Fire Oaths

                                             i.               against inhibition and recklessness!
                                                              for expression and tolerance!
                                                              hamas and de sade!*

               across the folds of palms burning me,
a verse whispers precious spittle as in little
               moments of golden honesty, a
furnace rises, coming from a scriptural sea
               showering me in a pox of lips
spitting kisses earnestly, its thick and beastly
               masoretic pricking me, as in
hebraic metaphor pouring flame onto me,
               my fingers picking locks of rotten
papyrus fibre I pull off, dismantling the
               entire scroll I hold, stripping to lewd
decimal certainty its once sacred words, fists
               ripping syllables into bitter
particles shouting past better participles,
               deafening decibels of pleas to
stop me from erasing heaven’s heresies, and
               in so doing, I reveal our shared
history, how even fags and angels, like popes
               and vagrants, trace all origin to
one moment, when god opened her arms as she closed
               her legs, and laid us all onto one
planet, our names on the selfsame page, a volume
               lowered through æther in the hope that
we would keep her in our hearts, while keeping close the
               promise she hugged into us, that we
would never depart from love, and in our loving,
               turn our lives into blind works of art.

                                             ii.              against fascism and revisionism!
                                                              for acceptance and independence!
                                                              hitler and jefferson!*

               literature’s tagged toes occupy
the same bag as litter, leaves the burning timbre
               of which resembles sweating flesh, lit
with dancing dew like plums plucked from the orchard our
               dreams run into, soloing their great
white way through ripening, torn torahs broken like
               laws before being fed to crowds, claws
scratching bestial applause under the lime-lit
               haloes of those officiating
villains, their prayers smothering the chorus of their
               mediocre souls, their average
apprentices, with pillows of smoke, loud clouds of
               smoke my burning palms throw up to god,
throwing gay signs, and signs of being a fag, as
               I kiss my fingers and chuck deuces
to god, letting her know I have felt her feeling
               me, and that I feel her, as I let
my mic drop, letting go of what I once thought kept
               my life from being caught off guard, when
it was while I was reading that my eyes let thieves
               walk off with my heart, that inmost part
that bled not hurt, but words too long unsaid, those gifts
               god wept when she lifted her veils where
we stood before we split, back when humanity
               existed, back then god winked at me
and whispered, ‘I never gave us free will so we
               could all treat other people like shit.’

*On May 10, 1933, in the Opernplatz [“Opera Square”] at Berlin, the Nazi regime, which at the time was Germany’s governing power, performed a now-infamous “book burning” ceremony. This very public and highly ritualized event included the destruction by fire of literary works deemed by the regime to be “degenerate,” whether politically, religiously, or socially. It was accompanied by the crowd’s chanting of “fire oaths,” the texts of which included couplets identifying ideologies to be “purified” by the burning, and those with which they were to be “cleansed” and replaced, followed by the names of “offensive” authors and “approved” ones.