With his first innocent scream the child falls
Into the blistering white-hot nightmare,
Bound to indentured service at the feet
Of a blackguard who boasts its name is Life.
Such vanity ought to meet the knife,
But instead we flatter this lousy cheat
And garland it even as we pay the fare –
Which isn’t cheap, with all the gaudy stalls.
Child, your parents were fools, but not to blame.
Nature – Life’s pimp – stacks the genetic deck;
You were a twinkle in eyes, between thighs,
After they’d lived about a dozen years.
So you can spare them the wrath of your tears –
But weep you must, for your own lusty sighs
Will ring with torment and leave you a wreck,
Unsated, soiled, a limp, ebbing flame.
Look at the world, and meet catastrophe.
Of war, famine and plague it is too gauche
To complain, but even rain has acid,
What beasts are left have too few friends to eat,
The ocean’s an eternal plastic fleet,
Volcanos contend against blowing their lid
And though against us an ice age might be toast,
It’s harder to burn out a tsunami.
Thus, the human problem isn’t unique,
Every particle is on its own.
Adversity, they say, is good for you.
Yet does it have to be compulsory?
There is another way: change the story.
Don’t play the game, make living a life new,
And pick your own existence to the bone.
Ignore the poltroons who chide you and speak
As if they know life and you’ve broken rules.
These clucking missionaries of the dull
Would have everyone dig the same slim grave.
Remember, though, that it’s humanity,
And not people and their insanity,
Into whose flabby face you should rant and rave –
We are all born into the same struggle,
With the same condition: we are all fools.
And who am I to blow freedom’s brass horn?
A pontiff of ego, servant of self,
I merely suggest, sit and wait; perhaps
Ending, like Schopenhauer, a daemoniac,
Like Nietzsche, a gibbering maniac,
Waiting for my mind’s empire to collapse.
Child, before the fall, I drink to your health
And grant you the gift of never being born.