A Bosch Apocalypse Update
by Clayton Eshleman

 

 

1944, Essen , a huge cooking pot on the boil, even at a distance of 200 km. a red sunset.

2003, Houston Ship Channel at twilight, smokestacks from more than a hundred massive chemical factories, oil refineries, power plants, become steel towers of light and fire.

Panorama of madness and delusion, of sturdy blue collar patriots reciting the pledge while they strangle their own life chances

2004, Fallujah. Suthir said: "I need another heart and eyes to bear it because my own are not enough to bear what I saw. Nothing justifies what was done to this city. I didn't see a house or a mosque that wasn't destroyed."

America's "cancer corridor," a 150-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans containing "city-sized chemical plants, which dump more than 50 million pounds of toxins annually."

Cellars turned into ovens, firestorms raging with the force of typhoons sucking oxygen out of the air-the heat will scorch your lungs or you might die in melting asphalt or drown in a cooking river.

Companies blow off hundreds of feet from mountain-tops to reach seams of coal beneath, then drop the mountain-top into adjacent valleys, burying free-flowing mountain streams.

2000 tons of explosives detonated each day in West Virginia , poisoned streams, horrific noise, choking dust.

Concentration camp inmates were forced to dig out the charred remains of people in air-raid shelters whose floors were slippery with finger-sized maggots.

"Rather than burying full bodies, residents of Fallujah are burying legs and arms, and sometimes just skeletons as dogs have eaten the rest."

The Salem Nuclear Plant in New Jersey kills more than 300 billion Delaware River fish each year-nationally, power plants kill over a trillion fish a year.

Flies, huge, iridescent green, swarming in great clusters on the roads, copulating on ruined walls, basking on the splinters of window panes.

"The Americans didn't let us in the places where everyone said there was napalm used."

A friend writes: "Was somewhat amazed by how upset you are about Iraq -we Democrats have no real program today except to hate Republicans. Both parties ignore Africa . At least two million will die from bad water and malaria. Many millions more stunted and brain bled by malnutrition and starvation, AIDS, murder. In the South Bronx many thousands of girls 7 to 14 years old are raped and molested-most often by who their mothers live with. Several million black kids each year are denied true education due to the neighborhood school system and so doomed to be garbage. But both parties agree to do nothing because such causes lose votes."

Coal dust washed from the pulverized rubble, stored in thick oily sludge in billion gallon reservoirs behind earth dams.

Small farms voting themselves off the land-devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care.

Working class guys delivering up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life, transform their region into a rust belt and strike people like them blows from which they will never recover.

 

 

 

 

Other excerpts from Improvisations by Clayton Eshleman in ActionYes #1:

Introduction
Apocalypse (I)
Apocalypse(II)
Fantasia off the Force of Bosch