The Claims of the Giants

In mythology, the giants were birthed from the blood of Uranus’s castrated prick wherever it splattered across the womb of Gaia.

The earth sometimes takes issue with the heavens – and can react in most uncontrollable ways.

Still, the Olympians killed the overgrown with the help of the mortal, Heracles.

In economics, continuous growth is a virtue, coupled right alongside a few humans’ endless creativity.

Earthly wealth often forgets the heavenly birthright of the tired and the poor.

Still, money talks and human capital jaywalks with the help of a demographic fighting its long-term survival.

In biology, we call continuous growth a cancer.

A body sometimes rebels against itself to save itself with no awareness that it’s ending itself.

Still, the old gods watch the new giants’ invisible hands; the old gods quietly wait for a new Heracles to nock an ancient, accurate bow.

The Claims of the Giants

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

May 15th, 2018

Unknown

Bits of broken tombstone surround the tree of life, jagged little reminders that all monuments someday crack and crumble.

A speck-like spider falls from the tree of life onto my pale hand. Before it has a chance to find its own way home, I send it to the land of wet grasses on a gust of self-generated wind. I have never cared for spiders, however minuscule.

I count no less than twenty shards of gravestone and wonder if the tree of life is to blame. The tree of life, grown so large from all the now-quiet bodies if hovers over while under the bone-infested ground, the roots of life seek water.

I spy no faces upon the tree of life’s cracked and ornery skin. I only spy black ants and sick-yellow lichens.

Are the faces then underground with the roots or perhaps higher up on the trunk, well above eye-level, spied only by wandering drones or a telescoping eye from a nearby window? Are the faces then in the branches, obscured by oblique leaves?

Perhaps the tree of life has no faces at all…

Perhaps the tree of life is just a dis-envisaged voice repeating so slowly, “So happy now you’ve gone.”

And what then for us still left to hear?

What new lessons do we have to share?

Huron Cemetery Poems VIII

Huron Cemetery Poems VII

May 10th, 2018

MANY UNMARKED GRAVES
IN THIS AREA
WILLIAM E. CONNELLY
SURVEY OF 1895-1896

In Kansas City, we finally lost the Spring. We finally lost rebirth. The birds now arrive too late. There is an ambulance, a fire truck, a police car, a sleeping man, a city bus, a casino, and authentic Mexican food. I mistook for a woman carrying a baby a woman carrying her coat and shoes. Bare feet traipse through the cemetery grass and not one eye open for green snakes in the sun. Google says they don’t bite and I have long forgotten what my grandmother once told me about the legless. For years, the rumor in our family was that we were touched by Cherokee blood. Had my genome sequenced over Christmas and we were all made to forget many things grandma once told us about us. Remembered then that history can always be erased. History is a dandelion’s seed borne high upon a lost Spring wind. History is bone and word and point of view. My body ages and aches because of history and a lack of magic mushrooms. Walking across the curved earth our feet gather dust and pain but, after a while, we recall how to traverse over sharp objects and how to respect the dirt. In Kansas City, we leap from cold to hot and shift with the quickness from slight to shot. I dreamed I needed a history to claim a home. But what can a history be without a home to first anchor it? Grass grows where it’s allowed until it remembers its history. Nature doesn’t take sides. History does. Dandelions grow where they are needed and do you see how many dandelions there are? In the daytime, we walk over sharp, broken bones and our thick-soled shoes provide such sweet relief from constant hurt and filth but, in the end, they completely wreck our posture and we find ourselves lost between Winter and Summer, reading through our travel diaries and seeking trained hands to help us stand up straight again.

Huron Cemetery Poems VII

They know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, they’ll go to it laughing

I.
Who are these sight-starved and smiling madman enthralled by Death?
Blind captains forever mistaking the fires of Hell for the light of the Sun.

II.
I wonder if the First Nations remained optimistic about their future as promises evaporated, leaving behind this salted land; the pale white crust over brown soil.
We recapitulate because it is impossible to see the actions of invisible hands.

III.
Death is the son of Night and Darkness, helicopter parents. To this day, Death never sleeps alone.
Foul captains always forget that their only reward is a participation trophy.

They know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, they’ll go to it laughing

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

I
After one hundred twenty-two dead schoolchildren,
The only changing thing
Is that no things have changed.

II
They are of one mind,
Like a target
In which there is one silhouette.

III
Our bullets whistle in the winter winds.
What small shells do they leave behind.

IV
A man and his God
Are one.
A man and and his God and his gun
Are one.

V
We do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of tension
Or the beauty of release,
The hands before pleading
Or just after.

VI
Caskets line the green lawn
While we defend barbarism.
The shadow of the law
Wavers to and fro.
The intent
Of the shadow
Is our infinite cause.

VII
O thin leaders of mortal men,
Why do you believe in possibility?
Do you not see how the base
Are swayed by the whims
Of the stories that surround them?

VIII
They speak the savior’s tongue
In unstoppable, rapid-fire rhythms;
But we see, now,
That the devil is involved
In everything they do.

IX
We bury the bodies out of sight.
We mark their memories
With one of many grey stones.

X
In the face of reason
Like a banshee’s scream,
The green bonds of fraternity
Keep us all muffled, weeping.

XI
We ride across America
In a silent ambulance.
Once, a fear shook us,
In that we took
The shadow of the law
As immutable.

XII
The tide is rising.
The dead are rising.

XIII
It was all over the evening news.
We were dying
And we were going to die.
Another active shooter leaves
His mother’s loving arms.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)