Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Wrote this piece for the Omaha Encyclopedia Show. The theme was "The Future" and my sub-topic assignment was "Apocalyptic Wasteland." Of course, the imagery of veered my language into unexpected territory. I love it when that muse+creativity thing works!

Thanks for "virtual" invite Omaha!

by Dasha Kelly

Stretched tight across the horizon
Find trip wire of ancient desires
threatening to spray schrapnel into the clouds
Rain down fatal wreckage across your once-earnest fields
Denial lays waiting for you
Dividing this distance
from blissful reminiscence
You don’t dare hold on to that grenade again
You're still peeling back skin from that last burst of hope

You count our paces now

100 shuffled footsteps atop starved earth
keep your rugged feet pointed away from certain death
you let your breath hang in measured gasps
Epiphany pinned against this stale atmosphere
you cherish
is left
Hindsight has never been more clear
than this
More bitter
than this
More stark and humbling
than crawling like vermin across
Than scavenging for sanity inside the brittle shells
of everything you once believed in
Everything you thought you knew
These skies used to burn blue
until your pride torched them crimson and then ash

Remember how you willed yourself to be right?

Ignored the salvation of civility and coaxed free
your arrogant nature instead
The slick of your insolence seeping into fertile layers of absolution

We have always been lustful creatures

From cave bear clans to cowboy trails to
nuclear bombs unraveling the seams in the night sky
We have always chased the things we wanted
Sweeping consequences down the backs of someone else’s throat

You’re coughing again

Your chest clamping tight around this charred air again
this residual regret
You don’t get sentimental anymore
Long ago accepted your hand
in it all
Was easy to deny your fingerprints when there used to be
so many others
So many others here, roaming a lush landscape
Looming conveniences for you to affix small bits of your blame
Deed by deed by deception
by destruction by doom
by death
You did not want this brand of decimation to smudge your self-perception
Did not want the rubble of lost monuments to align themselves with your disillusion

You wanted to be right

In spite of the explosives continuously firing from your tongue
Bricks, stones, iron and sorrow are all that we have left
Smoldering in loose heaps
Camouflage for the refugees
Tribes of withering flesh
We basked in brilliant sunlight once
Burning away vanity and righteousness each new day, like dew
Then you unhinged the sun and tried to pose among the stars
Tried to tie the heavens around your waist and hold your place
where humility cannot breathe

We were beautiful

when the horizon was alive with hippies and reality stars and tech heads
and fat grandmas and dutiful lovers
They dangle from that trip wire now
They are fleeting images tempting your vanity toward the fold
in between the world you know and the one you once wished for
Ignoring that mirage is all you have now
You trudge a landscape now void of life and color and
the scent of honeysuckle and summertime
You don’t dare welcome those memories now
Consider the treasures, lost to you now
Now, you wander unforgiving terrain
praying that you simply survive

this guilt

this truth
this apocalpytic wasteland
scattered with the ruins
of your hubris and
everything you once
you knew