking where anyone was from

to cover her face

to cover the pain

to cover her disdain

to cover the disgrace

as if to say

she wasn’t from this place

she wasn’t from France

or Phoenix Arizona

and she was going to keep it that way.