29 September 2014
what it was like once to have been a human being
Last Statement for a Last Oracle
After this oracle there will be no more oracles.
The precinct is hereby desanctified. You wanted it,
you have it. From now on everything I say
will be a lie said for cash. Now, for the last time,
here’s the truth: You have won with your horse power
and numbers from the north. You will go on
winning forever—this is your damnation—
until your conquests and the insides of your heads
are alike, and you and I know what it’s like
in there, so if some dirty beast remembers,
on some future dirty night, what it was like
once to have been a human being and pleasing to me
in a fair exchange of pure sacrifice for pure prophecy
he will throw himself into a fire and howl to death.
I will now drop back into the fire you are
so curious about. When you get drunk tonight
and pee on it, it, you and I will go out like the light
and an acid yellow smoke will take the place of our souls.
We will have to go on living a lie for a while, however,
in the unspeakable condition I have referred to in passing.
Alan Dugan, “Last Statement for a Last Oracle” from Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry. Copyright © 2001 by Alan Dugan.
looking back toward whitney.