November 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is an updated version of a piece titled ( for now ) continuum. It will continue to be expanded upon. I’ll let the poem decide where it wants to end up.


twisted metropolis pathways serpentine in blind reversal as the millionth way the sun could fall marks demise of day – still, stars cloisonné the sky – grime rates rise in bunkered taverns where practitioners of boister believe bullet point proverbs as they once did school yard scripture – all televised fang lined jaws work at grinding grain of propagandized punditry – overflowing plastique lips – spilling onto corporate shirted fronts – pistons of politico steam pumps pound dust into corroded eye –
you have got to dig before you bury, have got to plot before you dig –
have got to see before you plot –
have got to wear the stigma that: as it gets bigger it gets as it goes –
but the kept blind are picked up on daylit streets –
black Marias don’t stop to let riders out to wonder about size or direction of highways – it’s all a matter of getting down to the stiff shop and checking burial suits for imperfections – collars for garrote – cuffs for serrated wrist – funerary bliss for dismissed indentured children of golden mislaid promise –
boxes stacked in underturf warehouses awaiting indexing – marked reminders for comrades in harm – while above, shattered backs on tattered pant legs mark miles one heel drag at a time – and knotted canes in spotted hands tap out time alongside shuffled steps – through dust to where mothers seem to vaguely recall holding babes in days before fissures spiderwebbed the prairies – to where the terrain itself is employed to meet an end – death is etched in fading sky in clouds that are not clouds – formations rain molecular metal down on heads bowed over the work of mere existence – the weight of the knee in the small of the back is elusive, is it not?

he came to incinerate –
then hide the fires glare
behind a curtain of deceit

with eyes honed for the hunt
he makes a desperate slog
through rubbled streets,

finding faces floating like dust
across pupils glazed with
the refusal of belief

and cloaked against recognition

this serves him well,
he takes as he goes,
those left
in vanquished languages
with chests laid open

their drained hearts
trying to absorb
whatever light is distributed

as a stipend
from the state as protection

leaving children
to grasp at prisms
in the shards
of their parents
shattered panes

in him
raging slowly, it divided
with precision, and
as it consumed him,
it was said, that
it was then, that
he read the wicked fire
at last
what was meant by
the sequence set
in motion upon
his birth –
a neutron
binding events horrific
it will take
nearly all that
is left of him
to break
the programming

2012 Fred Whitehead


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