Rats of the Real

Tiny rats
in bright red pants
ran up the stairs
and then ran back.
What are you not reading,
the sleeping man asked.
And the rats said,
We are not reading
the apocrypha

And we laugh into the dark
For all the nights
we have spent
avoiding that.

He looked at them
and they looked
back
Why not read them
then,
he asked.

Or great poets
like Dante,
or fine minor poets,
say perhaps
Hardy
or Walter de la Mare?
Charles Simic?
St John of the Cross?

The rats
were
tearing newspapers
into little strips
for the black and white beds
that would cushion their tiny acts
of rat communion.
The man was puzzled
at these facts
and went to bed inside his sleep
to dream
of a day
in which
tiny blue furballs shaped like men and women
decreed with great conviction
that all rats must read.
And soon, quite soon,
maybe sooner than soon
the world was electric and dire
and almost entirely dead
with learned rodents.
And in the few people still alive
inside that obsidian misery
there was dread
of a kind no one had ever seen,
with great electrical configurations
in the shapes of angels
and furry scholars walking nowhere
with texts for eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Song of the Dead

 

1

Pain is our science.
Love is our bread.

The light swells inside us.
The light bursts inside us.

We are burning memory.
As memory is burning men and women.

You are always your deaths-head
You cannot see us.

 

2.

Amiable little fellows
Tumble down as if from heaven
and fall into the Western well
with its pale blue, dyspeptic
always eliding
and discriminating

economies of scale

 

3

Little miseries
R us.
Touched
with great chasms
of dyspepsia
and lust

 

 

Oracle

At the oracle a blue gel of sky
still glistened
like a man o' war.
And little figures
with excellent manners
spoke gibberish,
tossing the texts so many loved
into a dark blue fire.

**

Great machines augmented their speeches.
Tiny pistoliers
made of broken words
did as they wished with the public's tears.
And the great leaden dragon who would swallow them all
formed them in flames and they did not know

**

Sighing into the mask of his unwritten death
one scrawled the symbols of his gnosis in a secret cave
The walls are red and distant. Black
with grave glosses and fragmented manifestos.