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Nic Burrose Nov 2011
blurred through the mumbling atomic cafe
i thought i heard you say
i am become deaf
destroyer of words
but you were breath
become butterfly effect
spiraling within the stereophonic white-noise drone
of a static radio station
tuned to the music of the silent colossal rotation
of the planets, stars, sun and moon
behind the drawn curtain of a vanished polaroid

still these beating hearts to a murmur
slow these breathing lungs to a whisper
and attach the cello strings of your bloodstream
to that glittering confetti cloud of satellites
strobing, circling the sphere of our atmosphere
strung out on geo-synchronicity
the turning tunnel of the tides
the aeon-spanning volcanic swirl of magma
subsonically writhing
beneath the magnetic pull of the ocean floor
and just...listen...

can you hear the flaming  crackle
of the fire burning in our bellies?
if we slit our stomachs open
the flames that spill from our hari-kiri'd entrails
will fill the darkness in the corner of our closet
and burn it to ashes

in a dream
i saw us laughing together many years from now

when the blast-furnace of our blood, sweat, tears and acid dreams gapes wide
we will laugh in it's face
at the absurdities
of death and taxes

and as the years push through
we will laugh
as we go blind in our old age
growing brighter than the glow
from within the dollhouse home we assembled
from sticks n stones

and we will grow gray together
and fill the soles in our shoes
the holes in our soles
with the dirt, rust, ash, concrete and angel dust
of these city streets

and we will laugh like pyromaniacs
as we **** on burial plots
soil our own graves
and erase our fingerprint smudges
from the blueprints
of our jailbreak escape plan

flames will erupt from the holes in our heads
consume us
spread in a tectonic shock-wave
and lick the pale toes of angels and dreaming junkies
hovering on ghost clouds of ***** soot
just above the foot of our bed

the outlines of our bodies will liquify, disintegrate
and reform as the jagged teeth of a cityscape skyline
crowned crookedly upon the head of a crippled pigeon
ascending in a stuttering climb
towards a heaven
that does not exist
for us

shaking ash and bone-dust from twisted feather
our flames will spread further
devour prehistoric forests
**** roots and tree trunks to bare bone
and march in a coronation parade
upon the city gates
behind a revolutionary brigade
of angry red army ants

finally, those flames
will surround a broken boombox
lost behind a landfill-mound
of moth-chewed cardboard moving boxes
containing the soft stains of dream and memory
tagged, painted, and graffitied
in white out, in sharpie
duct tape peeling from perforated speakers
the flashlight-sized battery compartment
an empty coffin

i didn't cry the day you died. i'm sorry. the reality that you had passed away at barely twenty-five didn't really hit me, even at your eulogy and that still haunts me. they say that denial is the first stage of addiction but I assumed that you knew that death was a possible side-effect of your prescription. about two weeks after your wake, it hit me like a train. i was riding the n judah to the end of the line at ocean beach when I passed a throw-up piece that you had painted a few years before in the train tunnel near haight and cole. it was a big letter "a" in lowercase with an exclamation point next to it. i once asked you what it meant. you shrugged and said, "i just like the shape of it," and something clicked. it was then that i realized (that)

the flames of our light, love and laughter
move faster than the speed of life
and those flames pass us by in the blink of an eye
if we're not quick enough to catch 'em
and return the letters like stars
we borrowed, typed, stole, scribbled and scrawled across the pages of the sky
back to the sprawling library of the night
where they belong    
where we belong
Nic Burrose Aug 2011
The City lights blinked out forever--literally overnight--with a sudden finality that caught even the most nuclear-winter-prepared/Guns N Ammo reading/Campbell's canned soup and distilled-water stocked/backyard-fallout-shelter-owning-survivalists completely off guard. Armageddon had always been there, sleeping just beyond the horizon line of our periphery, but it awoke fully clothed and ready to go to work that day.
It was an ordinary Thursday, just like any other. The MUNI lines were choked as always with angry elderly women clutching plastic shopping bags full of pungent vegetables, poultry, and recyclables as if their lives depended upon the contents of those bags (maybe they did) and the usual gaggle of gibberish-mumbling crazies talking to themselves with cellphones plugged into their brains, some without. 
That day, baristas were 5 minutes, 23 seconds late for work on a city-wide average. Bartenders were making their rent in tips as rowdy soccer fans converged in their local Sunset, Richmond, Mission and SOMA district faux-Irish pubs to watch the latest big championship match between Ireland and...some other country.
By Saturday, less than two days later, the desperate siren-blare of emergency vehicles, the insect hum of DPT tri-bikes carrying cutthroat ninja-sneaky meter maids ready to make their weekly quotas by slipping bogus $55 parking tickets under the windshield-wiper of your best friend's beat-up, barely-working mid-90s Mazda you were borrowing just for the night, and the cloud-cutting rotary-whine of channel 5 news traffic-report helicopters chopping through the sky had been silenced forever.  
As if sensing the absence of gardeners, street sweepers and garbage men, weeds grew out of the cracks of the streets and sidewalks with the newfound urgency of a wildfire. Leaves swirled through glass and concrete skyscraper canyons, settled, and slowly began forming mounds as if attempting to fill the spaces that angry elderly women with plastic shopping bags, cellphone schizophrenics, and drunken soccer fanatics had once occupied.
Speculation about how the End of the World would actually occur had always been a theological reference point for religious zealots hell-bent on giving the Book of Revelations some validity, but had taken on a tone of comical absurdity in the hands of post-Y2K pop culture and disaster movies. A horde of zombies rising from their graves and feeding on the flesh of small bands of living human survivors was one of the more popular, albeit fantastic, apocalyptic theories. Some predicted that robots would enslave us, some thought aliens would invade us, while still others--baring signs reading "THE END DRAWTH NIGH," arms stretched meaninglessly up towards the hollow heavens in the sky above--believed biological or nuclear warfare to be the most likely form of humanity's demise.
But by the following Thursday, speculation had become a moot point; none of it had mattered at all in the end as the power-grid of the City, and then human civilization altogether, had been suddenly switched off for the last time by an alcoholic rent-a-god, leaving the face of the globe devoid of any trace of the spiderweb-night-glow of terrestrial city-lights. 
Only the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea were spared to fill the blank pages of history that were to follow human(kind's) fading footprints.


Aeons later...
When those birds learned to read, they would see cryptic symbols inside a crooked heart jaggedly carved into a tree trunk surrounded by a mote of fallen leaves and ragged newspaper pages blowing through the streets like tumbleweeds.
Aeons later...
Those tree-scratched symbols would form the sacred commandments of a secret new religion built upon the ashen, worm-eaten remains of two skeletons holding hands and a ****** trail of broken hearts trailing from their ribcages into the worm-mouths of babes.

— The End —