Another Apocalypse Poem, Take 1
Angels rose from deep ocean trenches. They resembled albino humpbacked anglerfish with raven wings. The fashion houses in Paris and New York loved the stark contrast between the white and black. The angels made the cover of Vogue.
The angels came bearing a 13 billion year old question: Why is there something instead of nothing? When I heard the question, I folded up into the shape of a prayer and laughed. The angel's question made 20% of the population laugh out loud.
Everyone asked: where are the risen dead? The angels told us that they would be released soon, keep an eye on the sky. No one knew what released meant. The angels then set up their own kingdom on ocean flotillas of plastic.
And so we settled into this new world: we drive to work; eat dinner; make drunken calls to strangers in ancient Babylonian cities in our sleep. Meanwhile, the angels have set up companies to insure the rich against the risks of the ride into heaven.
Another Apocalypse Poem, Take 27
It's been raining straight for the last nine months. Everyone blames the dead. It's because they are everywhere, violating boundaries, like mosquitoes. The dead have nowhere to go and so they drift through the walls, watch children play video games, watch couples have sex, stare at the patterns of wires behind the walls (in the secret compartments only seen by electricians and mice) while reciting the litany of wrongs they've suffered since being pulled up from the underworld.
There's a strange fever going around since the rain began. It's all coughs, hunched backs, and nihilistic poetry. I bought one of the last tangerines in town (where was it originally from?) and sucked on it for a half hour, just to find some sun, get some sun into my bones.
I spoke with someone's dead mother last night as she drifted past the end of my bed. She said she died in the flu epidemic of 1918, in Bruges. She asked if I was part of her fever dream. I told her that I thought she was part of mine. Stalemate.
The toilets are all backed up. No water in the taps because the water works have been swamped. I saw a father and daughter out in the rain yesterday. He was washing her hair. The rain drops were big as baseballs. They exploded on the pavement. The father and daughter laughed and shouted above the noise of the exploding raindrops.
's most recent book: The No One Poems (Thirty West Publishing, 2021). A long eco-catastrophe grief ceremony poem, Tidal Flats
, can be found at Mudlark.
Its sequel, Solutions for the End of the World
, can be found at American Journal of Poetry.
He lives in New Mexico, among the living, the dead, and the coyotes.