There is a beetle on the high street,
pushing the sun along at a fraction-
0f-a-mile-per-hour. He is pondering
his plans for the summer.
Perhaps different venues?
Perhaps different dung?
But he knows it's all foolishness.
He never goes anywhere.
Then a god falls out of the sky.
Not a particularly large one,
a medium-sized god as far as
they go. Roughly human-
shaped. Not counting those
streaming banners of fire
that pour from his eyes.
Few humans have burning eyes.
A dagger drips from an open
wound and he clenches his
blood (it is his own blood) in his hand.
More are coming he realizes.
All of them. And he's quite
correct. Without trumpets or
lights or choruses or bowls or
scrolls, it starts to rain.
The beetle pauses in his
pilgrimage to survey the
man underneath the god's feet.
A hand in a crater of asphalt
with a keen, nigh-inaudible
wheeze of breath. A cough
and a choke.
And the beetle scuttles on.
They fall from clouds that aren't,
I mean, actually in the sky. They crush
buildings and businessmen, They
eat fountains. They descend into an
unthinkable and unthinking
age like a dizzied chorus that cannot
pick up on the beat. Purple sash
and green helm, They build mountains.
Teeth chip around the clay- the men
and women- like fireworks.
The gods' great works resolve
like a finished slider puzzle, like the
back of the sun. Mannequins watch
the moving marble for a moment.
But the Mutes eventually find a voice,
they shout, they run into the fray.
Tantalus' mouth fills with
wine. The beetle walks around his
head. Sisyphus' back was broken
by a boulder. The poor little fellow
descends into an inferno and
climbs the devil's back like a
Purgative mountaineer. Such struggle,
thinks he, to have to take a detour.
Sky sets fire to the shell pink
sun at night.
The liquid spheres engulf ideas
on a dry stretch of ocean.
Clouds splinter in a victor's hands,
are frozen shut.
and everything sinks back home
in the middle of a wor