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By and By Black Night




Have we pushed ourselves into the exotic
far enough that all that remains is
hate?

Many react to persuasion as though it were violence
and to violence as though it were love
gone wrong, with custom extravaganzas, bespoke
bacchanalia, fine feasts and glorious orgies
repulsive to everyone else.

We've made water
on which the moon
declines to reflect.

The goal is tranquility, not oblivion. Yet
for each who gambols in collapse, singing
seething songs through gritted teeth,
there are more who resist relinquishing ignorance,
for with understanding comes responsibility.

The sight of your skull
in moonlight
we shall never share.

If there is an obligation of sobriety,
why have we evolved a tendency toward intoxication?
What people really want is to alternate
between the two states, enjoy treasured encounters
with excess and extremity grounded in a reliable reality.

There is little room in wealth to prosper—
poverty's worse. But there is no system
which human nature will not subvert.

All poems are written and copyrighted by Michael C. Rush.
None may be republished or repurposed without permission.