For James Brookes
for all their sins, they were better alive;
thrived in the sun, dirt annoys the skin,
erodes faith. I have never met a dead
believer. We love God most when living.
The dead know the bald mysteries.
You get rich with washboard abs
and blonde curls. 90% of porn
is police handcuffs and suffering
in falconry hoods; fellators paid
You want to be oriental potentates
an engorged sense of self. You crave
or whoever the next Gosling is, will be.
I have been accused of murdering
my love hearts, as if I doodled scum
across my forehead on Wednesdays;
no, I am innocent of all surplus crimes
except grandiosity. Pere of my own
ubiquity, grossly over-privileged;
in the blind and dumb mirror of the networks
where I am bound by gimpy Hephaestus,
who locks up our faces in smart wire
we cannot break out of, no matter how hard
we bleat books, sighing we want to be A-list.
My V-shaped torso rises from a swamp,
triggering salivation in the audience, who’d
crawl over muscles to mouth a tensile sword.
God’s silence is not absence, it is omission.
Purely, he punishes us by not intervening.
Jehovah could come like a solar flare, burst
all the power lines, wipe our screens away.
We could be cleansed as the solar wind is,
rising out of its own circles of eruption to stay.
copyright the author, Todd Swift, 2015