How many books now have the word Last
In their title? Or worry, or some dangling variation
Of mistake? Or empire burning, or
The fools have fucked it up?
Who the hell listens? They roar and
Wriggle, up and down the page,
They screen-print what’s coming next — pinups
Of blocked streets and stone faces.
How many books sling the word doom,
Or mimic spotlights or air raid sirens,
Regurgitate the Romans, the Kick Down the
Door Guys, our genius with the fiery furnace?
The quivers, the shakes, the iambic dread,
The anger, the insomnia, the slow tic
Of the wait, the wail, the transcribed too late,
In the manner of those who have gone before us,
Geiger counters, clacking the rising damp.