Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "This is the way the world ends--Not with a bang but a whimper" has died in a hail of bullets fired from a helicopter gunship.

(now, children, hold your hands and dance
we listen to the music and when it stops
we step into our graves)

bang, bang
bang, bang

after we are shot we are shot some more
the explosive sounds drown out laughter on the ship
glory of god, the killer in the sky

when we die in the street we hold dust in our hearts
waiting to be run over, waiting to be deleted
like a blinking dot on a screen

delete, delete
delete, delete

we are the stuffed men
we are the bags of humanity
eating bad news from a bucket
picking out the splintered bones
and sopping up the grease with towels

(little tin soldiers fall in love
everything fits in the small of your hands
but bit by bit fate derides the magic
none can see them, but none can hide)

we are killing the children
like a genius, we kill most of them
when they grow older
so as to not be caught
some we kill when young
some devoured, some discarded

(is this tolerable, asked the fairy queen
do you like being a phantom?
we'll fly together in the meadow
sprinkling light from shimmering stars)

we are the stuffed men
the human machines of commerce
too few to catch, too many to fight
every dollar crushes every scream
every day a new winner

our products are made to kill!
our bullets blessed
our missiles true
come on down and see for yourself!
come down to the street and die!

(have you left the nursery?
have you severed a life for profit?
come children, come and play
come to live another day)

hard are the days of thunder and blood
deep are the nights of cold despair
blinding is the light of god
you are dead beyond repair

(here we go gathering nuts in may
nuts in may, nuts in may
here we go gathering nuts in may
and then are seen no more)

the people have forgotten horror
and sneer at the reminders
lives made hard by god and men
lives made into bones and dust

children do not attend lectures
except when forced
they only go to funerals when somebody takes them
put them in the back of the van
and bullets will find them
hooray for our side

(do we live in a bad story?
do we live in a bad dream?
are you a good witch or a bad witch?)

in the end the children did nothing
they walked the road with heads down
daring not to look to either side
whole cities vanished in the weeds
whole hearts turned into fractions
above them the spinning blades
above them the righteous guns

bang, bang
bang, bang

a whimper and a bang


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