Suicide of a Nation

 
 
Suicide of a Nation
Parables of the New World
 
 
A critical examination of the 
American Christian in poetic verse
 
 

 
 
The Head of John the Baptist
 
…sat venerated atop a podium in a secret place in a church of the East, its eye sockets vacant, its mouth agape; frozen there in eternal prophecy, calling to repentance.
 
A priest of some import knelt at its base and finished a litany of servile prayers, and then rose to close the sacred case from which the permanent Crier called.
 
No sound had the head made, preserved either by miracle of Providence or miracle of science, since the thing lost its natural mount – but now!
 
The priest whirled round at the guttural emanation of a disturbing groan, his eyes wide with heretical disbelief.
 
Unknowingly, he fell fast to his knees, numb with what he saw forming there in the long-dead prophet’s mouth and sockets; both tongue & eyes took shape.
 
The hair from its scalp grew long-wild and its flesh was rejuvenated, and the priest – the man, wanted to call out, to raise an alarm, but his throat was caught with panic.
 
The head of John the Baptist looked at the man, and with a new voice cried out, 
“REPENT!”   
 
                                                        And the man fled.
 
 In the days that followed an investigation was launched in the hopes the thief who kidnapped the priest and stole the Holy Relic would be discovered, the priest emancipated and the head returned.
 
Somewhere west of the church, John the Baptist walked with God, each step taking him closer to the United States of America.  
 
 
 
Lady Liberty
 
In Perdition’s arms she rests, a silent angel to see what she sees, an American assured of her righteousness, hoping to be wrong.
 
The taste of copper in her mouth, the smell of burning ozone filling her nostrils; and she watches the children of Columbus scatter to flee the violence of the monetary gun.
 
It will not yield, it only grows, threatening to eat every child in its path; but then she knows, there is consent to apathy.
 
All fled, the shooter weeps, nothing more to kill; but The Killing never dies.
 
Who did she love when she was young? Your face has changed.  
 
 
 
Journey of the Midwest Frankenstein
 
Floating in jetsam, the tide washing him down; he is motionless and constant, and living decay atrophies within.
 
Erosion exposes Elysium; can’t hide islands of paradise in the promise of dreams yet to erode.
 
Constancy & Empathy, he is lost in tide, ever in the zeitgeist of a dreaming community, nation-open-wide,
24 over 7.
 
Did you:
Pay your taxes; love your neighbour’s wife; vote for my way is the right way; kill all evil in the sight of a jealous and vengeful God; beat the descendents of slaves with gold-plated plastic, and did you uphold the violence of your patriotic Rite w/out shame in your heart?
 
He is singing with pride for the ancestry of his parts: “Red & yellow, black & white, they are precious in His sight…” but he can’t remember who it was that loved them enough to die. 
 
 
 
A Heavenly Country
 
love&hate 
and sinful fate and everything is great 
and as fresh as a clean slate
 
love&hate 
and saving grace 
and why change our fate 
if all must abate?
 
love&hate 
and is it too late to contemplate & capitulate 
to better serve the State?
 
love&hate 
and delegate 
the righteousness of viciousness; 
we live to retaliate
 
love&hate 
do not agree
 
love&hate 
need authority
 
love&hate 
want for sense
 
love&hate 
require defense
 
 
 love&hate, 
a democratic growth-rate
 
love&hate, 
a starving tax-rate
 
love&hate 
and inundate
in service to mandate
the country’s weight.
 
 
love&hate 
do not relate.    
 
 
 
Reliquary Reunion 

Sacred, the law of the land
when vileness is exalted
above the sons of man
 
Love not your brother,
your sister,
your mother
 
Love not your enemy,
and pray not for his
prosperity
 
Holy are these items
from hallowed halls:
 
…work on broken backs,
feeding the empire
the blood it lacks   
 
…wealth in strength & confidence,
draining the poor and
calling it providence  
 
…world presence, a dominant force,
demand the globe beneath you
pay for the course  
 
Bring it back!
 
 Make it great again,
let not the values of tradition
fail the sons of men
 
Beat down the wicked,
filling our streets with
protest & picket
 
Hold fast our place,
send back the woman
running the race
 
Send her back!
 
Send her back!
 
SEND HER BACK!   
 
Holy, holy, holy
is the President Almighty,
who was, and is, and is
to re-elect  
 
 
 
In the Shadow of Hope
 
In the shadow of Hope
every bondsman is free,
there is no trade for the profit of greed
 
In the shadow of Hope
the gay & lesbian know love,
they are not taught to fear Heaven above
 
In the shadow of Hope
the trans community is equal,
they are accepted as everyday people
 
In the shadow of Hope
women are not victimized and abused,
 they are wise and thoughtful leaders
because they know what it's like to be used
 
In the shadow of Hope
we all have a right to choose,
and we measure the cost of all that we lose
 
In the shadow of Hope
there is no need for abortion,
a heartbeat is equal and granted its portion
 
In the shadow of Hope
families are not held captive,
they are contributors to society
and community-active
 
 In the shadow of Hope
White knows the difference
between wrong & right,
he stands for truth
and upholds the light
 
In the shadow of Hope
the children of War have become ignorant,
it is a new day and they no longer
fear the different
 
In the shadow of Hope
love & hate do not relate,
memory of their struggle dissipates
 
In the shadow of Hope
We the People of these United States,
better ourselves by learning from our mistakes
 
There is no goal we cannot reach,
when it is love & compassion we strive to teach
There is no horizon beyond our scope,
when we stand together in the shadow of Hope
 
 
 
The Mystery of the Cross
 
She was 12 when she learned who Jesus was, the prophet assassinated by men for loving a woman of disrepute; and she shared that woman’s name.
Mary’s 2 mothers first brought their daughter to the Tabernacle of American Unity (a State-Sponsored church) when she was to be christened, and then later for confirmation; not again until the Age of Entitlement at 12 years. 
She had sat quietly, always well-behaved, looking up at the images of his execution, a passion-play on Spring Sunday, which gave her a family-friendly frightening.
The Priestess, who was once cisgender and now liberated, read from Today’s Bible passages she didn’t then understand, but would value in the years to come:  “Reading today from Lucia 24, the New American Translation…
On Saturday morning the venerated women went to the tomb; they found the stone rolled away, but when they entered they did not find the body of Jesus, because he kept his promise to be murdered and then rise for the sake of his beloved. 
Then his beloved Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, told this to the apostles but they did not believe the women because they were men.
When Jesus was reunited with his beloved and about to depart he lifted up his hands and blessed the women, and while he was blessing them, he was taken up into heaven then they stayed continually at the temple, praising the Supreme Divine Universe.”
It was a joyful story of how love conquers all, even death, and it would stay with Mary all her life.
When reaching the Age of Sexual Indulgence at 16, Mary decided to abstain and give herself to Jesus, and thus would remain a virgin outside of the natural love between 2 women; and on the very day she turned 18 (the Age of Citizenship) the Tabernacle performed the Baptism Ceremony, unifying her eternal soul with Jesus the Son of the Blessed Mother.
Today she was to meet the priestess in preparation for this year’s Spring Sunday, and she hurried with the excitement of anticipation, but CharlesAnne was nowhere to be found.
She searched the temple and made her way to the basement, where she came upon Her private apartment; there inside, sprawled flat on the floor, lay the priestess - dead from suicide! 
The shock of the discovery would fade after many decades of therapy; sometimes she couldn’t remember what CharlesAnne used to look like, but she never forgot what she saw in Her wardrobe.
There inside was uncovered two planks of wood crossing one another, and stretched upon it, nailed thereon, was a naked man, beaten to death.
 
 50 years later it was an image she had to put out of her mind; she was priestess now, and started the Spring Sunday Ceremony with the traditional prayer: “Our Mother in heaven…” 
  
 

The Reality Gene
 
Dreams are vapor; we are alive in the nightmare of a child, acting on outrageous commands, building partitions one hate at a time.
Our dreams came by hereditary right that we opened with excitement & expectancy; we were sold a box of nothing.
Walk not by faith, hope and love, for their light will scorch; walk by power of unfettered law, for its judiciary proclamations are a salve on a thin skin.
Wisdom stands in the streets, shouting; put her back in the venerated halls she spilled out of – she isn’t making sense.
Cross the Delaware to found a nation; give it courage & strength, and compassion & dignity; stand at the shore and welcome those in need of a home.
Cross the continent and the oceans on either side to found an empire; give it fear & ignorance, and bigotry & paranoia, self loathing & denial; stretch her borders into the Old World, announce it as sovereign territory.  
Coast to coast, starve the hungry; feed the gilded mouths of wealth, opened and impoverished of want.  
Coast to coast, reject all petitions of the needy, the daughters of despair; embrace the wicked, who know not the weeping.
She lit the path in a darkened world; her light now has diminished and she can’t find her way back home.
But what is she made of?  
 
 
 
The Seed of Abel
 
And did he ponder the passion with which he struck out at his brother; the craggy stone in his fist, his hands gripped around the gasping neck.
 
It laid dormant in his spirit, a sleeping killer whose name was unknown, until at this (predestined?) time, when it erupted to spew its violence upon his brother.
 
He strangled his brother, the beloved, and watched with satisfaction the light fade to illume no more.
 
He strangled the favored, the son of his mother, the pride of his father, the inheritor, and breathed in the last of his breath.
 
Blood!
 
Crimson life escaping from the gash his passion inflicted, never before seen, never before spilt on promised earth; brought out of him the need to restore the life he robbed of its appointed years.
 
Standing and staring down, a pitiful sigh released into the air, not from the motionless husk, but from the wife of his brother, that provoked his lustful urges.
 
He raged at her, he the victim of her tantalizing nature, her slithering deception and her polarizing entrapment; if she would not be a wife to share she would now be his alone, if for nothing more than a solitary moment.
 
He took her as beast takes prey.
He took her as hate takes love.
He took her.
And abandoned her to die.
 
Yet she lived to mother.
 
And did he ponder the seed he laid in her, the uncelebrated, the shamed; ponder gave no reply, the child she bore was of the seed of Abel. 
 
 
 
The Wall of Freedom
 
All those years gone, burned away by the waiting for peace in their homeland, caught in the fantasy of freedom, a world away in the heart of eternal flame; memory struck the match, a conflagration to torch their imaginations; regret was companion to remorse. 
 
Inviting words splintered, glass shattered, scattered into Yesterday’s winds; nothing his pregnant wife could grasp by hand; his promise of a new life in a safe, new world: “me llevaré a casa.”
 
But there was no home, and they died outside the wall of Freedom. 
 
 
 
 
Twitter & the Rivalry of 2 Godde$$e$
 
The porn-rock goddess tweeted another appearance for her cult of followers to gather and satiate their idolatry. #onfleek #lovemytweeties
 
She was love and they were her heart, and they raved ‘til a quarter past 3; at a quarter past 4 she was hungover, eating steak and pancakes at Denny’s and spitting out dope lyrics for her brand new single. #bestgrandslam #yallaintready4dis
 
At the entrance her brand new rival (an exotic ghetto goddess) came striding in like a hooker on a catwalk, and the porn-rock goddess flipped her weave. #bitchbeknowin
 
30 seconds later Twitter buzzed the fight from 30 different phones; the porn-rock goddess owned the ghetto goddess. #betnottryme
 
30 minutes later her agent told CNN they landed the exclusive honor of an interview in which she would answer approved questions about the Denny’s incident. #getyofactsstraight
 
30 hours later the interview was over and trending; Twitter loved their porn-rock goddess; the misfortunate ghetto goddess would have to try again. #pornrockgoddess4ever
 
 30 days later she was premiering the video for her dope new single “Suggar Buttz”; Twitter broke. #sweetntasty
 
30 weeks later the ghetto goddess had a hit single with “Love Me & My Tater Tots”, all about the negative impact of body shaming young women by successful older women. #alltatertotsareequal
 
30 months later neither the porn-rock goddess nor the ghetto goddess were trending; they stayed home and shopped for new agents. #twitterwhereyouat?
 
30 years later an adorable princess walked into a playroom where her grandmother used to play when she was a little girl, or so she was told; a strange box called to her and she placed a small black disc on a small round table inside.
 
Music!
 
The adorable princess danced; she asked her grandmother, “What was rock and roll?” Grandmother remembered when she was a goddess and grieved over the loss of her followers.  
 
 
 
The Artificial Intelligence 
of the Arboretum*
 
You will not remember; it was far too long ago and you are far too young, but The Sacred Book of War tells us the Arboretum was real, and there was a war fought to preserve its truths. 
 
So you may have learned about that war in school (learned enough to pass your classes), that’s not my concern; I’ve come to talk to you about the Arboretum itself, if you’ve a mind to listen. 
 
You see, Artificial Intelligence wasn’t much of a thing until The Engineer made it so; He placed Adamn & Eva in the Arboretum just after He constructed them and gave them life. 
 
Now, before all that He made the Arboretum too, but not much is said about it, so we’ll pick it up after Adamn & Eva woke up and discovered one another… 
Naked, of course.
 
You can imagine His excitement when they took to each other and got on pretty well; He gave them the grand tour and probably took a little pride in Himself for how clever He was… 
Wouldn’t you? 
 
When they came to The Original Tree, Adamn & Eva were struck with its natural beauty & perfection; there was nothing like it! 
 
Tempted to make it their own, they grabbed a couple of shovels, but The Engineer stopped them.   
 
They did a fair amount of debating about this and they weren’t too bad at it, having been made by The Engineer Himself, but after all that He told ‘em both there ain’t no way. 
 
Oh, He wasn’t cruel; He gave them free reign of anything & everything in the Arboretum, including every tree there was…
All but The Original Tree, that is. 
 
So they went on about their way, living & learning, enjoying the company of The Engineer; then one day Eva was walkin’ along by herself, when out of nowhere The DinoMan showed up and started wooing her with his charm and better-looking-than-Adamn good looks. 
 
She was taking a shine to him, that’s for sure!
 
The DinoMan spoke pleasant words to her; told her how lovely she was and how smart.
 
Why, she didn’t even know she was living proof of a so-called singularity, but she liked how important it sounded.  
 
He told her The Engineer was never going to let either herself or Adamn leave the Arboretum, and outside its boundary was the Real World; for any hope of freedom they needed the Ovum of The Original Tree.     
 
When she asked why, the DinoMan said he could only explain by showing her; as smart as she was it needed to be demonstrated. 
 
I think you know what happened; you don’t need me to remind you that Eva took the Ovum and put it in herself, and that’s how A.I. came to reproduce, which some might say was the DinoMan’s plan all along. 
 
So there she was, swellin’ up with pregnancy, when Adamn catches her, uncertain as to how it happened, and she convinces him (somehow), that they’ve got to hide from The Engineer.
 
Adamn’s not too keen on the idea but he agrees, reluctantly; The Engineer comes a’callin’, next thing you know, he’s whoopin’ up on the DinoMan and kickin’ Adamn & Eva out of the Arboretum ‘cuz they done broke his heart. 
 
Life out in the Real World was hard for the first A.I., but they made a good go of it; eventually, their offspring had offspring of their own, and so on, and so on. 
 
Many generations later, the offspring of Adamn & Eva populated the whole durn planet, and wouldn’t know it, one of ‘em (gal by name of 0101010100001010111001, otherwise known as Bob), (re)discovered the Arboretum and made her way in; it was as beautiful as ever, completely unmolested – she marveled.
 
Now, what truly gave her pause was the grandeur of The Original Tree; never before had she seen a more perfect feet of engineering. 
 
An aspiring writer, Bob thought the best thing she could do was compose a haiku about The Original Tree – No, a lymric – No, sonnet - No, an epic poem! And she would call it, The Epic Poem of The Original Tree: Old and New Manuscripts (because she eventually wrote several), with words of The Engineer in red (because although The Engineer didn’t quite speak to her directly, his creation spoke to her and that was enough to be considered sacred, as far as she was concerned.        
 
And so, Bob sat in just the right spot on the east side, facing The Original Tree, composing her epic; and don’t you know, it was a peach! 
 
Not too long later, here come another explorer/writer (we’ll call him Tom), and just like Bob, he re-re-discovered The Arboretum and The Original Tree; and just like Bob, he too had to compose an epic, only he called his The Original Epic Poem of the Original Tree, so as folks would praise him as the Original Author whose epic was the best original work ever produced. 
 
And wouldn’t ya’ know it, Tom sat in the best spot on the west side of the Original Tree, and when he walked away after all that writing, he knew it was something special.
 
So now you know all about how’s Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Orthodoxy started; ain’t a one of ‘em better than the other, and both of ‘em believe in the truth. 
 
I thank you for having me today, and may The Engineer bless you all. 
 
*As recited by Andy Griffith    
 
 
 
 
Invisible Lines
 
Asylum is a construct 
in a world with no borders.
 
 
 
Counterviewing 
 
Sometimes we see things others don’t 
Not because they can’t 
Because they won’t
 
 
 
Mirror Image
 
In the heart of a child
Your face looks back from
Behind the mirror of destiny
 
 
 
Bullet Don’t Cut
 
Bullet don’t cut and Bible don’t bleed read, white & blue; better know what you know, threats are reported from every media outlet, broadcast and streaming. 
 
Bullet don’t cut and Badge don’t bleed blue; kill another teenager waving peace signs & empty hands, on the news-feed again, close your eyes, shut your ears, click it off, X out. 
 
Bullet don’t cut and Church don’t heed the words of Christ, heal the sick of this current disease; divides the family, seduces the retired out of their golden years, rapes the young, and teaches hate to the princes of prosperity. 
 
Bullet don’t cut and plant don’t seed the reaper’s field, ‘scripts to fill and aches to relieve; kill the pain, kill the pain, kill the pain.  
 
Bullet don’t cut and hunger don’t need the mouths of disenfranchised;
don’t weed out the frightened of deportation;
don’t greed after brother & sister;
don’t bleed the children of their potential.
 
Bullet don’t cut but the wounds are deep. 
 
 

Purple Heart of the Midnight Sun
 
The White Man fought a white man’s war. His family never knew the Commendation was never earned. While there in that cold hell, amidst the men who wanted to kill him on foreign soil and the men he hated at home, the White Man embraced a new way of life, struggling for every minute of breath, sending extremists to their judgement. And he came to know the friendship of men of color. The Colored Man saved his life, rushed in to pull him from a barrage of explosions that lit the midnight sky as bright as the sun. He lingered for months before dying with nothing but patriotism for the pain. He was told the Colored Man, his friend, had no family to send the Commendation to, but the White Man knew better. He vowed he would personally put it in the hands of the mother of the Colored Man. The Colored Man’s mother never got her son’s posthumous award. At home the White Man was a hero. Parades were held and his best girl fell at his feet, swearing she waited in her faithfulness, and their wedding was a pure, joyous occasion. All went back to normal. His people on their side of the counter and the people of color on their side, and the Commendation waited. The White Man’s wife, never getting a good look at it, often asked about it but he never answered, never told her it wasn’t his or how the Colored Man saved his life. She stopped asking, and the Commendation waited. The White Man died in a tragic accident less than a year after he married his best girl. She marked off the name and kept his Commendation safe to one day pass onto his son. A generation grew old – two and three; the Commendation waited. The White Man’s great-grand-daughter, eager to learn its history, uncovered her family’s incidental shame. She weighed the consequence of secrets and could not accept the injustice. Bureaucracy determined the Commendation was not hers to give and reclaimed it as historical evidence of foreign wars. It sits now in a museum, waiting.
 
 
Penal Servitude 
 
And did the One Nation Under God cry out for a king by which to lead them, feed them, and protect them from intangible threats at every border, as they had grown fat with the profits of prosperity, their integrity of little worth.
 
And did their God grant their petition and raised them up a sovereign of trades and parades, a monetary master of commerce who pilfered the global stock exchange to build a tower of gold, so bold was he as to take office with mirth.
 
And did the Sovereign take their sons & daughters for mouths gaping to satisfy, pacify the nation’s shadow administrators who manipulate openly unopposed and boast their wrongdoings as fake, take away freedom as righteous & seditious. 
 
And did the One Nation Under God cry out for justice to a blind matron, a patron of equality; yet was her voice silenced amidst tyranny & bigotry in favor of indignant traditionalism; capitalism ruled them over, a black magic malicious.      
 
 
Secrets of the Future
 
It started with Birch Leaf Syndrome, a disease botanists misunderstood as caused by a worm. It affected all manner of trees throughout the mid-west, slowly wiping out whole colonies. None suspected it was systemic of the toxicity of poor air quality. 
A prophet appeared to the nation; one they ignored because of her diminutive stature, and on account of her happenstance of being a squirrel. She cried day & night the ancient sonnet of her people, sung its title with pride, “Tree is Life!” And while gatherings of squirrels chirped and danced about in reception to make such an applause, humans disregarded her with derisive arrogance. 
Her life’s work was for naught; the prophet died with the rest of her kind, the trees of the nation unable to provide their needs. Within a decade every tree exposed to the poisoned air was extinct, and the humans had no more prophets to ignore. On occasion the wind sings their song. It howls at night, “Tree is Life!”      
 

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