The Saga of Man
“Everywhere I go, a poet has been there before me.”
“I never said nothing I don’t mean.”
“I keep hearing the word culture
over and over in my head,
I can’t sleep,
so I bought a gun
and entered the contest.”
Abdul-Salam Basara, Guantanamo Bay detainee
winner of the Hermann Goering Look-Alike Contest
Man on a wire. Man against the odds. Odd man out. Man on the moon, in the moon, mooning in moonlight from on top of a very high building, mooning through adolescence. Man made, man kind (but not very), Tarzan crash landing in the jungle disguised as an English gentleman, stripped down to his jockey shorts and acquiring a wife and a mysterious boy, organizing monkeys.
This is not chaos, this is not Unsinn, a frail fabrication, a wish-filled thought, this is the real thing, roughshod and substantial, nose to nose with the bad guys. Hoka-hey! I say, I said it before and I’ll say it again, hang around and see if I don’t. Real men ride bareback. Real men shoot arrows. Real men reel and snap back like canvas sails in a gale.
High seas, that’s where the real men are, a high C from the throat of a sea siren and their ears pop, a fine kettle of fish, all swimming with maggots. What? You thought things would turn out otherwise? Fry them up on the aft deck maggots and all and get on with it–the story, the joke, the stem-cell research, making real men in test tubes.
Of course this is dangerous, no “could be” about it, danger makes the world go round, before danger it was flat–ah, those were the days, sailing right off the edge into No Man’s Land.
He who hesitates is lost, he who stutters is as good as gone, he who puts his money where his mouth is is an ugly sight to behold.
Shimmy up this pole, sweetheart, there’s a flag up top flapping in the breeze. When you’re through seeing stars and counting stripes, you can slide down again, a world of dream locked between your thighs.
America, America, God shed his grace on thee. I don’t know how I got here from there but here I am, my transfer clutched in my hand, waiting on the next mode of transportation. And there goes Grace, lost in America, shedding skin like a rattlesnake. Let’s call her Snake Girl from here on out, let’s pretend she’s Jane of the Jungle, halfway down the flagpole and here comes Tarzan swinging in on a cable, yodeling, dressed in nothing but a jockstrap and a hard hat, trying to fit in. He yanks Jane from the pole by the hair and off they sail through empty space where the Twin Towers once stood.
Sweet Land of Liberty? Break my chops. Ride low into the Big Easy on a chopper. Leave it all behind, try to forget. It’s not your fault, the state of things. It all started before you were born. But still, there are some small things you can do. Anything that smells like doctrine, torch it. Go down on your knees to no man. Refrain from thinking things through. You’ll sleep nights if you do. You’ll breathe easy. Your eyes will clear and the blemishes will disappear from your skin.
Give it a shot.
What have you got to lose?
Take a baby step.