- the car is on fire and there is no driver at the wheel, and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides, and a dark wind blows. the government is corrupt and we're all so many drunks with the radio on and the curtains drawn. we're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine and the machine is bleeding to death. the sun has fallen down and the billboards are all leering and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles. it went like this: the buildings toppled in on themselves; mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble and pulled out their hair. the skyline was beautiful on fire, all twisted metal stretching upwards, everything washed in a thin orange haze. i said, "kiss me, you're beautiful, these are truly the last days." you took my hand and we fell into it, like a daydream, or a fever. we woke up one morning and fell a little further down, for sure as the valley of death, i open up my wallet and it is full of blood.
- dead flag blues
where there is doubt, there is freedom
- latin proverb
what good fortune for those in power that people do not think!
somewhere in the nightmare of failure and despair that gripped america in the late 1960s the emphasis on beating the system by challenging it, by fighting it, gave way to a sort of numb conviction that it made more sense in the long run to flee, or to simply hide, than to fight the bastards on anything even vaguely resembling their own terms.
- hunter thompson
she used to say to me, mona, in her fits of exaltation, "you're a great human being," and though she left me here to perish, though she put beneath my feet a great howling pit of emptiness, the words that lie at the bottom of my soul leap forth and they light the shadows below me. i am one who was lost in the crowd, whom the fizzing lights made dizzy, a zero who saw everything about him reduced to mockery. passed me men and women ignited with sulfur, porters in calcium livery opening the jaws of hell, fame walking on crutches, dwindled by the skyscrapers chewed to a frazzle by the spiked mouth of the machines, i walked between the tall buildings toward the cool of the river and i saw the lights shoot up between the ribs of the skeletons like rockets. if i was truly a great human being, as she said, then what was the meaning of this slavering idiocy about me? i was a man with body and soul, i had a heart that was not protected by a steel vault. i had moments of ecstasy and i sang with burning sparks. i sang of the equator, her red-feathered legs and the islands dropping out of sight. but nobody heard. a gun fired across the pacific falls into space because the earth is round and pigeons fly upside down. i saw her looking at me across the table with eyes turned to grief, sorrow spreading inward flattened its nose against her spine; the marrow churned to pity had turned to liquid. she was light as a corpse that floats in the dead sea. her fingers bled with anguish and the blood turned to drool. with the wet dawn came the tolling of bells and along the fibers of my nerves the bells played ceaselessly and their tongues pounded in my heart and clanged with iron malice. strange that the bells should toll so, but stranger still the body bursting, this woman turned to night and her maggot words gnawing through the mattress. i moved along under the equator, heard the hideous laughter of the green-jawed hyena, saw the jackal with silken tail and the dick-dick and the spotted leopard, all left behind in the garden of eden. and then her sorrow widened, like the bow of a dreadnought and the weight of her sinking flooded my ears. slime wash and sapphires slipping, sluicing through the gay neurons, and the spectrum spliced and the gunwales dipping. soft as lion-pad i heard the gun carriages turn, saw them vomit and drool: the firmament sagged and all the stars turned black. black ocean bleeding and the brooding stars breeding chunks of fresh-swollen flesh while overhead the birds wheeled and out of the hallucinated sky fell the balance with mortar and pestle and the bandaged eyes of justice. all that is here related moves with imaginary feet along the parallels of dead orbs; all that is seen with the empty sockets bursts like flowering grass. out of nothingness arises the sign of infinity; beneath the ever-rising spirals slowly sinks the gaping hole. the land and the water make numbers joined, a poem written with flesh and stronger than steel or granite. through endless night the earth whirls toward a creation unknown....