The purpose of a pantheon of dead leaders
printed on sky high stacks of parchment,
their lonely heads mounted in elliptical frames
like penitent images of gods and generals
hung not for the adherent but for the adhered.
These faces mean something, so famous that the lines
and wrinkles and bald patches and the intricacies of their wigs
have currency in a world that needs currency to realize that
the fruits and the flowers and your life and mine have a value
but we assign it to the ugly face of paper, not to each other.
Dead presidents and politicians run free and wild
The fate of our world is trusted to those of the grave
and what grave clockwork whips their cemetery minds
and what loyalties do the rotting dead owe to the slower rot of the living
and what allegiance do these gods have to the helpless of their faith?
Their compact is a barter, a far more cruel charter,
they owe us nothing except a fulfillment of greed,
to lower and sting our eyes, to silently laugh down our inability to be free,
to chain our souls to those who are, while we rage against who can and do,
embarrassed, yet embracing the conceit.
The gods of cash are secreted away in a decadence of leather,
God is dead, and the new gods delight in chains,
the new temple is the bank
and the deposit slip is the Tome.
Only the gods sleep in peace,
while our dreams are stolen by what the dream has become.