PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST T E S T A M E N T, "Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord..
CCLXXIV

T E S T A M E N T 131

SCENE: 132There is a living soul going back over everything, even from the very
beginning, for along its mortal life there lie scattered the pertinent
details of exactly where he went wrong, how, why--

Bosch's Temptation of St. Anthony (detail, right wing)
"Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death..."

THE ACTOR:  Today I'll sing a sweeter song 133

Aspire unto a worthier Song!
Nature's everywhere redoubled Beauty
become Song's timed insistences,
134

Meditation's absolute musics
against language's bent rails,

warped in The Levelled (Fall)
--Life's original Elegy--

mouthing Th'Null's gnarled tunes
or Death's ditties, so dull & dun

Be not content just to enjoy the fruit
that falls too readily into your hand along
th'River (to the music of your lute)

dissolved & deadened along Th'marvelled Always,
amongst the informal angels slumping in the myrtle,

floating in th'brusque, notorious fountains
miles & miles of lute

stripped of The Instant's peerless, eternity's
long return, stripped of all Must, but
Wind's gifted wrestler, silence-swathed

& worrying in the veritable, dying in the green,
tongue full of gasps, only...

Insanity's unweighty feather
in the negligible Gaudy: Need at its knees,

washing away all Temptation's tangles
with burning brambles in th'rain,

within an inch of noise, of being done in
through Blame's piercing silences

in the whistling Wake of Adolescence's most sacred
sleeping bonfires--toasting the ardent wasps
to a crisp dozens of sometimes

mossy charm & ungrounded gestures
like so many of Attraction's ants
overloading Th'Worm, th'Fluke so fine, O

th'Future's glad gelding

--Arise! from your dreams,
from under Satan's mistletoe

to be The One (who, unlike
all the other nymphs who serve Her
from their knees) enthrones Her,

herself The Happening

owning the lovelier scepter,
punctuation's instruments
possessing the noblest Throne

When the quick pleasures of
(the readiest availability)
exhaust themselves
before your taste (or, yet before
ever reaching such measures):

Mine your unfathomable Ore!
though it be hid beneath unyielding Sea
paused in its very dashing
or the most disobliging heights
of lines & lines over the limit
discourage you         

             --In Duty 135
Ocean's shifting switch
lies the One Valid Virtue
(to be had) forever true

This was sometime a Paradox
but now the times give it proof
Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death...
136

If we but had th'world-sweet time
to rest & play on our guitar,

What needs would we with Word or Rhyme?
with Conquest? Fame? with War!?

moored in th'Mourning

Had we the time! the time to sing
(not Song but th'melody of human mood)
and stay under that interlude
grooming the whisper of its Wing

glances like equations, like wincing
lizards of Glamour or Agony's
angling gaze, otter thoughts,

otherwise Waves but refractions like claws

moved by Time's terrible touch
(all-uprooting Reason)
teetering on The Hysterical:

A velvet Chord137hangs letter-loose
like moldable metal clasped
by ligaments scarlet flower-petals
Amaranth,     
         

       ... I feel as if I'm
The Recluse of Beauty --And I burn
eyes too loose to look, thoughts too slack
with love for Eve-                      
ning:               
               

        ... There Life yearns! deeply
within the passions of our earthly urns

Purpose! (the slave to memory) 138

But, if I had the time (to touch
my lips up to the reeds Th'Wind
proposes, so undisciplined)

& wild! ... I would but make them blush
amongst The Dark's exceptional shadows,
by Vision's new-born stars

come out of the blackness, roughened real fine
would that I owned the time (enough not to have to admit
anything certain, definite)...

Possibility's ample patterns sketched into
Nothingness' nifty napkin (already
wormed-through with ominous breathing pores)

What needs would I with weary Word
(with those tried structures of Certainty)
however valid or absurd? (scratching

& scratching at the itching shadows of Night)

hideous in The Hither, couched sinisterly
in Caution's graceful curl:           

            Child of The Chase
that I am, Humanity less than some horsemanship
--Shall I sing you The Plow's plain Song?
... th'Power of Imagination's mule!

The Love, the Beauty and the Passion
plus The Dance's lesser damsels
play stupefying Strains of screams
all through the trysting Day
    

                "It might've been!
It might've been! It might've been! It
might've been!"        

--The mindless dreams! 139
Juan Gris's Landscape At Caret
Murmur's mutest mimes,
seconds with stings, in the bites
of the minutes: hours-devoured
in the incarnate Anarchy: Priests
to the point of goal-less arguments

against Frost the primordial
and Confusion's cool claws
armed with coats of the undaunted
--the grotesque sensuous pyres of our Passions

The Lie's true bowels in the Minute's noon,
The Dominant Minimum,
    

          ... the humble
human mysteries, the Lamb's goaty spigots
The stupid mists of Nature

           ... is unfurled.
And I wake up (Noon at its nuzzling): Soon hurled
to coffee & the paper Morning-World

Still, still the dew-mirages outside
(my window) march! innumerable armies
or: so many colonies of ants
which frost barmies (furbelowing them
with Woe)--                    

    Whereon the bizarre
Frozen Frenzy (of a dead tree
dancing & spinning) beckons me:

Relentlessly The Wound (that never heals)
involves me in the body (cold!)
of its unyielding hold

strangling The Contemplative Age
because it must forgive
Truth's rude assuming genitive
... I stroll by houses growing out of sight

listening to Dusk's serein 140 converse
with Wind's soft-floating words immersed

within the nadir of the scattering Universe

while, all the edges of Th'Gloaming shadow-light
doff off the larkspur's lush
of moonlight's tenderest touch

Yet oh, still Life confirms this life!
in its green niche

above this graveyard gaudy in grins
yet standing at a height of Mind
atop dreams like sublimest mountains
caught (in impotent contemplation)

too many breaks to rake

the too emblematic Everything
sporting over us its flood

sniffing Patience's perfumes

th'still clouds weaving
cares & concerns too craggy

(figures) forming
in Th'Dark, or

some formal, unseen grieving
under Mind's serenest arc

downed beneath leaf-dappled moonlight
while the plectrum's pluck is cleaving,

heaving, living, living, living,
living--
           

      All a fright
chokes in torture the delight

This quintessence of dust 141
the vain's brave brattice
provoked to a pivot

Patricians of the Gloaming
publishing to the Eve-
ning (coming): Red!
Pastoral! plebiscites (of
Luck? Chance? Love? Or, Great Incertitude?

... )        

to twilights forming
Decision's ghastly Gate

(choiring) fully: 142 A leaf falling
amidst th'churlish chuckles
(homing) defiantly, through wild weathers,
Truth's unnoticed Trance
through th'turbulence
foaming--      
     

        Whilst th'Plebs:
A Monday Morning! ( Wandering,
upholding the tree bark) about
th'beautifulest Eve-
ning's Lark,
    

            ... about
th'proposed Spontaneous,
battlefleets of The Fantastic,
Guilt's extorting horrors,
Intuition's glittering limbs

(like intensity-numbed waves)
the falling leaf adorning

all: What can they care? (or
of th'abnormality
of Fancy's tonality--when
there's pale Monday's actuality!)

O, HOC ILLIS NARRO
QUI ME NON INTELLIGUNT!!!!
143

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
a dreamless death...

I saw the shore's rough mermaids
at their rushed raptures
Process like a pistol
laughing, "The flesh is flabby!
but The Spirit's one S.O.B."

I strolled by tainted fountains
making us a gift of their well-packaged
pains, in th'damned's mad idioms:

van Gogh's Old Mill
art! in the studios of the tide

... When this mortality
this Love's inflexible, this
hawthorns-winged unmistable Autumn
honest to the hunch
(which owns no real preponderance)
places its insubstantial weights over
My Faith (that immortality
of foiled degree): No matter what
amount of Substance
sustenance sucks out of foreign things
(all liars' fine painted pronouncements)

its Solid Flesh must fade (to
Time's too swift irrelevance) & go

to its obscurity afresh (of moss
fatality) as on the bough of arrogant infinity
swinging to its undying breath

Time's silent ploughs
defiling with their so
half-unfeeling, half-
unfelt cold wings of too warm discomforts
all th'constancy of
      

          My Brow! (its
weightless Size engulfing me) then:
Ponderous Demise!
   

And, "Look through my eyes, O Life,
look through my eyes!" While, "Had you died
you would have dreamt a death enough
(to suit you)..."      
      

          ... Mind the womb
of our worries, the grave of Imagination!
wandering through       
    

        monotony like
a sacrament, driving like an assassin
unaware of life ... and th'noisy walk of
nowhere taking us to a glossy

gasp!                 

   ... Frenzied horses
straining at their all-resenting Ire

(Hell's hot Hosannahs, Because's
forgetfulness, Justice's tingling scales)
in untranslatable lusters--Victory's coffins

ride over the fields of ignorance
instruments of a divided wish

the self-trodden traveler
embalmed in a meadow of Mind

the calm yellow yonder
of Time like an eyelid foiled
by the open eye     

            --In hastes
too incomprehensible (for Hate)
Stay away! from--disown
The Impotent Specific

And no force can hope make his forward charge
desist or yield ! but, miscalled a madness
(Fury shaping oblivious curls
of wonderful Decay)
neither tree, stone, nor all the trumpets
of togetherness (all yet betrayed
by their true shadows)
can hope avoid

th'tides of your sad, overwhelming drag
(wiping out everything in

lightning Revolution) One Thing Alone
remaining past Death's dissolution:
Indestructible Illusion!
144
Time, boundless rider,

you visit Agony upon th'violets
of the passing Day: Your battering voice

th'tombstones fading upon the olive hill
(O a violet hour wretched & wracked

and wringed, wings smiting the Wind
with wanting to fly it) BUT like a bulwark

and the dungeon of Doubt

whose fragrance must at dusk
retain its memory outside the Universe's
'things'
so lately blown away with

Time's soft wings & sunbeams like

eternal sages & the ruthless toys
of Time the master mechanic--Madness!

And: Do we know sufficiently
(of those things of th'Soul

which ARE, and can't help at all
but being --when they should not)

O, almost like foretelling fangs
in the morning: the crimson laughter!

Heart like a frenzied fawn, biting the

Wind which whispers at the ear, wrecks
the whole world, waits at its heights

like Will: Hope is the bait of Fate.

And: Do the fulcrums on which
thoughts turn in th'carousels (hopeless)

of Wit, while we hang down scaffolds
of sincerity like icicles:         

           ... Hollow larks
bearing the weight of that World

in th'noisy anon (the oblivion-addicted flies
buzzing about) our cares and
sessions of apoplexy, O life
you brief eye of eternity!

wrecked on a pillow, wallowing
in the ointment of degrees

from Spring the doctor, and Time
the mason
of our lives

asking, "What, O what
do you do or a living fool?!"

--I fool myself.

Behold! (th'stoic complacency) 145

Uncertain steps taking us dancing
up, down & up ornamental reiterations
into bars, dives, places to forget previous places

--Leads this somewhere?... Look: The Morn
in russet mantle clad walks
o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill
146

"La hora de los mameyes!" 147 When
God created Atom (and we misspelled it

Adam) Purpose like wet sand,

heart like wet sand, Courage like
wet sand, and Moment the mason of Time

skip-jumping eternity so careless of its prints
smudging the surface of God

and--soldiers placing their lives
at the disposal of their superiors'
stupidity--            
                  

    ... shooting down the robins of
Th'Golden Mean (by the lips of haste) just

like so many timeless contingents
O, the daisies of decay bloom the brightest!

the brightest! And once more amongst the
common, ordinary aboriginals & other bores
[sic]

we listen in street-cafes' conversations
about the nature of The Future War

with an ear turned philosophical by
Dead Disbelief (or apathy) eternally
entrenched --as in the First World War--
dreaming of the second,

... seconds, seconds, seconds
cautious as the beads of Time tumbling
in the fingers of Meaning (that shopman
trafficking in names!)

We will again drop
th'unquiet, restless chemistry of Cool

& speak of Chimera (again) as: Paradise
in its rococo link with the more gentle times,

the genteel speeches (prattles
of leaves fallen) will we mock with tired
Autumn at stay,

Winter without delay
close following it, will we all so

softly, always, say, "Nothing basic can change,
however strange things grow around us," and while
we remain looking calmly upon th'Show (of

Time: its cadaverous play
& dominions too tattered, or just
candied kingdoms) striking us...

so savagely at our sensitive Imagination
shaped out of the rancor of the Dark
& small everafter flow of moments
too foolish,          
           

                 "Time is the one
solid reality" and melting, and crumbling

"All of th'other endless and corrupt"
frivolities endure but as fodder for
Tomorrow's famines
            

             & Memory 148
like a wall --yet laughing!
I see the imminent deaths of twenty
thousand men that for a fantasy
& a trick of Fame go to their graves
like beds, fight for a plot
whereon th'numbers cannot try the course
(cause) which is not tomb enough to
hide the slain!  
149                         

      Yet do we scream out
drunkenly (out of Hope): "A new Day!"

and, while the sartorial umbrage of th'city streets
each ordained Greed & business (suit) besmirches

(in mud &) on Purpose, trimmed with
an insensate apology--pejorative words
which say most Nothing, asking all
the self-employed Questions

flags 150 waving through their hair, promising us
Moon's made of green wherewithal & "Who wants to
go on painting pictures (when the world needs
mills)!"
151 Hungry by preference, stuffed full
of Pride &               
                   

      ... the people like a gravel
in an arrangement of leaps (burning! at length,
wide with ice,
                            

                  Summer th'superhighway
dissolving into the unspecified alternatives)

--Sometimes if we stop long enough
& have our noses scrubbed on the mud
we might reflect on it

down avocado avenues, through streets of
the multi-toned. Or, too late for crowns & palaces,
too late for the ageless blossoms on
the part-O-plenty
                      

       ... diasporas & scholarships
(hopes), demurrals of Rewards, too late for
diapers damask, fingers of the gentlest wax &
Innocence on th'cheek,
                

                     O, too late for
th'things which hurt (in candied pass-away)
& the toys of Gold.
                     

          ... Too late for the never-sailing
ships of our quandaries towards serendipity
& too late for the glimmers-eyed goblins
of myrtles, myrrh, figures languishing

in their empty words & th'knuckles of ruin

I busy myself with the discovery of
th'newly-painted Cuban parquetry
152 walls
around th'sunset (where there is no Sun) to set

O, too late: I get them brilliantly
confused
(stages of starving/raving
mad civilization gone makeshift):

"In union there's strength!" & all that rubbish
merely making the malic nectar

feeding the torch of facts in which I am
discovered to be--Myself, th'Sun of Now!

(to malign, O to no good
bent to the knees) to th'driest
unsympathetic Nature

looking for some more prominent minion
to place his crown on Her) ... but
"Get them
                     

  O Hell!" to th'dyed beauty of
some stinking Newer World (of stanched
streams all polluted) "Get them history!"
in the slender long bone of the leg
153 hopping

"Get them! O, ghosts!                    

                    (God following
crawling humanity) flowing in a strange Woodland
of thin trees like cynics blinded
by the light around them, "Get them together"

(for a change) in the lava of tragedy Goddamn!

like some mighty Humanity, elementary,
evening stars & morning balloons crossing
up! th'graduated eclipse-O-Midnight
sunless upon (ships sacrificial) all

the bloodships like too immortal a Lust
being blotted out (mockingly!)
by The Censor of Appleblossoms
for its trespass against Life's oblivion

adding fragrances to O only the most elegant
Death's pale skeletons, the Autumn's awakenings unto
its dumb smooth whiteness (the purity
of Absolute Absence) like howled harvests, or

dead-crushed Hercules & the thistledown,
stumble-weeds, Coliseum's too shattered
Hammer of --Sorrow of
       

              --The moonless
shadowlands of--
                    

The Guilt (like Fox's paws digging him his grave
in th'foolish attempt at freedom) beyond his skin

& "Hold Th'Amber Wound open to the eyes of Cain!" (It's

my Passions' highest hour) my couching
naked in my brazen blindness &
shouting & shouting that I do not hide

from the talons of a vulturous Deity
that stoops not to our low viewless tars
[sic]

of so dark self-pities, "Hold!" (for a trifling
moment) the demarcations--All! and, "See

how this doughty man, so lately downbeat
to th'Glory-goose-eyes of an as yet but
half-discernible glum Nature turns! and now's
boasting joyously of a life" broken &
measured to a cob-web grave struck dry
by th'breeze of changes into
a weariness without a breath

with all th'sweet faults of his
self-sufficiency, swinging in sounds!

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death...

Hold ready O that most majestic Proposition
(Malice) at Winter's winsome dull humor
he will sing:
                            

        "Hold! I was not born
but merely spent all my pre-life..." And

What a piece of work's a man: 154 "I am

a Wave! so my life must yet rise before
Soul finally ebbs --And, what am I?"

The Spring continuously written around the whole
of the Summer's parquetry Fruit & mayflower
quenched in th'elixir of Death-conquering

--Untenable roots reaching so gloriously
beneath all (just only to strangle it):
Fathomless respite of Death sweating the moment
as it makes Mortality 'bits' all at once

"Of more or less Light were my eyes fashioned &
in sympathy with the Night--My ears attuned
to Bach, Shakespeare & of more or less
th'first glamorous Gold, Shape, Sea, Rime,
Mountain, Tree, Genius, Madness, Th'Winter

Th'Spring am I (black-budded) like an April
melted to mud--too human & yet grassy-tressed
eyes that are the carnations on the skies
weeping with the other bluejays (to hear O

the eagles crying) as we all, robins, pigeons,
vultures and cranes ... fly up to
City Hall's steeple (thousands of us!)
perching with th'buzzards us all

th'troops of Time's perpetual Present
stamping out The Past like some onwards marching,

letting everybody witness their sinister tans
(everyone there fully disguised as eagles
& bluejays & )
                           

        saying, "Friend, walk even,
in complete serenity about this white-washed World
of emptiness snowy & a cotton-stuffed mouth,

by yourself, all on your own, so remote & desperate
you can almost hear O, the soul of wide waters
155

Tomorrow's immediate notions collating the centuries

wrinkling up the shore (uncomfortably all too close
to your feet vulnerable to th'quicksands)
sinking in the darkness," and yet you're
never quite able to tell just where firm land begins

and then the waters drowning the Soul (humid
with dreams of wholeness) & the dunes of the mellow
& churning charms of an yesteryear's
massive blows of oblivion,
   

         ... th'delicious crunch
of Cannot & the turmoil smoke stirring up
a midday calm out in th'middle of midnight,
of beautiful women like shells on the moving shore
lulling by their very lure like forgotten worlds

th'waters drowning themselves just
trying to reach th'edge
like million of Madness' leaping armadillos
swallowing up the unintrusive judgments

of statues trying to keep th'shape
of a universe that has stretched itself beyond being

figures with all their faults
Bronze statues in the parks are vanishing!

(Even these counterfeits of the human
flesh being despoiled for their spirit!)
in the City streets, forests & deserts

and monuments to The None
street makers of miracles selling the
busts of souls:         
            

      ... Come watch! my hatred &
even my love, winding without horizon!
grey in th'linearies of grey!            

                         ... Walk here!
along the plunging violence & rising confusion,
the weeping corridors (interminable!), and
false-bottomed sleeves much too slick to hold
anybody's even most careful self-balance, and yet

Content to discover that I understood

the Louvre's disorder (I made up the theory
that I understood) and O if all of Mind Momentary
only knew my devotion to Cymbal Beauty!

All the loud and the mighty are but tinsel
rings around th'toes of Saturn (to me

here, tonight) I am content!
tasting the phrase "El Prado" I sing
156
as youth only sings (in its sublimest
ignorance) learning all (the museums' dusty songs)
along with comrades happy as hogs

... the street politicos shouting
their infinite jests
157 along with th'other vendors'
winging it beyond th'wing
            

               ... & knowledge
like a dungeon unleashing those dark brutes
(the lies!) upon the mumbled morning
blistering the crystal expression of Th'Day
years old already with The Ominous

licking up the mind of the masses with
waters quiet & stilled: Damned mother Moods!

Cursed father Feelings! O wretched children
of a so ancient chance!
            

         ... & not charming but
being charmed by their own Premonition
(the solemn worm!) within their enthralling
Gloom! Despair like a tombstone!

I, looking upon them in quiet terror
that I should be confused with the snake
by showing them the sudden tongue of conscience,

like God Almighty, I abandon them to the devils
of their own dull delusions (despite all our
best laws we were still--forever--in the hands of
even our worst people
              

       ... & the greatest heroes of man
remain the most simple-minded, Saint Peter, Frances
Hercules, Samson, John Henry & the rest ... )

"O respectable citizens!
& cheapskates! & liars! & tramps!
vagabonds & merchants! & winos!
executives! wives! husbands! & all! (even poets):

Haven't we already seen all of these things before!?
Haven't we already heard all of these WORDS
being promised us (before,
        

                    ... somewhere in
the comfortless bleeding infinite, O Man! forever looking
for the washed-out Answer of any unwise mirror's
cracked memory) and O
                  

          ... You custodians (of our
uncherished plutocracy! and You communists!):
Haven't those same old dried lips already spat up
their seeds (rotten) of sweet old false dreams
before--a thousand times before!?

Haven't we already climbed a thousand victories
(before)? And all of it: only for the petty &
hollow show!?
                               

      O upon the countless corpses!
And, what of all those pussywillowed defeats
of the ants (our enemies)? Must we now
trouble ourselves once again (endlessly)
for this Worm's latest low triumph?"

--Well, now, the biggest fool, me lady,
is not (by far) The Flaw
          

                   ... Being one,
I mean a flaw, it is my most casual opinion
that The Greater Portion (of Perfection)
has much more blame to answer for
than even the biggest Flaw: Small she, dear
she, sweet she but proves
the character of the remaining Whole

& no government, & no Side can BE
unless it taxes you & me:

No nebulous lie can cover this
and no relentless mouth!

Suspense serves for a day: Tomorrow
if the too obvious a mask
hasn't revealed: God's true, authentic countenance
all of The Souls surely will find Him out

--Even lost souls who can't find themselves out,
even lost souls: They will yet find Him out!

--Even the atheists, who do not even seek Him out,
still will they find Him out!

And the pious souls, cowering at Th'Goal,
daring not reach! Even pious souls
yet'll go find Him out!

Yet will they all find Him out
Man, Woman, Angel, and Child

Yet will they find Him out!
Sage, Fool, Satan, and th'Unbeguiled

Yet will they find Him out!

Yet will they find Him out!

Yet will they find Him out!

(the lily & the Rose)

Yet will they find Him out!
Renoir's Alphonsine Fournaise
THE OBSOLETE TESTAMENT158

Grant me a deathless dream, O Lord,
Grant me a deathless dream...

Three cups of flour,
one cup of water,
and two packets of yeast.

And after Gabriel blows his crystal horn

and Zeal and Derision (in the sublimest
funeral pyres imaginable) are both
processioned down to the Boot Hill of
( Truth? )
                      

     O, a carbon somberness aflow!
then, on th'surface of things, will the lovers
of Puritanic selfishness, Scorn, Power, Injustice,
Arrogance & th'lust for the Un-things divine

(Will we all!) lay our Pride on the hard bed
of the correct proportion, wear our own names,

& cast out th'shackles of Sweet Vanity
(all self-fashioned) thusly & from turn to turn

metronomed by th'crisp rhythm of
th'hard-striking hammers in a John Henry's
hands--And strong hands for no other reason
then the unwariest Honesty
     

                 --We will be
no longer the arbitrary symbols of anything else
but even possibly The Heather Rootling! or
the unaroused seeds that are th'numerous promises
& ramparts guarding a, by now, long-abandoned
empty heart ...
                      

       And after Gabriel
blows his O, shattering horn

we will all greet (most probably) Saint Satan
all of us hanging all in rows like the dew

that morning when O the sonofabitch Gabriel blows
(us) crisp & cleanly off the unbroken string
of life's possibilities (as would the wind) and

damn if we won't go down to our graveyard
still chuckling portents, mutterings & modes

in a garment of dances, a confection of thoughts,
incantations of dawn, a compendium of cares,
gilded with all th'sunny toys we can find,

and still flirting with the flames
kindling human concerns, mudskippers
like monarchs wallowing in our dear state,
heroes dying for immortality,

... throwing our bodies
daringly upon th'fangs of Faith, collected
(like so many discards) by delays (the devils
of better judgment), watching th'winds
for wisdom, and for the ghosts in the shadows,
we will go to our graveyard with a grin
(wide as Sin) & for no better reason than
just having been...
            

     All surlily & solemn!
like the rote of the Sea Invisible

having discovered at last Th'Way (of The World)
who would say, "Morality is: that sexual behavior
which does not threaten--"
                

                      say our lawyers:
This Way! immorality because one or another
segment of society which hath a legitimate Right
to feel itself free from such a threat--

& th'concert of rumors passed
sad, sententiously, fervent
& inexorable & yet actually ashamed &
playing onwards the melodies of penitence &
so many vernal warnings & (curious, how

without that arbitrary view
the smallest mud-puddle grows too quickly into
a sea of mires)            
           

           ... Th'Sea like a panther!
growing from all glory & all deceit

barbarous in the mad drop after drop of
truth-monumental (made commonest) cradle

dispensing with all common truths
for Truth the commonest, drudgery,
soft memory!
                 

                Exhibit thou 159
th'overwhelming expanses of Blank
(emptiness now that so much tenor is tradition)

O, exhibit thou all of its manifestos waxworked
clays common & uncultivated

--Do exhibit thou all of the nuances
all of the most eloquent (peppermint
nugatory bases) everything is: The flabby
floors whereon a nude sole's liable to sink!
160

Exhibit thou everything to everyone
in its so sanguine way (all of its sanguinariness)

... Except, of course, for the private
discourses (of my own Shortcomings' Scrolls):

Exhibit thou All! ... I am not frightened
or ashamed by The Truth, and then

Grant me a deathless dream, O Lord,
Grant me a deathless dream...

and three cups of flour,
one cup of water, and
two packets of yeast.

Cassatt's Woman Reading In A Garden
THE LATEST TESTAMENT161

Going to every rustling whisper that is heard
I listen--It's silence!
                  

           ... Noon swimming on
its steeple of Zero as the bread's baked
( sprinkling of This, a touch of That )

the rapine's poignant, although its logic
spurns Stargazer's eye (rolling around Up There:
drinking measures of sunshine in the dead of Night

intertwining O his fleshless Pride
in th'satin granite of her greasy skin!)

God can barely bear to watch it! all-withered to
a look, "I know! I know!"     

      ... the ultimate smoke curl can
suffocate us even before we are able to reach th'door
that's marked
                       

"PUSH - TO EXIST" [sic]

              with such a hasty
scrawl, such a pathetic scribble, one is almost sure
it was some five-year-old has written it !!!
& maybe: only as a prank at that--but it doesn't matter:
This is the only available door
    

         (and the discords of  [sic]
a pestilential conflagration on the nostrils of Death!

too much on top of it) we stampede towards
The Only Door (through which it is our hope
to enter into things)
             

       ... the trouble is that
the house can no more bear the insults
& affronts to reason than can my dog
(canned god-food) even in a nation of honey
--where just whiskers of sculptured silken marble dust,

stopping to reconsider The Whether, or otherwise [sic]
suggesting "it might rain"               

                 ... maybe suggesting
that the absolute autonomy of The Church of Rats
162
is somehow ameliorable to reconsideration
and revisionism!... or maybe subject to
the rules of reason!... O God!... is SIN!

Do you hear!? ... All change is Sin!
Stagnation is a blessing! (in disguise) and

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death...

"Kneel, sinner!" to The Great Rat
after Whom we must pattern our where-it's-at
"Proletariat & plutocrat..." and other thoughts
too low for leveling
                        

       ... I ran wide-eyed & in terror
from those born from negation & destined for want
the masses of undistinguished and ever-kneading classes
calling themselves What-Not! and guided by The Grave!
fishing for surprises! through the surroundings
spiked with incomprehensible points

th'ballooning fools! distilled into a counterfeit,
failure keeping like an algae in its stagnant pools

& a crack of Silence in everything heard like Eve-
ning th'soul of the whole world, O Grant me
a dreamless death, O grant me...

I took up newspaper-perusing as my religion:

1 from column A "What we need in this country is
a ten-dollar whichdoctor that works..."
[sic]

1 from column B "You think Deja Vu exists?
... I've never met him..." and, finally,

1 from column C "The Parasol Gate was left open"
... and the hunters are mingling with the prey!

Turner's Snowstorm
& th'dissolving marble Rules under the acid storms
of pollution & all of the wisdom of walls
between the clever & the innocents are
breached! "We're being brought together!"
sing the exuberant crowds in the jumble
of th'street (because they do not know
what is coming together)

"A change IS: for
what we do not know..."

I'm such a coward!
I do not have the courage to join them:
I live only for my words, and Courage's
such an empty word ... No one really has ever
had th'guts to refuse doing that
which he is convinced he must do.

O the right thing to do is that you should do it.

Doubts sap th'courage from even the bravest man
and I've always had my doubts...

"I yield to no one!" cried out the sloven lover
of universals when he beheld his Eve

in th'bibled whirl, quickly converted
to the truth by volitions of beauty

that drained the darkness from the untainted everywhere

and leaving a sunburnt worthiness
in the unwritten laughters of her lustrous pale

duly divine! Nerves like flames asking myself: Do you have
(the resiliency) to settle down?... O thou lad of
the world! among the reverberating verbs unwinding

into the most unrepressed hues
multiplied a Oneness!

Bombs-bundled: We turned upon th'wild execrable excesses
of the mob (Panic's prudent partners) & th'mystic purges

(to purify our outlook --uncomfortable outlook
of th'unprejudiced--much too much at ease
with itself), and
                         

      ... "I yield to nothing!" but
maybe the Precedent, or perhaps (who knows)
to the designs of Providence (if it suits me)

--My many doubts are falls into the unfellowed works
which my soul fails to grasp for & work for

like the other apostles of The Cornerstone
who are sacrificing themselves, they tell me,

to drop heavily upon the wrangling World
(they call me The Pulley Hole) I don't mind it:

It's, to me, like th'whistling winds harping
upon every branch, truths like titles
& titles like truths, awash in th'random

(the holler of The Whole-
the hush of Nothing At All)...

the age like some monstrous parenthesis...

the skyline like a platitude...
I keep telling myself to "Change!"

consoling myself (from the failure) with th'fact
that rarely do I yield to O anything (but
'the beauty of it all' Unquestionable

& unquestionable only because I do not yet know
O, what questions to begin with, after all).

The others are but praying mantises of straw.

Their most illustrious germ
only a chromium worm. Maggots
of delicate feelings!
          

           ... trying to topple
th'temples of Fashion--too impatient even to
allow them any of their own-made ends!
163

Heavens! their action surprised me!

O Grant me a dreamless death, Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death...

Velazquez's Los Borrachos
PLACARD:

From each according to
What he thinks he can spare!

To each according to
What he thinks he deserves!

(Opium for Th'Masses!)

MANIFESTO

Of The Quintilis Revolution

"We, the beings of unintelligible Love,
companions like supporting arguments,
lurking in th'small & waiting but to accept
(our victims' posthumous Thanks)

so willing to show everybody
our wooly warts
--hovering in Th'Odd-essay
of an arrogant, appropriate
(churchyard!) rich with unattached souls

& Immortal Virtue, naturally, along with
all th'other nuts obeying only the
chipmunk wishes of the multitude, and completely

unaware that the rabble is a monstrous tail,
winks like plots & an Intellect like an understanding,
poised upon th'plop of Time, O the purpled
powdery Power of our convictions a compelling Pause

EPITAPH For The Future

Hailed be! Hailed be! O Mind Inquisitive!
You True Perpetual Youth!
attending many a funeral scented sweet almonds

We th'welcomers of the well-mannered lines to death
with uncalled-for salutations              

                        ... We! ... the
withdrawing, sunken creatures of the dry rain,

Death, bella donna, Look you upon The Prolonged Chaos
of our endless lives & marvel! upon
th'dingy fog clouding up our insensitive eyes

which we always take for a tangle of drowsy gulls
disintegrating through delicious distance

(and least of all) upon Our Most Cherished Philosophy 164 [sic]

that                        

SOMETHING IS ALL !  165

And you too, dead children of the future,
who will eventually realize (just as we've already done

too late--considering it from your point of view)
that we must have Passivity at any price!
(that most untranslatable Nevertheless)

Be bullied & be outraged --If you have to be killed
die then! (But DO NOT KILL yourselves):

Harm nobody! Do not harm any one! Not ANY ONE:
Look all around you--There's nobody but yourselves!

Be good to yourselves, help yourselves, hold yourselves
precious in your own eyes (You are all there is

--All you will see now in the future
even as we found out now in the past
now impenetrable) and

"Forgive yourself!"
el Greco's Christ Carrying The Cross
PAUSE

Take five --THEN Christ says, "God! My God!
Forgive them (for they know not what they do)."
166

... now, this is the part where the protagonist
suddenly feels th'astonishing touch of a Truth
untarnished in th'dappled

& to the applauding pinks
of his faithful but not-understanding Eve-
ning, delivers his great soliloquy
to the darkness:
                    

        ... "Death! Bella Donna!
O sweet death (whatever pseudonyms you choose to take)"

--And, what of it? (if Imagination's but
some fairy's dust! Heavens, in retrospection
there's nothing at all! I mean, what can there be

when there remains nothing at all except) Why's
echoes endlessly, softly repeated
lip unto lip (to register but

th'most love-elemental) kiss
No! I quit--You can do what you like, but

I want to spend some time away from the lake of lives
locked into thousands, & all those promises
stuffed-full of waltz! I don't care what you tell me!

it is not to my taste: I trust the alternatives
not to the straight
                 

      ... O Lord, grant me
a dreamless death, grant me a dreamless death!

Seurat's Entrance To The Port of Honfleur
SABBATICAL

Lying in Th'Senses all day
beat to my knees of passions

I am Care's comely coward,
Fun's lucky fly

obviously caught in Caring's incurable
impertinence & my teacher was a stick:

I am a fellow full of room
who lives in a mansion of smiles

even if under Change's convulsing branches:
moored amongst moving images, hemmed in
by th'half-blind:
 I saw the little park tramp waver

& with a sweep of his hand (slip
of his mind) waiver away his rights
to a shade under the afternoon's hot Sun

--I asked of Strange Love (lying beside me
--Domestic Tranquility's great scars--
uncomfortable with having to share my life):

Should I, amidst the drifting collapse
& th'disappearing chords of Certainty

(relevance), should I share with such as he
O my cool morning? (th'haggard orgasm)

(Drifts of Death over th'living shore)

But th'Dawn stood still in my perfect possession
& the tramp suffered the burning Sun

& th'unforgiving Noon always searing
over his very soul!

... while to all the pomp & accent
of the noon once again I sang loudly of my luck

to find myself in the butterflies patch with th'starling
life's laughing & unruffled darling

never longing for the O so mortal palaces
of quicksilver stands
          

                 --Yet I saw
th'very magnates of my hard cool
kick th'shit out of that defenseless tramp!

They stompt him good! They rubbed him out
into th'insidious dust! (in the interval)

While I, by th'consensus of all instruments,
so full of life! (my own) I

winked!! And, poet that I am, flared out
my artist's brush & with a sweep of my mind
(more slip of my hand)
                  

     ... brought out the bleached bones
of the Once & Again (tramp) fully into my lawn

(my humanity aplenty & full of thick sores
& heat-struck) then went quietly ahead and
(ever so skillfully) ornamented to th'day
making it inescapably conspicuous

some faint & aesthetically morbid dimness
I called "Life!" (glowing loudly)

(thistles of memories spoiling my park)
& beside th'conduct of liars & murderers
Justice-gutted judges
(my friends in power) out of their own

sadness-incomprehensible, despair (solitude, maybe,
because by this time there had been all the purges)

bored from their skulls, my friends
stood by my door whispering threats on my life

(because I wouldn't approve them! ... "Who am I!?"

I defended myself: "Who am I? that you need
my sanction!?"), and, since I could not extend to them
my bastard blessing,
                         

             the neighbors, th'fine folks
(that Madness making martyrs out of volunteers)
burned the body of my helpless puppy and

in a loud public orgy of unheard-of delight
(Mind's Lessness everywhere-swerving herds of Panic)
they again tried to enlist me in their campaign (against
Chaos & Cruelty) somewhere across th'seas, of course

&, naturally, I found enlightenment in the lightnings
of their gritted minds, blurting my benedictions

of bitterness upon their lawns of steel (just
like the bouncing thunder).
       
Raphael's St. George Fighting The Dragon
   How they applauded me!
(the cats of all-licking Obliteration)

I was their hero again! (& to obviate all the previous
misunderstandings & strengthen their roles as friends

they even came to weep at my ordered departure

(Liberty's illimitable little) out of the solid-frozen
harbor from which they shipped me off on an ocean like
the sweat of Malice, laughing their heads off

when I turned my head to go aboard
followed by Laughter's lightings

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death...

Signac's Port St. Tropez
Row-boating th'low bottoms: I visited a famous man
(who was well-known for being satisfied) &
asked him what was The Secret of Life!:

"--To find The Most (you can manage to find)
in Th'Least (of all) ... is also
the very essence (of human Wisdom)...

You know--My greatest pleasure, happiness & self-justification
is telling as many folks as I can what is The Secret of Life..."

Things to the thimble --Obviously I was just wasting time.

Disrepute's invisible piranha:
In the ambulatory Ways I made my way

wandering all over Th'Same (World) like a tragedy
down loneliness' morbid lanes
looking for Perhaps, or Something to be found

(even A Return to something)      
                                              ... like
the unaccomplished bridegroom in the nucleus null
amidst th'tempests that tango
around Analysis' Dance

my flesh wearing its shredded spirit
a curdled harmony
only too glad it's concealed & strapping
the Immediate's past-due demands

that tattler (Th'Interpreter Heart) into
a bloodied gratefulness --merely to be alive!

New-born, at the desert's better baptism,
doom-decked, my beauty with a false beard
I landed, O yes, I managed to stage a come-back

--drunk with a myriad seasons of my life
levelled-foot over th'shameful platforms of Fame
yet straddling th'vine & an emptiness-stricken Pride
for my baggage:
                        

      ... in The Pervading Impasse
of a Revolution throwing up all over its
toothless tongue: Them the stampede

A crowd of curious onlookers
discussers of peaks & margins

the anointed preservers of their cherished stench

the shaken float to be tolerated

the empty-handed duds, the nudging annihilation,

the carnal roar, the dynasty of sash, the trampled whom, [sic]

the harrowed Death                       

                     --They, actually,
welcomed me back! ho! And maybe they had been
thinking I had given them my back (in an act of
civic charity!) But,
                     

       ... how they found out
I was coming... looking at me like some sort of freak!

So I showed them all the wild gooses I'd captured
(during all my travelings) & they cheered me on!

madly! & laughing! And, taking me up on their shoulders
of shadows: They carried me! high over their limbs of sighs!

like some nonentity Deity, laughing & cheering,
through th'least streets they could find
Hate at its usual haunts
(still afraid, in their starving, of The Sun
like a grain of life) cheering & laughing

although, for their own odd good reasons, I imagine,
they all wore a morbid Blackness
like death robes, & lit The Way (of my coming
to light) with uplifted candles
  

      ... that showed no dance
enlightening, enlightening so vividly & so bright
till the Sun set on their self-mute sight
an everlasting appetite of grant me! & Grant me! &

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord, Grant me
a dreamless death ...

But I was MADE, baby: Th'Rex Icon(oclast) of
our small little World-Ward, fed royal jelly

& put up against the Hard Rocks that The Opposition threw
at us (for I was more sympathetic to their Revolution then,

you know: calluses of Skull & Bones & baked enamels
or synthetic!)
                           

WHEN, without the least possible warning
in the world, someone somewhere pulled out Th'Rug,

baby, I mean: right out from under our asses...

blind little Mrs Lumus down the street, O
th'sweetest darling, finked to th'cops
or something & in such a cloud of dirt-
dreadful documents, & other incriminating pouncers

for tea: Down swung Th'Gilded
Hammer of Righteousness!

over our heads (in all kinds of unwelcomed combinations
of honesty & police-cooperations! from O

Who would've believe't possible! (they were so firm!
so dedicated to Th'Cause!) really & truly:

letters once tongue-tied, Disaster's stray texts

th'most surprising sources (those who
weren't thrown out the windows sold dirt-
cheap) &
                       

     ... th'guillotines were sharpened!
Th'crowds, cheering & laughing, called for my head!

--I knew I'd head it then, but wasn't about top [pun]
just hand it over, prepared as I was by
The Good Party Leaders who were saved by dancing
and singing the most wonderful warblings
(for vultures, not starlings) all pointing to me!
Th'Law at its lawyers, I sleeping in Jail's cold jaws
or taking a shower in sliding alibis

And there's such unsuspected beauty in th'world
--pinned down by all-powerful Allegation--
on the brink of death! one formulates a whole new
frame of mind (always around some marvelous remorse)

... that every good one sees in this life
is but a tease of Hell... only a trifle echoing through Time
like mottled Fate!... sometimes the blasphemy...

The unnoble Else & Certainty with a zipper
(because even Certainty is human after all)

after the syllables like concussions: The
Hush! the most eloquent... the mortal blow!

& starlight like Imagination!... the longings' gush!
Delight's inevitable Guilt

WHEN: somebody somewhere invented a new toy or a game
of novelty or a spanking new dance-step

and it drew attention from th'condemned clown

so I was forgotten & dumped to th'streets

without a word of pardon       

       ... not spared, not saved
at the final instant, not freed but forgotten, just-
ly overlooked & Poetry my only comfort, my only
friend & shelter & sponsor

ENVOI

To tumbled trees & forest fires
or fiddling granite statues in the chorus of the midnight moonless
moving to Nevertheless for blindness I walked

alone but for the maid of Madness (a smile)
in th'hoarse merriment of the ornamental

reiterations into bars, dives, places to forget
previous places,                 

             I walked to the growling
of the dusk-jabbing tigress, glut of regrets,
jowls of pretending, the razor-billed birds my stars

I roamed under the cataclysmic magics
of th'midnight wan: Experience like a masquerade

& my knees wabbling with the firmament
unpredictable as buds rocking the imagination
with possibilities in th'sensual Gutter
like a pussy to another more imbued
I vowed th'hussy Darkness like a cat

& softly answered by the World's cussing
steelpikes lobbed down upon me (passing,

I am always passing) from the skyscraper Malice
came th'call of the sweet smell
that all-dissociating sinister
like, "What this place needs is
a Conqueror Worm!"
167

... tinkling Champagne glasses
far up & away O while How with over-stuffed full-of-it
my susceptibilities pained sullen and artless!

One last time I examined my hunger for the happiest
dispassions, and found it in want.

In th'recesses of response I called with a great
convincing impassivity (all to myself) yet
careful to be overheard:
               

         "O you loco(motive) People!
Aristocrats of The Cool come to The Cruel
O thou unanswerable snails!

Do you feel yourselves (in the tracks of
labors neverending) the back-hedged Food Basket
--molding Th'Grime into The Human--
& whipping boy of The World!?..." sounding more & more
like the other street politicians but with a louder voice:

"And are you now The Argument of Despair?
Frustrated?"                  

     ... I went to my house for a change
(of suits), a clean shave, lessons in eloquence,
in elegance, new boots,
                   

             married a famous whore,

published religious penitence, moral conscience,

displayed most envious Intolerance, Vigilance, and

the correct utterance, temperance, arrogance

(and above all, Ignorance), violence, indifference,

foolhardy confidence, incompetence, omnipotent

Experience! or worse & other papers of reference

forged from my sweat

BALLADE

& How many saints in all 168
are all that pure? where
there is nothing either good or bad but
thinking makes it so...
169

THE DEDICATION

O then Proclaims! the Gong of Auction:
My sympathies for Any Untried World

(or, Any Old Convicted One)

& The Sinister Minister assumes a pleasing shape 170
right out of Malice! Play on! Play on!
We shall build many temples to The Malicious!

"I herewith proclaim the purpose of my craft
to be the building of mills, distrust of art!"

The Opposition objects: "Might is NOT Right!"
--It isn't!?... Then I say: Let us abolish all th'cops!

Somebody holds up a gas station: Instead of a cop
send out a counselor to try to convince the gunman
he's in the wrong ... "What'd he ever do to you?" etc.

RESULTS:

Wild cheering & cheering, but from here on out

no sharing--That's the first rule of Order.


THE GREAT SPEECH TO THE POPULUS

Rejoice!
You are NOT guilty!
Rejoice!

You are Good!
You are innocent!

Crimes! Corruption! Drugs!
& all Evils among you

are being imposed upon you
from abroad!

You have nothing to be ashamed of!

HELL WITH A WHITE HAT

--After all, all politicians come to Power
via some greater or lesser lie,
louder or more insidious...

Why should I be the exception?

MANIFESTO

Of The Sextilis Revolution:

"We the people of detectable means
(smiles beyond all countenance)

in order to preserve (for ourselves): whatever there may be
or might be Do Herewith Agree (O such silly idealism!) that:

th'skeptical materialism of th'hollow Opposition's SIN!! it's
dull insanity (or so it sounds to us The Sane) and

will dig our graves! nought else--Now might I do it pat! 171

And while we spoke about Progress in th'pistons of our Will
to the progenies of combustibility seething & licking

it all up: we watched from a distance as our Opposition
was overthrown from their shivering pillars of
frozen ability by The People's heated blows

and perishing like the rats the people proved them to be
finally (as final's the people's judgment in all this
as in all):
                                  

Who can stand up against the people?
Bosch's Temptation of St. Anthony (detail, central panel)
THE ADMINISTRATION:

--I don't know: We rounded up as many rats
as we could catch, We the people, yes, the people!

Th'people are born again! WE THE PEOPLE 172
used according to our deserts,
173 WE

swam in th'buoyant action of the general drift
& reached Quite Far, you know, always being careful to be

the most obvious proponents of ALL THAT THERE IS already

ASIDE: "Lambs are the least likely to be tested for fangs
so just keep your mouths shut & don't O, defend yourselves!

Passivity at any price! You are The People, 174
let 'them' all rave & rant & be intolerant:
You are the Master of that slave"

       ... The People!
... And thus it came to pass (The Crusade) that
Fate saith unto Our Opposition: "This, kids,'s The End!"

And their previously opened mouths drowned out
into mourning & groaning meditation & moving about
in the concentration & recreation parks

like leaves falling ( homing ) defiantly
through wild whethers (foaming) where they served out
[sic]
their retirements &
               

   ... HOW their now deplorable
studying the terrifying death-throes

of th'tiniest butterfly's
once-raised Wings like Icarus so close to The Supreme (&
you can sniker) now it burnt'em to the ground while
the time's out of joint --O cursed spite!
that ever I was born to set it right!
175

Grant me a dreamless death, O Lord,
Grant me a dreamless death!

THE INAUGURATION

About the terraces of the white-gowned ladies
& plucking good-wishers & three-hundred-pound leeches
and assorted bitches & jumbled-up morning flowers (plastered

at Night) in the darknesses' mirage of Substance
changing into a different charge & unbuckled resources

of The Latest Saviour's flashlight illuminations
creeping up th'nailed-down mouth of The Deepest Well
sighing a spell of Selfsame like a proclamation

World without purpose's not world without aim!
World without reason's not world without sense!

(wise as are Zeal & Derision, or Pure Ability
of th'successful Hunter of Things) Glory!

Groan at its organ:Glory! is th'humor of the masses
in their Euclidean resignation & well-wiped asses
th'motley tyrants crusading against th'other clowns &
indissolvable, immemorial hallucinations

Glory! to their piles of well-axed matter-of-fact!

meandering swallows sleeping in their flooded dreams
like Love the infinitesimal human whims

we threw a ball to the inventor of The Concept of The Rug
(to be pulled out from under a man)

& then we threw another ball
to the developer of The Much More Efficient Backstroke
with which to sweep it all under The Rug,

      ... the time passing
while we passed the time (having a gassss
at You-know-who's (the catcher's) expense --Yes,
that same ole stupid Ass!) & that jazz (that jazz!...)

Sisley's The Seine At Bougival In Winter
THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC176

Surrounded by Th'Must's stiff skeletons
& all the other mute minions, snivelling giants
of The Bureaucracy,               

       ... pills past all lips, bruised
to harmless brutes, puzzled to prunes, filled
to The Full's formidable abdomen

between disguises, twilight, empty mirrors, inquisitions,
impudent facts & shocking theories (of th'crossed-eyed)

the once-fractured bones of The Condition/Solution mend!
senses of the flowering judas in the full bloom of

talks, endless talks & flashes of propaganda
from the veranda The Stage! & other spinning spiders

& acrobats walking the thin cobra threads
in th'power of gyroscope Balance of power & No Hope

All of Us! passengers of One insurmountable & vast Collapse

extemporizing painfully original improvisations & why not?
on the off-key brilliance which sounds so harmoniously Success!

because it's madness, Th'Light handsome as Darkness
sudden as stark, not unlike the burnished black Cleavage
so savage, which enacts unsubtlest Shock upon
our taking stock:
                               

       ... Autumn upon the hills still & quiet
dropping lake petals like shrapnel metals from Th'Summer's
unsuspectingly lofty-poised heights:
          

                    ... Twisted Agony & Light!
Th'purpose of Music's to drown out the moment, you fool! and
Powder compensating for the mortal Dust ... Sir, the
Compendium is already a ballistically proven Empty Shell
killing eternity like Time with the very marvelous Bang
of a much-debating Committee's sudden surprising consensus

& OUT OF THE BLUE: a blur pantomime quirky in miles of the lava

I am soft-poisoned, my Love's full of owls
Sense's but a spill & Nature but a stain!
177

miles of minor entrepreneurs' "Come All!" hyacinths
come in your basic mother-of-pearl
             

                       ... Curl & of what use
are all those pizzicati canons pointed at public pianos
making that noise of Nowhere against th'shouting of

those fools down there half-mugged, half-sinking
into the stinking baffled consequences of their apparent Day
where confidence's the helium holding us up in our clouds
empty & unbowed for all our unbearable weight

th'trembling roses that make up the carpet that we plow
lies like the fiercest quiver of an unending desert
rolling the centuries off its back for lack
like sand dunes a Rug
          

     janked into O a prestissimo Huge
Wave from one end to the next end and the next end
without end, while the curls of Samson (I think)
all around splendorous in ransom (maybe

of Sin) like the ripe fruits of th'humble who merely do
& never insult the gods by making

O, the unclean hands! of a Harlequin: combined
to fashion a rope to save Mankind
hanging from the ungodly thread, threat

of God, th'Apprentice of witchery, Man
beyond the mere sweep of his broom, permits

the overhanging Gulp, the propounding rudeness of his heroic
holding up humorous mirrors up to Nature
178 while attempting

to contact the Shadow of The Unwritten Pact between
Heaven & Hell: principiums of human freedom, of
 [sic]
living-with-self-respect

... with The Principles of Nature
& the rest, th'downtrodden Human Body
wasted by The Mind, treading the back
of the soul: Ah, Soul is back! although

I'm crying, "Bend down, you Soul, your back
so that Nature can climb all over you!"

... there is always some curious compromise of promises
we can agree to as long as We ain't gett'n Nowhere,

Lawd, this ain't gett'n us Nothing! and,

"Who's right? Who's right!?"

We will have no more marriages! 179
about the only bit of Decisiveness still left me
--O how they laughed!
                    

                 ... Who is right?
What's right!? Conscience does make cowards
of us all
...
180 and I just didn't have th'belly for it,

after all, WHAT'S RIGHT'S WHO'S RIGHT:

And yet, who IS right? --The propaedeutics of drunks
solved that problem long ago, baby, by

Whosever is Th'Bottle, and I

just didn't have it any more ... so, Grant me
a dreamless death, O Lord, Grant me a dreamless death!

THE TRUE REPUBLIC AT LAST DEMOCRATIC

Glory! Still do The Byways dangle.
--Patience putting on weight--
Still does the Dirt-pocket stand all th'poisoning spells
--an ear out always for Salvation's nightingales--
of persons, stands Th'Voice (telling the man drowning

still Th'Sea ought to rise higher & higher) & boasting
about The Great Abundance of the bitter drink

while we are all not-all-that-sweetly drunk
with Waiting to be individual kings!

                     ... the Pen
still installs its Testament of apparently Eternal rest

like a Constitution upon the paper of slight reminiscences
--all Matter's mutual Oneness--
with Great Lament (most of the signers
are former minions) expressed, still

Aeons die, worlds fade, whole oceans dry
& Dissonance takes over th'continuing parade
of Circumstance ...
                      

      And still, if not on a paper
stay The Undead Grievings ( of th'Pen ) ready

at the least provocation from The Right or Left to display
The Will again... crisis upon crisis struggling
against my longings ever to be left alone
and those neutralizings--Again I answered my nation's knead
baking th'bread that the new mobs need

THE SEPTILIS COUP

Again: I am The Office & the Officer of Right, of
Justice!... I am the throngs!
       

                        ... reflecting on
the frame of the oblique & perpendiculars:
Saber's sharp Sense!
I am th'furnace of an (unspecified) Silent
but quite militant Majority!...

I am The Terrible Tinder (in World's
burning brain)! I am th'dappled Samson's
curls that cannot be cut away again!

I am the composer of Mankind's
humanity's swan-song

Injustice, yea, & the author
of The Current Revolution demanding another turn

through the vomits (and I don't care who
tells me to get off, baby, for I'm taking
another turn! )
                             

       ... I am ( already? ) acquiring
the once harmonious heart, again, the one I wore

Once & Again (remember him, like some innocent in the park

taking a break from th'Sun) when too young
for Th'Politick & not yet impervious to
the Winter's rain (that chokes a harbor):

I am the king of The Hour! ( who has
more sympathy for the slaves than for those who hold power

like ghosts in graves, the aristocracy that upholds me)

I am... sorry, now, sorry, you faithful minions who
elected me your Shield against The Too-New
but to crash on my old opinions:

      ... I am, more & more,
failing to take into consideration, or
falling in love with Parity (the despised)

nor taking the trouble of (still) staying immune,
keeping the skin thick, and it touches me:

O what a rogue & peasant slave am I! 181

"Woe! to The Selfish!       

Woe to The Greedy and to The Immodest!

Woe to The Exalted and The Superior!

Woe to The Self-conceited and The Vain!

[Gentlemen, we have called this
confidential meeting... ]

Woe to The Overbearing, The Egotistical, The Proud!

Woe to The Aristocratic and The Haughty,
The Imperious, Dictatorial, Insolent Lords!

Woe to The Vainglorious, The Notable,
The Powerful & The Wealthy!

[... to discuss the competence
of our superiors... ]

Woe to them a million times!

for Power and Wealth are One & The Same
and both are nothing other than
the iniquitous accumulation of All Our Common
Riches and Means (into th'hands of
The Opportunistic Few)
       

   ... Before The Laws of Everyman
there are no privileges & no individual rights:

for ALL OF US ARE MAN!

No one came before & no One came after everybody else:

We are all Man! One! Singular! Indivisible!

Inseparable & unqualified ...

[This he told the newspapers: "... that
drug pushers don't exist!... that it is the drug users
who create their suppliers & not the other way around!"

... he said: "Drug supplies only exist
in the minds of the drug users!..."

If he goes on like that
he's going to send us into the Dark Ages
of Politics--Egad!
People might even stop feeling good!!
Catastrophe!
]

Gods, how they hate me &
How I love them!"

       ... Grant me a dream-
less death, O Lord, Grant me a dreamless death

then, at last, that insidious, noiseless
tinkling of Death's (tiniest) butterfly ...

el Greco's El Espolio
THE SOLILOQUY

I live the illusion.
Poised on mortal dissolution
Shaken by all meaningless commotions:

Go through th'motions

From dream to dream I wake
From null Idea, emotion,

Waiting with human devotion,
Confined by to do & make
182

& could escape, but live

Although I die by diminution
Reaching no certain conclusion
But further disbelief!

Grieving blindly behind my smile
To see, to know Life's execution
But postpones Death's kind solution
That much longer a while

I live, O the Illusion!

Or is't "I die?" My living portion
Describing existence's sublimest notion:

Echoing, hollow Evolution
Down being's empty hall--

Where no Reward but prosecution,
Justice only Retribution:

No purpose at all.


THE OCTILIS COUP

Obviously, the man's senile! (Dogs will still bark
at a man, regardless of his stature) See: Revelation 16:3-7

And it's harder to demand fairness & justice from oneself
than from anyone else.
          

       MEMO: A man who'll
do Anything (to win you over to his side)
will do anything (don't trust political nurses)

... What did he say? (An armless orchestra-
conductor must use his head).

        ... Perfection is infinite
thus unapproachable (yet will they find it out
... the Rose, the lilies...) and God-knows!

Definition is the essence of intelligent life!

and Time is th'greatest artist (it takes time
to realize your work could have been done

a hell of a lot better, pal, and it takes time
to work out a way of actually doing it) but

Impending temples of sheer rock suspending over me--
by the appeal to Madness!            

            ... Although, instinctively
my bones were always awaiting the Blood-letting
& hoping, mercifully, after I am
dead... by Somebody who, they tell me, now is

demanding his own turn: now! NOW! Right now!!

& calling for The Good Ole Days
(Don't they recall? Fools all!)

But, before I could do anything about it
the necromancers of Congress & the barbers of

Public Affairs men were putt'n th'final
'touches' upon their motley costumes & filled th'multitudes

with Air ! (it was so beautiful

those never-sailing ships of quandaries towards
parquetry boundlessness, th'knuckles of ruin,

to the dyed beauty of some stinking Newer World,

hopping on that long bone of the leg
in the lava of tragedy Goddamn! some

more elementary minion trying to crown Her

balloons like an endless rainbow crossing sunless
at the command of Th'Censor of Appleblossoms

now becometh The Emperor of Life!) weeping

at my necessary albeit regrettable departure with words
that fell upon the pavement like blobs & then

flew off like birds! ... I cried, that this too, too solid
(flesh) would melt
!
183 again into Youth

and I could have felt then what then I felt...

RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLICTHATneverWAS

Although you have defeated me, Fate
the Exit,
you cannot ever take My Victory away:

waiting to blow out Silence's final star

It is too late for it (too late
for palaces & paper crowns, too late),

too late, let me see--What was I? Ah, yes:
I was Th'President of Candy Land! and

Hecuba, my wife, was th'longest-ruling First Lady [sic]

before that last little collapse (of
the moral economy) & we had a ball!

Now I remember't, watching from the glittering terraces
while (the least frightened of) our people danced!

O limed soul, that struggling to be free
are more engaged
!
184 and, We the people, yes, the people! 185

ate cake, pancake, going every Sunday to
The Hole Church of Rats (albeit
prohibited from so doing by th'bylaws & regulations &
rules & revisions of

... that Reason which we called
The Law) ... Maybe if we hadn't been such hypocrites!

Back to Square One. Maybe it were better
my mother had not borne me,
186 and maybe
senectus ipsa morbus est,
187 after all,

All is Maybe!


EPILOGUE (Fade In)

... All that can swallow me now (the so prejudiced pages
of memory) have swallowed me, whole like Jonah by his whale

(after all, this is my tale) and yet: Imperceptibly!
The Midnight passed (and all that seemed about to burst

down The Enclave of this human society like th'end of the world
melted away like was!) ... even The New has melted like th'dew

and I am again called by the names of dignity I knew
when I could compel them t-              

                  --I hear upon the dawn
how, "Priam was a good king, all things considered..." and

I am again at peace with th'touch of flowers
against the eternal sky: The Inevitable Curtain!

I can again concede that "lovely is th'Rose" (though cold
& going so fast, improbable & so unconcerned &
forsaking th'sentiments of an old man who is
(still) The Reluctant Guest of The Brief of Day
unending & half lost in the skirts of
thousands & thousands of Roses which have left
me behind... overgrown with sighs):

Nobody but th'muffled rain & rages
of wind-nibbling cherry boughs
dialogues with an old man!

Flesh the forgetfulness;

    ... and farewells
themselves the Solitude
are the wedge of the Will
(anticlinoriumic) the rest is silence
188
so, farewell!                    
                 ... to The Spark
I thought was Infinity's! Ohne mich, ohne mich
Jeden tag dir zu bang ... Mit mir, mit mir,
Keine Nacht dir zu lang...
189 my Soul's
final phoenix
sang gilded with th'approach of God

th'fall leaves mottled like speculations
in the charcoal glitter of a moonlit stance

I discovered that I actually still had
a lot of followers (now really not much more than
witnesses hanging around to be famous
in the metaphysical portrait of a famed man's death)
they loitered around me speaking of 'a future'
with the same words I used to speak about th'Past!...

My God, don't they know any better?
--But, what can I do now? an old man
praying daily to Th'Deity to Grant me
a dreamless death, O Lord, Grant me a dreamless death

much to their laughing
           

                        ... & so I tried
th'medical approach (appealing to their
whatever propriety):
       

"The repose (to th'bruises) is
Sleep, any doctor'll say," and there they sat
listening silently, incomprehensibly devouring

a sheepish Reality!          

          ... likening me to
some wolfish Dream melting into adiew
190
in th'concord of warm Summer roses
expiring!         

... simply is not Rest enough
although I do not know why yet I live
191
I had to turn them to Something

& away from my upcoming NIL as th'substance
(of their self-definition)... and so

I spoke to them (still) pouring my heavy experiences
into their too shallow youth
as if it had been a Hope wrought by my hands
in moonlight (offered under their Sun)

as upon my Grave I sat waiting for its door to open
and admit me from the pain

        ... telling them
of my Path gone so awry, & how I found my way Here

after turning myself from myself to myself [sic]
& how they should now turn from My Path

(being Here already at The End --after all
that World) and that they should not just hand over
their lifetimes to anyone who offers to hold them
in trust
                                 

            --I begged them! uncertain
whether they could even understand me any more, although

I led them Here with that jaguar Rage of my own
(younger days when my Voice wasn't yet stuffed with
the Dust of Wisdom) to
                      

        "Escape me!" as if My End
was their cage ( of distrusts ) and "Take up only
your own individual must!"
               

         ... out of the unbounded
vault... I go (now) beyond this Merely place,
now, and O, I cannot lead them away! although Here
have I brought them?
                          

        ... Then, save me, O God,
& forgive me! Here is my only Goal--not theirs!

I beg you all: "Do not listen to me any longer!"
Go your way    
--Even though my very tombstone should boast it
(that I was your country's best holder
of The Public Trust) Don't you believe it

--You & nobody else (always) will prove
to be the better keeper of your own Good store

believe me, now that I can speak only for the Truth,

you will do a hell of a lot better
without me and my kind (those who cater
to civic indolence) to chart your Fore, this
I implore of you...

Others, and for their own selfish
reasons enough, upon my tombstone will
scribe their own misleading Public Phrases

for my epitaph, pretending that somehow my corpse
yet speaks from The Grave...

Without me You will fall...
into that most blazing of all Nightfalls
Tyrants will rise from my tomb...
192
Fall but to th'following of Life & not misleading it

only because you cannot work at The better Cause (of
learning to live with all):
             

                The tragedy of Man
is that what he wants is to impress his peers! by his
precedence...
                                  

Without me,

                          ... you'll see: it will adorn
My Shrine (th'words of those who will use me as their banner

This, without me, would be ( that

the rumors of "things of the soul" would be
swirls of echoes of April & plunged in

the waters of  (                  
              Kiss

Grant me

A Dreamless Death

O Lord

Grant Me A Dreamless Death.

)))

van Gogh's Noon; Rest From Work

^{131} This "Monologue" began life intended for the stage (not in the sense of a closet play but as a fully realized stage performance; and were it not because it almost immediately achieved too great a complexity in language and meaning, it would still make good drama as a series of disembodied dialogues for a one man (and supporting company) staging. The poem, which is a running set of casual speeches and flashbacks, relates the drama of the artist-turned-politician (it uses the inversed symbolism of Hamlet --The Actor-- the public man turned poet (by civic impotence) as a point of departure to formulate a truer-to-form symbol (a surprising number of public men start out as artists, rather than turn to art after politics). The first draft was not much more than a compilation of these speeches. In the present draft, these have been integrated into an autobiographical account of a man who goes from the sphere of poetry to the 'highest' circles of political power, and back again to an (almost) anonymous end. It would be tempting to entitle it "The Rise & Fall--" but for the fact that he falls from the beginning, and it is only at the very last moments (of his life) that he rises (even if but a little bit) --otherwise the tale is, overall, one of unmitigated descent. It's not for nothing the poem begins in a location of such 'improbable realms' of (reality) as it does, the first few pages travelling an uncomfortably 'poetic' path (made thus by the use of parodies of the English early and Classical Traditions... especially Pope, Grey, etc.)[email protected]

^{132}Not intended to reflect the life of any one actual politician, but written as timelessly archetypical of the strong man who rises to that position from the most unexpected of places [in this case, ironically, from 'the ivory towers' of art][email protected]

^{133} "Today I'll sing a sweeter song" @

^{134} "Sweet songs" are never good enough in a world like ours, but what has changed is, not the world, but our awareness of the injustices everywhere around us --Even though there is a strong case to be made that our (focus of) awareness itself changes the world. The argument never comes down to the idea of originality in art --Originality is seldom of much crucial importance: If it were, then a fresh turd on a clean page would be the highest art (as, I am sure, before this instant the possibility of such 'art' had crossed the minds of very few 'artists')[email protected]

^{135} It is difficult to express here all the connotations of the idea of "Duty." We live in an age that has taken 'duty' as a point of departure both for sublime and for hellish ends. It was the catch-phrase of (NAZI) nationalism (Duty, in the name of the state) and of Socialism (Duty, in the name of 'the people'). But it was and remains the rallying cry of those who believe in doing something for one's fellow men/society (joining the Peace Corps, civil rights marches, and so many other worthy causes). The terrible "paradox" of WWII soldiers going off to battle NAZI evil with the weapons of war Hitler was so effectively using to make his evil possible. But you cannot take the war-making capability away from people without making slaves of them, since war is neither evil nor good --it is merely an extension of that enabling power (already inherent) in man's brain & limbs (arms): The only way to eliminate war is to eliminate men's brains & limbs (to truly disarm them, ridiculous as it may be) because as long as men have brains & limbs they shall surely continue to fashion the means to make their 'enabling power' for good & for evil... as great as possible).

... The most formidable inspiration to "duty" is perhaps the thought that our mortality offers us just-so-much-time & not one moment more: Eternal beings may rest forever on their existence; mortals, if they seek to make their existence worthwhile/meaningful (whatever criterion their own), mortals must DO something (certainly before Death comes a-calling). Let me say something about the 'Hamlet' factor: "Why can't Hamlet do away with himself (he certainly seems to wish it)? Duty. He feels the awesome shackles that are (all those matters & affairs which would have to remain undone (unresolved) in the world after his death). His, "To be or not to be" never seriously places his own life in the balance because "Duty" itself is all. Hamlet accomplishes all by not committing suicide (he himself does no positive good... he murders Polonius & kills his son, he drives Ophelia mad, and his own death delivers up his country into the power of another (Norway). And even though he manages to stab the king, it is only on the word of a ghost! e.g. a hallucination?). Perhaps his 'world' might have been better off had he died before the start of the play (although certainly NOT the play). If, in this universe, Justice were to right every injustice that has ever been... surely the stars themselves would collapse to nothingness from such a shocking act! Perhaps, in his madness, Hamlet fails to see that it is his duty to die (or to become a poet and let it go at that): Gods, how many stillborn Hamlets (who do become poets & other neurotics instead of men-of-action) have peopled Western drama since Shakespeare! The protagonist in this present work is not insane (he is already a poet), he feels the urgings of his own duty leading him into action (even as it is his 'nature' --as it is the natural nature of most of us-- to refrain... an inversed mirroring of Hamlet's situation: Hamlet's nature is to action (he has been raised as a feudal prince, or, medieval politician), but he really doesn't have any real clearly-defined human mission/quest/crusade to undertake (so he 'invents' a cause out of his own (thusly) perverted frustrations, jealousies, suspicions, and maybe perhaps even sexual insecurities). The nameless protagonist of my poem ('the actor' portraying Hamlet in another --literary-- dimension) has to undergo a long baptism before he finally sees the merit of personal action. Before that (a mirror to practically the whole Shakespearean play) in vain he seeks numberless excuses to abstain --even as Hamlet himself seeks (also mostly in vain) any excuse possible to [email protected]

^{136} [email protected]

^{137} "A velvet Chord" --As difficult as it is to conceptualize (integrate this metaphoric synthesis, let me say that "the Chord" was not letter-perfect. Contrast: everlasting 'Amaranth' & quick-perishing 'flower- petals' [moldable/metal] --Life in its urn, 'passions/Purpose' --In fact, the next two quatrains express (to the end) the longings of the artist for The Ambiguous (since it cannot be narrowly applied, to everyday life... social rules, etc.), he can always find more general applications for/with it (nature of art itself)[email protected]

^{138} [email protected]

^{139} The first hint of our protagonist's growing awareness of an 'outside' world --All living creatures experience this realization: The "dew-mirages" left by the departed "stupid mists" (inhuman, it conveys a subject which demands explanation rather than being already one) of his bucolic existence turn that outside view into a nightmarish vision of humanity the ant-colony whose individuals are blurred to a woeful barmie (like weeping blurs sight), though here it is 'coldness' that characterizes that 'outside' universe ... "The Wound" (of Duty) that calls us all to involve ourselves with that outside world: "The Contemplative Age" (adolescence, not 'vegetative age') 'accepts' any culture into which it has been born as the proper, the correct one, regardless of how despicable, desperate or bizarre it may be termed in a more objective consideration --You can bet there are always more objective realities than our own (whatever) poor one --always: 'Love, Beauty, and Passion-- all the motivating forces of our human [email protected]

^{140} The blurry mess has been turned into a mystic "serein" by a stroll through the twilights. [The word 'lark' is used here in the sense of such a stroll, even though the conventional usage is more flippant --it also suggests the bird.] 'Patricians' hints at the idealized noble qualities of mankind. Against it the "Plebs" already approach almost the stature of flesh & blood beings (they even report for work on 'Mondays'). The latin outburst goes to the fundamental core of all artists: The language, meanings, the very articles of art tend towards a specialization which almost always leave the rest of mankind incapable of easy communion with it. (Literature is not essential for survival, at least, not as essential as food & drink). Ordinary people are always trying to catch up to what the artists 'mean.' A most frustrating thing, especially for an artist plagued by intimations of public duty! Eventually such an artist must choose between his duty to art and his duty to the public weal. It's hardly possible to convey these split duties without an image more focused upon 'splitting personalities' --this is not yet entirely possible in a protagonist whose entire make-up at this point is almost wholly only 'ideal' (at its uncompromisingest): So focused an image can but be hinted at (at the start of this kind of poetry) when he asks what he does for a living --the answer to which finally comes to be made whole by the 'soliloquy' ... at this stage of the poem, the language ought not to go so far as to abandon the special --artificial, byzantine-- world of artistic 'imagination' (which poetry embodies as its 'ideal')[email protected]

^{141} [email protected]

^{142} The unleashed, unstoppable sense of irreversible change, of revolution, of the dying of things past. Things which do not themselves change but are left behind by 'the tide' of (man's maturing, or merely surging) 'his forward charge' to rot on the beach. Time may ride the chariot of death, but death (here) as a positive force 'wonderful decay' -- 'miscalled' because too incomprehensible. Here, no road maps, no sign posts; speech out of context, imagery out of context, but whatever is not already an abstraction the mind puts such abstraction into a context even of all --completely-- our own making). Above all, Time is 'the ultimate illusion,' principal culprit, since Time does not pass on --Time is in our own changing: it is we who pass on, riding the field of ignorance in 'wonderful decay' 'wiping out everything.' --I hardly know how to put it better (that Time 'exists' only in our minds) except to say that Alexander the Great, for example, 'existed' NOT in some 'place' (whether termed 'dimension' or 'fairy land') other than exactly the place in which we ourselves now are: Every last atom of which Alexander the Great was ever composed, every last particle of him (which ever was and always will be), still exists very much right here with us. The thing, of course, is that all those Alexander the Great atoms no longer have the relation to each other they did when the man himself was walking about using [that particular arraangement of] them. And, in this same manner, I dare say... although a million years may pass, every last particle that ever has & will ever make us up will also still be here, right here, albeit certainly not in the same disposition to all our other atoms in which it now finds itself. But you see by this example where Time is merely an ideal, and only "existence's ever-changing forms" (a redundancy) really have any reality.[1998]@

^{143} "O, I speak to those who can't understand me!" [email protected]

^{144} Freud, not some astrologer, is the true god of Science Fiction, which aims not so much at prediction as at analysis. Just what this Garden is can always be answered, in part, by any individual: To some it is The Garden of Scientific Salvation, to others it is a place of retreat from all intellectual (or emotional) contentions.

"The SF Bible" [1991] consisting of the following 12 'books,' expanded from comments pertinent to the poems, was compiled specifically with the view of encouraging the imagination to create science fiction.

1. The Past, Present & Future do not 'exist' as distinct entities (from each other) outside of the human mind. As far as Reality ('existence') is concerned there is no such thing as 'Time." There is only 'motion.' All that 'existed' still 'exists' and will exist always --Unlike the way we conventionally see this, which is: Time destroying all that exists as it creates the 'future.' But, in Reality, what is going on is that Cause/Effect is shifting the particles of existence back & forth (e.g. 'progress' exists only in the mind), that's all. And that is: neither creating nor destroying. When we look upon the face of reality, it is as if we were looking at an avalanche of Pachinco balls going down the side of a hill: Any time we peek at the avalanche we 'freeze' in our minds a pattern, where in Reality there is none (just as, in Reality, there is no freezing of the ongoing avalanche). That 'pattern' is always subjectively interpreted (in the same way we 'recognize' patterns in the passing clouds). Now imagine that we cannot 'see' the individual balls, so we do not 'see' the avalanche as being composed of balls at all: The mind still performs its two tricks at once, it 'freezes' the unfreezable avalanche, and in the picture it 'recognizes' a pattern --But these are mere mental tricks (illusions).

2. First Cause Uncaused (the start of 'motion' we describe as existence) is what we mean by Creation. This postulates a universe with a beginning and an end --if your theology you then mean the shift from cold to hot to--? (hot & cold are merely our way of describing more/less motion). How did motion begin? I have always believed, and will probably always believe, that if in order to exist existence had to have had a beginning then it could not exist --It does, so I cannot conceive of a beginning (or an end). Perhaps the Quantum jump, as cosmic analogy, best explains that our universe 'seems' to be 'shifting' from 'a' beginning: We can not subdivide infinitely the interval during which the electron shifts to its next orbit, so we do not know how it's done --We could say the electron 'ceases to exist' and then 'pops' back into existence in another orbit (but the atom itself neither loses nor gains anything --does this mean the universe, once created, will last forever? One thing is certain: the electron knows when and how to make its Quantum jump... that is, the knowledge is already stored somewhere, in some form, within it --or it would miss its moment). Perhaps the Universe seems to have a beginning because we cannot think beyond the Big Bang (the electron's re- assembling itself into its new orbit), but in Reality nothing has been created at all (or destroyed). Time is not expanded and compressed (since it doesn't exist); rather, the objects that do exist run through (their) existence slower or faster (99% or more of the particles of existence could have run through their entire 'course' during the first few moments after Big Bang, and thus the full spectrum of life's subatomic particles will forever remain outside the ability of science to get a hold of them).

3. Can we travel back in Time? (We're always traveling forward.) Yes, since 'Time' really only describes the motion of the elementary particles (back & forth, and NOT, as we usually visualize Reality when we think of it in terms of Time... from some absolute beginning to absolute end). If the motion/avalanche of these Pachinco particles were suddenly to reverse its direction (whatever that direction is, for the individual balls (sub-quarks) are not all travelling in 'some' direction and thus you would have to know each and every last ball on a personal level) we would then travel back in Time. Unfortunately, our brains are composed of these same particles as well, so we would not 'know' that we were traveling back in Time (our thoughts would undo themselves). Nor would we know we have traveled (if we have): Brains are not detachable from Reality (the sum of all the matter that exists), and our thought-patterns got their present shape via the same inviolable mechanism of Cause/Effect that shapes everything else (as we ourselves put it: no idea is independent of its time). [1992] The problem with travelling back in time is that the whole of reality is moving away from it (from its existence, or shape): The past can only come back into existence if the whole of reality reverses direction (every last particle, and remember that every last one of them had his/her own personal direction) and re-creates the past. Any possible time machine --the exception to all this shifting back & forth-- would have to not only free itself from the motion of time, but would also have to come up with the power to force existence to re- create the past (for it does not exist any more, and if the time machine only frees itself from Time --frozen in Time-- it then ends up --defrosts-- in some distant future, not the past): The proper way to travel back 'through Time' then is to freeze (every last molecule in you) and have the rest of existence reverse the way it came until you're where you're going... at which point existence stops its reversal and you rejoin its forward motion --although I suspect that this will take a few watts to accomplish. But we do travel back in time all the time, of course, when we look at an old picture, for example. And if we were to recreate perfectly a person 'from the past' we would be there with that person, in the past. And if that person is perfectly recreated, then that person for all practical purposes has been brought from the past into the future! (Recreate the past to a greater extent, including every person, plant & animal, buildings, towns, objects, mountains and bees and goats... and Presto! you can travel back through 'time' and enjoy yourself 'back then' without having to actually go anywhere yourself.)

4. So another interesting dilemma, using the analogy of the universal avalanche down the cosmic hill, is the power it would take to reverse the avalanche! But, provided such power did exist, in cosmic terms (outside the universal avalanche): we would 'pop' into existence at Big Bang, reach the limits of our existence, and then start back (mindless of it all) to Big Bang at another 'orbit' (or maybe another 'dimension'). However, regardless of how many times this process repeats itself, it's always hard to imagine that Reality could change even by the tiniest possible amount: Where would the novelty come from? If it did change it would certainly mean that something had escaped Cause/Effect. But, even if not the case, were such a change to occur over the long run of Reality/Existence, regardless of how small a change, the cumulative effect would be so astronomically multiplied that the end results could very possibly be another dimension altogether --Maybe then Big Bang would go from dimension to dimension (Quantum orbits) endlessly, or maybe back & forth between just two--?

5. Can we ever find out if these other paralleled realities which, for lack of a better term, we call 'dimensions' exist? Paradoxically, not if Cause/Effect is absolutely inviolable (since all repetitions of our Big Bang Reality would probably be identical). However, if Time exists only as a means by which our minds interpret/understand Reality (motion), and somewhere into the cosmic equation of an eternally bouncing (echoing) Big Bang one can fit even the subtlest novelty --say, enough to make possible another dimension --then these unique self-contained dimensions (of a Reality that keeps infinitely repeating its entire self --at the same time & in the same place) could not only exist but, theoretically, could also interact with one another, sharing as much as they do: And maybe 'ghosts' are manifestations of these interactions between dimensions so alike they are almost what one might call physically paralleled (in which case, ghosts aren't visions of our dead but glimpses of our other approximate 'slightly shifted' parallel selves): Ha!

6. Right now I believe I am reasonably justified in thinking I KNOW there has never existed even the slightest case of even the smallest particle travelling back in Time (escaping Cause/Effect) because had one ever done so, Knowledge itself would be negated --I don't see how anyone would any longer 'know' anything at all then, or ever again: Existence would become unpredictable. One might be sitting there, then suddenly (but not unreasonably), unpredictably one might become a sox, turn into a feathered dog next, then into a banana, or an ice cream cone skating on wings over the planet Zembo etc. in a quite infinite succession of non sequitur (original) innovations! Since I have never heard of anything like this happening... there has 'probably' never been a violation anywhere of Cause/Effect --Were there ever to be one (a real one, not some misinterpretation arising from error and/or our human lack of absolute knowledge): Magic would rule, and All would unravel --Using the avalanche analogy: Even the smallest possible particle going up (the cosmic hill) against the universal avalanche might, eventually, affect all the other individual Pachinco particles that make up the entire avalanche --Turning Everything into a chaotic eternally self-contradicting paradox where Unpredictability itself would be the one predictable thing (non-being). But order, not chaos, is necessary for existence (even if existence may only be a form of ordered chaos: non-existence may be 'an' utter chaos where because everything is all, nothing is distinct enough to have its own unique existence).

7. Where does that leave 'free' will? Become an illusion, I suspect: Consciousness itself is an illusion. Ah, but, you say you can 'choose' to, say, grab a pole (or not to)... Still, if you grabbed the pole it was inevitable you would, and if you did not grab the pole it was just as inevitable you would not: The illusion of 'free' will arises from our inability to KNOW beforehand which choice (path/action) was the inevitable one. This ... life by illusion does not hamper our survival (who knows, maybe it even promotes it --which could be another illusion). [Certainly the brain necessarily evolved as a mechanism to predict a predictable reality.] We know a lot of things, but I do not believe that we will ever know absolutely Everything because it implies knowing the entire course ('run' of the entirety of Cosmic Motion itself) from its absolute beginning to its absolute end. Then, what would there be left to live for? What would motivate one to do anything (if one already KNOWS --and thusly already has 'the experience' of its results)? Life does 'seem' to be most worthwhile when one loses oneself in 'the illusion.' In this never-ceasing river of Cause & Effect the brain, born yesterday, knows just enough of its currents to keep us from drowning --but knowing enough to actually set a course of our own, that's quite a different matter. [The logical conclusion: What if we do not think the eventual goal worth the bother of getting there? This could very well prove fatal.]

8. How would the ethics, the politics of such a 'godless' (non-magical) world view impact the social order? Hopefully, with the fewest possible novelties: Those who do evil in the name of God believe they act with God's sanction, while atheistic evil-doers rationalize they have no choice but to do the evil they do. The real net difference between a world ruled by this new view and our present world should be almost zero (as the most closely correct philosophy should account for the current social agenda rather than promote another one). Taken to its logical extreme (and, unfortunately, inevitably, there is no extreme we won't eventually take everything to), on three specific American social issues, say, drugs & crime, political reform, and abortion, it should give no clear advantage to either liberals or conservatives. Who knows, it might even promote an overt return of The Golden Mean as our guiding principle.

9. Because a philosophy of absolute Cause/Effect would tend to minimize the importance of novelty & originality, emphasizing instead the certainty of the human condition. (Stoic humanism: That is, not abstaining from our human feelings but recognizing that we cannot deny them.) An approach to our drugs & crime problem might no longer emphasize rehabilitation --Concluding that convicts and drug users are victims of their own nature rather than of society (victims lashing back at it as if in revenge). Drug use might be vigorously discouraged, rather than criminalized (perhaps by imposing a one-month-times-the-number- of-convictions mandatory sentence which, nevertheless, would not stigmatize the drug user as a criminal). Because paroles would be eliminated (as well as the death penalty, since any form of even socially acceptable vengeance threatens the social order), convicts given long sentences eventually might be allowed to petition for euthanasia (every 5 years or so?). In a society no longer convinced a criminal's 'evil intent' is to strike at it, life-long imprisonment might start to seem cruel and unusual indeed. [This does, however, infringe upon the very reason why human society imposes the death sentence (justice by another name), namely, not to punish the guilty or even to help victims enact revenge but to prevent the social chaos which would arise in any society where there is not the expectation that those who do an injury to you will be commensuratively punished... e.g. a society in which justice is a private rather than a public enterprise.]

10. The matter of abortion might be returned to the demesne of medicine, rather than of morality & politics. Eliminating the pernicious idea that 'Evil is the moving force behind abortion' may reveal, for example, that all cops carry with them guns to, at their discretion, abort any human being who might pose a threat to others, or even to others' most trivial goods. Always, in this philosophy of & by The Golden Mean, 'lovers' should find as many things to love in it as 'haters' should find things in it to hate, but the differences should cancel out each other (so the philosophy by itself doesn't upset the current social balance). Again, we might conclude --and maybe even without it devaluing the individual's life --that life does not begin at 'the moment of conception' (or some other such personally, arrogantly arbitrary chosen 'moment') but actually 'began' 4.x billion years ago (at least, on this planet) and has not yet ended. There should still be as many people against abortion as there are against forbidding a woman who really feels she has to have one from getting one.

11. Campaign contributions by special interests are perhaps the one element most compromising to the democratic political system (for a special interest is, of necessity, not an interest of the majority): In their case, we might make it mandatory, say, that for every dollar anyone gives to 'his' candidate the contributor also has to give an additional dollar to a general pool to be equally divided among all that candidate's opponents --because we do not want to criminalize all those contributors who can't control their willingness to selflessly contribute to politicos (yet, at the same time, we want to prevent the drowning out of a legitimate but impoverished candidate by an opposing tide of money... rather than, say, by the electorate's rejection of his political proposals). Rather than pass laws constraining 'evil' campaign contributors from 'sinisterly' perpetuating the ignorance of the electorate via a louder rote of money, we might further democratize the dissemination of information by giving more and better access to more and more candidates: You can see this formula working itself out to the most justly democratic one for the majority. [The inherent assumption that most people are 'good' need not be a socially destructive force.]

12. Societally, the one thing above all else to avoid is any conviction that we have achieved any kind of ultimate knowledge --in any field: It's a pretty safe bet it will eventually prove itself one more in our long list of delusions. This is why, regretfully, it's better to bear an infinite number of tyrants (politicos) telling us to do this & that & the next thing... than to be subjected to the tyranny of a Single Collective Ultimate Conviction --whether political, religious, or whatever: When a provincial tyrant gets out of line it's sometimes possible to put a bullet in his head (or, vote him out), but let our any possible Single Collective Conviction get out of hand (become warped just by our sheer fervor for it), and then who can kill it? (Even as I write this... love of flag is driving a whole generation of doting American politicos to try to make it into a Shinto-like symbol of reverence --and this is the same generation that should still vividly remember Hitler consecrating banners!) The bloodbath might have to be so huge to clean the whole resulting mess out that it would be a miracle indeed then if it doesn't wash away all with it. The horrific collapse of Fascism left behind mountains of corpses, while that of an incredible system in which the citizenry was brought up to be dishonest and deceitful, to keep the truth to themselves, to effect a public (political) hypocrisy, and in which the greatest praise was usually reserved for those who could best delude themselves, Communism... a horrific rubble of annihilated societies, all of them polluted, corrupted, bankrupt and spiritually broken. [1991]@

^{145} The technique is one of gradually shifting thought- patterns coming closer & closer to the realization --then the complete shift. Autumn infuses a touch of the ominous into everything, here in this 'Paradise' of bright sunshine (still), of shows & street cafes' conversations --a whiff of the pre-World War I world: Time seems very real: people actually perceive Progress in the world. The Spanish (Cuban) saying, "The moment of the mameyes" "Now or never" (perhaps because the tropical fruits have a very short harvesting time)[email protected]

^{146} [email protected]

^{147} Literally 'the moment to pick the mameye fruits' e.g. 'The moment of truth'@

^{148} The War (to end all wars) is either the latest or the first of (how many?). The quote from Hamlet: apt for World War I. All those dough-boys so certain they were fighting against evil incarnate. Now, these many years later, the great combat to preserve democracy starts to look to them like just one more power-struggle between 'national prides.' I wonder how long before Hitler's racial wars begin to become less 'purely racial?' Already it's starting to come out how the 'pure' S.S. was admitting large numbers of non-Germans by the end of the war (vs) the Allies refusing to bomb rail tracks to the death camps to keep Germans 'occupied' elsewhere than at the [email protected]

^{149} [email protected]

^{150} 'Ships of quandary' we hope (rather than sail) towards (serendipity become 'bloodships ships' of useless sacrifice). This ongoing picture of the 'current' world invites our protagonist to invest his energies into setting it all right.

{?} ... opens with the conclusion to his first public episode: Riots in the streets & demonstrations which make him 'seem infused with the feeling of life' (though they "accomplish nothing" --such a marvelously paradoxical phrase). The word "Malice" becomes very pertinent from here: The disillusionment comes from the fact that all such political 'movements' seek rather to damage their competing movements than to do the good they advocate. The excitement of the streets becomes inspiring in itself, like a drug (in a poetic sense, this early in the tale of his life). The "swirls" of the streets and the "swirls" of history are intertwined into a sense of flow, the rhythm of human civilization; they become almost indistinguishable. [I must be watching too much television, because I suddenly got this controllable urge to take all the ambiguity out of that last sentence.]@

^{151} the son of Rembrandt's patron told this about the artist (painter) to this [email protected]

^{152} (a private allusion)@

^{153} "long bone of the leg" : femur, the [email protected]

^{154} [email protected]

^{155} ... The waters trying to save themselves drown (out) everything. The (mirrored) masses, without aim, map, without identity, have established their power (a power no one wields for good or evil just yet (at this stage in the poem). The government is too new yet to have legislated definite differences between good & evil (although it will). In the resulting quicksand even the statues (which have stood their ground... atop their so well-laid pedestals) sink before our eyes. The people must be established as the power of the land before a leader can arise to put that power into some effective use (all this, of course, from the French Revolution and Bonaparte). But, of course, the times of great chance open up the world for the young. There are scores of them there having a jolly good time --Why not? What child worries over tooth decay given a mountain of sweets. Some of them, too, are there trying to attract attention to themselves. The exception is our protagonist who is confused by the [email protected]

^{156} "I sing..." (et al) is not delivered as soliloquy (but it is an internal monologue). In his view, the Public Man has become the lowest form of life (worm), also a crucial symbol. The story-line is conveyed by the speeches, at places (as here) it becomes threadbare and tenuous --These are two speeches side by side the circumstances of each of which are not apparent at first glance. The resolution remains almost exclusively in the poet's mind; it is not obvious that the first one is an internal monologue (with intimations of the non sequitur) 'fits & starts' ... Purpose always aims at a definite Answer, while Fury mostly despairs of everything; the second speech begins as an aside, a casual remark, concluding as an exalted sermon (or, anti-sermon)... metaphor of God as the Highest Politico, whose denunciation brings about the oddest passage in the [email protected]

^{157} [email protected]

^{158} "Obsolete" it is to aspire to the establishment of an ideal (dream) upon this mortal earth. That hasn't stopped countless of us from attempting to accomplish just that. Always comes... Gabriel?... into our earth-made Paradise with his 'trumpet' to tell us that all such dreams must end, sooner or later: Poor creatures (men) who do & make and go around fashioning laws to bring within the tenuous realm of human reason the ever-shifting shadows of the universe... a self-justified Reality which could be portrayed in those famous Platonic shadows whose existence does not spring from solid, physical bodies (their independent shifting-about completely impervious to our influence, yet still able to influence us)[email protected]

^{159} The thread of the story-line again betrays the dramatic purpose here. The stanza on top is logical and follows (or concludes, extends and complements) the previous symbols sprinkled throughout the work. But the direct address, "Exhibit thou..." (addressed to the Self) does not so much proceed from but breaks upon the exposition immediately before it. It is not balance but contrast (as the piece on top deals with the general aspects in the outside world, the address gives us a view of the inner world of the individual). It still follows the theme of our protagonist's unwillingness to commit himself (his duty) to the public purpose. The one deathless dream of all men the world over seems to have something to do with (not freedom, fraternity, equality, but) [email protected]

^{160} 'soul' [pun]@

^{161} "Testament" because the world is slowly but surely bestowing upon our protagonist its character (and unlike a lot of others who adopt the nature of their surroundings as their own, perhaps our hero even resents the imposition). Crazy as the norm of one's society may be (and the young better than the rest of us are always in a better position to smell this out (the emperor hath no clothes) despite what everybody else is saying) it is inescapable that eventually we all inherit the values of our society --or, obviously, since 'we' ARE our societies, society would cease to exist, regardless of all the 'hippies' hoopla nowadays [1967]. My work must seem a trifle morbid at times, but I too cannot escape the occasional intrusion of my times into my [email protected]

^{162} "The Church of Rats" ... judging from the actions of His congregation (which tells us the character & nature of its God) we assume The Supreme Being must be The Great Rat (otherwise the congregation is wasting its time going to a Church that advocates a way of life opposite that one they themselves practice).
{?} ... It is usually about this time that the young are frightened by the great contradictions (out of which the real world is made), but all such self-contradictions are eventually resolved (or relegated to irrelevance): We position them within the context of time & place (even if it turns out that all we do is misplace them). The fact that our protagonist takes up 'news- paper perusing' instead of some (any) another business (or going back to art) dooms a man of letters: It's the kiss of Satan (if not of Death). By the end of the stanza his course of action is inescapable. If he has any trepidations it's over the fact that he does not fully commit to the course of action he knows his ought to [email protected]

^{163} ... The chaos of politics, especially when a young party is in the middle of the turmoil through which it is trying to establishing its causes, its public (and private) purpose & aims, and its possible course of action. It's enough to shake our man's faith, but not enough to repulse him (all such causes and courses are marginally just (no matter how opposing in aim and direction), all such borne ideals not-half bad magnificence, naturally, as soon as they are for the advancement of the party). The earliest leaders of the party are held in contempt by our protagonist. The PLACARD mocks the famous [1985] communist cliche (communism being but a Christian heresy, it is inevitable that communists should try to destroy Christianity with accusations of religion being opium etc. --I return the favor here). The ideal of communism is to bring back to the world the European Dark Ages (truly believing it can achieve the same mind-control the Medieval Church exerted over its peoples --How incredible! What faith communists have that men never progress! The political aims of the Soviet Union (et al) is to destroy the non-communist world --it's obvious even to the most narrow-minded communist that the communist world itself does not progress, and so, if it does not somehow prevent the non-communist world from progressing they will always be left behind in their Middle Ages [which is also true of fundamentalist religions] --The alternative is to try to steal the 'progress' of the West as their system stymies, chokes the human spirit (which, to soar, must stretch its wings fully). But don't think they do not understand this fact! What innovation can come where innovation itself is "sin" --?). But, this is a digression. Communism, like all steps backward, will die its own death [1967]. The ideal future offers us the dream (or, at least, the hope) of a just (or, better, of a more just) democracy.

... What we have here is a French Revolution-like first attempt at social reform (power-acquisition). The results must surely be Napoleon (Stalin) --the only question is who will play emperor. The first impulse is to become more common than the common man. "Helled be!"@

^{164} "Our Most Cherished Philosophy" is always the idea that whatever portion of The Whole (of human existence) we advocate as our cause (at such & such a time) is of such cosmic importance that it would be well worth the sacrifice of life without limit (even to the extinction of mankind). Masada, etc. --The problem is that we are small creatures, with partial, always incomplete visions; we tend to take in mostly only what we see (and it must be right there before us). I too believe there are things worse than death, so I must conclude that the antidote lies in promoting the sanctity of human life (at least to the equality of almost unbearable suffering, although just exactly how unbearable a life must always remain each person's opinion, because we are at least wise enough to know we are not wise enough to trust ourselves with any irrevocable life/death decision). I, for one, influenced by a strong historical perspective, have never been quite entirely convinced that it's worth dying for temporary causes (that is: those causes that do not threaten the full length of our lives or that embody unending unbearable suffering --To me the loss of national prestige, ethnic pride, the loss of material wealth are all for only a time, and not a one of them ever seems quite significant enough to justify the gamble of all of life itself, individual or collective over it): If the South Vietnamese truly wish democracy as much as the North Vietnamese wish the country to be united they will fight full-time also (as the North Vietnamese are doing) and there will not be heard the slightest charge of corruption, profiteering. If the North Vietnamese win, their victory will be an empty one (and a quite painful growing pain for their entire historical society). Unfortunately, the great expressed ideals of American aims in Vietnam are overwhelmed by the stink of global political gains & losses to national prestige, and the un-democratic corruption that hallmarks the South Vietnamese [email protected]

^{165} " Something Is All " meaning: how men willingly sacrifice everything --life, the world itself-- for the sake of whatever one narrow advocacy (usually of momentary importance) takes hold of them at the (of course, eternally dated) moment of decision.

"Anything is all" as well: Especially in the American society of the late 20th Century when we are suffering from a 'politically correct' tyranny which demands that every least aspect of the whole be itself a perfect reflection of it (in miniature, I suppose): Every statement is acceptable only if it is acceptable to all, art has no significance if it is not relevant within the context of the entire multi-cultural spectrum from one end to the other. (Democracy has devolved to a point where, instead of freedom of opinion for all individuals being the long-sought ideal, the religion now is freedom from the opinions of 'others' --apparently it is assumed that everyone's opinion is the same now, and thus any different opinion, one that offends any part of the whole, no matter how unreasonable it may be to take offense at it... ought to be stifled!) Whether this is good or bad only time will tell: The benefits of a multicultural humanity are variety and freedom, the ills are wars. But the ills of a mono-cultural humanity are many (a one-world-dictatorship, no escape from a tyranny able to encompass the whole earth), the benefits primarily the decrease of [email protected]

^{166} If only Christians behaved like Christians! But it's too much to ask. If only people stopped to think their actions through (always too much to ask). The sarcasm of the "Pause." At this time our protagonist withdraws from the scene --It is, admittedly, not a pretty scene he finds himself in, but he still can't be blamed for getting out in disgust). One man's sarcasm is another man's realism, though.

The 'sabbatical' is not all what he had hoped, though. It is, in fact, bad enough to make it obvious to him that the nature of his own character is to attack rather than to walk away --It's useless to try to do so, in any case, for he can't leave them behind and finds his steps taking him back, for one. For another, he has underestimated how important he has become in the political game being played by his group: He manages to appreciate the high position of comfort he has gained in the new political heavens his party has attained, but it comes as a shock to him that The Powers That Be should demand his support: The New Rich are always extremely insecure, in Heaven one can always tell who the newly arrived are by their Hellish feelings of guilt, in addition to which... any least little thing may upset The New Order. His 'retirement' is premature, insufferable to the leaders of this New Order: unseemly, it looks too much like a vote of no-confidence. It is thus inevitable that our man must suffer exile (or worse --he chooses exile, to the relief of all). The nature of this exile is politically charged with hypocrisies: He isn't sent off as The Latest Martyr of The Revolution, but is given an 'honorable' (but still contrived) mission abroad. That's the way it usually goes with popular leaders who have lost their way along the path of [email protected]

^{167} Fate (here for the sake of the drama) means that for the hero to make it all the way he needs not only to survive but also to prosper. Eventually there is an opening, and he takes advantage of it (to 'worm' his way through it back to center-stage). There is no ambiguity now, at this stage our protagonist has learned the fickle nature of The Mob (second stanza). For its part, the Revolution has fallen on evil times ("a morbid Blackness"). The populace is always grateful for a new face (the least hope: the hope always seeming to be that if one lunatic does not come up with the sound course, perhaps the next lunatic will). Even the revolutionary leaders who had exiled our hero set up his worship now --In the final analysis they, like all other politicos, are not really so much principled as pragmatic: The fault is not with leaders, but with followers (or your queue is really moving slower than all the other ones around you). No wonder the Revolution is breathing its final gasps. The Old Order makes its backlash-comeback now.

... The other leaders, obviously seeing 'the handwriting on the wall' manage to put the blame on our protagonist (they themselves have been accepted into the next/new series of political accommodations... musical chairs). As always, the old radicals have become respectable. Our hero is about to be made into 'the sacrificial lamb.' He really isn't guilty of anything: Once things settle down he becomes superfluous to either side: The old radicals couldn't care less whether he lives or dies, The New Order politicos aren't threatened by an innocent man (and wouldn't care to create a martyr). The result is: they all sweep him into oblivion.

What everyone has overlooked, in all their emphasis on finding power accommodations, is that the reasons which gave rise to the Revolution are still there. The revolutionary leaders really did not address them (they were too busy carving out power (among) themselves --and when that power was threatened they just brought in The Old Order they had themselves overthrown, now, as ever, carving the pie into more & more slices ... apparently to cut their losses). Momentarily, our hero feels abandoned and alone, despised.

... We go back to Square One: The difference is that now the old revolutionary party speaks with only one voice --his. His is the 'loudest' voice now (not because his voice has grown, but because the people close their ears to all the others). If what the people want is a priest, that's what they'll get from him now (he no longer has any illusions about the nature of politics). But this latest Revolution is not coming from the same place the previous ones came (from the opposite extreme); paradoxically, it is an anti- revolution rather than a counter-revolution. Nevertheless, the revolution from center is just as welcomed. Our Prophet, not yet The Unquestioned Leader (the brown shirts are still powerful, numerous & maybe even with a better claim to being the ones who really won the battles), but the SS is not far [email protected]

^{168} Gertrude [email protected]

^{169} [email protected]

^{170} [email protected]

^{171} [email protected]

^{172} Sandburg'[email protected]

^{173} [email protected]

^{174} The people are yet masters of their own revolution --Only their illusion, of course. It's the same old world of celebrations, exultations --What really rules is enthusiasm (inspiration pumped into the individuals by their own collective bellows), as sometimes it energizes a society without any visible means (of explanation). Human beings suffer from a feeling of Destiny, I'm afraid (and consequently of its principal symptom --that eventually they will be proven 'right'). "The motley tyrants" are the new party [email protected]

^{175} [email protected]

^{176} "The Last Days of The Republic" are lazily brought to its wake: Almost imperceptibly, in the ordinary day to day existence, the nation moves toward The Leader achieving unquestioned power --there are a great many groups & individuals to be won over (or eliminated).

... Here I can hardly recreate the DEUS EX MACHINA that brought down Hitler (World War II). Our man rules unchallenged (a la Stalin, who was saved by the West, and who returned the favor by razing the Communist camp... for which service humanity should award him a sainthood, I imagine --well, at least). This vast stanza should give the readers a suggestion of that! You can see at the end there's nothing left of that mystically 'decisive' leader people followed at first. I don't wish to give the impression he really did very much (outside of holding power for a great deal of time). And, it would be unseemly to have him go out in a blaze of glorious self-sacrifice (most leaders would prefer to hang on by whatever means until they crumble into dust out of their very sheer spiritual rigidity)[email protected]

^{177} The Usual Hoax follows: At this stage of the game (the Tyrant losing his grip, the people starting to lose their fear of him), the smart tyrant stages a promise of the Mythical Return to democracy. Now follows The Coup (Batista, in Cuba, had such an hour of glory). It suddenly seems as if the Leader IS back (Napoleon wrapped in purpled curtains parading in front of the Parisians after his return from Elba). What a spectacle!!! It's enough to bring upon him intimations of real Justice (not just the hollow show politicos put on for the masses). To the consternation of all those Party Regulars & Higher-ups (the newly --latest-- privileged), their Leader is suddenly seen to be longing for real Justice! What a position for our hero to find himself in: Enemy of the common people, prophet of a 'Church' whose God he is beginning to question!

... Is it any wonder this (not too well-thought- out) outburst seems to question Reality itself? The younger new party elite, not having shared the Leader's experiences over the long haul, find his utterances incomprehensible (think of Fidel Castro, whose hand I would not shake lest I be touched by the blood he will always find impossible to wash off, but who nevertheless will always be the darling of Americans, since they love to keep foreign dictators as pets, no matter their crimes against the rest of --the non-American-- humanity). Should one be sorry to see the ole boy go? He certainly must go; but, pass not too rash judgments over him. His --if any-- social accomplishments counter-balanced by the fact that all these politicos, all of them, are the good earth's worst traders of lies (the difference between the tyrant and the democrat is that the democrat is not allowed to go as far as the tyrant). But I can't judge the merits/demerits (plenty of both kinds) of any society's path. My objections stand only on principles: I trust the people to not do themselves as great an injury as anybody else would do them... given half a chance. [Would you give a loaded gun to the first stranger you met in the street and have him point it at your head, confident in the conviction that he really has no reason to kill you? God, how many people I know who do exactly this sort of crazy thing, if not with a loaded gun, then with something else that can kill their lives as effectively! How few of them ever even consider the wisdom of not putting their lives in the hands of strangers in the first place!] Given the choice, I'd rather live in a tent next to Virgil's somewhere in Purgatory (than under Castro), but I do not have the time or inclination to formulate a formal justification for democracy (especially since I tend to equate it with sanity).

... Revelation 16: 3 thru 7: "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of water; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous O Lord, which art, and wast, and shall be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous art thy judgments." --The 'soliloquy's' conclusions. Poor, limited, mortal men (who wrote these biblical lines): what do we know of justice (except revenge)? The problem with God is that God never writes his own lines, and, if the men who are his ghostwriters are up to such lofty tasks, historically, they are not so intellectually ... or, if intellectually, not so historically.

The crisis provokes a return to democracy (that Golden Mean democracy which is held in such contempt by all the extremes). The protagonist can do little except rail at everything (like Napoleon in St. Helena). ... "Church of Rats" because the congregation selfishly meets on the Sabbath merely to pray for their own personal salvation (or to otherwise pay lip-service to the ideals of their individual gods, pretending they really believe in the One, Singular... brotherhood of men), as the world outside their 'centro- centric' concerns slowly descends into carnivorous perdition & "that's all right Jack!" --Which is why I personally believe Democracy is the One True religion of mankind, all others descend into an inescapable greater morass of hypocritical self-contradictions. Every one of us has his/her reasons for resenting it, of course --Democracy demands that we take great care of it (naturally, the tyrants take care of their own thing), democracy expects us to share with our fellow men their due (their part in us), and, how many among us do not feel we are due just a little (or a hell of a lot) more than we're getting? Democracy, like all other religions, demands sacrifice: We have to surrender to it that feeling, innate in most of us, of wishing 'a greater equality' than the next guy'. It's not [1967]all that easy (how many true democracies are there in he world?). If there is to be such a new republic, even the Tyrant must participate in it (going from tyrant to politician): We must allow him the freedom of our streets (which is another way of saying that for the circle to be broken we ought to have an ex-tyrant, rather than a dead & condemned one --which is normally the justification for the next tyrant). In such a world all the citizens can live to a fine excess without bouncing from extreme to extreme: I don't, of necessity, advocate here or elsewhere that crimes go unpunished --Our Protagonist must not have been such a bloody criminal as to raise the demand that he be executed. Who knows, maybe he himself even had a greater hand in the reestablishing of his country's democracy than the New democratic Men in power who allow the masses to think.

... There comes a moment at which the archetypical old man (and all such of them), dying, tries to pass the lessons, the mistakes his own lifetime have taught him (how to prevent); but, who listens to him now? [In reality, if such a thing ever happened in the real world (because this need always manifests itself only as a need), meeting it would erase it from the world (our consciousness) as utterly as if it had completely dropped off the face of the earth.] About the only thing he can do now is try to make them understand that he was no saint (Deity/excuse by which his living priests may rule in His name. I do not know (nor does he) if such things are possible to prevent. The motto of the tale now becomes his self-willed epitaph (Bolivar knew this as well).

... A matter of performance: Staged with a single actor (even, actress) to mouth the 'speeches,' and a supporting host of crowds, mimes, and stage-hands (to announce and/or carry about the 'sections' with placards, titles, comments, signs & props, and to manage scenery & backdrops), a background of painted locations both concrete & abstract (& Good luck!) [You can see this approach is like adding an interpretation to a piece of music. The roots of my relationship with art come through a musical tradition --it's an accident of my own history I wrote poetry (instead of music). As with music, my poetry travels from phrase to phrase by phrase.]@

^{178} [email protected]

^{179} [email protected]

^{180} [email protected]

^{181} [email protected]

^{182} "by" (instead of 'but') because logical@

^{183} [email protected]

^{184} [email protected]

^{185} Sandburg'[email protected]

^{186} [email protected]

^{187} "Old age itself is a sickness" [email protected]

^{188} [email protected]

^{189} "Without me, without me / all your days will be lonely. With me, with me / no night will be long enough for you" --Quotes Hofmannsthal in Strauss's "The Knight of The Silver Rose"@

^{190} Hamlet "melting to a dew" (pun)@

^{191} [email protected]

^{192} [email protected]

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