To destroy the originals is to lend a certain originality to the copies[.]


The smarter the individual, the dumber the crowd,
perhaps it’s not god we encounter out there on the tops
of mountains, it’s just herds of cowards mocked by the shadow
of a shepherd whose flock follows a trail of salt up, not
coming down until after falling out of the saddle

of love, all this talk of what? this prattle about getting
off without a charge, ascribing to idiots the crimes
of geniuses, a mind so dirty thoughts can’t form there, oh,
I’ve been there, pornographers are the new philosophers,
baby, we court criticism from others to diminish


our own egos, to make a little less-bolder, if not
snuff-out fully, the heavy smoulder of our fire’s swagger,
this double-daggered power to captivate clueless crowds
we double-fist no worse or any better than the noose
below whose gallows we sit, our ennui’s uninterest

a sighing protest gathering to shallow ground on which
all the president’s men scatter eggshells, silence we tend
to shatter to shit when, without forethought or warning, we
call them out on spreading and believing it, those cruel
lies in which they find such unusual comfort, no, friends,


don’t ever let the news make of its storied war-machine’s
marketing scheme an excuse to use you, an algorithm
of calculated catastrophes to confuse you all
into needing to see everywhere horrible threats
you never knew were there that you’re now supposed to fear, stop

getting-off on watching, in ‘hi-def,’ no less, the death-wish
simulcast suffering of others sacrificing what’s
left of themselves to monsters that don’t exist, imagined
enemies you’d have to import if you couldn’t afford
to manufacture at-home the myth you force your workers


to purchase, their own misfortune your reports package and
trump-up as a crisis of continents whose foreign names
your agenda’s announcers mispronounce as one-size-fits-
all English again bastardizes itself beyond all
recognition or repair, just another embargo’s

cargo of oil-rich blood to drip thick onto your bloc-list,
blackening your vagrant eyes with borders whose migrant cries
wail against, paywalls behind which you hide the curated
discontent of your emptiness, yes, civilization’s
collapse is imminent when integrity’s a bogey-


man you teach your kids to run from if they can’t grow out of
it, this devouring of damage pits against logic’s top
initiates the straw-man’s disadvantage of picking
cherries inside the orchard Chekhov’s ghost wanders with our
god you abandoned: Literature, no longer an art

but an artifact of what once was so hardwired into
humanity, the real treasure of the ancients, the most
precious mental of the alchemists and philosophers
you stripped for scraps to rebuild and remaster your soulless
automated existence, a speck of dust, corrupted


flesh since defragmented from the clutter of your solar
disk’s memory, a floppy effigy blowing up like
a flare sent in last-ditch attempt to rally this dying
planet’s brain-dead inhabitants against this century’s
final glimpse of how It™ ends: not with a bang but a flash,

another Carrington incident to usher in fast
your darkest age yet, the one that lasts… one without cables
to send or signals to pass over wireless distances
messengers ages ago traversed before you even
had strangers to ‘unfriend’ or ‘followers’ to court with your


latest ‘#trends,’ no, pawns, erect now, while you still can, the black
obelisk of the postliterate before the mods who
are your overlords can take it down, make sure not to skip
past the ads, Big Tobacco™ and Corrupt Government™ are
sponsoring this, but let’s keep that on the down-low, Yankee

White with his tan beret told me to be quiet ‘or
else…’ (the secret of your society is that you need
my money more than anything) but I use words as if
they were currency and I’m sitting on a mint—and if
I say this much, imagine, then, what it is I don’t print…

1Eliphas Lévi, “Chapter Eighteen: Potions and Spells” in “Part One: The Doctrine of High Magic” of The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic: Translated by Mark Anthony Mikituk: Introduction and Notes by John Michael Greer, published at New York by TarcherPerigee in 2017; page 166.