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WHO IS THE TEMPEST -- from a Collection of Prose-Poems "Death In June"




Who is the Tempest?  And what is a name?  What is the spectacle of the blood that drives us all to this sad alley without light in which our own mortality awaits us?  We are not dark natures.  We are not criminal seasons.  But we are driven here, down here, into the vale of flat sorrow, where all parts collapse, by some force in the sky, by some god or demon who derives joy from our suffering.  We are not able to appreciate simple virtues of living decently any longer.  That is our tragedy.

      The Tempest is a force in our blood that longs for more, that demands extra credentials, that seeks to dominate the lost bravados, that calculates all value in terms of bank accounts and frightened manners of intricate gain.  That puts death on a higher plane than virtue; that sees the image quest as the sacrosanct plank of common living.

      The world gets ugly down here.  The world gets evil and dark and lost and anxious and starved and crippled and cruel and anticipates apocalypse.  We are, all of us, angels forced into a dark zone, against our will.  We have been thrown out of the Garden, out of the good life, by a force of order that appeals not to our sorrow or suffering, but which sentences us to death, to mortal collisions with fatality’s vague promise, extended in space like a trap that leaves us no sense or thought of feeling or emotion but dread.


The Common Dread is, itself, the Tempest.  The Tempest is coming, gaining speed, over the water.  Gaining a brutal name and a brutal condition of equalization.  Blow down everything: that is his goal, his epidemic template.  He will singe the world, collapse brick and concrete, scatter decent and greedy souls in the same wind.  The Tempest will strike everyone, will not applaud the rich and the specially treated.  Everyone is equal – and equally abused – and equally culpable – in the eyes of the Tempest.

      The Tempest has orders: he will strike down everyone in his path, high and low, old and young, male and female, hostile and kind.

      The Tempest is coming.  There will be no rainbow until 2019.


5 June 2009