And so you Build

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And so you Build

And so you build.

Things break down and bust,

Crumble down and tumble down,

Dark days do not turn to dawn fast enough

And so you build.

The millstones grind and watches stop

Gloves unravel and coffins splinter

As earth remains earth forever

And so you build.

You build a shelter, a hovel, a house

You build a wall, a gate, a portcullis

You build whatever it takes

To put a tarp over your shoulders

And pretend like the storm is not overhead

And so you build.

 

Xi’an

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Xi’an

A living king with the might of a God
Demands that thousands and thousands
Of soldiers be made to protect him in the afterlife.
Seven hundred ministers
Collect a thousand workers each
To paint and mold and fire and breathe life
Into false faces and torsos.
An assembly line of earthen wares.
An afterlifetime army of stony, stoic faces.
The emperor’s view of death is resolved.
It is the beyond which unnerves him.
As though, upon the completion of his Heavenly mandate,
He would arrive at a great field
Populated by other mighty kings
Each with armies composed of painted stone
And these immobile objects would spring to life,
Fight, die, break into thousands of pieces
For all eternity, or until one king was supreme.
Mighty God of the afterlife –
A pile of shattered stone and clay.
Best fill the trenches now, while breathing, he reasons.
No one wants to arrive on the battlefield
With only his bones to carry him.

 

 

 

Cacophony

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Hey Lady! Hey Lady! Hey Lady!
Hey Lady! Hey Lady! Hey Lady!
Lady! Lady! Lady!

Buy something! Buy something!
Buy something Lady!

Buy something Lady! Hey Lady!
Lady Hey Buy! Buy, Hey Lady!
Lady, Lady, Hey, Hey, Buy, Buy,
Lady, Hey, Buy, Lady, Hey, Buy!

Come on in to my store Lady
Come on in and buy!
Come and give me your time Lady
Come on in and buy!

Only the best for you, Lady
Number one goods in my store
You want what I got to give, Lady
Come in and you’ll see some more

Hey Lady, Hey Lady you got green pockets
Hey Lady’s got dollars to blow
Hey Lady, gimme time and I’ll bleed you dry
Hey Lady, you won’t ever know.

Lady! You want? You want? You want?
Yes now you come in and buy
I got special things so come to my store
You want? Gotta come in and buy.

You’re trying to walk, Lady?
You’re trying to leave?
Oh please don’t go, Lady!
Guess what’s up my sleeve…

Just more of the same – Buy something nice!
Just more sets of lungs – Lady come here!
Just our unending voices – Lady you want?
Just the noise of the hawkers – Lady come here!

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An experiment in free verse? And then more traditional rhyme? This is what it sounded like after an hour of nothing but the same sentences over and over. It’s a cacophony of lies and pleading. It’s pounding on the ears and demanding and fatiguing.