The end is near

(an almost true-to-life account)

Daniel David Earnest Witham is the
king of the earth
a prophet of god,
a 17-year-old in Bermuda shorts, 5-foot 8 Latino, blue eyes, fledgling goatee
who skateboards at the corner of Queen and John and
predicts a massive earthquake that
will destroy all of California
in April 2005.

At the time of this writing
there are 6 days left in April, and
I’m beginning to get scared, see -
David’s the only prophet I’ve ever met, and sure they don’t tell lies

“The devil created dinosaurs”
he says,
“so men would get addicted to
hmm, the Fossil-Fuel Curse, an
interesting theory
about as good as any
such a comfort that the mouthpiece of
heaven is a modern-day

He’s following a long line of liberators
- Lincoln, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King -
David hassles me in a phone booth
asks me what exactly am I doing:
“I’m just here to tell a few jokes,” I say
and that’s God’s honest truth
I’m just another hurried

I take David’s hopeless literature
insert my indifferent coins
It’s apocalypse, revolution, repentance, catastrophe
tossed together on 8x11
the Keeper of Secrets is a fellow downtowner
makes me proud to be an eccentric

Dial tone, click, it’s my cousin in
Los Angeles, David’s doomed and soulless wasteland
I hang up in a minute or two.

In five days I will write a
frantic email
telling him to
pack up his possessions and
get the hell out of there.

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