A beat riff on the theology of the cross? Written in 1980:
Many prophets have failed, their voices silent
ghost-shouts in basements nobody heard dusty laughter in family attics
nor glanced them on park benches weeping with relief under empty sky
Walt Whitman viva’d local losers — courage to Fat Ladies in the Freak Show!
nervous prisoners whose mustached lips dripped sweat on chow lines —
Prospero burned his Power books & plummeted his magic wand to the
bottom of dragon seas
Alexander the Great failed to find more worlds to conquer!
O Failure I chant your terrifying name, accept me your 54 year old Prophet
epicking Eternal Flop! I join your Pantheon of mortal bards, & hasten this
ode with high blood pressure
rushing to the top of my skull as if I wouldn’t last another minute, like the
Dying Gaul! to
You, Lord of blind Monet, deaf Beethoven, armless Venus de Milo, headless
My tirades destroyed not Intellectual Unions of KGB & CIA in turtlenecks
& underpants, their woolen suits & tweeds
I never dissolved Plutonium or dismantled the nuclear Bomb before my skull
I have not yet stopped the Armies of entire Mankind in their march toward
World War III
I never got to Heaven, Nirvana, X Whatchamacallit, I never left Earth,
I never learned to die.