by Joseph Cutler
Over the once bright land,
The skies turn dark, the coming cyclones
Begin to form
Where government economists once
Painted pretty pictures, showed them on TV,
Sang us to sleep with statistics.
Or, we sang ourselves to sleep with oxycodone,
Crystal meth or Budweiser.
The darkening sky is sudden
For those of us not on the bottom-
Those with no blue tarp covering the roof, and
No need for a gun to feel safe from
The senators who could no longer see.
Those people had a religion of blindness,
Of insulation, of the gated community,
The entertainment center, and
Seeing mostly the good, the new jobs
At Walmart, the low cost television sets.
They did not hear
The stoned silence of the middle of
The great continent
The straight arm salute is back, in Michigan,
In Birmingham, in Dallas.
The skies turn dark, the smoky ghosts of
Those who did not leave in time cover the sun.
Song birds suddenly are nowhere to be found,
Only vultures remain. Animals run away from home.
Rivers flow upstream, the tides go out
Much further than ever – signs of the building tsunami.
Unemployed steel workers begin
Speaking in tongues. Clocks stop,
The calendars all show 1939.
The fabric of time is torn-
Norse Gods pour in through the holes.
Now Loki, now Wotan, leading the Wild Hunt,
The hounds of Hell and war trailing behind them.
Economists and doctors can no longer diagnose.
Dead brown shirts are emerging from the newsreels,
Walking down into the theater.
All compasses turn toward Berlin,
And the men who have been ashamed
To look in the mirror for decades,
Now carry torches, paint swastikas
On the sides of closed steel mills and coal mines.
They have found their own solution.
No more food stamps.
No more leaking house trailers.
No more old cars, rusting. No more
Adult children who can’t find work at all, and
Who live in the basement with their children.
The torchlight rallies promise greatness again,
Pride again. The enemy is narrowed, now
Carried by the other, the goat from somewhere else,
To be driven into the desert, so,
As always, all problems will be solved.
All power to the leader, all obedience!
The trance deepens. Loki is on television now,
He glitters of gold and rageful power.
The shape shifting trickster, who lives outside of time,
Has taken a body, has found another perfect vehicle-
An empty man who would be king,
An empty king who promises everything,
An empty vessel from whose dark caverns
Pour the dreaming depths
Of revenge and dominion, of redemption and pride,
Who asks only complete surrender and worship
As gods will do.
History is suspended.
The wild hunt is on.
War is coming,
Loki is ascendant, a genie
Out of the bottle.
How does one trick a genie
To sleep again, to return to the cave,
To the magic lantern,
To let us sew up
The fabric of time?
© Copyright 2020 Joseph A. Cutler, all rights reserved. No reproduction without prior written permission.