An American Prayer

Indians scattered on dawn’s highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child’s fragile eggshell mind.
Me and my mother and father, and a grandmother and a grandfather. were driving through the
desert, at dawn, and a truck load of Indian workers had either hit another car, or just — I don’t
know what happened — but there were Indians scattered all over the highway, bleeding to death.
So the car pulls up and stops. That was the first time I tasted fear. I musta’ been about four — like
a child is like a flower, his head is just floating in the breeze, man. The reaction I get now thinking
about it, looking back — is that the souls of the ghosts of those dead Indians… maybe one or two
of ‘em… were just running around freaking out, and just leaped into my soul. And they’re still there.
Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
Do you know we exist?
Have you forgotten the keys to the kingdom?
Have you been born yet
& are you alive?
Let’s reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests
O great creator of being
grant us one more hour to
perform our art
and perfect our lives
The moths & atheists are doubly divine
& dying
We live, we die
and death not ends it
I touched her thigh
and death smiled
We have assembled inside this ancient
& insane theatre
To propagate our lust for life
& flee the swarming wisdom
of the streets
resident mockery
give us an hour for magic
I’m sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the T.V.
Tower.
I want roses in
my garden bower; dig?
Death makes angels of us all
and gives us wings
where we had shoulders
smooth as raven’s
claws
I will not go
But for a
feast of Friends
To the Giant family
The program for this evening
is not new. You have seen
This entertainment through and through.
You’ve seen your birth, your
life and death; you might recall
all of the rest — (did you
have a good world when you
died?) — enough to base
a movie on?
They’re making a joke of our universe
Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh
Let’s climb through the tide
Penetrate the evenin’
that the City sleeps to hide
Do you know freedom exists in a school book
Did you know madmen are running our prisions
With’in a jail
With’in a gaol
With’in a white free protestant maelstrom
We’re perched headlong on the edge of boredom
We’re reaching for death on the end of a candle
We’re trying for something that’s already found us.