by Matt Panfil
Deep within the still-beating heart of my bloodless city
black suited bankers kneel before a throne of gold: their God—
pay sacrifice in blood that’s olive green and slippery black
–the blood of products!-
products they produce in endless rows that
smoothly roll off black conveyor belts,
greasy with the slime of slickened dollar bills.
The worn hands of men and women tremble,
fresh from Chinese cancer villages,
their babies dead and shriveled,
tainted infant formula, toxic children’s toys—
while, half a world away, those who can afford it
apply synthesized oils to their naked flesh,
consume processed packaged goods,
guzzle bottled water laced with petrochemicals,
nibble shiny poison-polished oranges,
chew chicken fresh from ammonia baths.
It’s in this place where souls are sold
and —black with mold—
whole libraries burned in a bonfire,
blazing since the revolution,
consuming ancient wisdom,
blackened to a crisp.
lost shamans dip into the potent snuff,
the earthy stuff that deconstructs existence,
or, reality consensus,
prophets loose like mad men search for words along the plastic shore,
crushed pills like grains of sand beneath their naked feet,
while in demand instead
are talking heads which smile pleasantly, eyes lost,
and tell us everything they think we need.