The Holidays are over, unwrapped, worn thin and two headed Janus is sitting in the doorway with a scowl, asking me to rethink everything. Make a resolution. Be a better person. Its ok if it’s gone in a month. Everyone is like that. But, you have to do something and you had better make it fast. Meanwhile, it just gets colder and colder, Capricorn arrives and everyone gets older. Goat fish swimming in the ice with frozen smiles, as though they know something we don’t know. The average temperature is eleven degrees and it isn’t even night yet. Wake up! It isn’t warm enough to sleep. Frostbite nibbling. Half of my body numb. Tight, constricted, stiff as Saturn. No time to be lost! Burn the past and sit by the fire. Maybe that’s the best thing that could happen. Maybe we should all be celebrating. Put on the red shoes and start dancing. At least the days begin to lengthen and everyone knows the future, whatever that is, is coming.
Time is always moving forward, at least from our perspective, from the perspective of everything alive, the perspective of life itself. Your life. My life. Diatoms to dinosaurs. Trees and titmice. Ravens to writing desks. This is evolution. This is because life overcomes entropy, except, in the end of course, entropy always wins, no one out lives death and time moves on. Names forgotten. Lessons lost. Nothing changed. Everything changed.
Only the ages of the stars move backwards, only the stages of civilization and the souls of the species precede, corruption added to corruption. The Golden Age giving up to Kali Yuga.
Everyone says we were all nearly wiped out when the great flood of the Age of Cancer came, after the fabulous, golden Age of Leo, Age of the Sphinx. Nothing left over but a riddle? Nothing left but piles of stone? Nothing written down, nothing remembered, starting over, scratching survival out of the leftovers? Only the survival of the desperation of continuation, appetite and sex? Where will we be tomorrow in the Age of Aquarius, artificial intelligence? Robotics without hearts? Efficiency without emotion? Saved or everything stolen? Wiped out again, this time by our own hands, by our own cleverness? By our own hubris? Another Atlantis fallen and forgotten? Betrayed by Fukushima? Mocked by genetic miracles? Still searching for immortality but no where left to live? Is the only answer left to us to figure everything out?
Mine will not be a shallow grave, a perpetual dream, as red as rain. The world dances by. Everyone else seems to know where they are going. The past descends into the earth, into objects, into ourselves, into my gravitational center, to become a black hole and, I am surrounded by the future. I am the center of time’s centrifugal force. I am a wormhole into myself.
The stars, half of what they used to be, are all wrong, wrapped up in shadows, eaten by angular moonshine and mazes. The wind blows wild without direction. The earth no longer supports the sky. I have made no difference and, the world goes on. Tomorrow, perhaps, I will become a lazy cloud. I will hold two young birds safe in my hand until they grow long, green feathers and learn to speak in tongues and reveal the future to wizards and seers. Dust devils will try to break through but will be devoured by the seeds which nourish the minds of dragons, the souls of serpents and the wings of angels. I shall wait on the brink and wink at the ravens while they rearrange the world, laughing because they can or because they must. Who knows how much damage has already been done? Yet, a wild, red flower has bloomed in the sunrise and I am ready to be on my way. Surrounded by branches, I will take one as a walking stick. I will take one as a companion, one as a scepter and another as a wand. I will take one as a weapon, one as a lightning rod, one as a compass and another as a church. And the stars, which are only half of what they used to be, will be grateful I am on the move and they are no longer in the way.
There is a madness in the air, more disturbing than the Rite of Spring. The forest is full of thistles and thorns and, the ravens are reciting the history of the world. The clowns are satisfied with my confusion, my delusion, my emptiness, the lines on my hand. My tongue is numbed by bitter toxins, brewed in the belly of a hornet king, eyes closed by lightning, silence of a heart beat no longer mine, in someone else’s dream, a sand painting blown away by the late afternoon breeze, waiting for stars, half of what they used to be.
Battle after battle, until, no one left alive to sing with the snakes. We are the horrible ones, you and I, and, everyone else, even the innocent who don’t know yet of what they are capable. Dark days and dark ways, dark blood, predators who kill without the need to feed. Lightning contained within a rain drop. Tangled up in my own hair.