Energeticum / Phantasticum: a Profane Epyllion in Seven Cantos
...The internet's perverse monstrosity,
apocalyptic, without precedent,
clarifies your bleak predicament:
your universe and all the pens it slings
are hurtling toward the great blue pencil job:
that Dissolution, promised in Puranas,
followed by the bookless Night of Brahma.
Our barely-average star, dim, nondescript,
another flush-faced zhlub in fizzled crowds,
is sinking ever closer to the drain
that gorges on the grim galactic plane.
Spirits who have managed, more or less,
through dozens of misspent millennia,
with slow metempsychotic momentum,
to inch along the gradual incline
from rock to plant to beast to human thing
(some blurring that admittedly fine line),
are groping for fistfuls of cognizance,
by means of which they might discharge a smutch
of karmic debt, before the closing bell
of Manvantara's all-must-go fire sale.
Overreach can lurch in cerebella,
self-consciousness may stretch for self-expression.
Slightly fewer publishers than poets
out-legion the cramped fiends who, nuts-to butts,
in Gadarene, impacted swinish guts.
And most have opted virtually to oink.
A broadband of electromagnetic lit
extrusively is shitting past the brim
of our ionosphere, with light-sped bulge.
Its propagation fizzles at the brink
of Pluto's outer orbit, where it's mulched
with Adolf Hitler's televised pep rallies.
To parabolic radio telescopes
tripodded on the shores of methane lakes
on cratered exomoons, our published oeuvre
must seem an oblate, simmering blood blister
distended to the lurid point of bursting.
There was a time when poetasters banished
to wilderness beyond the Hudson River
could play the simple part of the Essene.
They planned their biblo-retirement
as dignified inurnment, Qumran-style.
But now the sand in which our scrolls are sunk
is digital, composed of lone electrons,
countless drifts of subatomic egos,
schizy, split, infertile as the bits
of shivered quartz that cause the West Bank dunes,
white-phosphorized, to writhe like salted slugs....
Tom Bradley has published twenty-five volumes of fiction, essays, screenplays and poetry with houses in the USA, Great Britain and Japan. Various of his novels have been nominated for the Editor's Book Award, the New York University Bobst Prize, and the AWP Series. 3:AM Magazine in Paris gave him their Nonfiction Book of the Year Award in 2007 and 2009. His journalism and criticism have appeared in such publications as Salon.com, and are featured in Arts & Letters Daily. Denis Dutton, editor, wrote: Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius.
His latest collaborations with illustrators are Family Romance (Jaded Ibis), We'll See Who Seduces Whom: a graphic ekphrasis in verse (Unlikely Books), and Elmer Crowley: a katabasic nekyia (Mandrake of Oxford). Further curiosity can be indulged at tombradley.org