Rises

Rubble stacks and rises;
bright remanufactured scraps
make space to rooms
and scrape things higher than the sky.
Reprocessed stones compose
a monument to Exception
and Opportunity.

The hungry bodies stalking
the bare and vulgar ground
regard the metal
among the other unnumbered monoliths,
like copper wires and dials—
means to a need
they may never understand.

If human eyes could stretch
and climb the untenable tower
above the cloudy sagging permanence
of smog and dreams, 
like retro diners
in reference to a time
not remembered,

if thus, there is
another dozen stories
where the city’s master shepherd sleeps,
over all he owns
and in his wrought benevolence allows;
the clear and flowing web of roads,
floating outside the droning cubicles 
beneath his feet,
the separate folk who sweat and bleed.

His decked and spacious rooms
lodge his status more than himself.
His decrees suggest above his deeds
what he believes a human needs—
(do beliefs demand action?
or is that action virtue?)
if congruous action is the sole belief 
of virtuous men,
our king is bathed in virtue deep—

but still his static halls
tire of just the upkeep 
of distracted maids.
Their worth begs use,
and in their opulence ashamed
not to facilitate what their makers
might produce.
Greed and Hubris
Have condemned them
to waste,
obscurity and dust.

This tower was built first for him,
the seventh heir of a prevailing clan,
an intended refuge
of extemporality within
the exponential rise of business,
which eats and nourishes
their shrunken realm.
It’s been the bitter grudging lot
of the last four generations
to make their refuge
among their means,
ever since the city
swallowed the land.

Their power’s built
of ownership so as to
control the slaving body
but not subdue its growth,
the sucking child of life and Time
that shades our present minds with hope.
What refuge then,
that shuns the change 
they could never live without
for the illusion of Power
and Paradise?

What reverence could you possibly demand
for capricious heredity
and the inheritance of chance?
What indifference could you dare expect
of abused exploited organs
whose nature prompts them
and were bombed out of their land

by hidden princes
with special interests?
That destruction left small radii
of inhabitance, in the outskirts
of which the cheated masses
rebuild the world that stole itself from them.
They sleep at night,
hidden from the lights
that burn atop the tower,
with dreams of words
that were stolen in that fractured hour.