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  • Craig Allen Heath

Pan-American

"Hell is the impossibility of reason."

Oh, heady days! Late imperial, early feudal, rancor in the air like poison smoke. We breathe in fitful gasps and coughs, inhale the future, waste the exhale in shouts of spleen. Grinning, cheap movie villains, we play to the camera, our manicured and bloody hands midwife the suicide of a people.

All gunpowder and lipstick, every finger tap and eyeball twitch recorded, measured, bought, sold, stolen and raped, we laugh at pain for a discount at the bar. To kill is to finger-snap, to steal is to wink, to love is to mouth words soundless, empty, absurd, even the teeth in our smile capped, bleached, false.

The greatest! The greatest we scream, pretending truth is all assertion and threat. A finger in the eye delights in pain, tears made the scarlet mark of weakness, inviting the predator strike. To the future! we shout. To the past! we echo, now the only moment in the vastness of time where none may stand.

Mad, hysterical, every face a mask to cloak fear, loathing become a cocktail mixed with acrid, bitter history and the cold liquor of present crime. Arms belching fire, consuming flesh, flesh crystallized, impotent to comfort, to soothe fevered brows. Fever now the symptom of all malady, lacking the cleansing effect, fever itself the kindling of it’s own increase.

Blameless all, in the mirrored eyes, in the annals of self-excusing memoir. Every ego a universe, every id a god. Flicking fingers proclaim inerrant truth to the rabble clamoring below the parapets of our boundless conceit. Left, right, up, down, center, edge, blue, red — no torture of inquisition is banned in the science of the insane. Wherever two of us gather in the name of any frankenstein messiah, there also is the blessing of horror visited on enemies of our inner church.

A great maw, bloody, ravenous, razor teeth numbered in hundred-millions, we chew and swallow our way through time, space, flesh, rock, water, air. Brainless, soulless, an insatiable gut feeding on what can be captured between opposing jaws, each one biting to spite and wound the other. A creature eating itself, hating both the hunger and the food. No ouroboros, nothing with meaning and sense, symbol of ever-renewing life — it all goes in and nothing comes out.

Come, hated sibling, gather ‘round the fire. Throw the children on for lightwood, the aged to feed inferno, fan the flames with the future that will never be. Let us warm our bones on lunacy, knowing, as the apostle knows the gospel, we had no choice; our hands were bound against us, against all reason. We could do no other than what we did — feckless, all-powerful, innocent, sinful. No history will explain this epoch, this people. If lessons were learned from the chronologies of time, we would have learned them long ago, and this lament would never be sounded.



© Craig Allen Heath 2020

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©2020 by Craig Allen Heath