Until the Inquisition Catches Up with Me

                                                            [E]t nolite conformari huic sæculo,
                                                                                          sed transformamini renovatione mentis[.]

                                                                                                                        —Sancti Pauli1

                              Quod ego fatear, pudeat?

                    i. Silence is Self-Murder

A poisoned patchwork of bitter herbs
          twists and works its faded emerald

          fingers into red earth, venturing
          ambidextrous; leafen hands fold fast,
          velvet their dance, and fall as if to
          bruised knees, as down to earthen womb they
          chance rebirth, scourging truth to forsake

          its lips with their spitting persistence
          in uttering this fatal flora’s

          true purpose, and so they dig with vile
          vigilance, roots upturned as toward
          miasmic uncertainty a fool’s
          cruel world perverts its cold surface,
          deflowering universes of

          obscured virgin opportunities
          to purchase of these herbs their power

          to encourage mortals in their filth
          and fragility to tear out of
          themselves life’s curse, to annihilate
          with unrepentant force any whore’s
          calming word, to make of our human

          existence a passive form, of death
          a verb, of love’s great cure a fiction.

                    ii. Expression is Emancipation

As Babylon approached Euphrates,
          tempting lasciviously to lure
          him into drowning himself in her
          veiled elixir, its purpled tincture

          arousing instead thoughts making him
          suspicious of her flow—like him when
          he said, ‘Easy there, Tigris…’ ev’ry

          man must come to a confluence where
          he encounters his fate’s clear river
          bifurcated like a sage’s beard
          into two decisions, and looking

          sin in the face of its depths must rise
          above to reject it, choosing faith
          instead to establish his kingdom

          where self-restraint leads him, past such proud
          roadblocks as lust’s chaos to greater
          freedom, so I did, swallowing not
          their poison but sucking from these wounds

          its spoiled vitriol, making of such
          rotten fruit an antidote for rocks
          and those stone-hearted glances thrown out

          by bold villagers and sorcerers
          seeking to conjure what we Stoic
          philosophers mould, our miracle
          that we turn sin into song, that we

          poets author our Selves from ink we
          make from lies this world hurls in its poor
          yet ceaseless efforts to crush us, hurts

          turning to gold, faces ignited
          by works written and read, hearts published,
          distributed, and devoured in
          spite of what our critics attempt at—

          to murder us using their own lead,
          bullets of insecurities and
          masquerading weaknesses they paint

          as strength—while they pencil in comments
          as ammunition in a battle
          destiny never lets imbeciles
          lacking wit and integrity win.

                    iii. Conformity Confesses Insecurity

Should I be ashamed of a thing which
          I admit, when saying it brings to
          truth a fame the bright, unrefined flames
          of which sing? An ætherized chorus
          rising slowly from lying so long

          in a mind’s tomb, sanitized inside
          society’s crucible, silenced

          before this fine, uncompromising
          revelation of these things could see
          daylight? For corrupting my Self I
          climb a ladder atop the trite heights
          of which I am forced to abruptly

          stop, caution no more adroit than my
          hesitation at saying my thoughts

          is inappropriate, so I find
          in my fervid ascent into those
          most erotic foothills of my own
          mountainous mind, a hoarfrost veiling
          its lines as if hiding her curves is

          what will blind midnight’s carefully-sewn
          constellations, discourage them from

          unwinding heaven’s ultra-divine
          brand of spider-silk, from tearing at
          my first breath, my first word spilled across
          a web in such a wealth of lost time—
          and so admitting I will never

          be admitted to realms higher than
          this summit of self-knowledge burning

          inside, with tongues of flame waking from
          smothering injustice, I climb skies;
          soothing from them their discomfort, my
          voice moistening every mouth of
          mor(t)al meaning left unfed, starved by

          anything-but-well-meaning men with
          no ethics and Fascist fists forcing

          re(d)actionary revisionism,
          black-eyed until they wept dust—yes, for
          those too cooled by censorship’s chilling
          effects, I write; my lips broken seals
          melting onto pages governments

          cannot unbind—with bravado I
          stitch on air radio-waves only

          two souls knit in the same womb know how
          to perceive, from what to look away,
          and where to turn to hear, ears tuning
          in to new and shared points of view we
          seemingly few wear as uniforms

          revealing our daring multitude—
          these faces hewn with this attitude

          bringing to fruition our vintage,
          intoxicating branches of truth
          and sacred knowledge we will move and
          continue to graft onto your weak
          rhetoric’s fatal fiction, shaping

          its withering bloom by doing what
          we do, and doing that best, until

          long-weakened “freedom of expression”
          defeats “political correctness”—
          since we did not choose, but were chosen,
          to be alone, we find solace in
          knowing that by our dark artistry

          we have become the noose media’s
          most eremitical nemeses,

          anchorites who liken our own style
          to that of post-modern stylites, so
          with aversion to manufactured
          “culture” and burning devotion to
          being “different,” let us abide

          our pedestals until this failing
          simulation of existence, this

          so-called “civilization,” falls hard;
          until citizens’ unrelenting
          adherence to idiots’ whims and
          “official” opinions ends—when your
          heads are no longer poisoned by that

          illusory urgency “current
          trends” slip without your noticing it

          into the shallow electrified
          sea of convulsions your allied herd
          mentality stirs; tremble before
          our televisionary words, fools
          devouring them all down as I know

          you do, and swallow what vitriol
          you will send in your attempts to choke

          my pen, employing manufactured
          malevolence to which a poet
          never condescends, but milks, as this
          one does, until the inquisition
          catches up with him, asking questions.

1Saint Paul the Apostle, “Novum Testamentum: Apostoli ad Romanos Epistula Sancti Pauli [The New Testament: The Letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans]”, Caput XII, Versus ii [Chapter 12, Verse 2], in the official Latin translation currently promulgated and in use by the Catholic Church, Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio [The New Vulgate Edition of the Holy Bible], Status Civitatis Vaticanæ [Vatican City State]: Officina Libraria Editoria Vaticana [Vatican Publishing House], MCMLXXXVI [1986], Editio Secunda [Second Edition]; page 1692. Written in AD 51–58. Translated from the Latin (itself out of the original Greek) by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America in, “The New Covenant, Commonly Called the New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: The Letter of Paul to the Romans”, Chapter 12, Verse 2 of Holy Bible: NRSV: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha, San Francisco: HarperOne, 2007; page 211: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds[.]”
2Titus Maccius Plautus, Captivi [The Prisoners of War], “Actus Quintus, Scena Secunda [The Second Scene of the Fifth Act]”, versus [line] 8 (line 961 of the entire play), spoken by the character Stalagmus, a cunning slave. Written between 204–184 BC and first published as, “Captiui duo. Comoedia quarta [sic; The Fourth Comedy: The Two Prisoners]” in Plautinæ Viginti Comœdiæ, Linguæ Latinæ deliciæ, magna ex parte emendatæ per Georgium Alexandrinum (Merulam) [Plautus: Twenty of His Comedies, the Delight of the Latin Language, Edited in Large Part by Georgius Alexander Merula]. Venetiis [Venice]: Impress[a]e fuere opera & impendio Ioannis de Colonia Agripinensi: at[que] Vindelini de Spira, M.CCCC.LXXII. [sic; Printed with Some Effort and Great Expense by Johannes De Colonia (identified by the research of Carolin Wirtz in 2006 as Johannes Hellman, a major merchant and importer of paper) from Cologne and Also Vindelinus De Spira, 1472]; page [105]. Translated from the Latin by Charles E. Bennett in, “Part V: Syntax, Chapter V: Syntax of Verbs, Moods: In Dependent Sentences: Subjunctive by Attraction”, section 324.1 of A Latin Grammar, Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1895; page 212: “[S]hould I be ashamed of a thing which I admit?”