Thursday, August 4, 2011


Fire flood blood or ice.

The watchers are growing nervous.

The prophets are losing their voices.

The poets caw like a farce of crows

from the autumnal branches

of a scarecrow’s skeleton

as the grasslands overrun the trees of life

who dream in their fossilized heartwood

under Arctic eyelids of perpetual night

awakening slowly to the nightmare of global warming

without a hope in hell

of another cosmic ape

to stop swinging his weight around like a funeral bell

and learn to walk upright like the lighthouse of a false alarm

that came too late to avoid the storm.

The gods are asking the ants for advice.

Everyone’s wearing the mask of someone else

like the upgraded face

of a mineralized avatar into virtual reality.

The alarm clock poses as an air raid siren.

The Hubble Telescope gets busted

for distributing kiddie porn

like baby pictures of the naked universe

on the third eye of its hard drive.

There are gules of starmud

running down the candles of a black mass

like the keyholes of weeping madonnas

down on their knees

begging mercy from their tormentors

for denying them a virgin birth.

Cartels of gargoyles have pulled off

a coup d’etat of sunglasses

and posted guards on the cornices of a church

that serves black kool aid to the faithful

that smacks of licorice burning tires and oil spills.

Bodies banked like driftwood

on the concrete shores of their homelessness.

Postures of agony in the ashen Pompey

of our inner cities

modelled by Vesuvius

getting ready for the big day

they’ll be unveiled in an art museum

as part of a month long retrospective

on the geniuses of desecration

that have demonized our clay

by giving vent to their volcanic rage

like a haemorrhage of inspiration

that amputated the arms

of the experimental children of Auschwitz

and grafted them like the hands of a clock to their backs

to express the toxic ferocity of a Nazi philosophy

among the cultured doctors of Cologne.

And everywhere the bones of dismembered telephones

that hung up on death like Orpheus

when he realized he didn’t have enough minutes left

on his lyre

to make a long distance call

like two minutes with a hook

to sweet talk death

with the allure of love and music

into accepting the charges.

Do you know what hour it is?

Do you see the regata of shark fins

cruising the beach like dangerous sundials?

More children were born from women

whose wombs had evolved into body bags

in the course of the last century

than all the seedy tombs

of the unknown war dead

between Caesar and Napoleon.

The public grows nostalgic

for the rustic genocides of Hitler Mussolini and Stalin

when it was much simpler to understand

what you were being murdered for

and the secret police still made house calls

day or night

if you showed any signs of a fever

that contradicted the political prescriptions of plague rats.

Now no one knows what to hate or why

among so many candidates

trying to privatize the concentration camps

in the best tradition of free enterprise

to give a boost to the economy

by putting the shoulders of the poor to the wheel

like a slave labour force

to the solar disc of Ixion in Tartarus

by starting a war of mythic proportions.

Murder in the guest house.

Winter welcome mats

of paranoid xenophobes

wait like spiders

underneath their trap doors

to unweave the flying carpets

that cross their thresholds

like the event horizons

of blackholes

that resent the butterfly its wings

for not being cloned in their likeness

like a Canadian mosaic

of cultural icons

in an American melting pot.

They’re checking the dolls

in the arms of immigrant children

for passports.

They’re shining search lights

into the irises of refugee rainbows

and making them turn out their pockets

like pots of gold

that can be resold on the black market.

Junk bonds of lobbyists bundling people

like coyotes crossing the profit margins of the rich.

It might be harder to rise from the dead

than for a rich man to go

through the eye of a needle of Opec

like a camel through an oil derrick

like the price of a barrel of oil

but more impossible than magic or miracle

is to rise from the snakepit of the living

without getting bit like a voodoo doll

or if you’re as unlucky at evolution

as you are at love

a warm-blooded mammal in a nuclear winter

living where you work

like the undertaker of an extinct species.

I thought I saw God

dropping off loveletters to the dead last night

like shadows in the dangerous doorways of sulphur and salt

with no return address.

And then two cops

started looking in all the public garbage cans

in seriatim

with flashlights and shovels

for weapons and dope.

Evidence of the viciousness of chaos

when rapture goes wrong

and a kiss turns into a fist

and someone suffers an indelible eclipse

like a tattoo by Caravaggio

among the sprites and ghouls of isolation.

But less trivial than being awake

I was convinced I was dreaming.

When I’m not listening

to the picture-music of the mind

I’m painting masterpieces for the blind.