Friday, August 11, 2006

Counterfeit Cosmos

These things, wanted, leave a stain,
wanting revenge against the unyielding
dust of the centuries and all the truth
concealed by history, all the nameless
kings of twilight we don't know, all
these truths we've heard spoken and
yet have been ringing like false bells,
like the noonday clock when the shadow
falls far from us and at an obtuse angle
to the horizon, these constructions
perpetrated by the chroniclers of
history, these vaults that have been
stacked high, yet still echo with
sharp and clear noises from the
places where they’ve been robbed and
altered, and what purpose of these
stories and myths anyway, for we
pay little enough attention to them,
never learning even the manufactured
lessons set before us?

These movements, enacted, cannot be
revoked, they are not subject to the
backspace key or the delete button
or the quick revision of small facts,
and even if we agree to forget these
moments and never speak of them again,
we are still burdened by the knowledge,
of what has gone on, and more important,
the part we had to play in the whole
muted episode, these things that we
have done and then renounced, our
own contribution to the falsity of
the myth of the universe and
everything in it, all these people
who have rebuilt and created reality
and themselves.

These beliefs, inculcated, cannot simply
fade in the face of truth and alteration,
of new means by which the world is measured,
of sunlight poisoned by our own off-gassing
and industry, our false piety and unleavened
pride, these beliefs that turn upon us like
knives to the softest flesh and that we grind
upon while we turn and twist in our uneasy
sleep, haunted by that which we know
and that which we once took upon the
sacred, profane articles of faith misplaced.

These lives, lived, whether we think they
come to nothing or press their mark upon
the face of everyone nearby and even those
far beyond the distance of a stone's throw, are
only lives, strings of time collected and finally
cashed in for eternities of elsewhere and great
quantities of an unknown quantity beyond,
or perhaps nothing, and will we be so terribly
unhappy with nothing when it comes down to it,
and we are transmuted into dirt or ash blowing on
an a wind that wouldn't abate one single second
for us, wouldn't blow with greater force to spite us,
would never stoop so low as to recognize our
presence on the face of the earth, would we
really lie in our graves and agonize over
whether or not we were good in our days,
or if some superbeing from a higher vibration
of the universe disapproved of some
repeated failing on our part and wished us
to learn better in purgatory or hell,
or if we were sad spirits lingering in the ether
watching the lives we used to have?

These myths, created, written and spoken into
the corners of rooms by people down upon their
knees--perhaps they are on their knees at the
alter, or before that which they worship, or only
on bended knee before someone else's deified
flesh, but they each weave their pattern into the
fabric of the created universe, taking part in the
made truth, manufacturing the world every second,
and it's the cotton candy everyone's eating, this
self-cannibalizing fascination we call the world,
we ourselves fictitious and partaking of the fiction,
eating of our own lies and everyone else's equally,
and it is a beautiful, flawed, counterfeit cosmos,
billowing outward from us at the speed of a
carnival huckster’s roar from the gaudy, neon
podium, the big top’s faded canvas castle behind
us, the mighty, failing halo of the Ferris wheel
creaking, lurching its stationary progress above
our heads, we clever folk who manage forever
to bathe in the limelight of the stage and still
remain in the audience, slack jawed country
folk never managing to comprehend the
import of the play.

8 comments:

Bobby-T said...

I suppose that Truth is believed to be immutable. That life must have a meaning. Truth is ultimately subject to our interpretation and tweaked by our needs and hopes. We want Life to have a meaning, it should have a meaning. Perhaps we've obscured that meaning by putting our own spin on it and complicating it beyond our understanding. Multiply these complications by the myriads of subjective exegeses and it becomes easy to lose sight of the simple philosophies and/or the beautiful Truths. So we continue to worry at this enigma rather than embrace it. Oh fallible man, have we corrupted and defiled the simple and the beautiful because of our hubris? Have we lost sight of Truth and Life in the bargain?

drthunder said...

"would we
really lie in our graves and agonize over
whether or not we were good in our days,
or if some superbeing from a higher vibration
of the universe disapproved of some
repeated failing on our part and wished us
to learn better in purgatory or hell,
or if we were sad spirits lingering in the ether
watching the lives we used to have?"

An impressive question, Firehawk. What strange need would lead us to "live in the past" and willingly hunker down with guilt even while resting in the grave. Yet, it seems to me that many followers of different religions spend more time contemplating sin than in identifying beauty and decency within themselves. Just one thought, for now, but I'm intrigued with the subject matter of this poem. Will keep thinking about it!

Bill said...

"and it is a beautiful, flawed, counterfeit cosmos,
billowing outward from us at the speed of a
carnival huckster’s roar"


Perception.. is indeed our reality... our truth. I think we live in the past at times because we've softened the reality and can now fondly remember even painful events.

Once again stopping in here early on a weekend day has filled my mind with things that I'll comtemplate as I putter with my projects... thaks, as always for the mind food!!

MB said...

This is a thought-provoking piece, Firehawk. You've managed to communicate a sense of gossamer myth, omnipresent at every level, self-perpetuating, self-deluding, and self-destructive. Reading this makes me want to turn to the person nearest me, look them in the eye, touch their skin. Reading this makes me want to go outside and look at the sun, listen to the trees, taste the wind. Reading this makes me want to take a deep breath and drink a glass of clean water.... To cut through, and re-ground. Is it even possible?

Nice to see you back again.

Firehawk said...

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for your kind words. The questions in my poem aren't the kind with easy or singular answers. I'm just as caught up in them as any of you, just as tangled in the hair of fate. If reading the words got you mind tripping for a minute, thinking about big questions, I'm glad. Anyway, glad I can throw my bottles into the churning sea and get some answers back. Cheers, and take care of yourselves out there.

MB said...

Patrick, what a treat to find a poem by you in my comments! Thank you so much!

Firehawk said...

MB,

No problem. I think it's fun to sometimes challenge yourself to quickly respond to someone else's work. No prep time. No edits...hey, that's your motto. Anyway, glad you liked it.

MB said...

I did! Thanks.