Pornographic Ice Sculptures in Eternity
When we see the life-size pornographic ice sculptures
melting in the Sun outside the Unitarian Church
and the next day only small chunks of ice remain
and they're gone by dark
We ask--are we so different?
Aren't we flesh sculptures that melt away to nothing
but it takes a few more years
Or instead it's faster like Hiroshima
victims vaporized in a second
or burned alive in a minute?
The pornographic ice sculptures are beautiful
with sunlight streaming through them
highlighting the curves and expressions
and the genitals are so realistic
and you can see through them
and glory in the rainbow patterns
they cast in all directions
But we, like they,
and the most voluptuous porno stars,
are as good as gone
as good as gone in 100 years.
Who would guess this senile old man who doesn't know
who he is or his family and friends are
and who shits in his new adult diapers
right after the shit-filled diapers he was wearing
have been removed and he was cleaned up down there
and the new ones put on
Once was a beatific angelic youth
who thousands jacked off
watching on film jack off
in the privacy of their homes?
In 200 million years
we, they, and the porno they were so erotic in
have vanished as if we and they never existed
as if we and they never existed at all
and the same with all who played with themselves looking at it.
True, melting ice sculptures appeal to us more
than a rotten and rotting corpse
swarming with blue and green flies and white maggots
each of which has a soul.
True, from Eternity's overview
the planets are no different than snowflakes
the Sun will eventually expand
and swallow before you know it
and after that no one will remain
to know they existed or what happened
and so the planets, sad to report,
are as good as gone
as good as gone already.
Still, honor the ice sculptures in the open air
for all to see in front of the Church,
Honor the pornographic ice sculptures
Honoring human love-making in every position
and the sunlight passing through them
and the crowds passing by them in the sunlight and pausing
watching the sunlight pass through them
and the rainbow patterns cast around them,
Honor the drops that fall as they melt
and the wet sidewalk where
a few earthworms wriggle
on the moist cement
in the late afternoon
early spring Sun.
Former Poet Laureate of Milwaukee, Antler recently appeared in the
anthologies Poets Against the War; In the Spirit of T'ao Ch'ien;
Collecting Life: Poems on Objects Known and Imagined; Solace In So Many
Words; People Are Starting to Talk About You: New Gay Poetry, and Working
Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams. This March he was
chosen as "Artist of the Year" by the Milwaukee Arts Board. In November he
and his pal Jeff Poniewaz will be featured at the Wisconsin Fellowship of
Poets' annual fall conference. Among his recent readings was one he gave
at Texas A&M.