Shall I recede into a dead white literary annihilation?
The revolutionary sings
Out to a crowd of equal-minded pawns
About the hubric cruelty of kings,
But the dumpster’s heard it all before & yawns.
Who is the poet of this war? Where is the pacifist’s magnanimity?
Who will glorify the worm-feeding warrior? Where is the imagination’s salvation?
The spirit of joy! I am conceived in an instant!
In nine months I’ll be too old
To be drafted, & these magic eyes must squint
At a sun-load of stories too yellow to behold.
And the boys who prove the bitterness of victory,
Like their bard, will disappear into infinity.
In Japanese comic books I find all my answers.
Thru the gross perverted doodlings
And the incoherencies of plot & character
There is a poet’s lust for truthy things,
The stars & spheres ecstatically concur.
Those non-violent souls in stoned dreadlocks scream & articulate & scream!
Flags on bombs on graffiti on concrete, & naked machine-gun dancers.
And in an ancient epic style I pray
To Santa Claus & the I-Ching & the Nixon Dollar
That we’ll all sit at the same table one day
With the Saint & the Soldier & the Tax-collector & the Scholar.
And the girls who weep for the girls in the frontlines, in new professions extreme,
Like their bard, will resound across the hills of an ecchoing dream.
Where are the novelists who use sesquipedalians & discuss their own art in their books?
The pundit leans over during the commercial
And asks the show’s host if sooner or later
Their roles will spin in a festive reversal,
But neither will ever blip on my galactic radar.
Where is the Theater of the Judges? Where on this spec is heaven’s edge?
Am I our nation’s final poet of the divine? What use are prophets or ministers or crooks?
And with four simple rhymes I write
A love song for violence & lost ambition.
It will be read loudly at the beginning of night
Accompanied by sixteen musicians & quiet submission.
And the elders who created this whole rapturous mess will pledge,
Like their bard, not to jump like fools off a completely avoidable ledge.