World Affairs from the Sidewalks of Life

“We must love one another or die.”
― W.H. Auden


All of us, thrown into the slaughterhouse
of history,
thrown into a world of assassinated Caesars
and crucified Christs, into a woeful
world of bombs and mayhem, a
world one madman away
from nuclear annihilation,
a world of rich buffoons and
censored truthtellers, a world
where cancer eats the flesh,
and inflation eats the earnings,
and progress eats the soul.

I emerge from a grimy dive bar on E 4th Street
and sit on a gratified bench in the 3pm hot sun
to watch the frantic folks babble on phones
and walk with an unholy detachment
on the sidewalks of an evanescent
empire.

Everything is noisy and zooming by,
fast fast fast,
the great symphony of modernity —
cheap amusements, diversions, billboards of
smiling stooges, steel and cement and wifi,
guns and knives and needles,
conmen, thieves, and murderers,
fat wallets placed in the back pockets
of adderall-souled bigshots looking for the kill,
but hey, I just sit here half-drunk in the
golden afternoon and admire the girls
because the world is ugly
and they’re still pretty in their rustling skirts,
and their lavender smiles make me smile
as they stroll by my saluting eyes.

O America America America
what have you done to your children, these cogs
in a relentless wheel, these nervous news-watchers,
these swollen toads of bitterness
and anxiety who wage war on
their own lives. Goddamnit,
this place reeks of mediocrity and madness,
I say let us burn burn burn the hollow creeds
and the bureaucratic rules of this
waiver signing society and let us revive the
Promethean fire of the dead poets.
Whitman
Lorca
Rimbaud
Verlaine
Hölderlin
Rilke
Ginsberg
Hesse
Baudelaire
Auden
have more to offer than any of these pathetic
media folks who have a
vested interest in keeping you and I
“adjusted” to the soulless
status quo.

Let us burn burn burn
the headlines of treachery
and the flimsy thrones of all these
pallid-hearted politicians, and
let us do away with the life-negating
dogmas and all the
stupidity
corruption
greed
war
murder
and the childish delusions
that sustain these idiotic inanities
of a belligerent world.

Luckily the ravens still flutter
in the demented wind
and the lilies bloom somewhere far off
in spite of the murderous affairs
of the world, and here I am,
sitting in the golden afternoon
on the incomprehensible streets of mankind
half-drunk with a 4 day beard
thinking of nothing valuable,
nothing special,
nothing revolutionary,
just sitting there in the
golden gloom of the afternoon
dreaming about pine forests
and jugs of wine
and old trains
slicing through prairies
while quietly awaiting
the next lavender smile
to pass by.

2 thoughts on “World Affairs from the Sidewalks of Life

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