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Ascend and…Send

A prose poem rumination on letting go in chaotic times

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

If I close my eyes for a moment of pause, suspend the effect by
stopping the cause, and imagine the hum of the central air
blasting every iota of meaning and care into space, write and erase,
repeat, then again, repeat and send, repeat and send and ascend.

In your rocket ship of the most fanciful creation, just the white noise of
emptiness, doom and elation, you in your fortress of oxygen hurtling
through an otherwise vast womb of silence and ashen seeking of
dead in mystery and the magnificence of the incomprehensible, insensible.

Plastic saints stand on corners in blistering heat waves, mountains rumbling,
almost unseen to the naked eye as tendrils of sand like a thread slowly streaking, down from the crown, rivulets of erosion, slow-motion explosion and snowcaps abracadabra-ing into water as it gets hotter, a ring of slaughter,

bring us water to silence the chatter as some cities become island and
islands become myth, and the mountains are hush for now, majesty
and reverence, waiting for the tumble, bracing for crumble and shouts,
oh man the shouting! Cowboys and natives, prophets and kings, ritual and vandals, the ego and wings.

As if everyone had eyes in the back of their heads but the back
of their heads wore a veil, must be a Joycean tale because my truth
eats your truth and the dreamy arc of the race is picking up speed
in a sharp decline at the far right side of the graph, while a few of us laugh

and the rest of us nod that it’s odd that we hear this onrushing void, but
can only focus on the darkness and the sanctuary inside comforting hoods.
Mahamati is asking questions again but they sound like the screams of
fighter jets approaching top speed before they’ve even left the ground,

that’s the sound, that’s the sound of one hand clapping like thunder,
as the world is burning, the dharma is turning and the Bodhisattva eye blinks
inquiry to inspire me, but the Buddha is just a statue in my over-filled pond, because it rains too much, the pain is such that it strains this flooded cup.

It rains like the stroke of a clock, every afternoon and every morning, it rains
in the morning and it reigns in the mourning because who has time to cry,
who has time to cry, god grant us the gift of guns that groan like a symphony making our children dance, but who has time to cry? Who has crime to try?

If peace is the box and compassion the lid of it, why not get rid of it?
Legalized weed rolled with sanctified bigotry, give me a hit of it!
Why stop with the end of the world?! Let us begin there, the din there
is deafening and crystalline! Let there be wine! Pour us some wine!

Poor Us! Some whine and some cheer, the life of the near is lying in state
on a sacrificial rock, the weapon of choice is a phantom knife with a life of tremendous verse, take this classical poetry in exchange for this curse, a Scottish king lost in illusions of death, as another small town is erased by meth.

A rock! Not a geological thing but an altar, a sculpture, the artwork of
pagan savages with one channel for blood to run and one for
emergency calls only, we are lonely. We fear. Alone, plus the bone
and the meat and the gristle and thistle and flower and unspeakable power.

We crumble and weep, we will fight and fall down and thrash in our tombs,
but the wombs, oh the wombs we won’t touch, the wombs are the plunder
and prize of the victor, the hypocrite masters of lies and of purses, a chorus
of curses won’t keep them from their booty, from your body.

File your grievances under scream your grievances into the void in
280 characters or less, press send, that’s the end, that’s the end of the
part of the beginning in which no one is winning and send. Send.
Ascend! Rise up to hear this, an article in the air brushed my hair,

a particle from an article there, scientists who point their brains to space
in the face of nothing cosmic here to wear, they receive little gifts like these:
FRBs. Signals from out there they don’t understand, a glitch in beyond like
the line in your hand, trace this meaning back to primordial soup,

desperate to call in the echoless open, flesh and bone on an interstellar phone,
we are not alone and send. From my house to yours, mind the mess
and the floors that are covered in blood from the wars. Welcome to this nation, un-civilization, Potemkin planet of water and granite and codified self,

mine and yours and the ones on the shelf, ascend! Transcend the violence
of Moses and enlightened poses, there is no time to cry, just try. Everything
you see is a lie. Everything else is a why. Everyone into the sky, quick! for a
slick redemption, and fly! Whatever you do, don’t die.

New Orleans, July 2022

Steve Spehar



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Steve Spehar

Steve Spehar

Writer, photographer, actor, poet, musings on life, philosophy, travel, culture, art, politics & zen. Based in New Orleans, living in a garage by the river.