worksong for the apocalypse. Apocalypse Refrain (Detroit). Ken Meisel.

6 Dec

Apocalypse Refrain (Detroit)

In the event of such a sorrowed
ending as the apocalypse –

where we are fomented into the fire’s
lasting heat and its opalescence,

because our time here as mortal beings
has erupted in a finality and a blaze –

let me enter into this fanfare, a ceremonial
triad of trumpets – all blowing soundly

as the sunset’s dandelion haze
slowly slips tenderly behind the row houses

of brownstones and the streets of fire
already dusted in rose and olive. And let us notice

that the trumpets mark a lascivious farce
and a ludicrous, lugubrious fandango

across those who have been blessed,
or lost in the decade’s delirium dance

of poverty and mayhem mixed with
all this uproarious laughter and bold love.

All this, simply to notice how we have
made ourselves tender with mercy,

and also, ferocious, with the lobster
red of the sunset’s extant blaze.

And let us lift our glasses to the wise,
sprightly tempo of the piano duet

now being played in an open field
where the red-spotted purple butterfly

and the white admiral lift up and sail
with several quick flaps and a flat-winged

glide – so amused – over the field
where these two men at a piano take

turns playing a duet to the sunset’s opalescent

Let us calculate the lift and glide of

as they too, slip and disappear by night’s
crepe suzette and its crimson tinting.

Let us notice the mid-drift of the soul
in a butterfly and a bird, chasing

each other over the cylindrical blazing star
growing upside the damaged fence line.

Let us notice that we are a simple line
of flight –

inside an assemblage of light. And, in
every apocalypse, we are a frequency

probability – just a white screen upon
a black dream, or its reverse.

All this to make note of the intrepid
sound of trumpets blowing

the evening tide down through the streets
of fire from the open windows,

from the foundations of hope,
and the blown-open fa-la-la refrain

of those discontented
and those lonely roust-abouts

who have no less a place here,
as the renaissance of prosperity

emerges for the well-contented,
and for the last propulsion of clouds

streaming and threading into a gamboge
of tints, as the era’s apocalypse begins.


Ken Meisel



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