Ode to Timbuktu

If only our youth were engrossed with Prokofiev and Buddhism, as were Ezra Pound and
his pals back in the day; if only the young could read. We’ve got them watching television
and that’s good, better one supposes than shooting up, but what dregs this country produces
and what lies we tell to hide.

The only progress to be found resides in eating and it is profound. People want to eat real food and this is an indisputable good. None of that canned ravioli I was fed, none of that Wonder bread we used to stuff down our gullets, followed by canned soda. Peanut butter and bologna sandwiches, white bread and mayo.

Where are the chicken feet, where are the pig stomachs? It’s the white middle class that thrives. They stay married, they visit their dentist. Otherwise, it’s all down the drain, beginning with
the dreck they listen to, the shit they watch, the wholesale lobotomy endured by the young,
so they will sit still.

Workers became hippies. Now they believe in free love; they shack up and let their kids shit
on the carpet. Not in my day. The kids parked their Beatles in front of the mansions on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. Hard hats scorned them. Now, the rich kids go to church and the workers are drug addicts.

Rich kids go to Sunday school; moms and dads see bargain shrinks with masters in psychology. They buy their houses after having a Feng shui observer give the place a going over. They install three or four Japanese wash-let toilets at $5,000 a pop, order in some top-notch sushi with avocado dip, and feel superior.

There is a reason only losers line up at the border. Word is out. The Swiss and Japanese bourgeoisie aren’t interested in being mugged. They know. The word is out. The US of A
is heading down the drain. Canada or Australia are better places to go. You can’t send your
kids to college in Atlanta.

Those who come are desperate. They have nowhere else to go. They don’t come to work
but for handouts. American schools can’t be bothered. Literacy has been dropped from
the curriculum, along with music appreciation. They learn to load guns. They apply
for free food. They are taught to lie to social workers.

Racism? Never before has anyone seen anything like it. Guatemalans hate Mexicans. Latinos hate blacks. The Armenians refugees loath their Russian neighbors and resent being told
to study Spanish. The Koreans feel superiors to everyone but especially Japanese. The Chinese look down on all whites and for good reason.

Out of this mess comes hope. Think tanks promote it. Hope sells. Hollywood still makes movies with happy endings. The Jewish producers are all in jail. The women sign up to make porno movies but refuse to disrobe. The ACLA sends in observers and takes the names of anyone not smiling.

It’s all so very cloak and dagger. She says she doesn’t like being looked at. He can’t stand smoke. The star has walked off the set because the temperature has risen above 72 degrees.
The crowd scene doesn’t have enough people of color. The food service is serving ham today and the Muslims have left. The director’s been fired for telling a starlet she looks nice.

The only solution is not hope. Hope and change were tried and failed. The last option is to give up. Sell the movie studios and set up farms. Hire actors to pick strawberries. Send the stars to dig up tree stumps. Clear the land. Grow soybeans. The only crop to avoid is cotton. Plant polyester.
The answer to everything, just ask Oprah, is food.

Classical Allusions

The journal called for “poems for the pandemic,” but my poem is for prostate cancer.
Could I submit for that? The magazine responds that they do not enter into correspondence
with creatives. Click on “Friends” if you wish to donate.

I once lived in LA. The smell of jasmine in the air, the raccoons, owls, and pastrami sandwiches on rye. LA. It is the only place I care to remember. In tones of punitive hysteria,
the righteous wag their putrid fingers. (Where have those fingers been?)

The crowd gathers, the spectators; one hundred for a couple of hot dogs. Today, as ever,
it is thumbs down. Kill. There is no gladiator but the people want him dead. They holler.
They shout. They are dying to see entrails.

Insomnia. Where I’m from that’s strictly for the ladies, worry; and then one’s appearance,
the beauty salon. Magazines; drinks: my mother enjoyed a glass. She’d drain a tumbler.
You write as though in thrall to pain. It’s pain, isn’t it, that you are after?

Has Hell been relocated above ground? This is the newest development in Western Civ.
If slavery is the greatest felony, where is the Holocaust? Some say, even better than E.T.
Why, it is the most profitable story discovered by Hollywood. It’s a hit.

It is the one story that defies Aristotle’s code of storytelling. It is tragedy without a funeral.
It is a plot without a protagonist. It is the only drama in history written neither by participants
nor witnesses but by spectators.

The grandchildren write of how they were made to suffer. The victims cannot speak
for themselves and are incidental. To hear the story is enough to make one suffer. The
lesson learned is this: the best way to prevent insurrection is annihilation.

Our legacy of eminence gives way to a celebration of ignorance. Atheistic nihilism
had its day but now, by embracing illiteracy and moral bankruptcy, critics don’t bother
with abstractions and universals. They bite their finger nails and shoot up.

A poem about the day the father of Frederick the Great threw his son’s male lover out
the window. Let it serve as a lesson in how not to behave in one’s family residence. My conclusion is this: we are all too old for universals. Barbarism once belonged to the past.

The dead do not awaken; they are forsaken. The idiom of hatred gains in prominence.
We are back on all fours. Inhumanity fuels progress. Coal mines and steel mills set the precedent. Hitler had a talent for turning men into engineers of human slaughter.

Lightning Strikes Twice

We are a Hell-haunted people, especially now since nobody believes in God.
Building and running Hell on earth has become the modern regime’s purpose.
Fantasies of the infernal fill people’s minds, first of dancing, then fornicating

and finally dying in flames. It can’t be true that I am the only one befuddled
by current events, with all hopes dashed and inevitable failure on the horizon.
Something tells me, if nothing else, that for once in my life I can boast of having

something in common with youth. The 18-to-25-year-old crowd who, just
a few years back, seemed light years ahead but are now living again back
at home, expecting their mothers to do the washing up, terrified their fathers

will cut their allowance. What happened to the hippies who gave up their lives
in search of meaning? Kids today superficially resemble said soul-searchers
but while their lives are in shambles, they make no pretense of caring about

the earth and not a bit about mankind. They seem instead content to hang
around their parents’ house into their late twenties, wondering how much
they can hope to inherit.

Lest we forget!—lest we forget! Not war but peace has triggered instincts within
of devastation. Many rejoice. Have, dear reader, you reached your pathological limit?
Or will we successfully beat back the hordes to emerge triumphant one last time?