"Onward Business Soldiers," "Muscled Off the Plane for Your Protection," and "The Time of a Few Gargantuan Nest Eggs"

Onward Business Soldiers

After they’d had at the indigenous,
they set upon the endogenous.
They offered never-before-seen chemistry
with a will unbridled by consequences.
They stumped the masses by selling them
on what they hadn’t noticed
were their definitive ailments.
For lubricating parts of the mechanical
19th century body, they held up
alcohol mixed with oil of the snake.
They demonstrated a concerted interest
in destroying forests one tree at a time.
They labelled the collected sum of bottom lines
the economy, running it up the flagpole.
They employed divisions of the public
relations crowd who banked on the importance
of stupendous goods, to bypass reason
and sink pseudo-Freudian roots in stupidity.
They unstudied what they were fed in school
from the earliest feed-lot appearance
busting with pride over the defeat of nature.
They grabbed chaos by the tiger tornado
to parcel it out on the know-all market
using locomotive steam-driven ditch-digging rigs,
gold compasses, and unbending T-squares.
They came marching out of Europe and firing,
before sitting on a tinder box of denial
and assumed exceptionalism: they couldn’t stop
extending their reach through every port
across every spread they could possibly claim.



Muscled Off the Plane for Your Protection

A mooling trek in a velvet ball gown unbridled by innocence.
A mint-shut leaf-over of Bavarian warrior royalty in an elk rut.
A mother among us with a firm grip on the upturned hull.
A white dog with balding white eyes of trans-Arctic melting.
An eschatological belief unsnapping leathers down to torturous
           meaninglessness pouring off the human trunk in a flood
           of root-combed bone-making that drives the air ahead.
An unequal distribution where nobody’s watching, if not dancing
           for the quickly damned adumbrations of us.
A goose-necked train station sawing mammoth guillotine drops
           into beautiful bones of distantly stranded sea birds.
A few system failures that cause suffering, but for only a while
           with dungeonous severage on the downslope of oil.
A few fresh pallets of culturally activated incendiary devices
           aching over the years as if something definitive
           should be done to stop the deaths of the animals.
A leftover of hundreds of tons a second factory-floor machinery
           in NASA booster assembly plants here in the primal cauldron.
A trio of gospel women swaying to radical shammering tambourine
           stops and starts, in their luminous ultramarine satin robes.
A blond burst stealing away where the means of production are
           finally returned to local hands around public
           re-enactments of angry men impervious to front-line
           questioning nextdoor to your own prehistoric undoing.
With another’s top-down rural electrification of the gargantuan
           up-mothered machine of berserk overseas war
           outlined in bold Rouault fanning out in undertow.
A thinly veiled onyx-scarlet rock muscling the self ahead of light.
A demonstration of cells that eventually assembled into neo-cortex
           around R-complex with courageous longing
           at the time of cellular birth, waging the impossible
           through discontent that unfrocks and swipes its blade.
A sleep-bewrenched silence nailed down by roadside motel neon.
With a fresh spike of externalized heat, contemplative and bawdy  
           from an unfinished future squeezing mammoth bellows
           of unusual psychic beauty and harshness forced
           onto colt-thick attempts not to vanish in our time.



The Time of a Few Gargantuan Nest Eggs

There is no trickle down, only a siphoning up from the toiling many
to the moneyed few. - Michael Parenti

The blood sports of billionaire money-mongers leaving 100s
           of 1000s’ homelessness unanswered.
The wisdom of an army of money traveling on a few thin dimes
           of the masses who have no choice.
The safety in having so much money in vaults no one would know
           how to spend it, unless she’s a billionaire.
The security in possessing money so heavy none of the serving
           persons could carry it off. Period.
The beauty of astronomical numbers of bucks siphoned up
           from everyone else under midnight stars.
The astonishing contributions of computerization to laundering
           unbridled billionaire campaign investment.
The lunacy around religiously owning so much no one can tell
           if your image proves you’re a god.
The difficulty of forbidding rank trespassers on your newly
           and suddenly privatized public lots.
The one billion that spawns millions without doing anything
           or being touched by anyone else.
The immaculate conception with billionaire parthenogenesis
           absent the local community.
The problem of the Constitution not establishing hoarding rights
           of monomaniacal money-mongers.
The insurmountable burden of urgency in the craven desire to
           collect astronomically huge money.
The upside-down world as billionaires take credit for efforts
           of the managers and serving persons.
The lethal involuntary money-mongering instantaneously at war
           against human-with-human cooperation.
The archaic ritual of primordial reckonings having a field day
           with the needy who remain anonymous.
The paleoconservatives in their liberty behind razor wire and armed
           guard towers smoking familial stogies.
The molecular impression of providence buoyant on the sea
           of symbiotic mostly unnamed microorganisms.
The disembodied distortions that bargain for cut-throat executions
           of the market in invisibility.
The gargantuan money-hoarding which endures chronic suffering
           of others without having to trouble itself.
The rancid spikes of leachate and drool that trickle down off the lip
           of wealth’s landfills dripping into watersheds.
The cherubic rich cabinet permanently pressed for wont of Central
           Intelligence getting when the getting’s good.
The ease with which money flows and splashes over rocks and talks
           louder than one person thinking.
The innocent coal miners sweetly perishable in downhill slides
           of money melting until veins collapse.
The fluffed-up agenda of wealth contingent on the invisible hand
           of transnational exhortations.



James Grabill’s poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and online at CalibanonlineTerrainonline, The Decadent Review, and others. He wrote four books from Lynx House Press including Poem Rising Out of the Earth (Oregon Book Award, 1995), as well as Sea-Level Nerve: I & II (2014 & 2015 – Wordcraft of Oregon), Branches Shaken by Light, Reverberations of the Genome, & Schoenberg in the Troposphere (2020, 2021, & 2023 – Cyberwit, India), Eye of the Spiral (2022 – Uncollected Press), Stray Dogs & Irreversible Cars (2023 – Atmosphere Press) & others. He taught writing and global issues relative to sustainability.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 21:22