this is the year 2020 and we are in the last month of it.
this is a year stained by pandemic,
unkempt by howling human governance,
delighted in its ineptitude.
we like to tell stories about
the destruction of humanity, about
another triumphant disaster of nature,
shooting stars lining up our spinning sphere
against the firing squad wall. or
nuclear war and our damnation of eternal Winter night.
i rather like a Winter’s night;
i once lived in Fairbanks, Alaska,
where i went to college and drank alcohol
to feed the exotic garden of my domestic depression.
i would wander through campus at night,
ice fog making haloed saints of parking lot’s orange lights.
this is an environment where a Winter night stretches
from August until May, allowing ample time for ice
to work your roots into its clutches.
i still like a Winter night, even if i still am in the pain of thawing.
there is a song i like that says the line,
“reality has a far duller edge”.
this is what i think when looking at this last
month of the Western calendar year 2020;
perhaps yes to nuclear war.
perhaps yes to annihilation by star fire.
though, perhaps it all has far duller edge, maybe
we find our demise in the pillory.
unable to agree upon what is true and what is “fake”,
we grow ourselves wooden.
the absurdity is of course hysterical,
in the modern definition of that word,
which is “funny”. the hysteria,
in the other way we define that word,
of those who disbelieve anything that conflicts
with their desperate desires for a world
that fits into their puzzled mind,
this too has a comical coating.
tears of laughter and tears of despair,
they really aren’t that far apart.
we meager humans are perfect in our dazzling frailty.
we are inventive and given to magic.
our bones support these animal skins of impermanence,
the briefly muscled face peels back the lips,
throws open the graveyard of the mouth,
allowing in the Winter night,
the starburst of our final glorying sight.
and allows out the soft sigh of that which may be
our final utterances. that our roots are flooded
or they are frozen.
and we do not believe that which is
right here in front of us,
inside of us,
belief is the arrow that stops the beating heart,
that feeds the open mouth,
that pillories the inflexible mind.