GREAT PAN IS DEAD
Great pan is dead and a frenzied terror spread over
the Greco-Roman world like the abysmal dread of nothing
as two and a half millennia later the god of the Christocentrics
expired for not living up to its mythically inflated reputation
for resurrection and gentleness. Corporations are people, too.
La, la, etc. Is it a sin to lie to the dead? Who took
God’s confession on his deathbed? Was he forgiven
for the deathmasks of horror he wore like the black robes
and executioner’s hoods of the Court of the Star Chamber
of the sexually sadistic Inquisition? Psychotic thought police
in a world without the internet, despite the connectivity
of all life to the same convulsive nervous system on the rack,
a hundred thousand women burned at the stake
for witchcraft in the seventeenth century like a holy act
to keep the aniconic dream grammars of their blackest magic
from contaminating the superstitious demotic of the common people
who stood by and watched the flesh drip off their bodies like candles
as if something rigorously severe and good had been done here.
Loopholes in the lobbyists of the law they hung themselves with
like the old woman to whom was given a strong rope
as Muhammad whom the Muslims aren’t listening to
pointed out as an example of what not to do,
who unwound it into a thousand and one weak threads
like Sunnis and Shias trying to decapitate each other’s heads
before wisdom reached for the henna to die their hair
red with blood. I don’t think Leo the Tenth was what
Jesus meant, or Muhammad would marry his daughter
to Muqtada al Sadr as the Taliban murder Fatima
at the Battle of the Camel for learning to read the Koran
straight from the lips of Allah. Did you forget Muhammad
liked prayer, women, and perfume best, not the smell
of cordite, misogyny, the revenge of the cursed upon the blessed.
Your mother, your mother, your mother, then your father,
knows, haqq al yaquin, with certainty of sight,
what it’s like to carry you in her womb, from a gob of starmud
to the improvised explosive device of a terrorist
going supernova in the marketplace where she shopped
for your food, as if she gave a fig about how she raised you,
Allahu akbar, to surrender to a god, bismallah, ar Rahman, ar Rahim,
with a will greater than your own. Alif, baa, taa, thaa, jim,
as if the word were still mightier than your AK-47’s magazine.
You make orphans and widows of the life
you were charged to protect as mujahdeen.
Are the refugees still leaving Mecca for Medina?
Read the Hadith with your sister. Don’t you get the impression
Muhammad was a man with humanity and compassion you’d like to meet,
or give up your seat for on a bus, or run a foot race with
as if you were creatively competing with the spirit
of the female principle of Aisha in all of us, keeping us alive
like the roses of Shiraz or the mole on a young slave girl’s cheek
in Samarkand, the mighty capitol of Timur the Lame Khan.
Spare me the lectures, the details, the fatwahs, the sermons,
the theological alibis, the Hanbali miscegenations,
the creationist lies in the dark ages of the nightschools
of Texas and North Carolina. I seek knowledge
like evolution even as far as China, that Sufi state
of mind, or Ardoch, Ontario, where the crows squabble
like creosote in the Selkirk chimney pots of the cold morning.
And as I’ve grown foolishly into a wisdom unbefitting my age
I remember to be grateful for my ignorance as much as I am
for everything that didn’t happen but could have
like something I deserved more than it was willing
to rat me out for. I don’t make a sacrifice to myself
like Wodin on the axis mundi, or Jesus on the cross,
of the people I fall in love with like tares and wild asters
in the starfields that keep expanding my imagination
like dark energy in the subconscious coalbins
of a diamond cutter’s eye for the facets of translucency
that pass through me like spearheads of the chandeliers
that light up the waters of life with luminous tears of glass
that fall like polished lenses of rain into the housewells
of the Palace of Versailles, or even, more profoundly,
the black reflection of the Taj Mahal in a momento mori
of mystically erotic moonlight, everything opening
and closing like waterlilies and uncultivated orchids,
each according to their own unique waterclocks
with a sense of timing absolutely crucial
to the relativity of their contents revealed
like a unified field theory love longing for the superlative
discovered lightyears ago when everyone
was looking the other way like gods at a thief stealing their fire
right from under their eyes like the industrial secret
of a burning dove on a midnight shift of factory stars
creating the heavier elements of life like your starmud
in a flood of light that made everything more obviously clear
than the false dawn in the apple core of your nuclear reactor.
Wash your eyes clean of your self in tears, stop mourning
your mirages because they disappear like mirrors into the dark
to show you what a real constellation looks like
when Gabriel-Jabreel turns on the lights in the seventh heaven
as if the picture-music’s never over, and death
isn’t a curfew imposed on when you leave or not
with someone you love as if you’d never met before
but in truth, when the iris in her eyes unlocks
the security alarms on your heart, you forgot, didn’t you,
she was the blessing you swore on your holy life never to?
How many plane loads of pilgrims ago was that?
How many Arab villages of gore can be crammed
into the psyche of a video game in an abattoir
as killing takes on the lifestyle of G.I. Joe gone
mercenary in the Hundred Years War for oil
as the fourth estate of the Vatican and France
foam at the mouth like rabid dogs to foment
a holy war to clear the garbage out of Europe
by murdering their way into being made men,
capos in the Mafia of paradise, first, by slaughtering
the Albigensians, then greasing Jerusalem in human fat
and the blood of a gang-raped rose that hemorrhaged
like a virgin with immaculate conceptions of love?
Villains, villains, villains, villains everywhere, black
and white, fundamental, lock, load, fire,
no trembling, no doubt, no hesitation, dead eye
on the target, boom, and your Freudian phallus,
ejaculates like an apocalyptic moment of sexual devotion
to the stone age of a gun that’s still just a rock or a bone
in the hands of a chimpanzee going ballistic
though it’s the weapons that have evolved, not
the apes that use them like a flying buttress or a crutch
to keep their end of things up like a penis on a gargoyle
on a Gothic cathedral of sado-masochistic ideals.
Great Pan is dead. God is dead. The Mahdi
hasn’t shown up in over a hundred years, Moses
is too old to go up the mountain again and Jesus,
though he is supposed to for Muslims and Christians alike
isn’t coming back to this mad house for love of a second life
no way, no how, never again, after Birkenau
and the Khmer Rouge in the killing fields of Laos,
after Damascus and Baghdad, Sabra, Shatila,
after Aurora, Newtown and the wells of Deir Yasin,
Wall Street, the big, tough, dumbed-down, fanatical Republicans
spitting Obamacare out of their mouths like vicious brats
that can’t take their own medicine, and wouldn’t
save a kid’s life if it cast a shadow of compassion
on the baksheesh of the profit margins of their fascist ideologies
goose-stepping to the corporate boom-times of an oil drum
humping the shepherds of the black camel like a Sufi sign
of the end times. Hell is Judgement Day left to our own discretion.
Hell is a pharmaceutical company letting hundreds of thousands
in Africa die by denying them the medicine they need
to stay alive, just to keep the price high in Pakistan and India.
Hell is a mediocrity perniciously opposed to any standard
of human excellence that might show it up by contrast
for what it is to the mob it’s trying to involve
in a conspiracy of shadows against its own enlightenment.
Hell makes it a crime to break loaves and fishes on a hillside
like food stamps for the victims of the biblical famines
of the New York Stock Exchange and the thick batter of fat
the rich insulate their white collar hearts in to perpetrate
their gluttony like a board room crime against humanity.
Money mints the human like counterfeiters in the spring.
Cash flows like green foliage but no birds sing.
Slumlords alienate the humanism of their daughters.
Sons dread the prospect of becoming their fathers.
You get the picture, the litany of horrors. Hell
looks like any other day on earth, the politicians
trivializing the desecration of millions as a matter
of policy to humiliate and deprive the people
trying to hate them out of office as a rejection
of their ravenous, clumsy, sexually inept egos.
Big vacuum. Void. Bardo state. Gap between
cosmic neurons. First we string our spinal cords
like spider silk between opposites, then we lie down
like suspension bridges, or the sky goddess Nut
for others to cross to the other side
of the firewalking thresholds we are, because
things have a way of burning behind us don’t they?
Bored with the dialectical history of themselves,
conceptual shadow lives of flesh and blood,
they turn the light around, invariably, and it’s
as dark as midnight at noon, a diamond in a heart of coal,
when the dusk plays false with its beginning
and the dawn gets involved in a whole, new love affair
as if the first and the last were quantumly entangled
in other’s wavelengths like the Pleiades among the willows
stripped bare of their sorrows like black queens
in a beehive of light making honey out of the darkness
in the starfields of the magnificent wildflowers
spreading like fireweed through our baleful herb gardens
as slowly the future devolves into its arcane tomorrows.