Endtime

Anne Waldman - 1945-

Why cannot the ear be closed to its own destruction?
—William Blake

Won’t come alive ever yet or again? In the mind of Endtime it looks like this: shell, volute, Tabriz, eddies, and tides. Flowers wilt. When you wake, observe the unmitigated trials and tribulations of these tossed things, random it seems. But in the endtime, less personhood more ransom. Radical sleep in the Endtime, there is no end of sleep. Multiplying the stars was never easy in Endtime, doing it by themselves, obstinate stars. Self-repairing and learning on the job. Write reports, sniff out plagiarism, fly your planes with a computer. Drones inhabit the Endtime lore, how many kills. In Endtime things go static. Then still. Switch off “solace.” Would you kill another literary form? a ransom note perhaps, saying again: The dead always will be saying too many of us! Then carry the corpses around. In the mind of the Endtime no substitutes but if you care to try your hand you may gamble all you have to offer and what would that be. A mole might do for you, a burrowing animal “thing” might do, biding time might do for a time, a night perhaps you have for rhetoric, before you are released at dawn. Recant, reflect, review, reach out. We have met the enemy and it is the psychotic karmic flow of our blowback. Privileged community survives a raging flood. Maybe. You keep churning and there’s an echo in the world. In the Endtime no need of explanation. Need stronger better experienced cop? He’s a baby. In the Endtime there are theories of dysfunction, delicate wheelworks that need retread. In the mind of the Endtime scot-free isn’t possible. No interpretation necessary for your cargo. But tax and a search and a fee and a calibration what it all adds up to. Then drop it. Drop it down, send it off, may it disintegrate in peace.
 

More by Anne Waldman

Stereo

Marriage marriage is like you say everything everything in stereo stereo fall fall on the bed bed at dawn dawn because you work work all night. Night is an apartment. Meant to be marriage. Marriage is an apartment & meant people people come in in because when when you marry marry chances are there will be edibles edibles to eat at tables tables in the house. House will be the apartment which is night night. There there will be a bed bed & an extra bed bed a clean sheet sheet sheet or two two for guests guests one extra towel. Extra towel. How will you be welcomed? There will be drinks drinks galore galore brought by armies of guests guests casks casks of liquors liquors & brandies brandies elixirs sweet & bitter bitter bottle of Merlot Merlot Bustelo coffee. Will you have some when I offer. When you are married married there will be handsome gifts for the kitchen kitchen sometimes two of every thing. Everything is brand brand new new. Espresso coffee cups, a Finnish plate, a clock, a doormat, pieces of Art. And books of astonishing Medical Science with pictures. Even richer lexicons. When you are married married there will be more sheets sheets & towels towels arriving arriving & often often a pet pet or two two. You definitely need a telephone & a cellphone when you are married married. Two two two two lines lines lines lines. You need need separate separate electronic mail electronic mail accounts accounts. When you are married married you will have sets sets of things things, of more sheets & towels matching, you will have duplicates of things, you will have just one tablecloth. When you are married married you will be responsible when neighbors neighbors greet you. You will smile smile in unison unison or you might say he is fine, she is fine, o she is just down with a cold, o he is consoling a weary traveler just now, arrived from across the Plains. She my husband is due home soon, he my wife is busy at the moment, my husband he is very very busy busy at the moment moment this very moment. Meant good-bye, good-bye. When you are married married sex sex will happen happen without delay delay. You will have a mailbox mailbox & a doorbell doorbell. Bell bell ring ring it rings rings again a double time. You do not have to answer. That's sure for when you are married people people understand understand you do not not have to answer answer a doorbell doorbell because sex sex may happen happen without delay delay. You will hear everything twice, through your ears & the ears of the other. Her or him as a case case may be be. He & he & she & she as a case case may be may be. When you are married married you can play play with names names & rename yourself if you like. You can add a name, have a double name with a hyphen if you like. You can open joint accounts when you are married. Marriage is no guarantee against depression. A shun is no guarantee against anything. Marriage is no guarantee against resolution. Revolution is a tricky word word. Here, you hear here? Marriage is sweeter sweeter than you think. Think.

Related Poems

A Supermarket in California

   What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I
walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-
conscious looking at the full moon.
   In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the
neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
   What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping
at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in
the tomatoes!—and you, García Lorca, what were you doing
down by the watermelons?

   I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking
among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
   I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork
chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
   I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following
you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
   We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary
fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and
never passing the cashier.

   Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in a hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight?
    (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the 
supermarket and feel absurd.)
   Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add
shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
   Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue
automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
   Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what
America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you
got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear
on the black waters of Lethe?

—Berkeley, 1955