Prophecy in the Modern Day,
(a how-to manual)
Address Me, Ancient Muse
with a “Oh No You Di-‘int!”
if I talk outta turn.
My Muse is Kali-Ma,
and Ma’ keeps me acting like
a gentleman. She also gives
me courage to say some Truth.
So Reader, don’t worry too much
About my Karma. There’s too
much of that nowadays anyhow…
Remember when that thing you believe
in is bullshit? Remember, Truth:
Remember not being stabbed by her,
that lack of a knife, for a second hanging in the air,
crueller than the unpardonable sin.
And then, like breathing out,
Remember being stabbed by her?
There is no price for the moment
the Statue came down off the Pedestal.
And then I was born:
son of mother and father, son of heaven
child of many, far too many, child of abuse,
child of pentecost and television
Jerry Falwell, Jim Jones, Ronald Reagan
child of hitting women and children
child of alcohol and addiction
theft and parole and probation
begin with a child of smartass and detention
child of a thousand demons, psychoses and sickness,
unfit for polite mention subject of those old
church ladies’ gossip and attention
child of absent fathers, children of a dying revolution
Parents tried to tell me
“Go outside and play!”
…turned evil, turned into the Devil’s way
Turned from the Son of Man, turned toward the Son of Sam
turned toward prison, toward debt and delusion
turned into just another illusion
Error turned into my Generation, “X” a symbol
Of the Abomination of Desolation (whatever that is…)
Are these words nonsense or are they tongues?
Are they Prophets’ Revelations?
Soar! Thee, Six-Winged bum or Seraphim (with dirty feathers)
Take a coal to burn your soured eugenics!
A Non-White Jesus Forever Frightening your Master Race of Cynics!
You Agnostic Caste of wannabe Mystics!
And your children, the half human hipsters, conditioning
the beard of Dionysos, so contaminating with your
effluvial cool, you children of the unholy Caduceus
clowns in a sickening impoverished Culture-Circus.
Acrobatic in your denial, your devout refusal, only you
Think the Angel of the Lord won’t touch the coal to your
Filthy Lips. Untrue Generation, I’ll Make You Speak!
Interlude: The Seraphim and The Coal.
Then I said, “My doom is sealed, for
I am a foul-mouthed sinner, a member of
a sinful, foul-mouthed race; and I have
looked upon the King, the Lord of heaven’s
Then one of the seraphs flew over to the
altar, and with a pair of tongs picked out a
burning coal. He touched my lips with it
and said, “Now you are pronounced ‘Not
guilty’ because this coal has touched your
lips. Your sins are all forgiven.”
The first time the Angel tried to press the coal to my lips he just dropped it. They’re Angels with Six Wings, and it’s just not easy for them to carry about earthly things like you and I do.
The second time he got feathers in my mouth. “PTOOOEY! What is this shit?” I exclaimed, and ruined it. It was technically the first time I had swore . . .
The third time it occurred to me that is was going to hurt, and why does God want to make you hurt? The mood has to be right to do it. You can’t just get burned and zip you’re a prophet like that. It has to be right and you have to be in the right frame of mind.
. . . I don’t know if you get any more than three chances.
So, I went and got a job at a Denny’s near the Freeway.
If you’ve ever seen a Denny’s get slammed at night, standing on my feet all night and washing dishes and pulling bus-tubs and taunting my best friend’s ex-girlfriend by making her cry – talking about Greg all the time and he was dead only he wasn’t – just hiding from a dealer he owed – so not really but I was bored and she wouldn’t fuck me so fuck her. Anyway – the bar crowd – a couple of buses – truck drivers and then it becomes a mini-singles scene and all of that means – dishes – coffee cups – with and without vomit or napkins or french-fries in them – plates – bowls – monkey dishes – spoons and knives and forks – steak knives – and a million discarded orange slices – parsley sprigs – blots of white gravy and brown – half eaten chicken fried steak – water-logged hash-browns – phone numbers for waitresses – written on all manner of paper-scraps and cards – discarded bindles for speed and coke – cigarette packs – syrup and creamer kettles – sticky or milky-greasy in turns – dollops of creamed butter or margarine and soppy flaps of the triangular toast – except the sourdough – which was always round – a hamburger or cheeseburger discarded would always piss me off because I could not always afford to buy one – so why would you take two bites and throw it away? – your wasted food is a taunt – an insult concentrated and dissolved in hot water and dishwasher chemicals – definitely alkaline – you throw it up throw it away – pinch the waitresses’ asses while she hauls it away – and someone who hates you will haul it away again – and rinse it off – and put it in trays – and run it through a dishwasher – in the back where you can’t see – and recycle it – for the next asshole not to appreciate – even worse is the overly appreciative person – going out of their way to interact and actually “thank you for the job you do” – and maybe they even – peel me off a dollar – but it just reminds me that I’m just a dishwasher – and I get a dishwasher’s share – I never forget – that I am washing and busing for dopers and truckers and meth-heads and the odd serial killer and other lone-travelers – while I needed to be resting for the big things that happen during the day – and you can bet your ass the Second Coming will happen during the day – I could be left behind and the Denny’s will still be open – because the closers will need cups of joe and pancakes – they need me to stay late in the morning with the graveyard crew – but the dayshi(f)t crew went to heaven with Jesus – “we’ll let you pick who but someone needs to stay and we can do inventory and G.I. the kitchen while we’re at it – clean out the fryers and soak the hood screens and polish the stainless – and what did you think salvation was for you too? – there’s too much work to do – get saved on your own time – pay your shitty rent to your shitty apartment – and live your own shitty life on your own shitty dime – Jesus don’t have time for you – and there’s too many grand-slams to be served – too many Angels passing through and” – fuck you Brad! You’re just a Denny’s Manager, you can’t serve the Lord’s plan – Fuckin’ Brad – I’ll Make You Speak!