• A young boy sat on the beach on one of the last days of summer.
    The air was stagnant and the sand on which he sat
    Was dense with trapped seawater.
    The adults, the boy’s parents and their two married friends
    Stood much further down the shoreline,
    Walking shrouded by a nebulous mirage of static heat.
    All that the child cared about were the coins and bits of polished glass
    And pink seashells he was uncovering from a shallow oblivion
    With sweeps of his pale arm.
    He was almost ten years old, but his dark eyes
    Held some intrinsic pain, some preternatural worry that was ageless.
    Momentarily abandoned on the coastline,
    He closed his eyes
    And within himself he saw the essence of the human condition
    And watched a renaissance of future realizations
    Flood his mind and stand embossed,
    Burning in imagined red light, on his consciousness.
    He was attuned to all sounds around him, and he saw
    With three hundred sixty degree vision
    The life that he was about to live.
    He wanted to change it.
    He knew he would only live once.
    He wanted to touch the hands of real sages and emperors
    And he wanted to burn in a fiery crash and he wanted
    To experience true love and survive his own bodily death and wander
    To the edges of a plateau to hear his own voice’s stentorian echo
    And he wanted to write on the sides of mountains with his own blood
    And speak to the gods and to live tragically
    Like a king and yet as free as a beggar
    And he wanted to shoot an arrow through someone’s heart
    And feel the pain of a million enormous stones
    Falling upon him
    And he wanted to play Russian roulette
    With his own suffering and his own fate
    And with the very idea of Fate all at once
    And he wanted to be deified and to disrupt
    The very order of all mankind
    And to burn all the wealth in the world
    In a blaze of glory
    And he wanted to feel the Arctic wind on his naked scarred back
    And he wanted to make all the cars
    On the freeway stop with one word
    On the idea of man’s predestined freedom
    And watch them leave their idling cars and walk the Great Divide
    And he wanted to know for sure that some things are sacred and if
    Nothing is sacred then why in this prosperous age
    Two dreams do still exist in the collective mind
    Reincarnation the ancient vision
    And instant gratification the modern belief
    Of televangelists and the rapt subculture of commercial prophets
    And he wanted to be murdered for his imminent convictions
    And he wanted to find the most beautiful seashell on the beach
    And throw it from a cliff into the deepest part of the ocean
    And he wanted to lie on the bottom of the ocean
    And see the ethereal light of heaven
    Reflecting on the backs of silver whales
    And he wanted to unravel the secrets of time and mysticism and solipsism
    And the meaning of corporate egos
    And he wanted to kill the man who would advise him to
    Stop running into the reddest sunset
    For it is unreachable
    And he wanted to touch a comet
    And live to the point of tears and to thrust his
    Everlasting last words
    Into the atmosphere of the fibrous splintering social paradigm
    And to shower compliments on the rebels
    And the holy men of obscure beginnings
    And to whisper a serpent’s wishes onto the cold side of a sand dollar
    And he wanted to flout even the most fair and equitable laws of nature
    Such as the arrow of time
    And he wanted to engender the mathematics of mass lobotomy
    So the average man may shrug off the burden of his
    Troublesome hopes and dreams
    And he wanted to experience in Technicolor
    The Creation and the birth of the universe
    And the Dawn of Man and the Resurrection
    And he wanted to tell all his future lies in one breath
    Right now
    So that he could speak the painful hurtful truth for the rest of his life
    And he wanted to release all the animals from the zoo
    And he wanted to speak the language of underground thieves
    And he wanted to cut out the heart of a saint
    And watch it flow and founder
    In the fine sand of the desert
    And he wanted to tear down a brick wall
    And find behind it
    A grassy field that stretches to infinity in every direction
    And he wanted to set fire to the
    Morally questionable emblems of our predecessors and he wanted to trap
    All of man’s primeval guilt and all of the indignity and agony
    Of the younger generation in a glass bottle
    And cast it into a river that will find no ocean
    And he wanted to relive the Great Flood and he wanted
    To tramp like a troubadour
    Blindly in valleys
    Where castles are few and far between
    And he wanted to play a song on a weathered church organ
    That could start a war and provide
    The ever-absent purpose for humanity and existence
    And he wanted to die a Christian death
    And he wanted to shoot stars out of the sky and make asteroids
    Come to a halt in their unremitting harmonious trajectories
    And he wanted to have out-of-body experiences
    During the tolerated ennui of the morning commute
    In taxicabs and he wanted
    To be subjugated by tyrants and by the perpetrator of a vast fascist hoax
    And he wanted to write his stories in the dark
    On the finger-scratched walls of a forgotten cell
    In an abandoned subterranean prison
    Where all the other inmates are either arsonists
    Or poets but all are forever
    Shadow-boxing with fate
    And he wanted those catacomb excavators
    Who would unearth the prison and
    Dust the walls with feathers centuries later
    To envy the romantic nostalgia of his stories
    And he wanted to dissociate hatred from the human condition
    And forget whatever representations of society
    From which man derives dispassion and dishonesty
    And he wanted to sleep under a veranda in a hail storm
    And he wanted to die for Christ’s sins
    And he wanted to tell the biggest lie
    And tell the smallest truth that could make a bodhisattva lose faith
    In enlightenment
    And he wanted to transmogrify himself into a dimensionless point in space
    And he wanted to orbit like debris around a satellite
    In a yet-undiscovered galaxy and he wanted to prove
    Every lie ever spoken in vain to be true
    And he wanted to kneel down and press his lips against the ground
    And taste the salty quintessence of his own pious tears
    And he wanted to live simply and to be completely free
    From any source of control be it political or supernatural
    And he wanted – more than anything –
    In his naïve heart he wanted to experience
    True love and let it never lose its luster
    Or that aura in which every moment
    That his life may intersect with another’s
    Could be spent in eternal strokes of time but he knew
    Deep down
    In his lonely core of world-weary intuition
    That all life was just a futile game
    In which infinitesimal disappointments are summed
    Over a period of “too soon”
    And realized into a grandiose meaningless failure
    In which born men are relegated to that nadir of humanity
    In which free will is a frivolous ambivalent privilege
    Not a right
    And where all endeavors are ultimately forgotten
    Amidst the somnambulant pursuit of visceral pleasures and
    Lost time that was never really there in the first place
    And where all the living are doomed to travel
    In the most tortuous path to their own demise
    Forsaken by even their truest friends who are only doomed to do the same.
    He knew all of this and sat solemnly still.
    His eyes opened; he appeared dispassionate
    But as he disembarked from this contemplative place
    The tears came silently.
    He did not even feel emotions,
    And he knew that the tears were somehow separate from him,
    That they were Man’s tears
    And he was only chosen as the source of their springing forth.
    That it might be private, shaded and shrouded by mirage
    From the judging glances of passersby.
    The tears speckled the already-moist sand,
    Polished the already-shining coins and mollusk shells.
    As inconsequential as they were silent.
    The summer day remained stifling,
    As much by stillness as by heat,
    And the adults in the distance still slowly walked
    Through the tranquil foam of waves, oscillating.
    The tide rose to meet the boy’s fingertips,
    Still palm-down and covered with sand from his idle digging.
    He had not forgotten what he had seen,
    The ephemeral integration of his senses
    That was focused like laser light toward the potential future.
    Life would never be the same from now on.
    The sky seemed bigger now,
    And all that could be found in its condensing grayness
    Was the suspicion that nothing really matters…