Smashing, no? I’ve adored this painting, Ahasuerus at the End of the World by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, for what seems like centuries, and it’s been on the back of my mind—for various reasons—to revise the cover of my book of poems. This morning, BOOM! Posted on twitter by Joan Pope aka @sexdeathrebirth. Many thanks. Truly an “Ah-ha” and epiphanic* moment. We are very pleased here on Planet Drax. Available now—though the old cover will still be online for a day or so, I promise the new cover (above) is what you’ll receive.
* new word alert
…but no so much on the inside. There are formatting errors and the type in the novels is so small as to be unreadable. But we are far from discouraged! We will get it right. In the meantime, don’t buy them.
(Well, you can. If you really want to. I can’t un-publish them at this point. But I’d warn draxfans against it. They can’t be un-published, but they can be improved.)
What button, you ask? Why, this button, right there on the amazon KDP control panel.
“Create paperback.” So innocent. We’ll get to The Button soon enough. But first…
Entry! It’s not only the last day of the year but the last day of the decade. Many folks on the web are creating best-of lists, as well as lists of accomplishments and lands visited, books published and goals attained. (I see nary a list of BIGGEST REGRETS or WORST MISTAKES, etc. Just sayin’.) Anyway, I’m not going for any of that. I’m just offering a few snaps of December 31 2019, like The Sun, above, and my current bureau shelf, below.
My kids are glorious, yes. But boy, the extant hardcopy Drax library is woefully thin, even when spiced up with the Barsoom Design business card (like, big deal). Which brings us to the…
Entry! Button, Button. Oh that damn button.
No, it’s not black and red on the Kindle Direct Publishing control panel but that damn button sure burned a fiery red mark in my brain for the last week and a half, during which I prepped files for paperback editions of no less than three of my books, second time around for DESCENT and first-ever for DOOMTROOPERS and the poems, ALWAYS APOCALYPSE.
The reason? Well, pure vanity, obviously. But also the simple desire to produce physical copies of works that still matter to me, physical copies that I can give to my kids, maybe kind and indulgent friends. I simply miss making books. And evil amazon’s print on demand service is stick-stone-stupid; clumsy, but easy to use and each copy costs only pennies to produce. Besides, as much as it might seem I’m looking backwards, I really am inspired to move forward…
… and complete unfinished major works…
…so, Entry! Here’s to the 2020s, here’s to The Future.
So mote it be.
Photograph by Alex Majoli / Magnum for The New Yorker
Death Is Coming
Death is coming, and I can’t stop it,
even if I were an Angel with a flaming sword
I can’t halt Death’s advance
I can’t afford bus fare to the funeral.
So many words left unsaid,
Not in anger, but in love.
Words unspeakable on the phone,
Because I need to see their faces,
I need to see their eyes,
And I want them to see me.
Death is no conscious entity—
No Seventh Seal, no Sandman
But a very big can of insect repellent
Wiping us out, indiscriminate,
(This is not news.)
I love cemeteries, I love the sleepers in the ground,
With their tombstones, their names,
Their stop and start dates.
And I know—more to come.
Not strangers. The ones I love.
And I still won’t have bus fare.
November 3, 2017
THIS HASN’T SOLD A SINGLE COPY. Which doesn’t make me sad, it just make me shake my head. I don’t think it’s a “brilliant” collection of poems, but it is my heart. Which Gojira, King Kong, and the world all appear intent on smashing.
But my heart is greater, and harder, than all three.
Do not hit your pets.
Do not slap your wife.
Do not pound your machinery when it doesn’t work.
Do not ridicule others you think beneath you.
Do not call your son a loser.
Do not rape your daughters.
Do not, do not.
Do not surrender to rage and fear, the terrible tide of night and anger, when all seems lost.
Do not pick up that gun. Do not pick up that gun. Do not pick up that gun and aim it at strangers who have never harmed you.
July 23 2016, After Munich
ALWAYS APOCALYPSE ALL THE TIME just get used to it
by Simon Drax
We are ruled by the moon.
Werewolves, schizoids, fools.
Dragging up and down
The coastline of our life.
No drowning season, this.
Nothing so fancy.
Just another month,
Flowers or even cinders,
Another eclipse in the sky
And broken toys
Lolling in the tide.
The doll, the sword, the robot,
The spools of rope and wire,
The dead dumb crackle of
The sound and the song,
The LP, the diamond needle
The spinning, spinning circle.
The moon is down
And there is no hope, love,
But also no goodbye.
The eclipse approaches,
The sky lowers, the ground
Trembles. Nothing, not even
Can save us…
Not the math of God
Or the motion of the planets
Will ease this grief, and
Sorrow will be our
Only supper, but
There is always a but,
Thank God for the but,
Even if we don’t know
For within this patchwork
Quilt of guilt and dead
Bent grass of our flesh,
We will always have our
Apocalypse, always, all the
Time, never young and always
Dying, always, always, always,
As the half circle of the Eclipse
hangs over us, the horizon,
everything, always, here,