YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

March 2005

VOL XIII Issue 3, Number 143

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken
Production Editor: Heather Ferguson European Editor: Moshe Benarroch
Contributing Editors: Pedro Sena; Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Oswald LeWinter

ISSN 1480-6401





      Stele of Fortelling


      The Timeline
      Game Plan
      Q & A
      Neutron Bomb
      Eyewitness Account
      Why it Happens
      New Gods
      On Dealing
      Wheelman's Report
      Their Women
      Thanksgiving 2004
      In the Future
      Eating Right
      Stern’s News
      Bowerie Chapel
      Keeping On
      The Prince
      Humanitarian Effort
      Missa Nigrum
      The Merck Solution
      Doomsday Dave

      Images on Stone




Stele of Foretelling

We think the world is growing warmer;
every year grim snow and ice retreats.
We are becoming landed farmers
sowing maize and barleycorn and wheat.
In the vat fermented mystery,
at the cutting forge iron bound wheels,
all but banded eyeblink history
in the turning of your fleeting bones. 
Someday Saraswati paradise
will be a stony desert burning,
what you call a fertile crescent dies,
no graceful women chant their querning.
It will be a barren place named Thar
from which appalling horsemen riding,
with hard blinding rain and brazen cars
their wind will scour your paltry hiding.
All this will be poisoned salted earth
and the noise of their sabers madden;
oh ye fools who know not what it’s worth
nor the breath of ecstasy you had.

The Timeline ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Karol hung on as long as he could because he understood Malachi. Jeb forced a million criminal hoods off to the Galilee wars to die. Pootie sent ten thousand tanks at least bent on sowing damnation and death. Africa flung her ravening beast slouching down the road to Bethlehem. Yassir’s daughter blew a legbone flute to goad her desolate faithful kin. And momma Nature retched in her boots indigo at Megiddo al-Wraith covered with glowing lava and soot.
Euphrates ~~~~~~~~~ It was the fertile crescent, cradle of civilized weft. Now it's a wasteland of dust, not even cockroaches left. If you look on a clear night you can feel atomic storm searing your eyeballs with light that don't care about farming. It’s a gentian shimmer, I hear some scientist dude said the nuclear winter would be over in a year. I thought something young and rude but I held my tongue from fear.
Baghdad ~~~~~~~ Once city of the Arabian Nights, of Ali Baba's open sesame! Of Aladdin and flying carpet rides, genie of the lamp, evil wizardry, Scheherazade telling a thousand tales while your mom tucked you safe in bed my child, all the magick there is in such a place ranked in cemetery singular file, held for a flash in the eye that is us, streaming away beyond low horizons to caress and wonder after in dreams with all the adamant stuff that you've got. It seems precious enough now that it's not.
Game Plan ~~~~~~~~~ Bigger and better bomb craters, civil war, mutual genocide, stalwart soldiers, craven traitors, ravenous dogs, national pride, and everyone hates everyone to the last bastion tooth and nail, with a bunch of obsolete guns and ordnance they got on sale in the hope they'd kill each other, there's just enough surviving scum to work the derricks and pipelines, across the ocean a big drum beating holly-fervor-wood hype, until the oil glows in the night and there ain't no one left to fight.
Q & A ~~~~~ Where did you hide the nuke? Under the temple mount. Right next the gihon fount. Who's got solomon's book? Your pentagon has half. The kremlin has his staff. And where's about the ark? The vatican in rome. Also under the dome. And what sets off the spark? Some scurvy politic who wants to be first dick.
neutron bomb ~~~~~~~~~~~~ the word is slaughter suddenly soldiers desert ebbing like water three forsaken nuns violet with silent flame children skeletons four horsemen riding all succession is bent low no water is wide
Refugees ~~~~~~~~ Concentration camps in Libya on the desert behind barbed wire from countries where virus and fire devour eye balls and gnaw tibia, where an ocean of sand hides the hand that chokes them into forbidden graves. Fifteen million depraved survivors will be chosen for the holy land, their king will give them knives and point east, a burnt finger will be their signpost across bombed mine fields, a ghostly horde, and they will be the ravening beast sacrificed with acid storm-cloud swords.
Eye Witness Account ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The fourth fleet swept in past Gibraltar and hit the beach with berserker bane; on our way to the Galilee wars we camped on a stony basalt plain; while we were there we heard the real fight was to be waged to the south and then we saw a brilliant cobalt light and heard the wailing of many men; after that it was very quiet and nothing much crept from there but sighs; if you stand in a nuclear light it casts lurid shadows on your eyes that last forever...
Kabool ~~~~~~ Eerily little came from there, as if they'd unleashed something new that'd killed all with equal fervor ---hard bitter bile, old gall, fresh rue--- or been struck speechless with horror. The young bloods who made it back home didn't want to talk about it, like they'd made this great groaning trek through the maw of hell, and their wits were jammed with electric droning. If you put your ear to the ground you can hear clear around our earth, you can sift the truth from what's bound by unspeakable furtive sooth, framed in black phantom basalt sound. Tonight, then, drunk at the crossroads, then you will hear our children weep where it's lonely and cold and lost, no hand to hold out in the deeps, see, that's what you bold soldiers cost us.
Why It Happens ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Every so often we play at war, to show off our latest flavor fire, to impress whoever's their czar these days, to advertise what we've got for hire. In Iran it's mostly about oil wells; in Afghanistan it's for dope and hash; South Africa it's gold and racist hell; and the Russian Mafia's strapped for cash, so they're into offing nuclear wares to the highest bidder (like Lebanon) who’ll pay with counterfeit rag-paper queer. The game over here's who's got the most guns. And in the boardroom some fat fucking turd is holding forth about "culling the herd."
New Gods ~~~~~~~~ Two cars in every garage are not your god given right. Nor the goop that makes them go something worthy for to fight. What it is that oily gunk fouls your bed and castle halls, kills fish and birds and babies, yeah and cancer in your balls. The forests you used to walk, that sherwood grace in your mind, are but scrannel spavined bones on a beach that made you blind. Deaf and dumb oh greater fools than that stuff for which you toil, all of it worth nothing much in the brazen name of oil.
On Dealing ~~~~~~~~~~ It is best to win without fighting. Try to god damn get it in writing, if signed in blood so much the better, and it should adhere to the letter of the law so you can't be fingered, don't leave no loose amounts lingering, after that you kill your accountants and those stupid goons prancing about, oh, and your mistress without a glance.
Brief ~~~~~ The primary tools for black magick are: sex and money to buy bodies for war, and no, kid, it ain't nothing about love, it’s ads and banks and shout and yank and shove and if you're stupid so much the better. Dumb guys love guns like whores and then you're dead.
Asphalt ~~~~~~~ It's war criminals day again when we get to play big brave men behind the statue of that guy with the musket we don't know why listen to speeches sneak a beer lower the flag boys give a cheer for baggy pants and spit shined boots sure is fun when they shoot the guns it’s hot in the parking lot sun the band played good taps wasn’t bad no one knows what happened to dad hope they don't drop the anthrax bomb can we have one more hot dog mom?
Conscription ~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was the flashy shirt and his first pair of shoes, some fairly legal flooze, hash brownies for desert, and after that the camp where he got a real gun, and all of that was fun. Then they stamped his forehead with a number in red; he served in Ecuador, by thursday he was dead. His mom got a baggie with a bloody raggie.
Recruitment ~~~~~~~~~~~ Juan Democracy got sent to the front because the warden offered him a choice: "Go to Iraq, fuck some araby cunt, and get to play with these horrible toys" (trots out the glossies of mayhem choppers) "or shovel shit for the rest of your term." So it's six weeks of basic; then he's dropped inside a reeking oil field fire storm where there ain't no place to hide except sand and the land smells like Auschwitz at midnight. There's tar on his feet, blood smeared on his hands, but he understands the deal about rights. If he makes it home you betcha he's pissed and his principles are really twisted.
Lexicon ~~~~~~~ Even the word "kill" has been perverted. It no longer means blood and gory guts, nor scorched black shrapnel skullbone bloody dirt. Shrouded behind abstractions like justice, righteous evil, blindfolded flag waving, wherever the line is drawn you must choose forced reamed out cornered finally raving mad lunatic screams and always you lose. Here's your gun, kid, the trigger works like so, go on we've shown you how on the teevee--- mind controlled hup two robots in a row all your buttons ready no place to be except to murder when a faceless man gives the word and burns your will oh damn you.
Wheelman's Report ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our Geiger counter started muttering, then I heard the braid cursing holy hell, something red hits me head, I hear bells, next thing I know I'm in treading water with nothing but mid friggin Atlantic. No ship, no debris, time to make me will, drop me shoes, keep the belt, you know the drill, check out the drift and get hydromantic… About midnight I'm ready for the deep taking bets on how long it's gonna be, then there's waves slapping steel right next to me, strong arms grabbing gabble honk then I sleep. Two days later I find out we're in port, friday I gotta testify in court.
Their Women ~~~~~~~~~~~ We admire the men who died in your shock and awesome fire. We will remember them with pride and write their names on a big rock. Once in a life we'll take our kids to pilgrimage this holy place where the stone of names is hidden to instruct them in the killing. So to our daughters down the line unto the end of our essence for so long as water and wine in the quick of our days and ways are mixed with the blood of our men.
Doc? ~~~~ If you can't fix my legs don't let me wake. Don't chain me to a wheel chair or a bed; I'd rather get on with my life naked walking in line with the rest of the dead. I heard some nurses describe what happens; it's like a column of guys heading out but we don't know where and ain't got a map and yet we see what it's damn well about. Seems up there the trail fades to stippled fog which turns past a river don't need no guide all of us get to rip off our dog tags, drop our baggage, garden of Eden, doc, and I'd rather walk to that place than ride.
Thea ~~~~ I spent those years photographing the trail; mostly soldiers in black silk and sandals, sitting around fires reading their mail from back home, sometimes a single candle passed around to light such word most precious. One morning I watched three paddy girls bathe in a brook; I hid behind some bushes and capped my lens, to not defile their faith with profane ogle eyes, they were so lithe and sister sooth. That afternoon I saw, I saw them cut down by a bomber scythe, they lay there mud smeared bloody scarlet raw and I wondered if I should have better taken them naked back in the streaming, send their wraith home in a coffin letter rather than mothers' desolate screaming. I never learned their names; we burned them quick, the jungle keeps its secrets, I was sick.
Triage ~~~~~~ Warsaw, 1941 The boy on the left with the red cheeks has the plague, he'll be dead in a week. But his young brother still keeps the glint and I think he'll survive the winter. So I will put this coin in his care and watch him stare with utter wonder at the gold that shimmers so with life. Maybe he will elude the thunder, maybe he'll be bold and buy a knife, maybe he'll buy food and share it round, or turn to killing without a sound. There is no telling what it will take here in this hell where all stand naked.
Askance ~~~~~~~ Mama told me to go out and cry, maybe soldiers will give me some bread, but she said don't look them in the eye so that's why you see me turn my head, she wasn't at home when I got back and all the neighborhood boys are gone, last night I slept in our garden shack because they're burning the houses down, tomorrow I'll sit on the same stoop and you'll never see my face again, and then and then some trooper will come with dead in his eyes I don't know when and he'll look at me and give me some.
Orange ~~~~~~ We gathered in the plaza ten thousand shoulder strong to dare the troops and their wrath emboldened with our song A man stood with oranges before the cannon tanks pleading that it not be done but couldn't break their ranks That night the carnage happened we think a thousand died there were guns, blood, and shrapnel and sure our leaders lied But the world was there and saw we few can not forget the orange man and their claw we will collect that debt
Beslan ~~~~~~ Little blond head boys playing with toy guns, pointing them at me and it's all good fun. The photographer shoots and turns her back, hurries to a morgue where the dead are stacked. In the bombed out school where no one can learn how they're bent as fools bitter vengeance burns.
Thanksgiving, 2004 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How much food will you throw away while you know there's children starving? When you get to the holiday family and turkey carving, will you care what orphan kids eat out there in a Harlem gutter, or wolf down your cranberry meat with boiled brussles sprouts and butter, will your conscience even flicker when you set out your garbage can, and how much liquor did you drink while there's evil wars going on out there on famine's black face brink, and can you look her in the eye without flinching or tell her why?
In the Future ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You can vote with your Visa card you'll have chainlink round your garden credit rents a personal cop buys food in the Ghetto Chopper but only if you're a member rest of you jerks take a number maybe we'll put you on the dole mostly we'll shove you down a hole you'll never crawl out of sonny and it's all fake paper money so counterfeit it ain't worth shit you wouldn't wipe your ass with it and if you won't bow to the card we're gonna strut around some guards to splatter your guts on a stone.
Eating Right ~~~~~~~~~~~~ peanut butter cheese on whole wheat heels sardine tomato with apple peels half a burger easy on the lard cabbage leaves carrot ends radish chard old pudding coffee yes please two lumps wonderful what's offered in dumpsters
Stern's News ~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12/24/2013 Nine carbombs went off in Baghdad last night, a hundred and thirty people were killed. Some Kurdie fucked up in a pipeline fight and five zillion barrels of crude got spilled. Lessee, the steeple on Saint Dude's fell off, three dirty stuff ragheads are standing trial, Murk says there's enough vaccine for “the cough”, Korea fired up its latest pile, liberty bell took a hit, it's OK, the Klan is rallying at Booker T, lots of bodies at the door, by the way we've buried two million guys to be free. It's the usual criminal business gore, Wallstreet's looking grim…oh, merry Christmas.
Bowerie Chapel ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12/31/2013 We used a toaster to heat the hut; Bixderbee brought some pretty good rum. He mixed it with beet root and butter and passed it around to all us bums. That's what blood must taste like, red sweet hot, rich with venom for desperate men, electric bale from a rusted pot, those were good times. They'll not be again.
Dreg ~~~~ everything I own in a shopping cart all my clothes bed roll stuff big quart of gin froze last winter almost dead ain't too smart wander some can't remember where I been seems like I ate last wednesday ain't that right must be time to eat again gotta go make a cardboard hooch behind the midnight maybe mooch a meal I can't feel my no
evil ~~~~ I hear they got food up there some sort of ritual fare but they want you to take part in eating still beating hearts ripped outta young muslim chicks
Hunger ~~~~~~ That last can of soup was five years old and more valuable than guns or gold. It was Progresso turkey noodle stretched with dog meat, probably poodle, we poured it over barley and oats, come tomorrow we'll butcher the goat and after that we figure raccoon with maybe some roots and opportune, we'll take a hard look at cannibal but I doubt we'll get over that wall of ancient Neanderthal taboo; eventually we'll eat the seed crop. Then we're dead meat and everything stops.
Keeping On ~~~~~~~~~~ After the bombs we went looting for food. You can live a long time on fig Newtons, time enough to get your chickens to brood, put in a garden, find yourself some boots, go deer hunting, see about good water, rig booby traps for stupid ripoff scum, start a big compost pile and watch it rot, by the time you're on your last Newton fig maybe you're voodoo fast and fit to live.
Pestilence ~~~~~~~~~~ My bell rang; it was Sally Houtman. She said there was plague in the valley, that about seven hundred had died in Saugerties and could she please come?.... I told her to pack her ford with food and get the hell up here understood? Some eleven hours later a honk; her hands were cold when we unloaded and that night she had the shakes real bad. I closed off the road with a rock slide and fed her massive penicillin. We heard the army was killing cows and that there were ten thousand dead birds all over the place, don't touch ‘em god, I watched my hens but they seemed okay. Sally ran headaches but no fever; her skin looked like measles and she cried. I told her I would never leave her; the day before she died it was bad, I was afraid to be in the room and shivered under a braided rug on the porch; I think I went mad then. I dug a maybe grave next morning, then I torched the house with gasoline, oh yeah raving mad, I must have it.......
Klingsor ~~~~~~~~ The wind came up sudden hard and hot stinking of benzene sulfur and rot. My garden grew mutant corn and peas, a new kind of worm blighted the trees. Some ghosts showed up they looked like my kids with burning eyes under hooded lids. Down in the valley four horsemen rage the stage dims I must be mad of course.
Briefing ~~~~~~~~ The body has liquefied and melted into the bed, we dunno what he died of but it's obviously bad; we suspect maybe fungus so don't breathe nothing in there, fumigate it when you're done and bring us some of the hair; if you wanna burn the place because you think something's queer, that's OK, a nasty case, and we're paranoid, sign here.
The Prince ~~~~~~~~~~ When you want war, push AC/DC rock; keep your sheep paranoid and deep in hock; light off a bomb in a tanker ship's keel, make it a big boinker, one they can feel; push all kinds of addictive drugs and shit, keep them dependent, make money off it; always fight your wars on a foreign beach, show them flix in graphic detail, don't preach, leave that to the Satanists, they're better at outwitting the letter of your law; keep shoving their own brilliance down their craw; subvert the collective conscience with sex, use prurience, there ain't no keener hex; paste your picture in churches, stores, and schools; always march well to the side of your fools.
Chlorine ~~~~~~~~ we held our collective breath waiting for choking to fall there was a green pall of gas it all happened pretty fast and then I strangled to death that took about five minutes it smelled like a swimming pool I remember thinking god it's good the kids are in school at least they'll be safe and live now that I'm in this grave plot I find out they were given defective masks and they're not
Humanitarian Effort ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ smallpox infected blankets poisoned food, rabies bandaids cholera killer water baby murder formula ergot grain and smutty corn pain medicines that don't work needles with AIDS and black plague remember the track record
Sic ~~~ We'll put you in the organ tanks, we'll cut you up and sell you off, piecemeal butcher shop in the banks and we'll make money off your stuff. Your heart, that's worth ten thousand bucks, a chunk of skull, that's about three, and your nuts, we don't fuck with that because you're worthless pedigree; there's a million ready like you in foul places we can't pronounce, it just takes a shrieking air strike and our donor coffers abound; go ahead, bend over scumface, our accounts are short on bloodbath guess how much your barrel is worth
Missa Nigrum ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somebody set the steeple on fire, back on the altar they slaughter a nun, my daughter lies dead in lurid color and out in the square they're burning my son. I who have nothing I curse thee to death unto the last failing spark in my glass, with my midnight chant and my thirteenth breath that the turning of thy worm come to pass. Oh ye of iniquitous faith beware that which ye do is a circular bane, I whom you blinded will lay your soul bare, all that you do shall be but vainglory, nor shall your whores bear child, nor any beast, rockets' red glare and bone marrow cancer, dance oh ye fools I shall piss on your stone.
Twenty ~~~~~~ (Psst, hey) It's your money; are you entertained? Those are your sons and they will be blamed for the carnaged corpse and worldwide hate you've garnered for the biblical state. But it's really you gutless bastards who sent them out there to be slaughtered. Those who come home will avoid your eyes, spurn your medals, remember your lies. Among them will be a very few who'll despise you and know what to do; and no amount of concrete highrise nor flashy underground mall surprise will keep them from their appointed rounds.
Mutiny ~~~~~~ Sir, you have over estimated the stupidity of your own troops; how much they hated your pestilence, and how much they abhorred being duped with promises of loot, steak, and cunt which weren't forthcoming to their tents. Sir, it's time to cut your ties and run, they won't be faked out again, nor bent to the rail with your sugar and cash, their fury runs deep with naked hex, no amount of cheap narcotic smash will deflect the anger of your sons. Sir, you were stupid to give them guns.
Simon ~~~~~ I don't listen to lying banker scum who think we're dumb enough to toe the line, go dig in some god forsaken mine field, kill on command, or hand out chocolate bars to that kid on crutches, or bomb the crap outta rag heads sitting on a tar pit, or rebel factions where the glitter hides, or ride in your Cadillac limousine, send back heroic wide angle pictures of the latest beach head or dangling corpse, nor will I honor the sand where we fell, nor bury our dead with a trembling hand, nor sell your glory. I'll see you in hell.
The Merck Solution ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You're better off dead, here, eat this pill. Do us a favor, dig your own graves far away in a nigger landfill. Some of your pretties can be our slaves, the rest of you get burnt with napalm, horrible germs and pestilence grain, rabid band aid pox, arsenic bombs, and pig fat worms that eat out your brains. Poisoned wells, wicked silent cities scoured by desert sand that people shun, hot shit, don't wanna talk about it, a lot of killing, shouting, and guns, here, eat this pill, you're better off dead.
Doomsday Dave ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There were mass hysterics and suicide; truckloads of cyanide were passed around. I watched the proceedings from higher ground and reflected on the lying bastards who made a fast last buck off the foolish. And the ghouls rolling in their element, and the demented prophet screeching ilk, oh and a voice smooth as barbary silk on the radio urging us to pray, for what it didn't say but that don't count. The end result of all the massacre burning in my memory is a lilt which ends: "and the damned inherit the guilt."
Memory ~~~~~~ Rusted squeaking weather vane, cypress whispering in rain, station platform caravan, faceless battered talisman, granite groaning underfoot, lonely locomotive hoot, wordless movement on a train, stained glass chorus organ loft, flaring candle awesome soft, windows to tell what was done, some hard eyed kids and a nun, kneeling wise men, staring beasts, one star rising in the east.
echoes ~~~~~~ rotten rakkies infidel dogs besotted hacks idiot cogs welfare niggers white collar crooks yellow haired pigs slope headed gooks satanic spawn pederast priests charlie manson blasted red beasts impotent queers desiccant hags leering bimbos festering fags street corner skag government dope pornograph slag tenement grope flag waving hordes elected skulls slavering rags wrecked and gored hulls flaming flotsam sunken debris clotted claim checks bunker police sieg heil hand guns burnt mannequin eerie silence whimpering wind


Images on Stone
Suddenly the birds fell silent,
Nature held her breath,
as if they all were listening
to vengeance and death.
Then the earth convulsed, I threw up,
black bile on the ground,
bitter dregs and blood filled our cup,
didn't hear a sound.
Like slow motion vaseline film,
a red mushroom blur,
hot haze obscured a killing sun,
cancer ate our skin.
Pestilence we heard stalked the land,
it was far away,
skeletal hands grasped my valley,
babies died today.
A long night without stars or moon,
a goddess weeping,
the clash of iron helmet cars,
a steel scythe reaping.
Yellow faces hunger for spoil,
black ones only starve,
Red Sea roiling at Galilee,
flinders of bleached bone.
I am Lakota Indian,
hand who carves in stone.

All poems copyright Jack Wesdorp (c) 2005 


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