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Bosch's Beasts

Hells open up between us--
The fires that silences become
Spreading. Terrorism of needs
Holding hours, days, months hostage.
The eyes conceal two dragons,
In their caves of hoarding and desire,
Watching the passing shadows
In the narrow squints of light.

Bosch's Beasts are on TV selling
Vegematics, stay-sharp knives, jiffy juicers
As more efficient replacements
For the human heart. Cities are being torn down
And replaced by coulmnar charts.
People have begun to name their children
After radio frequencies.
DNA has been added to concrete and steel
Making the world a living database
And vandalism a kind of murder.

It's not long before the hands of the clock
Become pincers, the fiery beetles of LED
Burn through the wrists. We are strapped down
To the rack where we once punished Mastercharge.
We are gutted and roasted by a tribe of TVs
And left impaled on antennae over electron fires.
We are soldered into the circuitry of a microchip
Until each cell is chewed into a databit.
Decent words we could never humble ourselves to say
Are force-fed to us and turn into tape worms.
The thumb we used to raise in victory
Is cut off and, alive, left to gouge out our eyes.
The coils from day-minders are stuck through our skulls
And wound down around our spinal cords.

The bad news was that getting rid of religion
Didn't get rid of hell. New landscapes, tortures, beasts
Are painted in every day. There will always be
The doubters who don't believe in the spear
That's sticking through their chest. And only a few
Artists have the taste for capturing
Our personal apocalypses. Few like Bosch
Who, turning from the month's execution at the village square,
Recognized that man is at his most creative and methodical
With the stiff fine brush of pain.