For #Camus on His 100th Birthday

camus
I.
Today, on Camus’ 100th Birthday
230 million birds in the cloud
tweeting across the continents
signaling the coming of spring
with Arab spring still blooming
in a desert blackout
above the rising tide of revolution,
the emptying of holy lands.
Yet, the only question remaining
is still the question of suicide.

II.
Back home the growers used this stuff
on the grass they grow in the redwoods.
Simply opening a single canister
of this illegal pesticide can kill you.

Today a Kansas school indefinitely
suspended a thirteen-year-old boy
for wearing a paisley purse.

Today, just north of my city
a young Latino boy
a child, your son or mine
gunned down by twitchy cops
on the streets of his city.
His city has no slides or swings;
his city is exposed by a violent sun
a city undone – our city.
Strange how this city I live in
becomes the city I’m from.

III.
Today, an Opportunity!
Visualizing a Time Challenge!
Live inside real-time –
the age of information
the emergent consciousness
of Remorseless Man.

IV.
How far back do Robots really go?
The singularity is so last year.
Hope was always the human error
they wished to avoid.

Time is an ugly, senseless horror
but they say WalMart brings work
like seeded clouds bring rain;
they say we should be grateful.

Robots help us fold laundry.
Today drones strike without warning.
Assembly line slaves don’t have time
to conquer the world.

Pharaohs were the original Steampunks.
They had those crazy machines,
you know, they stored their souls
in jam jars.

V.
We wax poetic in the dark –
put yourself in my shoes.
Do remember those days?
Playing in the attic of the old house
after the sun went down
behind the live oak,
how we scanned the lines
of nine vintage books
about the afterlife of queers?

VI.
Hey friends, the Senate is voting right now!
Make some history!
Tweet it, post it, like it, tag it.

Read the signs of nuclear winter
in the cosmic tea leaves.
Speak to us in microtonal visions
special binary appearances
in the syntax and semantics
of modern hieroglyphics.

VII.
Binaural Beats, or
Why you can’t sleep
and what to do about it.

The lightning strikes our faces,
a blow from the fists of drunken fathers,
shadowboxing in the glassy darkness.

VIII.
In the beginning there was silence,
a silence neither poetic nor hermetic
but irredeemably desolate.
In retrospect we fought
the stubborn torpor without
a single moment of relief
in that epoch wherein our
infinite strangeness was suspended
in dust and spare parts.

IX.
Today. Finally, rain.

I just want to sit here,
to watch and listen.
It’s been so long I almost forgot
how beautiful it can all be.

X.
The world is beautiful, and outside there is no salvation.


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