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
Stele of Fortelling
Q & A
Why it Happens
In the Future
The Merck Solution
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the word is slaughter
suddenly soldiers desert
ebbing like water
three forsaken nuns
violet with silent flame
four horsemen riding
all succession is bent low
no water is wide
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...
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Little blond head boys
playing with toy guns,
pointing them at me
and it's all good fun.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.......
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
All poems copyrighted by their respective authors. Any reproduction of
these poems, without the express written permission of the authors, is
YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts - Copyright (c) 1993 - 2005 by
Klaus J. Gerken.
The official version of this magazine is available on Ygdrasil's
World-Wide Web site http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken. No other
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Distribution is allowed and encouraged as long as the issue is unchanged.
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