Noonday Devil


When you meet the Noonday Devil,
that spat shod snake of a spermologer,
that worm-tongued snoutfair,
you will know him by his oiled hair
his asphodelos crown
the rainforest emeralds on his fingers
the bone dice in his palm.

He wears a suit of camel hair
the ruby-lipped girls
are always at his side;
he smiles a crooked smile,
chews gum of myrrh and mint
to mask his breath of lies.

He will find you sitting in the driver’s seat
in your moment of despair
stuck in a stagnant Nile of cars
that hasn’t moved an inch in an hour
when your feeling of complacency
overwhelms you, your helplessness
staring at a new overpass
or the metal bones of a new shopping mall
the steaming ground of clear-cut forest
where, looming in the acrid haze,
the monolithic mega-dam
pins you in its gaze.

Your mocha latte grows cold in the cup holder.
What are they screaming on the radio?

This Noonday Devil will make you an offer.
His servants will bring sugar water cakes
and iced tea spiced with absolution
to your car window on the highway.

He will ridicule what remains of
your Utopian dreams,
trading them like cards
for a few thousand square feet
of floors made from the hardest woods
a verdant patch of lawn
a technicolor future for your children
a private box at War’s playhouse.

You, in your moment of despair,
when your feeling of complacency
your helplessness in the face of seven billion
faceless pins on a spinning pincushion –
you may choose a troubled sleep
on velvet pillows over this waking hell.

In the fearful hours of the night
when the cats fight
and the sirens blare
when the late night t.v.
preachers cull your dreams
when the trash cans
explode with the echoes
of city streets far, far, away,
The Noonday Devil
will sing you softly back to sleep
with the Christian hymns
he heard as a child.

He will take you in his wingéd chariot
to his Kingdom of Commerce.
You will be his Queen –
the Queen of Cannibals.

One day you find yourself
in the passenger seat of a royal coach
with velvet pillows
staring up at the flag waving proudly
on the bridge of suicides
and you will awaken with
the Noonday Devil at your side.

You see it all plainly now.
The streets of his kingdom
are paved with bees.
The child slaves weave his robes
on dark, underground looms
in the eternal night.

But what he doesn’t know
whisper the girls with ruby lips
is the women are raising an army
of wax dolls in his likeness,
and the dead will offer pins.


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