Carefully Mad Wars or Poetry Is Useless

Most people will tell you that poetry is useless. Which is true. But so what? Some of it is good for what is left of our souls. That is important, eh? In times like these, for sure. The following I know to have been described as depressing. I do not think it is. But then, my favourite band used to be The Smiths, and they always made me smile.

Dinasauria, we

born like this

into this as the chalk faces smile as Mrs. Death laughs as the elevators break as political landscapes dissolve as the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree as the oily fish spit out their oily prey as the sun is masked

we are born like this into this into these carefully mad wars into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness into bars where people no longer speak to each other into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings

born into this into hospitals which are so expensive that it's cheaper to die into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes

born into this walking and living through this dying because of this muted because of this castrated debauched disinherited because of this fooled by this used by this pissed on by this made crazy and sick by this made violent made inhuman by this

the heart is blackened the fingers reach for the throat the gun the knife the bomb the fingers reach toward an unresponsive god

the fingers reach for the bottle the pill the powder

we are born into this sorrowful deadliness we are born into a government 60 years in debt that soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt and the banks will burn money will be useless there will be open and unpunished murder in the streets it will be guns and roving mobs land will be useless food will become a diminishing return nuclear power will be taken over by the many explosions will continually shake the earth radiated robot men will stalk each other the rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms Dante's Inferno will be made to look like a children's playground

the sun will not be seen and it will always be night trees will die all vegetation will die radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men the sea will be poisoned the lakes and rivers will vanish rain will be the new gold

the rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind

the last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases

and the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition the petering out of supplies the natural effect of general decay

and there will be the most beautiful silence never heard

born out of that.

the sun still hidden there

awaiting the next chapter.

-Charles Bukowski