Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Life Later

Men in satin, hand signaling, no, hand
divining—intelligence . . . is where?
Under mitres? Are we brained? Skin-lose
camouflage, humanness is wicked.
I quiver when I urinate.

The nun’s bulldog face, with thick jowls,
from overeating? It seems slimness
is in order.
I frighten easily.
The massiveness of it all. The tenth-century
unelucidated, repeated,
horrors I’ve read of, can sense in monk
portraits on wood.

Have you noticed the eyes of a monkey while
eating a grasshopper—the way we would
a candy bar? The emptiness.
The way Nigerian soldiers can kill a man:
“Don’t shoot him in the head,” says one
to another whose weapon is also raised.
“I want his hat.”

The jowled face fascinates. The mantra it repeats,
over and over, litanized,
over and over, by a classroom of subjugates.
Self subjugates.
Decision doesn’t exist. Can I defend myself?
I have that fear.

Beyond indifference.
Not solely self-preservation. A perversion,
for lack of a better word.
They shot babies at My Lai.
They heel gerbils in Texas.

A sidearm in a restaurant: “Think of it as a fire
extinguisher,” says the man.
“Then why not carry a fire extinguisher?”
I ask.

Hasn’t it been said? Isn’t it still being said?
Fear wears you down. Comes at all angles.
A killer praying for a good kill.
A broker praying for a good kill.
A chalice of blood, a body—
man will never escape—he sees
no need to escape, nothing to escape from,
or to escape to.

A long history, a prehistory, moving toward
no conclusion. Who will say that?
Who will accept that?
I need to, but I’m too frightened.
Of you.