In Omégaville, humans and other lifeforms are misbehaving. Instead of chasing each other or watching tv, they’re climbing upward as best they can and occasionally howling at the moon. The local government representative advised that action (unspecified) would be taken. The first part is here.
A committee in the hollow halls of government
met in secret and agreed in unanimity
that every living creature in Omégaville
was unnatural, illegal,*
and with surprising prescience,
most likely dangerous.
By presidential decree, the town’s unknown
contagion would be eliminated
with an indelicate serein,
an autumn shower of incendiary missiles.
As they left the meeting, no-one paid attention
to the words of old Silénio,
who was cleaning up the shot glasses
by consuming whatever might remain:
The deity Fortuna is surely watching over us
and laughing her tiara off.
Every problem has a singular solution
that human ingenuity rarely fails to find—
the solution that’s precisely the worst of all.
I was passing a little quality time with my dog
and a stray armadillo on a rooftop,
when I saw a dusty motorcade
on the dirt road leading out of town:
five limos, four Brasílias, three Beetles, and a pair
of shampooed poodles yapping from a window.
No doubt it was the Delegado and his counsellors,
their families, selected hangers-on,
and the odd amante, paid and on the clock.
As they headed off to Rio de Janeiro,
a flock of Super Toucans in a military wedge
descended from the clouds, and I asked the armadillo
if there might be reason for concern,
but he declined to comment.
In two hot minutes, Omégaville was ablaze
inside an oblate hemisphere of radiance.
And yet, when everything that didn’t melt or vaporize
was burned to ash,
when no hope was lost because there was none
to begin with,
when the armadillo had long since whispered
his tearful goodbyes,
events took an unexpected left-hand turn
at the intersection with reality.
As if we’d purchased smoothies
made of pomegranates
from Persephone’s orchard,
we were all transfigured,
phoenix-fallen and risen from the subterrain,
our bodies reinvented in Dante’s ecosystem,
our innocence transformed to ardor in raging fields of fire.
For no particular reason, I’ve made a bit of a list.
demons, impish and arch, aloof and smug
hounds of hell with wagging tails,
barking at the flaming devils of Tasmania
nameless beings burning with perpetual heat,
who might have powered turbines
with a limitless green supply of energy
a suite of Stravinsky’s firebirds
and even insects, leaving sooty contrails as they buzzed
and spiraled, smoking tiny roll-their-owns.
*Section 43 of the Lunar Act 1922 forbids moon howling except on public holidays.
Silenus, the oldest and most drunken of the followers of Bacchus, has a special place in my heart and in my writing.
I find it confusing that Persephone doesn’t rhyme with saxophone, especially when I picture Persephone playing a saxophone.
Super Tucano (Super Toucan) is a great name for a military attack aircraft, but why the teeth? I would expect a colorful beak.
Dante’s Inferno (1320 or so)
artwork: rising anomaly, part above
Despite terminal laziness, I’ve made an incomplete listing of my short stories and poetry sold to publishers. A fair amount is freely available (shown in green). The listing is also under a menu item at the top of the page.