AI! AI! AI! (A Tartarus for Youth)

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I.

AI! AI! AI!

Sated with stolen life,

emerged from mother’s Night,

there is longing to be free

from the warmth of darkened humours–

to be crowned by The Light of Artificial Gods.

Our worlds quake and rip,

tossing us upon gory shores

beyond fertile crests,

illuminated by a cold Sun.

Messengers sweep down in clouds of winged oblivion

to wet lips with Lethe’s waters

upon cruel fingertips.

“Shhhh.”

II.

AI! AI! AI!

Blinded,

light brings pain

in rushes of movement and sound

that sting the flesh.

Icy

with invasions

of steel and sterile prodding,

souls rouse to profess philosophies

in cries and screams

that crack the air,

unheard

like the falling of leaves upon the ground

from distant trees

III.

AI! AI! AI!

Swaddled bodies,

searched in vain for the safety of familiarity,

tell much, tell little

like symbols in scrying mirrors.

Their fictions, written with sweat and tears,

anointing

foreheads, eyes, and lips

with benedictions of shameful regret.

As if it were better to have the heads of babes

dashed and bloodied

upon the Rock,

than to suffer Spartan destinies, impaired.

Left only to linger—a world apart—

in bloodless mediocrity.

IV.

AI! AI! AI!

What are these ragged paths

to be stumbled upon

under tender foot,

with stones that cut

and scratching thorns from the briar

that temper flesh,

supple and pink,

making hard what was once soft to the touch.

Fed by an earth

that feasts on cuts,

bodies devolve to walk upright—and alone

upon roads, paved with the hands and backs

of brethren.

Knuckles crunching beneath soles like so much gravel.

V.

AI! AI! AI!

O, the passion of attainment,

upon which the masses engorge,

aimless in its metal

and promises

of faceless adulations

and the settling of laurelled wreathes

upon heads of cartilage!

How empty, these violent strikes against the Self,

incessant and passionless,

carving out pounds of flesh,

victory for victory,

‘til nothing remains–

all for narratives

that are not their own.

VI.

AI! AI! AI!

How thirsty are these–

the razor-tongued buds of spring.

Driven

to the drinking of others’ tears

for satisfaction of sanguine thirsts.

To revel

in the tearing

of white petals

from tender stems

with poisoned fingertips,

delighting in themselves,

as if masters of ceremonies

at blood-lettings

and vivisections.

VII.

AI! AI! AI!

The sooth of touch’s fidelity

has melted away–

soured–

like cream in the sun.

Replaced,

the quality of distance

makes, explicit, one’s worth,

across arid plains

of air and silence.

Fallen away, the allures and charms

of communion,

only to make room

for the play of shadows

on Plato’s walls.

VIII.

AI! AI! AI!

There is a science,

oppressive

and cold,

behind the collisions of heavenly bodies of light (in love)—

clashing

explosions of atoms

over chasms—

the spaces in between—

that define and separate.

Souls, burning brightly,

cannot coexist

in their starry majesties

without a surrendering of fire.

My Ares takes your Aphrodite.

IX,

AI! AI! AI!

Upon paths paved with gold,

under the azure

of a fanning sky,

herds

are driven in blithe procession

to the precipice.

Cast into the maw

of their society.

Without the iron shielding of wings,

they perish,

masticated,

like everyman’s meat,

leaving them shades

that stain the wintry air.

X.

I, I, I,

will crawl to the grave,

worn

and weary,

upon the Earth I have salted

with tears,

violent and hot–

but harmonious–

in Time’s own poetry,

where I will find

the Peace and Solace of Rest,

drinking from a forgetful cup,

enshrouded

by the arms of my brother—

The Undergloom.

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