Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Survivor



SURVIVOR

I remember the running. 
Years of slippery running 
on glassy ground
under an electric forest, 
with whispering wirey trees
tangled together into angry knots.
And the birds did not sing
or breathe,
but lay everywhere still,
like colored shadows in the long twilight.

Always every day the same.
Always running,
running,
running away,
feeling for the forever
of a twisted turning tunnel
of wind and echoes,
a path of perpetual survival.

"Run, scream,
scream to hear the sound.
Run, scream,
feel the life inside you 
and hold hard on it.
Follow the little soft lights.
Stay in the shade,
or you will burn,
melt,
evaporate, 
leaving dirty bones behind
and skulls with empty sockets,
and forever-frozen jaws."

I remember the running
with a huge roaring crowd,
all of us with electric shoes 
that jumped up and down,
each footfall shaking the floor, 
a great thumping sound,
flooding the room,
flooding our heads.
Sound upon sound, gigantic, total,
always the same, the unceasing clamor,
clatter, crashing rush
of running to save our lives.

"Run, scream, shout the song
with synthetic throats.
Shout with the dance of the electric feet.
Shout and run and stay with the beat,
because music is dangerous; like fire
it consumes you utterly.
Run to survive,
to power the endless day."

One day
I remember running.
It was very early in the morning,
and the blue rain was falling all over my face,
splashing, stinging, 
vanishing into vapor,
into the florescent cyan mist 
that was light to my withered eyes.
One day out of all those pallid years,
I was running
and I turned my head.

I did not intend to turn my head,
but I could not help it.
I thought I saw something.
My eyes were fixed against the edge of the sky.

The crowd kept running:
"Run, run, never stop
for in the stillness you will die."

They kept running, passing by,
as I turned, stood still, spoke.
They saw me, 
they heard me,
for a microsecond.

"That one there has stopped and turned:
his face is white.
He says he saw something.
He says he is hearing something.
Now he vanishes and runs no more.
But we are running into the fiery day,
the strong, ruthless day,
the day of war.
We are running with those who survive."
A man was sitting in his lounge chair going through his Twitter feed and it was all the usual stuff, you know, nothing ever changes, but then he saw a tweet from @Maddnez and he always paid attention to @Maddnez's tweets, so he read it and it was just HORRIBLE NEWS! He thought, "Lives keep being snuffed out! What a brutal world we live in. But this is especially unbearable, to be so young with so much vitality and so many hopes and dreams, and to just get killed like that. Why did this happen, why, why?"... but then his lament was interrupted by an inner urging: 'Look look look!' What? 'Look look look! Look there! Look there!' "Wait," he thought, "There's something to see here, if I'm willing to look."
I stopped running one day.
I looked.
There was a flash on the horizon,
not like the dawn that comes every day
mild and sweet and seldom noticed.
No, there was a flash
like the convergence of ten thousand suns.

And even as I turned to look and listen
the clouds roared
and white hot light swallowed the earth.

There was no time.
No time to dither or complain,
to flee or to be afraid.
There was no more running.
Everything disappeared.
Everything changed.

Everything, and yet...
There is a strange space of passage, still,
inside this flashing moment.
For who calculates the division of this instant;
who can fathom the depth of its duration?
Who knows how to measure the distance
between the beginning of the end
and the end of the end?
What we know is that the moment has come,
the time is at hand.

I am still here today with my scars
and people call me a "survivor."
But in this gifted interval which I cannot hold,
I tremble and hope and speak of what I have seen and heard.

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