The bartender smiles,
rather enigmatically –
beware of those
who claim the masa
for their own poetic jouissance –
O they can bleed you dry
if you fail to discern
the modes & ways
of their dirt-cheap lives.
Galeano, the Latin writer,
has disowned his old opus,
yet claims solidarity
with left-wing radicals.
Is he mocking the class war?
People & times change?
O the masa will stick
it out
with any dumb guy
who will secretly rob
them blind!
They are ever vised
in old definitions.
O History is a blank slate.
It moves not in straight line.
It zigs & zags
in the shift of paradigms.
Time always leaves one

“Be a wise lover,”
the bartender quips,
as if to mimic an Islamic caliph.
“Women fall for idiots
with a sucker punch.
They long to be whipped
into toeing the line.”
[But isn’t it brutish,
Medieval knights have never
left the castle
of the realm.
They are back to scourge
ISIS militants
who have leaped out
of the mirror
like shadows of dawn.
No wiser woman
to hold you in thrall?
But people are awed by criminals.
Give them the key to the city
& they will share the loot
with exemplars of the community!
Be a wiser lover then –
a bestiary of hawk & dove
that swoops down
on the prey of Machiavellian council.

Of course, to the victor
belongs the spoil.
If one dies
by gutsy suicide,
or by oppressive Others,
who would remember his footprints
in the sand?
Losers never gain the world:
Money talks to pay
the mourners
who would keen your
passing into the void…
Who shall invent
laudatio imagined
for the tribe.
The pauper & executioner
both fill the hole
in equal measure –
Both are bound to the dust
in imaginary roles.
O what profits a soul
who comes clear
but is beyond mortal recall?
History is a blank wall?
“The good that you do
won’t make you any good,”
quips a character
in a TV show
who plays a celebrated prosecutor.

How can he have fallen
for her
when life is a journey
of one disaster after another?
Love, after all, the exultation
& the bliss,
the pain & sorrow
is just a cocaine fix
that pulls you up
to stratospheric height,
& usually pulls you down
to the heart’s turmoil.
Nothing is fair
in love & war:
the common salve
that lifts drunken fools.
O She’ll junk you
for a new guy
who bumbles along:
Nights can not forever
by chilly, cold…
Nothing lasts forever?
He is wont to resist
the common wisdom,
but his ears are cocked
in the direction of the cell phone:
O How he waits
for that musical ring
once more!

As warranted,
the state will sucker you
into joining the bandwagon
of fools
who will make you pay
for their faith
in the rule of law
& cacique order –
O the idiot board
blazes the blessing
of hierarchs
on the always victims!
Leave the sense of justice
to the Supreme Being
who’ll work out
strange equations of meaning?
Power is plain Viagra
for little emperors
who want to be enthroned?
Since Rousseau
nothing earthshaking
has changed at all!

Nobody ducks for cover
where the shit
hits the fan.
It is par for the cause:
They will clean up,
wipe their faces
according to Emily Post &
cinematic rule.
After the tabloid scandal,
will the masa
shape up
& be the apotheosis
of a carpet bagging warlord?
O How they relish
the sight of blood
after the conflagration,
immersing in the soporific
miasma of the void!
Poetry never ruled the world –
words never exposed
two-penny emperors:
the evil that men do
is the sine qua non of the parable.
The Devil reigns
like an eternal paramour.
But art can crack the state?
Brecht confidently says so.

The President,
the Palace mill grinds,
is pure & clean?
But he keeps company
with pot-bellied scoundrels
& counterfeit entrepreneurs –
he covers for their misdeed
in the name of loyalty
& firing range friendship.
He has a blind side?
O which angle
the sun won’t shine on?
The old dictators,
his ministers testify,
has intelligent scruples
no ordinary folk
would dare measure…
But maggots from
his corpse
have crawled out
& infected his privileged spawn!
Back in the saddle,
in the name of egalitarian
O Lord, save us
from sainted orphans
of the world!

The wee small hours
of the morning
& your head is swimming
with images of her
who assault like phantoms
of the void?
& it isn’t August anymore!
The apparition
is something malevolent
or symbolic
of what truth?
What Freudian sign is this?
A possible exorcism?
Like a thief in the night
it steals your dream
& morphs it into pestilence!
& you cannot even scream!
You cannot hear your own muffled
voice in the small wee
hours of the morning!
O this returning angel from hell!
Nada, nada, nada!
You cannot be beholden
to what is forever nothing.

It isn’t cool, dude,
he says,
sounding like an American punk,
to diss
cockroaches of the underclass
who join the ranks of cops & thugs.
A way to survive
the perilous time:
hit the road for a pittance
in their sorry lives.
Why curse those who
would watch you fall down?
It isn’t wise
to stay away from
the noisy crowd,
laugh at idiots
who tune in to noontime
shows for deliverance,
hitching their stars
to a politician who owns vast tracks of land;
O he’s out of the ghetto
where he used to hang out
with sluts & bogeymen.
O this brotherhood of roughnecks
in the slums!
Isn’t that cool, dude,
to pull himself by his
own bootstrap
by robbing & lying.
That’s how everybody does it,
in the state apparatus.
O No one’s innocent.
We are all bound together
by Mephistophelian chain.
Isn’t it cool, dude?

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