Alchemy

Repeat after me, boys and girls, “It’s all allegory”
mystical freaking allegory, and nothing more.
You don’t get gold by boiling lead, no matter how long,
no matter how you pray or starve yourself.
The only thing you get from boiling lead is lead poisoning
and as your brain dissolves from the toxins
you will write and draw some wild shit in your notebooks.
Allegory, parable, analogy, metaphor, symbol
nothing more, allegory, nothing more, nothing more.
The Great Hadron Collider may someday turn
lead into gold, but it won’t be by some spooky old guy
in a smoky tent in an oasis in a desert with camels.

We have plenty of lead, my good alchemist, a billion bullets,
copper jackets with hearts of lead, waiting to rip
flesh and bone and guts and lives into shreds of horror.
Turn those to gold, and we’ll pull them from our guns
and hammer them into coins for whiskey and pretty women.
I’ll buy you some beers with mine, we’ll drink and smoke.
Some beloved mother’s son will make it home tonight alive.
Am I hard? Sorry. I have run short of magical strangers
who appear and change your life in a twinkling to something
wondrous and erotic, who reveal the treasure hidden,
the vision, whispered riddle, holy place, power, the power –
Yes, I have lost my patience with miracles.

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