The Evil Lingering Here

The Evil Lingering Here

He was a child of his times–
and who can stand completely above his time?
It was a child’s game–
and who are we to judge?
Ah me, oh my–
I’m getting older.

These smooth river pebbles
testify loud and clear, call him by name.
The droop and drip-drop of this plywood ceiling
and the rotten plywood flooring
where a soft, well-arched beginner’s foot
fell splintering through–
they testify against his heart,
drag ‘im undertow down
to the red-brick, oak-plank
centered in the cobblestone,
green-benched town square.

I’ll help him
meet his maker!
I’ll fight for his right
to sail up
into the morning light.

Children, children, watch your elder,
mind my wobbly bow-legged step,
mind my crooked, o’er-knobbed staff
grinding sharp thuds into stone
and slipping soft gooshes into the cracks
overgrown with moss
cobwebbing these hefty pavers.

Mind my thought, mind my spitting speech
and dogged, screwed-up topmost eye!
Mind you not follow him
down the path that leads
to that putrid, self-defacing
sun salute!

Mind my wisdom.

Evil lingers here.
It drips like dewdrop-scattered light
off the beautiful, peach-soft,
taut cantaloping,
sweet, shadow-groving
young, bright-eyed women.

Evil keeps home here.
It fumes–
a green, cadaverous
spreading, cool, stale
around the sturdy thighs,
and nut-cracking biceps,
of these thick-necked,
lossless adventure lads.

It works its way into the clever calculations,
the industrious organizations,
the perfumy poesie
of science, business, art. .

It infects the whole,
which rots from the inside out
puking itself out onto the ground
like a long-gone pumpkin
that, after months of sag slouch twist,
finally spills its guts.

We’ve built such mighty,
such complicated,
such ornate

Atop this rancid crime.

Makes one shudder and shake
to suppose, to merely suggest!

And yet this too,
this evil too pleases us,
rubs our belly,
excites our thick, bored, boxy nerves.
We love to shake our heads,
cluck our tongues,
wiggle in disgust like pigs
pink, with fine white hairs,
jiggling in anticipation
when some generous leather hand
fills the trough.


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