Within the radioactive exclusion zone
the spider webs are erratic and misshapen,
as if the spiders are on some exotic drug.
Still, they’re busy making webs. It’s simply
what they do, what we do. Consciousness
modifies itself regardless, even as cancer.
In a harsh world without mercy,
we’re at the mercy now of our own
relentless greed and ignorance.
Even as we seek the nightly succor
of temporary oblivion, our sleep
is troubled by the restlessness
of a corrosive guilt.
Costumed forms drift through chic stores
in postures of desperation, averting eyes,
handbags brimming with tranquilizers.
In the stress of overcrowding, rats
turn on each other, even to the point
of cannibalism. We consume ourselves.
Jesus is not coming to save us.
America is not coming to save us.
Our cleverness is not going to save us.
An invisible audience circles the globe,
as if at some stupendous theatrical contest.
We are both contestants as well as observers.
Whatever we once believed is now becoming
obsolete, the once-trusted paradigms no longer
make sense, king chaos has regained its throne.
There is no happy ending to this story, this story
has no end at all — things get worse and then
they get better, then get worse some more.
We may imagine we’re in control until
life demonstrates that’s not necessarily so.
Nevertheless, like the spider, we’re here
to act — that’s simply what we do.