the apocalypse will begin

we’ll convene
again all right
and it’ll be nothing
like you could ever imagine
and there won’t be any petitions
seeking any permission from anyone
they’re just be medicine wheels and dream catcher rings
everywhere and blow outs that’ll start to make oklahoma look like
a saturday afternoon tea and nostalgia to get back
to something less onerous like maybe the little
big horn lyin there naked
and frozen in the

the claws
of these melodious birds
will be at your throat caressing
the chords and veins to choke out that
warbler sound and have you trill as sweet
as any song bird could ever be
because this ain’t gonna
be no picnic bein
force fed

ready for
that elixir so wild
and free and sweet that
you’ll never go back never again
to the way you used to be
and the way you used
to see and the way
you used to

hear anything at all
except lightening and pounding
and all the people telling you loud enough
to hear enough to hear and scare
the livin jesus out of yuh
with the announcement
coming directly
from magicians
and sorcerers
and wizards
and shaman
and raven
himself out
in front
of the

a spooky kind
of ghost

i repeat “They will be everywhere!”
so you won’t go mad at all at the big
finale you never ever ever thought
could ever happen at any time
of history or any place
you ever thought
you might
get to

the past
the future
and the present
grinding together all
at once you try to forget
and all the times you wished
for and all the times you couldn’t be there
for all the times i needed you for the times
i longed for you and the times you
forgot who i was and the times
i wanted you close to me
wrapped up in some kind
of divine circle you
never understood
what happened
if i explain
it all
to you

and again
and again it won’t be the end of the world
but it sure as hell’s gonna be
the end of something so don’t
get this one confused with
the way you’ll be able to
tell the difference
in the voices
and believe
me they

all be different
all right
there’ll be so many voices there
you’ll gag on so many words from the likes of
alootook and jordan, thomas and duke and buffy
and annharte, simon and joseph and sarain
and skyros and rita and harold
lee and tomson and daniel
and ruby and wayne
and jeannette
and jack
and jim
drew and pauline
and beth and george and fred and marty
basil and margo and lenore and emma lee
you’ll start to shake and shudder
when they come swarming, come
swarming out of those stormy
clouds right out of the sky
with their last
breath lasting
just about
for ever
and ever
and ever

get ready
cos i don’t wanna
have to say this all again
because things

gonna be

the same

the same

This poem “the apocalypse will begin” originally appeared in Native, Individual, State. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 144 (Spring 1995): 78-81.

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