The Mark of Cain

We lost track of the Great White be-bopper,
son of Eve and Satan,
after his exile amongst the animals.

There were irruptions now and then —
satyrs, Dionysian dorm parties, Pan with the pipe —
the animists in our midsts with marks indelible
mixed right in with capitalism
and the hidden fruits of knowledge
forbidden from the hoi polloi,
iMacs and such, crypto currencies that despoiled nation-states.
Seth seethed.

Everybody who was anybody
(and nobody wanted to be a Nobody)
as Wilbury Dylan might have said,
was waiting for the arrival of Nietzsche’s Apollo,
the tightrope walker with a Z-emblazoned tee,
to Clint Eastwood into town,
Dirty Harry the neighbors stealing yellow school buses
full of Black children on their way to desegregation schools in the morning
and work-release by late afternoon of a dying democracy.
Cain has a mark.  666.
Like Ronald Wilson Reagan.
But that’s another story.
It’s not good to get caught up in the Bad
signs, omens, and Children of the Corn shenanigans
because there’s so much evolution for the hell of it to be had.
Pussy’s pussy, they say, putting the black cat in the canvas bag, tossing it into the deep blue sea.
The fact is, there was no abortion in Eden.
What the world might have been spared
had Eve been able to rive gauche the glowy worm of our collective Doom
in a back alley behind Our Lady, before the fire
consumed her pantaloons and made her suffer like Joan
Rivers in Johnny Carson guest appearances that sank her career.
Let’s talk.

Well. We’re stuck with the Fucker now.
All because we weren’t vigilant back in the when.
It’s a Roy Thinnes situation. He looked for signs of the Invaders,
saw gaps between strange fingers stretched.
Today, we know them for dismemberment exercises
in foreign embassies, for being dinosaur vampires
donkey-pumping fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow,
while Athens, Rome and Eden fall for a second time.
We can all just lump it if we don’t like it.
We could unionize, but those days are over,
relativism sees us schisming, Candide and Carmen
sitting in a tree (you know the song).

You’ll hear them yell out to you
from inside your head:
You have to think of your family
You have to think of your family.
But it’s a taunt; it’s an order; it’s a Jimmy Cagney
laugh and grapefruit to the face of your dignity.

We are surrounded by monsters
literally and figuratively
and we’re going down for the Count
onto necks with fangs like oilmen
sucking out blood, light and life
and leaving behind not malaria but
the hate-evil-anger molecule.

Who the gods wish to destroy
they first drive mad.
Look! Everywhere —
the fires, the fires rage!
And this time Crazy fuckin Nero
is even burning his Stradivarius
and he never sounded better

John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia.  He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times.