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were you in love with the world before you got to know it?

were you in love with the world
before you got to know it?
I will teach you the passwords
use them well
the first password is recant
the inmates are running the asylum.

the flock is in the high pasture
and we are here alone
in the cathedral with tears
there is a war on and a masquerade
where the crowning of the fool
and the passing of the dromedaries
all white
are kneeling before the bishop’s mitre

have we cosigned a congress
of senior fatso hawks?
lively dissenters? gone.
the population sleeps
they chant
"long live the senators' undelivered prostitutes,
seventy-five foot speedboats,
silver hummers road hogs and leering jets."
our well heeled leaders
whose souls have disappeared
from their faces.

in census and in no sense
before the fact their innocence is interminable
even decades of unmitigated disinterest…
we know because we pinched them
and they squealed
we know because we tweaked their noses
inebriate and they snored on.

a common thread of false hopes
the ladies, previously passive,
they moved not for shame
they are the ringmasters now
married acrobats
they thought hard
and in secret hearts
they crowned the miscreant publicans
they ride demurely beside them in open conveyance
and the show will go on
in thin imitation of service
to the people.
and the applause will go on
and the death knell tolls
and the toll rises
as the birth rate falls
and the leaders one by one fall
into disrepute

then the people cry
who will lead us into the next cul de sac
called freedom and equality?
the white dromedary has the soothsayers ear
how rests your conscience now?
you who were our only hope.
Recant.

I_ArtMan
2/14/2006