OF KINGS, PRIESTS AND CEOS by Jason Ryberg
(OR, REFLECTIONS ON THE 2008 ELECTIONS)
The weather channel is showing
highly detailed satellite imagery
of impending meteorological doom
(while various other sources are warning
of a new ice age (and a giant meteor
thrown in, to boot))
and the street corner preacher (in chorus
with his whole in-bred family and entourage)
says “GOD HATES FAGS!” (which makes me wonder
what He/She/It must think about rogue investment bankers,
government torturers, sowers of paranoia and discord
masquerading as journalists or porn-addicted poets,
for that matter).
Even the usually reliable Magic Eight Ball
says “it doesn’t look good” and, apparently,
our current (and wildly popular (if not so
genuinely populist)) Republican vice-
presidential candidate enjoys shooting wolves
from helicopters, firing librarians for refusing
to ban “objectionable” books and believes dinosaurs
roamed the earth six thousand years ago (really,
should this person have access
to the nuclear codes?).
But the lost boys and the strippers
and the third shift factory workers and EMT’s
are finishing up their nightly routines
and are all just waiting to get off work
and head over to Cooper’s for a drink.
Thank God someone in this city
of a hundred and thirty-one homicides
(this year, and climbing)
is open at 6AM.
But what was it the old boy with the cowboy hat
and Wally Walrus moustache was saying, just then;
something about the “Philosophick Mercury” or
“Grand Quintessence” as “cosmological constant,”
We can probably assume there used to be
competing schools of thought set up
to address those and other pressing issues of the day
and that there surely must be remnants of their descendants
left in the universities and non-partisan think tanks
here in our own uncertain age.
Or, maybe, when confronted
with the various cultural/quasi-intellectual
bogeys and conundrums of the modern world
we should all just step back and calmly review
the situation and maybe think about renewing
ours vows to our estranged lover or spouse,
that He or She (or whoever in between)
of Reason and Critical Thinking,
sitting all alone at the end of the bar,
nose in a book, sipping on a soda with lime;
the one who keeps looking at you
from time to time out of the corner of their eye,
maybe even stealing a full-on glance
when they’re sure you’ve turned away.
How is it you don’t remember them
looking so damned good;
so fit, so linear and clean?
Not like the sad, flabby menagerie of crazies
and bar-whores of hysteria and misinformation
you’ve been truck-stopping around with, lately.
How did things ever degenerate
to this sorrowful state?
How did we get conned into believing
we’re born fallen and fully deserving of a life
(and eternal afterlife) of suffering?
How do we get fooled again
and again and again into laboring
against our own best interests
and thinking that we ever had
anything to gain from killing
each other over the disputes
of kings, priests