Saturday, May 14, 2022


A saucer on the ceiling spits out tiny bursts of light
In unpredictable increments, as if it's thinking,
Beyond, even, a program, something not able to exist
In this realm
                        where no matter how indomitable
Her will, it's still only human, a program to process
The program that goes "you will die soon."

Down every green road, there are choices of churches,
Compassion allocated at every one of them
Automatically, like a recipe, to the saved.
There is nothing left over, in the equation, apparently,
For the hunted aliens so far from their world,
The hot and fat cows with tags in yellowing fields,
The earth itself pocked with iron mosquitoes 
To extract her blood with a measured plunge.

The God of Love can't overcome such subtleties,
All any algorithm can do is throw reference shade
Of some underlying sense within its noise:
The village of Hope that rose all at once
In the fallout shelter golden age and died together
As if a bomb rusted its tractors and trailers
And cleared Saving Grace Church of the last believers.

They try to make sense of such things at the Chaos Cafe
In Artesia sometimes on especially creepy Fridays
But the program is dialed back eventually
To fishing with bowling pins on the bottomless lake, 
Making children's games the miniature of life itself
On animal-themed sporting fields that overwhelm
Even the endless desolate stretches of useless land, 
And leaving the town as soon as they can 'cos it's hot
And there's nothing to do except drive to the cabins in Cloudcroft,

But they have become the circuits of their place,
With the hats, jeans and weary faces to prove that
They can't rise above the dust where they were born.
They let others in, begrudgingly, as part of some
Human urge for lucre and news of a different world,
They say "look at our fairgrounds, art galleries, our legacy
Of Pecos Bill," but still it stares at us, the green
Universal cartoon of why we came here,
To see their shame -- the aforementioned lights on the ceiling --
In hopes that it can yet never will be explained ...

Their embarrassment is not at the witch-burning monster
Of their nature, or the greed that brought their gold to plunder
Or the other surefire formulas to cadge the tourist dollar,
But whether what they were born to, without their consent,
Actually happened, as it didn't for most visitors 
Who still laugh at the cartoon to hide their own shame
Of not knowing -- such a limited computer -- not knowing!