This was written as a response/ tribute to THIS POEM. I read it the other
day and couldn’t get it out of my mind.
(huge thanks to the author, who is unspeakably awesome for allowing
this tomfoolery anywhere near his words.)
On First Looking into Zig’s Milton
I read a poem yesterday;
a poem so beautiful,
it made all the bones
in my body
quit their jobs,
and go outside to
smoke cigarettes under the stars.
It was a poem, light
and brief flashes of joy
and it spun
and it climbed and it jumped
out into empty space
with fearless aerialist, trapeze grace.
And it toppled civilizations
and brought us to the end of man.
And it asked a question.
Because that is what art does.
when the end comes,
and the spaceship archaeologists from the
in the year
trip over the psychic mess
we’ve left strewn across
and they flip on that
and tune into us from a hundred million
what will we have to show for ourselves?
And this is what my expat bones
spun, by way of an answer,
in the dark
under the alien sky,
the butts of their cigarettes hovering
in space before their
They said this-
Humanity was a dirty affair.
We swore and tore
through all our grunting toilsome, weary days
and damned ourselves to every burning hell
of our own configuration.
just for a moment –
one of us would turn the sword on himself,
and pierce his own heart
and sing in the key of God.
And that was enough.