Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pivot Bone

Culture continues to remodel
Us, the way we replace natural

With artificial, chainsaw-carved bears
Climbing the posts of motel lobbies

Where once the real bears ate ancestors'
Unlucky cousins. We're so lucky,

We are the remnants of what was once
A world of individuals, closed

Completely to others' perspectives,
No matter how closely related.

We move like ants, fungal-addled ants,
En masse to the twig tips of our world

And raise our heads to sprout fruiting spores
Which, unlike infected ants, we both

Shed and accept, a new solution
For vector-dependent existence,

Cutting out the long, quiescent phase
Of lying low, awaiting new hosts,

At least in most instances. We live
Whole lives of cultural confusion,

Mobile, commingling ecosystems,
Skulls like terraria in contact

With each other, where every species
Invades and competes with invaders.

Herein a newer evolution
Emerges as inexorably

As the old, on the corpses of which
Are built libraries and pyramids.

As vectors, we become more streamlined,
Better at carrying messages

Competing to be carried. Random
Decisions, for instance, better ape

The unpredictable universe,
Making it slightly more guessable,

And therefore we are those animals
Who first cast the pivot bones, burning

Scapulae to read the cracks for ghosts'
And gods' advice on where to hunt next,

Reading entrails, tea leaves, and comets
For the wisdom of a clueless world.

We're getting better. Newer models
Of that which inhabits us predict

Without frequent recourse to agents
Imagined to be somewhat like us.

Culture is becoming itself, not
Needing mimesis to masquerade

As the thought of a god in the skull
Of a bear painted red at the mouth

Of the blackness of a cave system.
More tightly packed, we pivot open.

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