Nail Chiodo


Ex Stercore Aurum

So let us sing our Era’s praises
and pluck the eyebrows that it raises
among those who still think it sufficient
to be the age’s dirty conscience.
The latter falls indeed under our competence
as poets and critics of the human predicament;
but what about that which is positive in it?
I dare say it runs by far the worst risk,
that of not being sung about at all,
given the tenor of contemporary lyric.

Yet there is still enough food for the spirit,
sustenance for to stay on the ball,
thanks to a few die-hard men and women
who put on a good show every now and again;
and to that giant cesspool the internet,
that Cloaca Maxima of digital excrement,
Humanity’s “all bowel movement spent,”
in which the imagination sets the limit
to the amount of gold at one’s fingertips.
Lives that are full are will-of-the-wisps
since our reality is almost all simulacra;
but if one is to believe what they used to say,
we could not have borne very much anyway.

One still can find ways to open the chakras,
or means towards other ends that obtain
though they go by less fanciful names;
pay a visit to some far-off exotic place
as a tourist before an Act of God
or afterward as part of a relief squad;
vanish forever without leaving a trace;
take a quick tour in outer space,
the wallet permitting. It still is the case
that if one travels the world one wakes up
but a dunce who sets out remains such.

Never has it been simpler to get back in touch
with friends and acquaintances an abrupt
turn of events led one to lose track of.
Never has it been easier to discover one’s past loves’
whereabouts, CV, list of publications.
Carry out a search on Google® or Yahoo® :
one is bound to spot them amid the gobbledygook,
ravaged by time, undiminished in the station
they occupy in what is left of one’s heart.

A passionate intensity is no longer our part
but far be it from us to lack all conviction.
Of all things extant the most precious,
the rarest breed of enlightened consensus,
casts the cold eye upon our condition.
We must make do with a Harley instead of a horse
to pass by on, but that’s par for the course.

Billionaires, Poets, and Vice Versa