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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Jeffrey Harpeng

Climb The Holy Mountain
after Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine

All mountains are holy, made holy by every tree and stalk and blade of grass, the patterns of moss on bark and rock, by every rock and stone and pebble, by the gleaming thoughts of frost and snow and ice and every nerve that feels and tells and the words that reason it apart and dream it together again.

They are holy and singular, multiplex and profane.

In the holy land of the profane, brutal profanities are uttered in the bunkers of sanity, witless banter of nuclear threats and that vile joke deterrence. The proud schemes of strategists reduce death to a grand abstraction. The moral fire of their plans, from steel behemoths and engined angels, showers sparks to incinerate all hope. How gracefully the minutemen, the ICBM’s arc through blue or dark toward an unmerciful blast. That sounds with a leonine roar, large as the sky. It flays skin and vaporises vision, turns the laughing child into a shadow.

The smoke of burning cities rise as an offering to the vast rolling vacancy of space.

A winter comes to end all warming, and love. No bee shall find a flower, no fish spawning rise along the rivers, like a rush of inspiration.

moonless August night
by lamplight the design for
a guidance system