Saturday, December 11, 2010

Everybody Needs a Hobby

The greased-dish spiral wave transmitter
He uses to talk with the aliens
Caused static while "Family Ties" was on TV,
So his wife, who'd defended him
Unflinching against an army of non-believers
Ordered him to stop all communications.
Funny, he thought, the adjective used to describe the great,
"Uncompromising." Had he not engineered
This frail rig through compromise alone?
First he had to delete all his delicious references
To politics and sex and religion and race, for these things
Annoyed the visitors. Then he had to retranslate his own voice
To an inexact symbolic rendering that took all gestures from his words,
And he had to pay off the neighbors
With tales of his own insanity, the evil twin voices in him.
For every minute of contact, he would spend
Hours dredging through the wiring, hours
Giving the world back to his loved ones,
For fear that this new one would crush it, and him
Not a part now of either, but a medium between the two.
The happiness of one is so desperately sad for the other
The walls of sacrifice must be built,
And once he had done that, he could settle in with his web
Of recursive-spin generators and barite transmitters
And start to destroy himself,
All for the chance to touch,
To give himself up to it completely,
A force that asks only the ultimate compromise,
That he keep it to himself,
For silent accord is glory,
The secrets of the future are revealed
Because they will stay secret,
Because he knows they can't keep.

Other humans see only pretensions of glory in his silence;
They don't want it revealed so much as they want to know why
He won't tell,
What would shrivel in the light,
Where the aliens are either child's toys to be discarded
Or they are all that he has.

Aha, he thought, the compromises of one man
Within the world, not even,
Except in his own mind, opposed.
Imagine what it would be to fight,
To no longer look at it as a hobby,
To dare to spread his shit in sacred corners,
His perverse act mocking our vocabularies, killing our priorities
With its dauntless proposal that this way, his only way, exists.
Somehow, if he denies defiantly enough
He removes the choice
But to conduct air raids on his occupied villages,
To nail him for drinking, tax evasion, for the crimes of his
And everyone's past, not to show him, but to keep him
From the rest.
It rarely works. There are always the aliens
To rescue him from man
As they rescue themselves
From him.

Meanwhile the police would warn that capitulation
Would be to treat him as beyond human,
And that violates general policies,
And we can't make too many exceptions
Or the world becomes a jungle,
And there would be no more doubt about angels.