Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Prophecies of B.B. Guthrie

In the seventh month of the year 2024, thereabouts,
In the Kingdom where the great eagle drags his shadow
Over speed eating competitions, gun shows, and Botox parties,
From the sky will come angels spewing embalming fluid.

Venus in Capricorn, Jupiter in Aquarius and Leo,
Mayor Dupree in striped suspenders and wingtip Oxfords:
Each Confederate tree that granted a branch for lynching
Will be whipcracked to splinters by lightning strikes.

From the North, a mighty frost and exodus of caribou,
The Four Leaders chiseled on a mount donning snowy wigs.
From the South, a plague of locusts will dim the daylight
And stipple driveway after driveway like pages of prose.

The vainglorious will begin speaking in Goat Latin.
On television screens the anus-bleached starlet will cry out:
Ymoy agentwoy oppedstoy answeringwoy ymoy allscoy!
Sixteen in Applebee’s will spontaneously combust.

These high-def visions unblurring from a steamed mirror
While the shower drain whispers to me in tongues:
The day will arrive and I will say unto you, What did I say?
Believers will construct bomb shelters. Skeptics, bookcases.

On the island of Vineyard belonging to one Martha
A flyby asteroid towing high winds will leave in its wake
Demagnetized credit cards, scattered lobster bibs
And floppy garden hats, a lost terrier named Jenkins.

By one to one ratio, for every Cherokee or Chippewa
Slain by sword or musket, for every Navajo, Apache, Sioux,
Any of the First Residents felled by ancient weaponry,
Their stoic face will materialize on someone else’s body.

In a fortnight the ground will moan like galleons at sea.
New mountains will surface, old ones muscled aside.
The earth-shaken dead will rise, rise, rise, drop
Behind washcloths begrimed with cemetery soil.

Pestilence will descend upon the land, famine, cannibalism,
Dial-up Internet, nuclear fallout, Rothko horizon:
You will say unto me, Why o why did I build this
Skylight on my bunker? What now will fall upon my eyes?

The Kingdom, its hour come round at last, goes dark.
Lattice of Christmas lights popping from coast to coast.
God will step into a time machine, reboot the universe.
Boom and all this shrapnel glimmering around us now.  end  

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