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Postmodern Village
est. 1999
e-mail * terms * privacy
No Tweet for the Revolution
by Charles V. Gustavsen

8:43 and I stir in the sub-vigor
of continual recovery
from late nights twenty years gone

the Middle Ages of genexery,
plausibly deniable no longer

lethargy, if lethargy it be,
born of the abuse of nothing substantial
     but essential
no drug passed in through my lips
     but the high-fructose conformatoric
     of the lazy fare, and the economical
     American brand opiate from China
     $12.88     Always

but it is that which proceeds out of a man
that him defileth

and what has passed out
but a muttered curse
handed down to me
as if it were a cherished prayer?

yes, ya gotta pay the bills

yet I've seen the future
     with Mosaic precognition
     the valley of new possibilities
     laid out before my earthenware shoes

will I fall short of the
goal--I-a-thrown stone
away from the promise?

The Greatest Generation
     of wholesale killers
     plowed up the fecund
     corpus of the past,
     injected it with firewater
     and told each other
     they were self-made men

Their Babies saw right through their lies
and shouted 'revolution' with a Boom
till somebody found some more firewater.
talkin' 'bout your g- g- g- g-

As the rest of us wait
for our day in the sun;
for the shadow of their mushroom cloud
to roil away
into their 401-play-Kation;
we're left with petro-fired
virtual integrity
and Couplandish coils of slack.

I should sell out.

but nobody's buying,
and I don't have the energy
to flush my dreams –
I'd have to fix the plumbing first,
but can't afford to hire a plumber
and mustn't take the time
to learn the trade myself –
so they float in circles in the bowl

the gems won't go down, those turds

nothing substantial
     but essential
compels me to pull them out
and wipe them off
again in-jesting what I did not once digest
wishing once more to be ignited,
as with a Silmaril in-filled

now there is no fire
but a warmth
contemptuously familiar –
not yet wine
but only sour grapes

the decaf coffee
that no longer inflames my aging glands
is fairly traded,
but when Jobs pushed the other Steve
     – the one who knew 'how', and not only 'that'
     out of his place in the Garage
     every Garage became merely
     a place to park a car
how do you like them fruits?

ashamed of not knowing how to do
the very thing they
taught us never how to do,
I just can't stop picking
at the scab

I have no deficit of attention.
my disorder is a surplus:

I cannot stop attending
to the faintly marked traces
of a path untrodden

I cannot stop attending
to the dimly glowing embers
fallen from an illuminating torch

I cannot stop attending
to the handle of a tool
I could wield
     if only I could carve its shape
     from out of the living rock
     – a shape I once glimpsed
     from the neighboring hilltop

I cannot stop attending to these
     even through the insistent distraction
     of the tabulators,
     the collectors of bills,
     and the whinging, self-righteous sermonizing
     of the ideologues,
     and the hyprocrites,
     and the Panglossalalia of the
     right-place-right-time billionaires
     hawking powdered gumption
     and rose-colored bootstraps
     from a cardboard kiosk

so flog my soul
     in the bosom of consumption
let me take my comfort
     and put it on the card
let the tax code be my salvation
     – it is for such as this that I am to trade
my agency

the humus of faraway mountain slopes
has yielded up the bean
     to cloak the bitter taste in my mouth
     with its own
cleansed even as it is
     of its irritant drug
it eases me from my stupor
to stumble through another day
knowing that which I cannot do
doing that which I can't not do,
wondering if the hereditary sauerkraut
will one day assemble itself
in the deprecated muscles of my arms