Saturday, April 5, 2014

False Starts

“Fake Start to the Absurd Epic”


Listen!  Oft in ancient time I’ve heard told

of the prophetic bards, who singing bold

could truly tune the music of the spheres,

allaying all congealed, unnatr’al fears.   

   You there, in futurity, see me fade

As ever present souls, forever made

anew, hover round my unsteady hand

and enter in, so that what had been planned—

(O Homer, Beowulf poet; Hear yea,

Milton and Blake!)—I now resolve to say.

Perverse curse of Babel we must reverse

before our Mother becomes all averse.

   Spirits, come to me and grace my gross tongue:

Let me relate the first battle-song sung

in fit numbers, heroic couplets strong.

   On the first battle-field ever, headlong

into each other rage the ancient ones,

propelling themselves by antique motions.

Occasionally a hand would drop low

to the ground, as their harrier torsos

were not yet upright.  But fiercer than we,

not entirely men, the foes carry

(in that free hand) whatever they can find:

various palm-fitting stones of all kind.

Red-rock and granite to smash skull and bash,

chipped flint and sharp stick to gouge out and slash.

Much smaller in size, these two angered crews,

ready each others’ bodies to abuse.

Who knew what started this dismal conflict

and engendered this terrible verdict?

Probably something of frivolous thought,

of pride, or envy at the other bought.

Past spirits could not yet enter these hands

which fumbled out losers’ bodily strands.

   Yet remains this evil, despite our pow’r,

Ferocious new tools seek more to devour.

Pitiful, unmated ape-women rend

out their hair, wail to the sky, and descend

to those fallen bodies in dreadful woe,

bellowing out a sickening canto. 



Ooolaley, Oolalley, teety, talk
What, sir, you mock?
When the vermilion smock
lies discarded on the floor,
know that all this war
tatters of flesh, unending day
and the silicon eye overhead
has bled the color from the canvas,
blocked the creator in the moor.

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