Dead Languages

I gloried in studying Latin

Before the jobs crucified

My concentrative powers.

All those Romans, wine

and togas and black

bangs flowing. All that

Poetry, Dramatic Tragedy,

And those epic orgies. People

who wonder why anyone would

Love a dead Language must

Be braindead not to realise

That all of the great languages

Have been dead for some time:

The language of Romance,

The language of Poetry,

The language of Free Thought,

Even the language of Logic

Itself, though they might

Seem to be alive sometimes,

Like the hot blood flowing

Through Catullus’ lines,

Or the proud look in the

Eyes of a statue of Venus

Or Augustus

Glowing alone and

Unloved in a museum

near you.

But those are only the

Echoes and shadows

Of life. The Romans

Are dead, just as is

The civilization they

Sculpted, sang,

Stabbed and screwed

Towards Olympus,

Dead as the one who 

Writes

These lines.

 

— FB

 

A Dignified Silence

Went to a clean,

Dimly-lit spot

For spaghetti

With marina

Sauce, no meatballs,

Thank you very much.

I used to like the place

Because they don’t blast

Music, the coffee is good,

And a low key vibe

Pervaded there. And

On the best nights, I

Enjoyed a dignified

Silence.

Of course,

Nothing even vaguely

Edenic ever Lasts long.

Today as I ate my spaghetti

A group of old gaffers invaded

The place, and the nauseatingly

Predictable prattle followed

In their wake: ball games,

Card games, Trump this,

Biden that. Even in their

Grizzled years, they

Remain unaware of

The real game. You’d

Think that after decades

Of being played, of chasing

aces in vain, that at

Least one of them would

Have something interesting

To say. But no, like Shoppenhouer,

No matter how long I loitered in

My booth, after the salad, I

Heard nothing indicative

Of heart or mind.

You’d think that after decades

Of losing lottery tickets,

Overbearing bosses,

Dull fat wives, and the

Betrayals of so-called

Friends, they would

Be strong enough to

Travel solo and bask

In a dignified silence.

Instead, it was cards,

Ball games, Trump this,

And Democrats that.

And so it went, and so it

Goes. Most men are truly

Cattle, but sans the dignified

Silence that cattle wear.

— FB

 

Yang for Emperor

As the old saw goes,

Now I’ve seen it all.

A self-made millionaire

who made his money

helping college kids

become entrepreneurs

has used his genius IQ

to figure out that

soon automation

will put an alarming

percentage of Americans

out of work, many

permanently. Add to that

the fact that companies

like Amazon paid zero

dollars in taxes last year

feel little social

conscience and have

nothing to fear from

a president who thinks

that the wages of the

working poor are

“too high.”

Long story

short: we’re staring down

the double-barrel

of even more tent cities

popping up like deadly

mushrooms all across

this fruited-plane.

SO Yang has proposed

a “Freedom Dividend,”

1000.00 a month, for

every adult, regardless

of what other income they

might have or make. This

would take much of the

terror out of life, and allow

the peasants to stop and

smell the poppies, spend

more time with the tots

(or thots), and create music,

paintings, and other forms

of art…perhaps even become

entrepreneurs like Yang

himself. So what do the

overworked and underpaid

(and underlaid) masses

do when they hear

about all this? Like

the natural born slaves

and dupes they are,

they roll their sleepy eyes

and smile supercilliously

as if the possibility

of a humane existence

is all too-good-to-be-true,

just like the well-heeled

gatekeepers have

trained them to do.

And then they vote

for liars, child-molesters,

and the progeny of

slave-masters, just as

they have always done,

century after century,

while fancying themselves

discerning and free. And

the moral of this story?

It might be something

like this: “the freedom of

those who know ends

where the “freedom”

of fools begins.”

 

— FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide

I’ve done it

in my mind

so long ago…

The bad guys

kept winning,

and the angels

kept dying. So

I did it in my

mind, though

I let my body live

for my mom’s sake

and for the cats.

But the body

still lives and

even breathes

sometimes. Coffee

is good, and music,

and reading the

words of the great

dead ones too. As for

the rest of you, with

your ball games

and your lawns,

I leave you to

the hell that idiocy

and cowardice

have carved out

for you, as I

stride, ghost

that I am,

through your

once-proud

dying days.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

Divide et Impera

Divide and Conquer

is the rulers’

ancient motto,

as true in Ancient

Mesopotamia as

it is in modern

America. One

political party

tells us that walls

and guns are

immoral, except

when they’re

protecting their

own elite backsides.

The other party

tries to tell me

that my boss

can smirkingly

declare that I

can only go pee pee

twice in eight hours,

because he works for

the man who owns the

factory, don’t you

know, it’s not the size

of a man’s bladder

but his bank account

that matters. And so

it goes with 1000

other issues. The

maddness is split

right down the middle,

like Solomon’s baby

would have surely

been, had not wise

Solomon been

there. But no matter

how wise we may

grow, the rulers’

game is just too

perfect now, after

centuries of practice

slicing our ancestors

right down the middle,

after centuries upon

dead centuries of

dividing, conquering,

and ruling the

cooing

masses.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie