Unable to Deceive God into Helping Me
Like observing a long, long funeral
or flinching at a sudden flash of light
born of rude mystery and everlasting night;
the long, long preparation
massive, moving corpus, flesh concoction,
endures before my captive senses…
Without elation I begin to whisper a prayer
when someone or something screams, “Silence!“
My comprehension demeaned
again and again the scream,
cruel celebration, devious death knell—
single thin voice or corpulent chorus?
The scream slams shut like a door
the door slams shut like a scream
the corpus deformed, sickness made sacred.
No asylum!—the Procession must move on
as surely as the Earth must spin its surly course
as surely as life must cease its plaintive twists…
Infant’s initial cry a eulogy to self
scattered adult tears unprovoked elegies
first and last protests noted without concern—
the Procession must move on,
dark, dark, life-provoked screams: “Silence! Silence!“
In most naked truth, silence be damned,
Sisyphus kissed the cold stone
Samson loved his blindness
Medusa was not all that unkind.
As the exit hazedly appears, vision-like,
I am an unsanctified man
kissing cold stones, craving blindness, praying for Medusa’s caress,
yet my bones and flesh resist the departure
even as the end offers its promise of painlessness…
Love that gave me voice
was that exact same love which eliminated choice:
the choked storyteller remains entrapped
remembering love even in lovelessness
still in strictest possession of the Procession.
God winks, occasionally accepts blame,
but refuses to explain madness or beauty
refuses to abandon cunning or salvation.
The Garden was hardly grandeur
no real coming or going, never any real fleeing,
the Procession swallows all, all is the Procession.
Cryptic devils in apocalyptic rags,
underbellies aglimmer, blemishless,
prod and pierce with cold, plentiful regrets
the Procession their pastime, the sportive test
of talents misbegotten from impious embraces
the rigid encasement of darkness
then the slightest breach, mere sliver of defect,
light shining upon the appalled Procession…
Lenient light, retracted swift as fear, the sliver sealed,
the light sacked and blackened into memory.
The fleshy forms of the Procession
plumb the numbness of their march
with starved fingers pleading for sensation—
slapped and slashed, ganglia anaesthetized,
inserted unrealized into insentient vaults
so vital to the Procession’s progression…
The particles enslaved within weaker particles
within the particle of a particle
such durable minuscule captivity
such tribute to the marvel of manacling genius.
Sentimental assassinations, homespun euthanasia,
the Procession’s firmest delusions,
séances contacting the living, telephone calls to the departed…
The crowd feigns rest, hushes violently,
then en masse screams, “Silence is golden!“
and forsaking the simple divine connection
and forgetting that reaction follows action
explodes into the Procession’s lovemaking:
kisses that collide
like fist to flesh, flesh to fist,
angered dark-alley pugilists.
The uncomplicated proposition of divinity
leaves the chains no less sturdy
will not end the bondage of lies…
And amidst the movement and silent yearning
Argus-eyed, labyrinthine-veined Procession
commands a pause for a minor crucifixion
to swirl languishing appetites.
A palm reader, most holy man,
friend of Babylonian Talmudists,
discoverer of guilt and shame
nose against a scroll, reading centuries,
sweat pouring, heart pounding, mind obeying,
labours over an unholy man’s worn palm
until a disobedient voice gasps, “The man has no arms!“
The Procession thick in impostors posing as impostors.
A single death stone marks an entire age,
footprints mingle in death cadence, soiled march,
caskets comprise the soured landscape, spoiled haven,
the graffiti of prison walls scribbled everywhere
by undaring hands childishly acclaimed…
The Procession spreads its Earth-and-history-sized arms
and ardently gathers together one and all
in joyous anticipation of the rumoured final Fall.
Calling the sun frozen or the sky pallid changes not the eternal design,
the Procession is what it is, not what I say:
the savage thunder of once-soft songs
years that have grown frail and cantankerous
vanished seasons, wayward maturity, uncontested caducity…
What grand gesture will alter the unredemptive flow?
What cogent tantrum will hinder the Procession?
I start to mumble a response, a formula for an antidote,
a concoction that might be a remedy,
something that resembles immortality in the dim light
an unsatisfying immortality, less than savoury.
Gesture and tantrum fail me
as I proclaim the poison is an elixir
the elixir a curative
and once again I am unable
to deceive God into helping me.