INCLUDED HERE ARE THREE LONG POEMS: Ode in the Guise…, You, Giacomo Leopardi, AND Thus Spake the Bitter Muse…
PART 1: ODE IN THE GUISE OF THE MOST FAMOUS POETESS PSAPFO OF MYTILENE*/
For those other times, the future informed by loves & sorrows of the past
Disguise, thou art a wickedness
Wherein the pregnant enemy doth much.
Some will remember us, i do believe, in the future. Psapfo to her daughter Kleis
Exiled in Sicily, in old age Psapfo writes a poem with her remembrances:
- Psapfo’s Proemium
Immortals, come to me again
if ever you earlier did.
O happiness-giving Venus, O delicate Kypria bringing regrets,
O tricky Cytherea skilled in plots, i implore you, as you came of yore
Hearing my voice from afar, leaving your Father’s house,
Yoking swift sparrows to your golden car, smiling at me,
Asking “Who’s done you wrong, O Psapfo? Whom do you now
Want me to bewitch?”
Take me under your wing, hear my cry,
O Mnemosyne, Mother of Muses!
I remember, O i remember
The past is present
Eros melts my members again shakes me to bits
hidden under the heart.
Pain-giver Eros, are your gifts worth it?
Pining after you more than after sleep & death,
Nor was your sweetness in vain. Tearfully smiling Andromache.
Algesídoros, mythóplokos: for, you give the weaving of stories.
Clear water is heard in the rustle of leaves, & the scent
Of roses descends shadowlike on the senses, waking
Old age is drying up my skin, knees bear me badly,
I can no longer dance around like a fawn,
Desire is more in my head than in my members,
Pain envelops my mind, what may i do?
Yet memory sings to me
of her lily-coloured breasts
Wherever i’m roaming on this Earth.
We too, in our youth, did these things
many beautiful things
In the cities & on the islands of humans
We lived boldly
& i listened
To your sometimes deep sometimes high voice.
This is no more the season of my youth. When you die,
Will i be the most loved one, the one who ferries you
Across the River of the Dead?
- Song of the Girls (expectation)
Some say most beautiful upon the black earth is an army of warriors,
Some say it’s ships, some cunning rings of gold, i say it’s my beloved:
Paphia, you made immortal Helen leave her king, her child, cross
The salt & roaring sea, & so i too, amid the traps, want to follow the
Seductive walk of my beloved, much more than the supersonic
Bombers & their white tracks in the sky, or the tanks
Shaking the city streets as they parade by. No jewels compare
To the luminous beloved human face, to the curve of the spine
As it sweetly descends to the places of delight.
Sweet mother of mine, i cannot concentrate on weaving this cloth,
I’m enthralled by a young man thru the will of delicate Venus.
The Moon has set, & the seven
Sister Pleiades, it’s the middle of the
Night, time is passing,
I sleep alone.
Neither honey nor the bee have yet
Fallen to my lot.
Beloved, only from you this youngster
Will receive the peace of love.
Without you i’m only a singleton human,
Owl hooting in vain from up on the beam.
Looking at you as i face you (O Paphia remember
You too have been in love, tell me what to do,
How to do it: be generous with your favours, tell me
Quickly, for you know we shall live together)
I propose to love you
As long as a breath shall be in me.
- Cry of the Women (sacrifice)
It must be allowed to mortals not impertinent
To tote up the cost, to complain what price the eager yearning
How you roast us over the coals of our desires
O archer, Psyche’s lover, boy eldest of the gods
Father of your mother brother of Death.
How often did i cry, how often hid & swallowed
My tears, embittered my heart! How badly
You shook it, like a tempestuous gust on high oaks
When Boreas ululates upon the mountains! As in the house
Of Hades i was, obscure among the shades, flung
Flying hither & thither, restlessly, in search of warm
Flesh & blood.
Sweet god of dreams, as you go across
The dark night, Onoires, even you
Vex me horribly: i dream i’m in a river of molasses
& cannot get to him, i dream i’m in a strange country,
& nobody has heard of him, of me.
When my beloved forgot sweet-gifting Venus, truly i wanted
Death. I said to Lord Hermes, i fear unhappy life
More than death, i’m overwhelmed by the desire
To see the mossy banks of Acheron & the lotus-
Flower of forgetfulness.
At gold-sandalled dawn
My beloved found a good reason we should part.
I said, “Go now & be happy, O Child of Peace,
& keep the memory of me. For you know
How much my love held you dear. Should you forget
I’ll hold up to you the mirror
Of all the high moments & beauteous
We have lived together. This treasure
More golden than gold, sweeter than the lyre
Sounds, nobody can take away
And Persuasion with her golden vase
Turned away weeping, nor could she pour
Nectar into our cups.
- Psapfo in Honour of the Brightness & the Union
In dream i talked to foamborn Venus
Like the nightingale who trills desire
No matter what the Father-Mother high above concedes to us,
I love the sun, for we understand
What is brilliant, what is beautiful.
Those who live see the light of the sun
Those who have died do not. Loving the sun,
I claim as my lot splendour & beauty.
I invoke the Muses, the Graces, & my Lady,
With her unruly son; i’m not stupid
& expect nothing from heavenly gods.
High Venus told me she loved me, &
For my comfort on lightless Acheron’s banks,
Promised a glory from all those the sun shines on.
So long as i can see with me are the works
Of the Muses. Those who follow them do not cry
Death cannot be overcome by laments.
I remember, O i remember
When i was like the purple hyacinth
Trod upon, high in the mountains, by the shepherd
When i was a sweet apple, high up on the highest branch,
That the pickers forgot, reddening alone
No they didn’t forget, they couldn’t reach that high.
Raise high the top beam, O carpenters,
Praise the god of Sexual Union, on the soft sheets
Of tulle, where desire is sated. Live well, O lovers,
You who are dreamed about.
O beauteous girls, O gracious boys!
I’m stung by memories.
That he seems to me tantamount to a god,
Who, sitting across from you, near to you,
Sees you & hears you
As you smile saucily, at which my heart
Stops suddenly: for as soon as i behold
You, the voice strangles
Within my windpipe, my tongue grows numb,
Tiny lightning tingles under my skin, a black night
Blanks out my eyes,
Noises tinkle tinnily in my ear, i start sweating,
All of me shakes, i grow greener than grass,
Almost pass out.
O Muse of many names, keep thou away from the wars
& celebrate with me the holy marriages, the banquets of humans,
& the feasting of the blessed, whom worries do not visit:
From sacred Cilicia come Hector & his companions
Accompanying Andromache of the slender ankles,
Similar to gods is their union, tremendously mysterious
To all, hurrying towards us, with sweet sound of flutes,
Of lyres & rattles.
Girls sang for them, & echo bore the song to high heavens,
Women cried eleleu amid vases of myrrh
Incense & cinnamon
Everywhere on the streets, & the men raised
Glad clamour invoking far-arrowing Apollo
Of the beautiful lyre.
Similar to gods are they, Andromache with Hector,
Mortal, different from gods, but not so long
As they see the sun.
I too want to go, think of my age-mates & friends,
& dance sparkling with joy for the union in Eros.
As long as the beautiful orb, Selanna, shines aloft
Stars hide their figure in her scintillating light
Illuminating all Earth.
Love was good in the hushed night, to which unsated
Remembrance returns brightly; with a worthy lover
I shared a life.
Thighs entwined, heads not too far on the pillow,
We slept in each other’s hollows like two forks.
I rage at the gods.
Still i remember your face, severely framed
White in black. May i see it before i cease
Walking under the sun.
Full shines Selanna, as when the sweet-voiced girls
Delicate danced around the altar, on tender herbs
NOTE */: Kypria, Cytherea, Paphia, are all attributes & aspects of Venus/Aphrodite. Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory. Psapfo is what we call Sappho, Mytilene is a synonym of Lesbos; I’ve avoided the latter terms which for us connote only one type of love. Boreas is the North wind; Selanna (or Selene) is the Moon but near to selas, luminosity. The sequence of choruses of Girls & Women follows that of the Hellenic epithalamia (though it canonically ended with one of the Men), which Psapfo often wrote; but it is twisted to DS’s purpose. Psapfo doesn’t necessarily identify with all any chorus says, she’s a ventriloquist; so is DS in relation to her. But the most outrageous heresies (“I expect nothing from heavenly beings”) are hers.
YOU, GIACOMO LEOPARDI
Per Daniele Pieroni
- BITTER DAYS
To follow the serene ones we have been given.
How did we get to so perverse an age?
(“sopra il monumento di Dante”)
O Giacomo, sickly brother mine,
Indomitable in your frail body, constantly
Wounded! Never ceasing to look
With eagle eye around you, to aspire, for your woman,
For Italy, for the broken wand of earthly
Domination & salvation:
Shall our sceptres all lie broken up,
Brought low in the mud, & nobody
Raise the fragments up & unite them
(“sopra il monumento di Dante”)
Stone & mud.
Muddy footprints on stony ground.
Rock beats scissors beats paper.
Paper wraps only rocks
Mud & blood.
- CAN WE?
O could i
In the dismal age, in this nefarious air
Keep the high image!
(“Alla sua donna”)
O could i
O could we
If we do
then we can
East wind has lost strength. Flowers have withered.
In Spring the silk-worm spins thread. Then he ends.
Then he’s put into scalding water. The thread is taken away.
Towards morning candles burn down to wick’s ash.
The grey hour is when we die. Tears then dry out.
- THE ENLIGHTENED TREATS A POISON ARROW
Are we of things, & the bloodied clod
Or hollow caverns resounding with our howls
Are not moved by our ills & wars:
Nor does human disaster discolour the stars.
(“Bruto Minore” )
Yes Giacomo: you speak true, looking thru your
Inverted telescope from Voltaire’s Sirius or the Andromeda
Nebula. Yet also Karuna & Upeksha are only
Two of the Four Boundless Virtues*/. Further
Truths of virtue can be given shape when we look,
Look more nearly at many bodies together,
Conjured up, striven for. Hear now the Enlightened’s
Parable of the Poisoned Arrow, sovrapposta:
“You ask: What is the reason i was hit by the arrow?
Was it fated or was i accidentally in its way? Are there
Higher powers that guide the arrow’s flight? Is the universe
Finite & eternal, so that everything has already happened
& i have been lying shot already a million times?
Or is it infinite & contingent?
Permit me to observe
We have no time for such questions now. Whether the universe
Is finite or infinite, in any case you are here,
Lying on the jungle floor, poison seeping into you
& your life-blood seeping into the ground. So we must
Quickly find a healer to pull out the arrow & begin
Counteracting the poison, to save your life, & also
Identify the evil-doer & break his bow, so that all of us
Will not get bushwhacked & killed off for good.
After we are all safe, you may ask again
(In the next kalpa).”
- IDENTIFY THE EVIL-DOER
Who disjoined the sword from your hand?
Who was the traitor? what art or industry
Or what gigantic power
Toppled your gracious rule?
How fell you, or when
From such heights into a low place?
Nobody left to fight for you now? nobody
Of your own to defend your own?
- LE CENERI DI TITO (BERLIN DAY, END OF C20)
German winter elder ladies with mink coats
Peroxide hair too much makeup
Lines slashing from both mouth corners down & out
I burrow into sleep quietly on morning islands
At the bottom of the ocean schools of fish
Soft murmur of weary voices
They are bombing Beograd & Novi Sad
No more theatre festivals in springtime
Blood silting up all rivers.
Whispering of fish jealousy of fish
If sharks were men
Big gangsters eat little gangsters
Peasants are burned out of their villages
City people bombed out of their homes
Thousands of Munch faces screaming
Humans from their womb humanity forcibly ripped
By progressive technology & humanism
Demanding oceans of blood
Western brainwashed in uniform shoot at Balkan brainwashed
The center doesn’t tolerate too much periphery
Top dollar American mercenaries bomb scared Serbian draftees
Bristly bearded gangsters from Beograd cleaning Albanians out of
They are madly in love with the Serbian destiny to suffer
Smooth shaven gangsters from Washington upgrading armament technology
They are madly in love with the profits of arms industries
Booms in Balkan skies booms on the stockmarkets
Communicating slaughterhouse vessels
Oceans of blood oceans of profit
Who is king of the world jungle must be made quite clear
Sharks are not so clever except in fable
Now you can touch what we lost with Tito’s brotherhood & unity
Now you see how a people’s revolution is eradicated
One million & three quarters dead in the partizan war
A ton of TNT to wipe out every dead partizan
These dead are dangerous they must be killed again by bombs & lies
Counter-revolution by the center against the periphery
Blood on stone blood & stones
Thou shalt not get out from under world banks fish mouth silently
This is Moses & the prophets
- FLOATING ISLANDS
is there peace in this world?
the torture of humans continues
evening light island just floating
shaking like a baby carriage
even archeologists perish in the end .
(Hayashi Fumiko, 1930)
- DOUBLE-ENTRY BOOKKEEPING: BOTH/ AND
(“Bruto Minore”) THE MANIFEST, O! (TAT TVAM ASI)
|O conscious future age! The times
Turn precipitously nasty, & it won’t be
This corrupt generation
To honour high minds & avenge
The miserable. The black raven
Preens his feathers around me:
This trampled body my shame
& the winds take my memory & name.
(“sopra il monumento di Dante”)
O glorious shade,
Tell me: is the love for your cause dead?
Say: the fire of which you burned, is it spent?
Say: the poetic laurel that was ages ago
A balm to our pain, may it green anew?
|Bullets, beatings, starving, organized lies now fetter
Each fleshly person; the bourgeois free-for-all-pelf
Brings living death. The exploited proletarians of Self
Can only get free by forming an alternative, better
Togetherness: where reason & feeling are not enemy classes
But each other’s highest, jealously grasped good: when
The art of word-processor programming is Zen
& Eros the science of ensuring that the current passes
Between thee & me, an a priori & technology
Organizing space & time so that we may mesh
On hard mattresses with a joyous rightness:
A tightness of fierce feeling twinned beyond apology
With structured reason, the twain then lighting up all flesh
& levitating the two Selves to one lucid lightness.
For on this rock we shall erect
The Church that works from downside up
The Third Age church of Holy Bodies
Both personal & congregational:
See: hunger, killings are not needful
The pie in TV skies deceives
Give us today our daily sweets
Give us down here the sacred hearts & sense.
Return to body its merry pump
Rid of the fat that has enclogged it
The overeating brought by hunger
The ulcers caused by profit slash & burns.
Return to brain its hormonal bath
Disturbed by wolfish enmities
To people & birds & beauteous trees —
When heart & brain work well, we shall be saved.
If you, O masters, will not let us
Be saved, entirely we must
Remove you: profit is the fat
In bloodstream, profit brings the early stroke.
Your lying church will be dismantled
Our Earth at last inhabitable,
Polluted eyes may see no godheads
The cleansed may go to many-coloured stars.
When holiness meets wholeness
& the people absolute,
Washed clean of Class Division Sin
We may aspire to the cosmic Lute.
What is left? Has the green
Been divested from things?
(“Ad Angelo Mai” )
Who may know?
Dark twisters whirl all around our adrift life
In this drift nothing can be taken for granted
Road signals horrify us like pestilent dragons
We are strangers amid corrupt beefy policemen
Pleasure comes smelling of closed plastic bags
You talk to me polite as a smiling automaton
Filled to the brim with quarters
No sense of a her or his story that would be ours
But ah! the balcony on Barbados,
The sea’s azure expanse
beside the cannibal global market
How the teenage harlots’ curse
Runs in blood down World Bank walls
The deranged in command of armies do not know they’re mad
Blind people leading the nations do not see their blindness
Reproduced by deep class interests, they’re in the dark all their lives
Dying time & time again, they take revenge in killing others
At the end of their deaths they’ve forgotten there was light.
Drummer, drum on & have no fear
& kiss the bare-breast Liberty!
This is the whole of science & art
The sum of all philosophy.
Drum & inveigle the drowsy people
Send the snake’s hiss & roar of lions,
One step in front, ready to die,
This is the sum of art & science.
This is old Karl’s dialectics
Of all philosophy it is the Summa.
I’ve understood it because i’m not stupid,
& saw the Revolution one Summer.
*/ The Four Boundless Virtues (catvary apramanani) of Buddhism are Maitri = friendliness for all; Karuna = Compassion/sorrow for all; Mudita = rejoicing for all; & Upeksha = Detachment from all, including the first three. NOTE: Tho still properly atheistic, as in Gautama, mine is a rather heretic Buddhism. 7-251200
THUS SPAKE THE BITTER MUSE: DO NOT PROFIT BY THE BLOOD OF YOUR FELLOWS! (A Pastiche)
With filial greetings to Tanakh prophets, who believed the only copyright resides in the voice that speaks to and through them all.
Dedicated to Rich D. Erlich, in poor return for all his counsels and encouragement
The words of the Assembler of Sayings, one of the defrocked ones in the lineage of Benjamin. The word of the Muse our Lady came to him in the days of rebellious Mazdak the Liberator, and throughout the days of betrayal and ruin when Mazdak was killed and of the murderous Warring States, and until the crash of the Great Plague coming from above by the power of inhumanity and its followers, when Jerusalem went into exile and the Assembler too died.
—And the Muse looked frowning at him, and said, What are you doing?
Don’t you see how they profit by the blood of your fellows?
–O Muse my goddess and lady,
Have pity upon me! How have I
Offended you? I have not sat
In the company of revellers and drugged away
My brains, I have not been an oppressor.
I have sat lonely because of your hand upon me
For you have opened my eyes,
You have shown me red of the morning
& it has turned into black of the evening.
Why must my pain go on, my wound
Fester open, no healing in sight?
You have been to me like a delightful spring
That fails, water to quench my thirst
That cannot be relied upon.
I have spoken to your people
As i knew, not precisely enough,
& now i am too old.
O Muse, my strength and my stronghold,
My beauty and my desire,
My refuge in long days of trouble,
I am like a tamarack in the desert
That does not sense the coming of rain,
I am set in the scorched wilderness, placed
In a barren land without a human face.
I am hungry & thirsty,
Harvest is past
Summer is gone
Grapes have ripened
Autumn is gone
But we have not been saved.
Because my people are shattered i am shattered
I am dejected, seized by desolation.
My heart is crushed within me,
All my bones are trembling.
Is there no balm in aesthetics?
Can no physician be found?
When one is found, why is he straightway
Killed? Why has no healing
Come to my poor people?
O to be in the desert
At an oasis, a caravanserai for the weary,
O to leave my people
To go away from them
To cultivate a little garden
& not be afraid.
For they whore after Mammon
& after the Lord of the Hosts,
Their running is wickedness
Their straining is iniquity.
A band of rogues,
They kill, lie & destroy.
They advance from evil to greater evil,
& they do not heed You, Lady,
They profit by the blood of their fellows.
–Verily, thus spake the bitter Muse,
Do not be afraid, O mortal, for
You shall die as all animals do,
Nothing worse can happen to you but
To die badly having lived badly.
So do not say “I am too old”,
& do not say “I am not worthy”.
I have made of you my spokesman
& you stand before me. If you produce
What is needed out of the dark times
You shall be pleasing & i shall be pleased.
For i set before you the way of life
& i set before you the way of death
& the Muse put out her gracious hand and touched my mouth and my forehead,
and she said to me: See I appoint you as my Speaker
To the classes & empires,
To ignorant sweaty faces
Of lean people drinking beer
& to devious rat faces
Of obese people drinking bourbon.
Go tell the truth of abomination
That my people may overthrow the violent
In self-defence, lest even worse befall,
Call them to destroy & to build,
To uproot & to plant.
Verily, said the embittered Muse,
They bend their tongues like bows
& shoot poisoned word arrows
Thru a thousand thousand loudspeakers.
They have trained themselves to falsify pictures
Through a thousand thousand screens.
Their words are used to deceive
Their brains are used to spread plagues.
Their might is great and conscience nil
They are famous in the world
For treachery not honesty,
For lying not professing truth.
And the Muse said, Because they forsook the teaching I had sent them by poets & prophets, because they did not follow the Word but their own covetous heart and Mammon and the Lord of the Hosts, as their fathers had taught them, verily, i am going to feed people wormwood & make them drink a bitter draft. Tornadoes tsunamis & volcanic eruptions shall be as nothing to what i see them doing to each other, wearing top hats and spats, quoting competing Sacred Scriptures in black or white coats.
From the battlefields and the stock-markets
Disaster shall break loose upon all the denizens
Of what was a fair planet.
Each speaks to his fellow in friendship
But lays an ambush in his heart.
Every man beware of his friend!
Every woman beware of her man!
Trust not even a brother or sister,
Unless they defend against the violent.
For the mountains I am weeping,
For the pastures in the wilderness I sing a dirge,
They’re laid waste, they are sere,
& no birds sing. Beasts & fish &
Birds of the sky have been & are gone.
I weary of this failed animal Homo
I send some of you as a final warning
This is your Last Chance Saloon,
Do not profit by the blood of your fellows!
—And the angered Muse spake to me again and said: What do you see?
I replied: I have been shown a system that is a seesaw,
An arrested balance going nowhere in a hurry,
& those up are kept by those down,
They worship mental sloth & Mammon,
Violence and the Lord of the Hosts,
Not the loving caress of the Goddess.
—And she said to me: You have seen right,
For I am watchful to have you say the right.
So prepare yourself, arise & speak to them,
All that i tell you to.
Do not break down before them
Lest i break you before them.
I make you today a scapegoat,
An otter & a masked rider,
A prism & a telescope,
A pirate against kings & officers
A raider against priests and bureaucrats.
They will attack the truth-tellers,
Jail them, torture them, kill them
By thousands: Rosa Lev Che Antonio…
Ah i lack time for all the names
But they shall not overcome
For i am with you, though many die
(Declared the Muse & Goddess)
To see whether your species can be saved
For it hasn’t played out its melody.
Your people of renown & leaders,
Your great academics who should know better,
Have not asked themselves “Where is the Lady,
Great Mistress of gods and of people?”
The guardians of the teaching ignored me,
& the prophets prophesied by Mammon
In Malibu mansions & Park Avenue homes.
The rich who rule defy & hate me,
Those with obese devious faces
Drove furiously on the road to the crash
Pushing toxic trades with the speed of light.
The leaders of their cyborg armies
Consorted with the Beast of Abomination
Coolly looking at the rivers of blood
From their heights. O i will go on
Accusing you all (said the Goddess):
My humans have exchanged bitter medicine
For cancer wrapped in sweet images.
Be appalled, O heavens, at this
Be horrified, utterly dazed!
Verily, said the bitter Goddess,
I shall put stumbling blocks before these people
Over which they shall stumble,
Fathers & daughters alike
Mothers & sons alike
Neighbour & friend shall perish
Even my prophets shall perish
So that the planet may be cleansed.
I am putting my words into your mouth as fire
If these people remain obdurate, they shall be
Firewood, which it will consume:
Do not profit by the blood of your fellows!
—& i prepared myself, apprehensive
But not too afraid, and said,
O foolish people, clever only
At cheating each other,
You have eyes but cannot see
You have ears but cannot hear!
From the greatest down to the smallest
You are all greedy for profit,
Priest & prophet act falsely,
The rich & the scribe speak falsely.
You boast of healing the people
Saying “All is well, all is well”
When nothing at all is well.
You have acted shamefully
But do not feel shame
& cannot be made to blush.
Your ears are blocked by greed & filth,
Your eyes are blinkered by the lust of domination. See,
The Lady’s word has been spoken,
But for you it is is an object of scorn,
You wilfully turn away. But I am
Filled with the wrath of the High One,
I cannot hold it to myself.
Pour it on the infant sending SMS in the street,
On the company of youths in the discotheque!
Yes, men & women alike shall go under,
Elders in asylum, babes in the crib,
Their homes shall go up in flames
Their fields shall be seared.
They shall stumble when the Goddess
Raise fires & floods against them.
Consider the ancient ways:
What is the road to happiness?
Travel it, find peace for yourselves
& peace for this ravelled globe.
But they said “We will not”, for they were afraid
Freedom was a disorder. Hear well, nations,
Simplicity is too difficult for you
The end of your schemes is disaster.
Let your misfortune rebuke you
Let your affliction reprove you
Mark well how bitter it is
To forsake the Way of the Lady.
How can you say “I am not corrupt
I haven’t gone a-whoring after Mammon’s Banks
I haven’t burned flesh with the ravening Lord of the Hosts”?
Look at your million-fold crimes in Iraq & Palestine,
Consider how you destroyed my people of Yugoslavia
Bombing Beograd worse than the Nazi Stukas,
How you starved my first-born of Africa
Like a hyena crunching bones of cadavers
Snuffling at the wind in her eagerness
Whose passion cannot be restrained.
Like a thief chagrined when he is caught
So are the speculators surprised when the stocks crash
So are the demagogues when wars are over.
Where is Mammon in your hour of calamity?
Let him arise & save you if he can!
Let the Lord Who Destroys also produce justice!
Your garments are drenched
With the lifeblood of the poor
You ravage entire continents like a meteor megacrash
Tens of thousands are drowned in immigrant boatloads
O wasting generation, hear the word of the Lady:
Do not profit by the blood of your fellows!
–& now, said the bittersweet Goddess,
I have made you an assayer of my people
A refiner of the earth of which they are made.
The bellows puffed mightily,
The lead was consumed by fire,
Yet the smelter smelted to no purpose,
The dross was not separated out,
I shall reject this base metal.
They are copper & iron, stubborn & defiant,
They deal basely & act corruptly.
You who build your cities upon injustice
& your penthouse upon exploitation
Of nature & your fellows, you who work the needy
For profit taken from their living labour,
Who think “I built me vast palaces
With spacious penthouses on the ninetieth floor
Provided with platinum & mahogany
Painted by the most expensive painters”,
Do you think you are any nobler
Because you compete in mahogany
Because you eat off gold
Because you show off ebony or alabaster?
Can the capitalist change his lust for profits
Or the leopard and hyena their spots?
Just so much can those do good
Practiced in the arts of doing evil!
If you eat & drink simply
Ply a loving justice
Stop polluting brains & braes,
All will be well on any floor.
If you do not, you shall have
The burial of an ass, dragged out,
Lying outside the gates of Jerusalem,
A wretched broken pot,
A smashed vessel no one wants.
Is Man a serf, a slave?
Why is Columbia given over to plunder?
Wild beasts have roared over her
Hyenas raised their cachinnations
Her land has been made a waste
His cities desolate & polluted.
China India & United Europe
Jostle in the selfsame darkness.
How high is the price you are paying
For leaving the ways of justly living
Which I showed you through earlier anointed —
That what there is shall belong
To those who are good for it:
Work to the workers,
Learning to those learning,
Children to the motherly
Communism to the poets,
& poetry to every wo/man.
If you do not accept correction
You will be destroyed.
I will scatter you like straw
That flies before the simoom.
This shall be the portion,
The proper measure you’ll receive.
Send for the dirge-singers, let them come,
Quickly start a wailing for Humanity,
Summon the skilled women, let them come,
That your eyes may run with water,
Your ears hear lamentations. For death
Is climbing through your windows,
Entering your fortresses of torture,
Flying with the missile-toting bombers —
Do not profit by the blood of your fellows!