Monday, July 12, 2010

I woke this morning to a radical sky
The world dyed red, pouring through a cracked-open door
And every eastward window
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning
A city some where is burning
The reflections of its flames
And agonized death
Is reflected in the raging
Of my placid Pennsylvanian dawn.

I woke dreaming
Of laughing vicious crowds
Of idle rich children, assaulting the streets
Of some inner Parisian bohemian museum-piece
Like schoolkids run amuck
Through a preserved waxwork display
Of expatriate imagination
The French existential ideal
Stuffed and mounted and put on display
A disneyesque trap
For intellectual tourists
To waste the riches of their elders'
Long fruitful toil

I shouted "ordered liberty" at the masked mob
Amateurishly brandishing card-board battering rams
More intent on hurting themselves and their peers
Than anything around them.
It was they that respected the display
And I the interloper
In their 1968 of the night.

Their happy cruel clowning
That suited this stage
The curdled imagining of
Streets cobbled with pretension
And meaningless riot.

Out in the gray brutal suburbs
The mob of reality lurked
Hostile, alien, hopeless
Lit by the light of small burning
French cars
The desparate disordered ruined wreckage
of a foreign working class
Imported by a country
That no longed needed them
Their strong arms made weak
By the collapse of a world
Built from things and hope.

Now the inner country
Subsists on the revenue
Of a different set of imports
Exporting the memories
Of expatriate nostalgia-tours
And dreams of hedonism
To those who would be
Cynical wanderers in the ruins
Wherein they could be woken
From their well-fed nightmares
To these burning clouds of
This radical sky.

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