13th Tribe


Love and hatred magnify the most
trivial things, intense
intent hitting them with the hidden
wisdom of passion, shared
idioms working in differing
media butting heads,
locking horns getting bent hitting home

          mixed messages, bullet

lists pointing at pros and cons that won’t
line up, differences
expressing damage, sacrilizing
symptoms, trepidation
taking from its breaking’s regal bloom
all rigorous colour
his own dolorous moods won’t mix with

          such bitterness of those

commoner sorrows until the doomed,
scrutinized heart deprived
of its light aspires to midnight and
shrinks, quits glorifying
with soaring rhythm its beaten king,
shrivels into a crisp
fist brittle enough the east wind might

          shatter it, renegade

breath which whispers tyrannies against
spent veins vanity twists
into a drained crown thorn surrounds flesh
until it thirsts for more
arrows in the breast, spears in the ribbed
abdomen tent’s wall all
possible revival neglects, wrecks


a bawdy temple ripped
open by inevitable schism,
morals finding a way
in just when pleasure and excess war
over what’s left not to
resist in a philosophical
quandary of an old

          intellectual quarrel, when what’s

only mortal ponders
confronting the spiritual and
stumbles once more, soldiers
toward defeat to relinquish hard
suffering’s one very
long moment, no longer beats, lingers
languid in favour of

          waking spirit sleeping in matter,

inciting to fullness
of riotous vigour the way bones
were before they returned
to the dust which failed souls as armour,
a man enamoured of
the pervasive myth of something more
stirs to ardour those missed

          fallen ancestors no one ever

bothered to remember,
heritage denied fathers of this,
our heretic thirteenth
tribe, exiled by minds which couldn’t be
bothered to remind scribes
and chroniclers that not all our time
in Babylon was wiled


away trying to survive, some of
us lived a way of life
which still thrives, not in most circles but
the dark corners, those grey
catacomb tunnels all grave robbers
do favour, ruthless rakes
taking turns making off with truths to

          leverage in high stakes

games against anonymous pitchfork-
wielding players, cradling
in shaking arms proof of their fable,
tracing roots under this
death-cult world one floor above hell which
Baal governs well, below
the notice of those willfully blind

          to fire’s invisible

arteries, highways of scars, our kind
fills with second sight, wide
cavernous altars of eyes beneath
the cracked asphalt shell of
crossroad streets leading through the nowheres
and backdoors of dead-end
communities, paths behind the black

          mirrors of which this art’s

pupils meet to see and speak with those
ancient things no scripture
dare repeat, ideas and feats of
these teachers whose sayings
actions demonstrate in silence, since
to name into being
any entity once imagined


restores to existence
the life’s essence of any fallen
angel still wandering
the earth looking for his wings ever
since he fell, sweet scourge of
Creation waiting patiently to
return to heaven an

          alternate ending, a pure restored

unexpurgated full
version, its hand set down in a spurned
prophecy whose burned scroll
only one of our own can open
and opine on in whole,
Cain’s poor children anticipating
a better sentence than

          bitter, resentful, restless want of

settlement, to go home
with better representation and
a better deal when we
appeal our father’s reputation
at the Final Judgment,
after trial and tribulation,
how it really will be

          a fitting Revelation for those

close to and familiar
with the situation, so tell me,
are you ready to get
things rolling and break the seal of this
brazen vessel before
which all you fools unwittingly kneel?
Don’t fear what sin reveals.