"What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful of Him"

"What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful of Him"

"What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful of Him"

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
May 9 2006 6:14 AM

"What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful of Him"

Click here to listen to Todd Hearon read this poem.

Man is a weapon of mass destruction. Eliminate man you don't eliminate the Problem. As dog to its own filth, so man returns

a swarm, a fungus, feeding on destruction—
as when a child I fed upon my dreams
adrift in a pool rainbowed with chemicals

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a child already dead, intent on death.
Think of the thousands I marshaled to destruction
five hundred years, having fed upon the earth

(there is no better rhyme with death than earth)—
I tore the heart from Montezuma's bride.
I saw Bikini as a nippled blast.

Moon rises at moth rise. I dream a jungle
from my fruitless cot. I dream my father
spidering the walls of the house in anger.

I think back to my mother. I think
I was a man, born on earth of woman.
Woman is a weapon of mass destruction.

I sleep. I dream my feudal fruitless wars.
I dream of peace the dovewhite dawn explodes.
Man is a weapon of mass destruction.
I know this now. Man's the best rhyme for war.

Todd Hearon's recent poems appear in AGNI, The New Republic, Poetry, and the Southern Review. He teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy.