time_shark (time_shark) wrote,

Frank made me do it

Philadelphia Inquirer reviewer Frank Wilson, who was so gracious to my Strange Wisdoms of the Dead last November, has panned Cormac McCarthy's The Road, in the end dismissing it as another example of "the pornography of despair."

Over and above whether I agree with with Wilson (I have read The Road, and enjoyed it as a kind of book-length apocalyptic prose poem), the phrase immediately grabbed my imagination. So with acknowledgements and perhaps apologies to Frank:

The Pornography of Despair

Hardcore despair pornography
requires long post-coital sleeps
through space, world-poisoning bombs
and airborne nanoscopic cameras
that let us watch, watch, watch
as dwellers on victim planets
(survivors of the first blasts
and the seedings of the plague)
mutilate, rape and devour,
mourn and murder again.
The hotter the kink the more
human they look — as the last
cries out in dust we too succumb,
resealed in happy exhaustion.

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