Thursday, June 09, 2005


Man's hope is cast down by man.
Civilization's a joke that we told, one to another,
on mercenary streets between these intersection ruts,
beneath thatched roofs and thwarted struts,
waking and walking and waiting,
waiting for the sky to fall.

But what, what is told?
If what comes out from heaven's gate
is always heaven's own,
what meaning can be told?

Each is responsible for each,
We hear it every day;
But turning in our tracks,
Forever saying, we do not teach or learn.
Our words come back. The words won't tell.

Man's hope is cast out by man.
Can this be told: this thunder-stroked,
this water-stained, this tissue-thin,
this tangled skein of hell?
This deeper-than-thou refusal?
Oh what, what is told?
Is it the merit of meanness
Or the fitness of fools surviving?

The fit may yet survive,
but only the fit-to-be-tied,
only the fit-to-be-whipped
in whom blackness cries to confess:
"We suppress the best—so what?
Our hearts are firm and pockets rich—
So What if we are cold?"

Each other is only an other.
We look for selves alike—
for each man loves his own crime best,
and the same dull crime in each other.


5th draft: 06/05/05
©1983 Ronald C. Southern

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)