Friday, March 18, 2011

playing chicken with history

i guess it's inevitable. watching the japan tsunami roll over houses and cars, i'm struck by how all our most precious possessions turn to junk. (lenny bruce said it first.) and that drowned man lying on his stairway, surrounded by broken objects, what am i to make of him?

looking around my room, i want to weep for my guitar and ukuleles, things built with care and by hand. the electronic stuff doesn't much matter, the erasing of my last words on the hard drives i hope i'm not around to observe. i still nurse myself through this existence with hopes of fame.

maybe like a mammoth, i'll be preserved in ice, discovered by the new strains of brainy creatures on the planet. unfortunately, my glasses will certainly be shattered, and my poor shoes - i have a real sympathy for soles, how they've carried me everywhere. i wonder at what time my watch will have stopped? will those aliens looking through our ruins understand time and its measurement, how we judged everyone and everything by whether it could measured, especially by money?

we'll probably appear a bit feeble. as they put calipers on our brains and strange rulers on our bones, they'll certainly realize we didn't think much, especially of ourselves. what possessed them to heat their homes with deadly radiation? what stupid chances they took. ah, but that's in the nature of things, my friends of the future. you too...

maybe i'm being too gloomy. in the short run this room might be preserved as others i've visited: rimsky-korsakov's, dostoyevsky's, strindberg's, carlyle's, shakespeare's. you've made a pilgrimage to at least a couple dozen. there's einstein's patent on the wall, not to mention shelves of books owned by kazanzakis, ibsen, freud, ad infinitum. a temporary immortality would be better than none at all.

here's a collection of poems to be shot off in the next spacecraft: