Poetry: Apocalypse Guidebook
Masterless, the angels are tourists in the year 4000
Though they just call it Thursday, since the days outlasted years
Armed with cameras, stakes for tents, titanium space ships,
They touch down on the blue planet.
They don’t come to visit me. I have escaped their vision.
My true victory wears a wolf’s head in the forest. It speaks without humanity.
The only One who knew me scared himself to death in the mirror
Whether because he was so empty there was nothing there
Or because he was everything, and everything is horrible,
He put his head through the glass,
And we are all forgotten.
Rudderless, the angels plough the Atlantic, heedless of the wrecks below
They ride titanic waves in straight lines, weather the hurricanes,
Arrive on shore in Guyana, express line to Suriname.
Pay no mind to the dust, they tell themselves, Except if you are allergic.
Even those who sneeze can douse the sensations with surgical masks
And I am still five thousand miles away
When my cells cried for remembrance, when the world was rotted
When I dashed myself in joy against some adamantine wall,
When I left my last manifesto splattered in blood and marrow on the wall
Glorious in life, my grave wept for what would have been,
For the joys I planted to reap sorrows.
Nebulae that some purposed gaze would find beautiful or amusing, places for celestial hedgehogs to gnaw, for the rustling creatures of Earth to find purchase, to
Meld others in obscene and warlike shapes, or else cup their cheeks in sorrow
Yet now, in the dark, my grave can only whisper, the dust chatters intermingled with a multitude
At last, it ruefully chuckles, we are all one and equal
The angels with their cameras pass over the spot, the very spot.
After a day, the blood was washed. After a week, an old woman hung on a rope.
After a year, the wall grew higher. After a decade, they broke it. For a moment, a ray of light.
After a century, we lost count. After a thousand years, the wall was gone. After two thousand years,
There was no one to remember the wall.
Only glass, which does not recall the reflections sliding like ice on the surface of the sea.
Plotless, the angels camp under the mountains, observing small herds of animals and tall trees.
[Look there? What was that? I think it used to be called a bat.
You’re full of it. No one knows that for sure. No, but it’s still annoying.]
They take blurry photos. No one knows the rules.
What are angels good for? Not keeping promises, to be sure.
They fumble with their tent stakes and tell ghost stories at night.
Stories that start with “on a dark and stormy night.” There are no veins in them for horror, and they
Everyone is used to poets trying to talk to them through the words.
No one will flinch when I write, “listen up!” Unless I leapt from the page and stabbed them in the heart, what could fail to bore them?
Still, consider this the adamantine wall. This is a stone you must stomp on. Offend my words. Crowd them out with your own graffiti. Colour between my lines. Do anything but let this die.
Because at the end no one will remember, and though death is not everything it is how it all ends. And when people leave a film or stop reading a poem, it is the ending that frames their response.