I’m depressed by a trouble, a spot of bad luck,
Yes, indeed, a rude little spot!
If one could only play safe, preferred a feed to a f**k,
Yes, quite, knew to shit or get off the pot!
We’re just as mad at one another
As we’ve always been but our glib veneer
Is rent-no more may we rosily smother
Our harsh perceptions; bright, loud, unclear.
There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip.., even exemplars indulge and so on,
Do you think RFK, before being whacked
By the hotel icebox, `once and future king’ writ thereon
Had some chaste restraint Jack lacked?
While Ethel was somewhere laid up bearing ten,
Bobby wasn’t fretting about original sin,
Fingering his peace beads and a book on Zen
He’d look not on burning cities but used-up Marilyn.
And look here! People on TV today seem to be at it like knives-
Whoring cursing fighting, drinking whiskies at the double,
If art reflects correctly of the bounty of our lives
Then I’m really missing out and someone’s going to be in trouble;
Someone who will not buy, alas, the old and tired routine
By whom the tired phrases, Bobbitt-like, are severed clean.
Whilst I’m saying this, a woman has confessed
To infanticide and faces lynching or the chair;
She got her two boys out of bed, got them dressed
And drove their car into a lake, watched it sinking there.
What is the problem? Why all the fuss!
We have met the enemy and they are us.
To visit death upon them is to divine its mystery.
Your old band of bleeding hearts are for the chop; 0 where death starts
Is very nice — digs on Olympus, limitless vice but when one counts
A thousand twice the curtain really falls. From a tap filled with cobwebs,
Weavil-swarming water calls — blood burbles along a butcher’s drain;
A cockroach scuttles over gleaming backs of lovers
While a baby dies a thousand times and tells.
High on a hill, in golden lamplight, a heap of slag awash with drums,
Men dig and shout and boldly gesture but no hilltop savior comes;
Here one cross and here another!
The skin goes ‘snap’ ! It is still taut, like plastic wrap with two day’s use,
A seal by which much mess is caught, the fluid sum of life’s abuse,
Pile of trinkets, names and numbers – through the exit a human lumbers.
The head goes ‘pop’ ! Like an egg in the pan — much nourishment contained within
But the contents as bland as corn in a can, as lusterless as the age we die in.
The more we paint the human face do we encounter Bacon’s trace.