my carbon footprint is a rum and Coke
my carbon footprint falls asleep drunk
refrigerator door ajar, television set on
my carbon footprint is a second man
like a ghost, a phantom stalking me
grabbing me brutishly by my sweatshop lapels
and shaking… it says,
“Look at that!” as I open the kitchen trash,
a bin filled to overflow
and toss in another paper towel
“Look at what you’re doing…
how you’re living…”
this molesting conscience knows me
I cannot plead ignorance
my guilt is palpable, reified
I throw myself on the mercy of the burning court
flames and flood and gigatons
oil and gas and coal
and I cry, “I am looking…
I know how I’m living…”
but when I pull it together
I take refuge in nihilism,
tell my carbon other,
“We, all of us, die
nobody gets out alive
and someday too – the sun will consume
to make of this global warming a picnic in winter
and when that happens – all but a trace –
scattered and useless remnants
will be what remains of humankind
its technology, its science, its arts
all of it to perish evermore.
What is life but a sliver of irritation
in the dark soul of eternal nothingness?”
But that boozing loser won’t have it;
it tells me, “Now is the only thing that’s real.”
and I inform my shadow harasser,
“Now, you’re quoting Charles Manson,
and it says right back in a snap,
“See where nihilism will take you.”
I do see
I don’t want to
I want blind ignorance
pig-headed denial
anything but this knowledge
of what I am, of what we’ve wrought
and where it’s taking us:
to nihilism actualized
to a whole planet of Charlie Mansons
splashing in the inland tide waters,
and I lounge in a reclining beach chair
ice clinks in a perspiring glass
mini-bottles litter the sand
I suck at the crazy straw
twirl my cocktail umbrella
and tell the children to just play the fuck nice.


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