Sunday, August 2, 2009

Versification: On the Subject of Me

There now must be
something wrong with me,
drastically wrong, clinically wrong,
wrong enough to enable me to see the pharmacist.
in my nonage I was
a delicate soul, covered and dripping with high hopes for tomorrow.
I had friendliness
and was known to smile easily and to charm.

maybe I been somehow retarded,
or am a kind of defect,
because these days I smile less and
have all these
peculiar resentments
and burly ill wills
toward people
and forces I cannot precisely name,
unless I am being cruel or glib,
or beginning to bore
someone or more.
Whereas, most people are not alarmed,
or even troubled, let alone dragged into the sewers of animus
i am exploring,
which go everywhere beneath our streets:
You people seem to take everything in stride,
running spastic marathons of cum-happy self-indulgence above me,
as if to be American was to be a drug-dazed Olympic porn star,
or a Buddhist,
as if a world
by vermin with huge geometric hats and tumorous egos and
funny sigils and handsigns,
by man-made racist plagues
and collective self-mutilation,
poverty, and suffering
is not to be fretted over,
so long as a bloated standard of living
is within one’s grasp,

Few I know are
quite as mad or glum as I tend to be
when I recall the perverted plebiscites of 2000, 2002, 2004, etc,
or consider the amputated careers of Danny Casolaro, Fred Hampton or Cynthia McKinney, et al.

Other good citizens of the
Posed Nigh Nallevanera
may well be waiting for the other shoe to drop,
but they’re not high on red alert like me,
and their senses are so weakened
from their brave new pharmaceuticals
and spiritual water-boarding that
they won’t be able to distinguish the smell of shit from vanilla
when the day grows dark and the power is cut, as I might.
In these times it’s a grave curse to have a good sniffer like mine,
and almost pathological.

I would like to smell vanilla, too, when my head
is deep inside my ass or anybody else’s, but I can't.
I smell the fruit of the colon, everywhere,
Hanging low and heavy.

I am sort of singular in
my round contempt for so much of human nature, society, and government,
because for me the disgust has nothing to do
with fashion or posture,
or even self-loathing.
It is empiricism.
I read too much.
and think enough. I remember.
I smell shit all over the people and the places and the things
and because I don’t like the smell,
I can love myself.

deeply discomfited am i and spiteful about Nein-11, by God,
and other, less televised and telegraphed betrayals of decorum and stateliness:
like the unfair, repeat bombings
of crucially symbolic Iraqi mosques
carried out by
malignant, fork-tongued Whitey who never seems to sleep,
but it’s clear
that my agitation and spite mean I am
abnormal, high-strung, and self-important.
There are smarter folks than I, and they are willing
To think for me.

Other people are so enviable,
so selfless and content.
They have neat hobbies and spouses
and local concerns.
they say their children
with little wet noses beg them not to be bothered
with nasty politics and
the upsetting business of
bigger pictures and citizenship,
to ignore the ugliness for the sake
of the runny noses.
Constantly downloading, upgrading,
ordering, and strengthening their cores, most folks have vast, colorful wardrobes,
Social lives of hysterical pace,
and promising over-all hustles.
They have loved ones they do not
wish to offend or depress with
irresponsible theories and talk.
I have a morbid book collection
and a sense of fully outraged dignity that is
just constant enough to be
an albatross of guilt, hypocrisy and
hedged activism,
and a sense of impotency just severe enough
to keep me shuffling along,
a self-banished
member of the flock,
grumbling but fat,
following, but at its own pace,
a Lamb tricked into voting
and video games
and taxes.

I squirm from the vigilant awareness that I am
no better than anybody else;
even more harshly I itch and suffer from
being surrounded by morons
and cannibals
and sociopaths with titles,
with power, privilege,
and massive
private assault vehicles.

What is wrong with me
to be so sensitive in this way,
so irascible, when it’s true
I can eat out almost every day,
and own such a fine television and stereo,
and go to restaurants for most of my meals,
and enjoy dependable air conditioning?
What vanity, what a thankless parasite
I've grown to be,
nibbling at the national peace and
gorging on her fat mountains
of pride and satisfaction.
How much an ungrateful delusion,
to feel shame
when I watch
what are obviously very well-sanitized
images of the current endless war,
and to be upset mostly and particularly by these fabulous kill-ratios
and disfigured, burned, and bullet-riddled children
who I am rarely, if ever, even shown?

It takes an imaginative and unnatural dark gall,
and I have it,
to be pissed about the lack of evidence
for one’s own evil murderous handiwork.

Surely there is wisdom in being
sanguine or indifferent
about Iraq and all other fronts in our holy struggle,
because, as we all know, in serious matters such as war,
the rational adult requires
certain forms of positive proof,
like blood samples, or photographs of blood samples,
or footage of our boys losing bodily integrity.
But we see that American cable television has a
manifest blood-phobia.
It is even frightened of closed coffins.
Maybe the wars do not exist at all...
Perhaps I had a manic fever and
imagined the UN debacle, Abu Ghraib,
Haditha, Mazar-i-sharif, Pat Tillman,
Samarra and Falluja,
and the Basra Incident.
I read a lot of action comics as a child, true,
and watched plenty of Entertainment Tonight.
It’s possible that in
the finely-timed Aero-plane deaths of some of our highest political actors
I am merely seeing things,
frightened of heights, Kabalists, and Satan worshipers as I am.

Surely there is dignity and grace in
not being such a mean, wretched mosquito as myself,
seeking to drain the blood from
my neighbor’s day-dreams and fantasies of well-being,
from their nationalist pride,
complacency and contentment.

How dare I criticize this government while I fatten myself
on its many favors and dispensations?
Such unimaginable conceit I possess,
sulking here in my homeland
of Prozac-pecking bird-brained serf-zombies stricken with Priapism,
and me breathing its air with contempt!
If I don’t like it I should leave,
and go someplace we’re bombing with radioactive munitions
and expertly-placed C-4 charges,
and see if I like it better,
God damn me.

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