reprise of heroism/virtual arcana

you thought of dinner tables

the clinks of silverware

among lukewarm food, bare lightbulbs

emit weakened golden shine on tablepanes

everything pared into shapes and rusted chassis

impulses beam in tabloid glaze,

scissors cut down ribbons to new towers

unwound with commercials of bygone camping trips

the flicker of campfires and laughter with dirtied hands

murderers in black and white.

children lapsed into broadcast abattoirs, parents only sigh

shaken heads and turned backs saying you should know better

comedies and tragedies, praise for finished chores

work at old mills, warmth of hands worked in factories

the cool relief of sodas on break-times and vulgar backroom talks

talking plans in the evening, tomorrow or long vacations

all bright things that filled bouquets

daydreams of finer days, catching a ball on baseball fields

now rolling over crumbling dirt and faded chalk lines on family tapes

the cheers off grandstands at the home run battings

receiving billed applause from garage band hijinks

playing remembered riffs, the twang off frayed guitar strings

stepping from concrete to hardwood conservatories

everyone wants to be great emerging to stagelights

as if you could be there on the fortunate crosswalks of beauty

away from these rushed gatherings

comforted by films of summer romances at sunset stadiums

yet hurried to become part of those blurring crowds

already departing,

left to barren streets, soft kernels from glowing windows

not even a late night worker whistling whilst taking out the last bag of trash

pantomimes of pleasant days, figurines in colourful shirts

you never liked carnivals, fair cheeked dolls and high toned voices

spilled watermelon on cartoon executions

our homes always fall apart, flowers tearing off pastel wallpaper

crevices revealing planks upholding our pleasant rooms

faint electricities, phantoms cling to streets after amphetamines

where your steps stumble yet beat across the tarmac

sensations dissolve from hands that now twitch for arias

where the world could blossom from its meshed avenues

into passing faces and lavished rooms beyond windows or images

your father told you once to seize what you want, choking the air in a fist

your mother only consoles you, saying everyone had to be something

every night, white ceilings, no nightmares, only a pause without image

hammers clank on railroads out of ashclouds in posters

great leaders, empires raise marble avenues and corniced apartments

from podiums, hands reach out for futures of family picnics

you were told that strength was all you could be

clamours writhing until smothered into seethed breaths

even if you only bore silence and stuttered niceties

urged by teachers facing murals of stick figures hands sewn in merriment

multicoloured circles and dotted eyes, those same faces

even witnessing deaths, you never crumpled to sadness

hearing the wailing of family members, you only held

rifles fired over coffins, these once solemn men

imagined them too wild with adventure, that they knew sudden will

vaulting them across topogaphies where plains might unravel new places

soldiers on television walk through deserts in sunglasses

the decoration of heroes granted out of clouds of sand

chewing gum by humvees and gruff shouts to applauses

don't we all just want to be the good guy

fireworks were only for days of celebrations when even the end of guardrails

were worth waiting around in, even if the road ends something would come

entering the plaza, the glowing names of stores, names on documents

flashes of light rip suns pulsating off glass reflections, dust already powders the square

pulled bolt catches over crumpled and shorn bodies

nor mannequins, screams and begging

reaches only a pit in the lungs, no one else understands

hands effaced in the squeeze of the trigger,

cool air battered out of air conditioners

flashes of taut muscles reining in unsteady aim, sore shoulders

fruit remains peeled on food court tables

, red dresses lay torn among shattered glass

almost sparkling on floors with spilt cola,

in powdered sunlight dust arranges itself in veils

like cosmonauts and constellations

amorphous leaves blazed in the vestibule

ridding ourselves of frailty and aborted longings

dismembered in mounds of flesh over floors sunlight spilled across

reeking of what was thought to be warmth in minty air that polished tile,

televised light receding into flattened panes of electronics stores

tactical teams assemble before you, mass wails from sirens off armoured vans

boots marching through a wave of images and signals

conferences warped into commercials and red carpet viewings

helicopters circle around the complex, the parking lot cordoned off

the crowds gather for spotlights and whispers of scandal

were those lights from cameras glass flowers in a pasture you could never reach

didn't we just want to be someone in the end

perhaps you knew it was wrong, only bad guys were vanquished on tv

that final look of repentance in a tender face before bleeding out

heaps of spotlighted entrances in black boxes, screens warp facial geometries

blackened globe eyes oblique with hunger, empty hands finally gripping

the action begins, a rush of armored units and hulking kevlar vests

the shine off black helmets and their single file entry

clearing empty halls, the slight twitch at the sight of corpses

a gloved hand placed on the injured, hugging them on exit

orders boom down the tile grids, mp5s pointed at broken glass and open doors

the agents of tomorrow from the coming daylight

protecting infinite hope and darting games transmitted in powerlines

leaving some to wait on empty cafe tables and wilting flowers

looped waves of footsteps and thrusted laughs haunting concourses

approaching officers in all capitals

the final lights of exposure and muzzle flashes, the man on the movie poster

clutches a beretta pistol against the wall shielding his eyes, hyperstylized vengeances

keeled body, blood bursts through veins, high pressure circuits

over-stimulated arteries now find exit in profuse spills or red arches

just an empty hand, crooked fingers plump at the tips

finally proving that even with everyone's insistence that things will be better

nothing could become or remain even under trembling spotlights

exempted from effortless becomings, all with tuneful greetings

to trade futures scattered to prism high rise offices

your parents hoped for in deserted streets that still wait

talking of dreams swallowed in plastered blankness,

skies isolated in windows of once still afternoons that beckon

perpetually receding in our chuckles from riotous play

now wishing you could just be stable objects, everyone could forget

you find a bathroom, pallid lights and hidden wounds, the soundtrack muted,

yelling at reflections that could do anything but become something else

even if warped moons bulge on concrete

another atrocity spoken of at dinner tables with hushed tones

SWAT units exit to the flashes of cameras and relieved sighs

politicians condemning, officers saying they have contained the situation

panicked shiftings of masses etherize yesterday's oft-walked alleyways

no longer waiting near romantic streetlights where people found each other

up and down avenues as silhouettes wash into concrete speckled in collisions

of vituperations yelling for that better world heaving change in new posters

for tamed commotions feigned by these adrift bodies

the cold tiles wash away those everfloating limbs

the jeers of the afflicted still damp in tears

shining in the footage of the upcoming wake but it all seems okay

even in fluoresence and black ceramic