The Revolutionary's Creed

A feral delirium is haunting America.
A spectre of chaos, disorder, of anarchy,
rattles the walls in the boardrooms
where deft and deadly hands package
our wars and deodorant sprays;
in living rooms where zombies gather
to drink at the shimmering electronic pool
from images of mass murder, elections,
software and those soft drinks that leave
a prickly aftertaste of zinc.
Between the con games and the mortgages,
at the faultlines where mythologies collide,
a scream from underground bursts forth
to name the agony that protects us,
to confess the Anarchist Revolution
and to proclaim the abolition of everything.

I. For the Abolition of Property

You say the rich are greedy. True enough,
for we have seen them at the trough
squishy, spineless, like sea worms gulping
and vomiting through a single cloacal orifice.
Yet we do not condemn their appetites,
(for what living creature is without desire?)
but that life’s feast is too rich for them.
They are bland and bloodless. You say the rich
conspire to deprive the worker of his labor,
the family of their dignity and home.
Parasites do not conspire but
through smiles and frowns communicate
all the assurances and privileges of class.
Blind to the beast behind the smoothened brow,
they have trained gangs of psychopaths
in blue to execute their secret lusts.
They parcel out what’s yours and mine,
but always theirs; they oversee the landlord’s
ownership of where we live, the boss’s
control of the passing minutes of our lives.
The revolutionary must abandon
goods and home, wandering bereft,
exposed to the elements and everyone’s scorn.
The revolutionary must embrace
the world’s sorrow every night and rise
each day tormented by renewed self-doubt.
The revolutionary must live on edge,
paranoid, insomniac, tireless
for Capital does not sleep but whips around
the planet 24/7 on electron streams.
Surely the revolutionary must be -
something of a masochist.

II. For the Abolition of Identity

You say that we are separate, you and I.
Agreed. When I step on your toe I cannot
really feel your pain, though people say that.
So you hunker down to warm yourself
over the ashes of your suffering.
You worry at the sparks. You blow
that wounded ego into a righteous rage,
a flaming persona that merely illuminates
the barren closet where you crouch
to suck the last heat from your injury.
The revolutionary must break down
all barriers; erect no others in their place.
He must be vulnerable for all to see,
eating and sleeping on public benches.
He must perform the most intimate acts
entirely unashamed and nakedly:
defecate in common lavatories
on toilets without stalls, in facing rows
that extend and converge at the horizon
like series of self-regarding mirrors.
Participate in universal orgies.
Be the penetrator penetrated
in tangled serpentine knots until
pharmaceutically fine-tuned synapses fire
and the whole world snaps in a single syn-
aesthetic spasm
and humanity becomes one sex, one pain
and yes, one gigantic festering toe.
It seems like the revolutionary must be -
some kind of a lunatic.

III. For the Abolition of Humanity

You say they’ve raised their lofty standards
of nation, religion, of home town team
that we must rally to, clasping the hand
of our heritage and hugging the near horizon.
But see the revolutionary, ascendant,
seize the stars and harness their flow
with prosthetic claws of rare devise
cannibalized from rusted automobiles.
See the revolutionary ape,
with translucent veins and silicone pulse,
our prayers, our fantasies of masturbation.
See the revolutionary pierce,
the barbed genetic wires that bind us
to black dog and obscure Drosophila.
At borderlands where gods and goats combine,
the revolutionary’s visionary scry
plants consciousness in vehicles
and vesicles and basic quantum slag.
The revolutionary, dark clone from
his enemies, the capitalists, shall pervert
their sciences to his own exalted ends.
The revolutionary must be skilled
in the arts of mass destruction:
a friend to steel and to gasoline,
wired to the gills, a bionic chimp
who’s hooked on phonics.
All in all, the revolutionary must be -
some sort of a monster.

IV. For the Abolition of Reality

When the ravages of night descend
each comrade shall embrace the other
as warriors wedded in a single cause.
But in the turmoil of the days to come,
when the sunlight strikes our faces,
we shall turn as enemies once again.
We long for the security
of some common ground,
for what is solid, what is plain
for all to touch and see.
We grip the wooden banister
as we descend the stairs;
run our hands along the curve,
fingering each varnished groove.
Our lives parade before us,
tumbling past in review.
Jack and Jill hop out of the box:
collide without connection
as the cartoon-sudden pedestrian
smeared across our windshield.
So we shackle every article
with the tyranny of nouns.
Here is water. Here is ice.
Here is the tire that floats in the water.
We call this river the Styx.
It brings trade and commerce to our shore.
Here come the merchants hawking their wares.
Here come the rats to eat up our brains
and madness hides at the turn of the stairs.
We press the world tight
in the vice grip of sanity.
We squeeze the common essence
to distill the carnal gist
that tells us what it is that we hold:
the scraping cold that says it’s metal,
the blood that makes it rose,
the pearl that makes an oyster
and the beat that drives the song.
And opposites curl up in pairs
like parasite, like host.
It is the buyer makes the sale.
The hunter defines his prey.
Creator and destroyer
and you and I are one
and the people all mingle in the street
with but a single cry:
“Every man is mankind
and each dog is a bone!”
They’ve torn out the pages
from the old dictionaries
and history bleeds in hypertext
that’s written on the walls.
Time goes on a joy ride.
It stops at every bar
where matter is just metaphor
and the only tense is now.
The revolutionary swims
out into the swill.
The flotsam of phenomena
swirls about his head.
An angel with fins, form, fire, energy on wheels,
the revolutionary has long since
forgotten just what he’s fighting for.
He only knows that he must be -
something like a god.

V. For the City of the New Millennium

Dreams, you say? Or madness?
Fanaticism, or even worse?
But where can we escape to?
“The country surrounds the city”
Chairman Mao once said
but Pandemonium’s encircled
with a shopper’s paradise and
they’ve sealed off the exits
now that Capital has flown.
We’re stranded at the corner
of decadence and despair.
The public squares have all become
anarchy’s domain.
There are no gangs left here,
no pigs, no government
to tell us what to do.
And the orphans of divorce
are shaking off the pain
to reclaim their ancient playgrounds
from the dregs of Western Civ.
They’re beating out their rhythms
on abandoned steel drums.
They’re tickling iron gratings
as they dance along the streets
and the pipes burst out with laughter
and the hydrants overflow
and flowers spring about them
to bloom on concrete walls.

The revolutionary stirs
in the middle of the night.
His infant fears are laid to rest,
his demons cauterized
by the rituals of desire.
Down that open cellar door
where the men and women dance,
once, hostages were held,
and singers and healers
are practicing their arts
in an empty warehouse
where we hid some refugees.
Between midnight and the madness
and the revolutionary has become -
a river and a mother and a song.

No comments:

Post a Comment