FIRE FLOOD BLOOD OR ICE
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
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
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
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
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
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.