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“eraserhead’s apocalypse” by Tommy O’riley

we have all arrived aboard the mighty clipper of time
having braved the momentous elliptical rotation
of the heavens
by which we peacefully traverse
our perfect tack
for the ceaseless circumnavigation
of the exploding universe

we are here now
and can contemplate our journey through time
only because fifty million years ago
dangling from some high jungle vine
two mutant tree shrews screwed

this is our ancestry
and our destiny

our silicon chips
are our flint razors
used to shave away laser thin layers
of divine entropy
toward another stratum
of indecipherable prophecy

but the hackneyed hieroglyphics of history
tell us nothing of what is to come
it’s only old war score boards
and glory to those who won
history is young
and dumb

if eraserhead’s child survives
human nature could be wildly outmoded
in a single generation
and the lessons of history
would be badly eroded
tales of limitation

wake now to the child’s cries
as it multiplies before our eyes
and mobilize before it dies

we don’t need to be reminded of our limits
the irony of history is that it implicitly omits
the limitless impetus of time
for it’s only an instant
and an alien infant’s whine
that defines the line
between you and a shrew


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