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Alexander Klein Jun 2016
Indigo. A dream of the color, and the sound of soft rain. Bathing birds babbled among pines beyond her window, and morning light was warm on her closed face. An ache in the spine. Creaking knees. Shoulders cold cliff-rock. Complaining muscles knotted tight as wood. The wooden house around her also creaked in the wind. Smelled wet. And somewhere echoing through her fields Edgar barked three times, then once more in playful affirmation. Today maybe the last today. In her mind’s eye, falling almost back into dream, Nora surveyed the long acres surrounding her cold home: untended wheat, alfalfa, cattle-corn, all woven through untold ecosystems of weeds. Stray indigo flowers and violets. Scattered dust-filled barns. What the place might look like after all this time. With her right hand she sought the frame of the bed, found it, rough chips of paint flaking. Slowly exhaling at once Nora lifted her iron legs over the edge, thin-socked feet found the bedroom’s planks. Cold air. November hopelessness. With spider-sensitive fingers she plucked her way around the room, imagining violet dawn spilling through her screen window. Stood before the poker-faced mirror out of habit, ran her brush through hair that must now be silver. She felt the satisfying tug on her scalp and loudly past her ears. If her dresser was in front of her, to her right was the window and the pine-scented boxes where she kept his clothes, behind was her rumpled bed, and to her left then was the bathroom. She felt along the door-frame, the sink, the toilet, and sighingly she settled onto its seat. Relief.
Rain drops on her roof were like the “shh” breathed to an infant. Warm blanket of rain over the cold farm. The breathy wind was driving the rain towards her house, cranky knees told of a storm to come. The boisterous wind had the sound of laughter and strife, of voices: the twins arguing somewhere, Edgar probably with them over-enthusiasticly ******* their footsteps. The bellowing wind made the house creak more than usual, but there was something else. A distinctive groan from the foundation up the east wall to the roof-tiles. Someone was in the kitchen. Constance, just like it used to be. Connie was here and the twins were outside: they had arrived closer to dawn than Nora expected. Heavy truck’s tires in mud, headlights had pioneered dawn darkness. Smell of soil. Massaged her own back, kneaded the the flesh on either side of her spine, then wiped and stood from the seat letting her nightgown fall all down around her knotted ankles. Washed herself, and a short shower before the water turned cold. Dried her wrinkles feelingly, smelling soap, and pulled her soft nightgown back on. Socks.
Always a joy whenever Constance came to call — less frequently these days it seemed — always a joy to be with her grandchildren though little Bastian was still mistrustful of her. Always a joy to see her daughter’s family… but she never got to see Matt’s. An image of her son’s face, a red haired ghost of the past, flickered in Nora’s memory. He couldn’t stand this place since he was young, hated his full name “Matthias,” maybe hated Nora too. No reason to stay after his father died. He fled to the city. Must have a wife, several children by now. Well. At least Constance kept coming by. The rain grew heavier, played on the roof like the roll of a snare drum.
Out of the bathroom and bedroom, feeling the planks of floorboard with her soles, hand by hand and foot by foot she traced her steps down the rickety stairs. Uneven. Nora knew the chandelier she once hung here was red; she pictured the color as hard as she could to envision its reflection on each surface of the stairwell. Smell of pine. Like the smell of his clothes safely preserved in the boxes by the window. Jagged nostalgia. Nora had met dear Rowan back in another world: a world of whirling sights and colors and beautiful ugliness and ugliest beauty all. To America when she was nineteen, leaving behind all Germany and studying her new tongue. Had still devoured books then, was able to become a school teacher. When twenty-three, met in a chance cafe Rowan who worked the docks. Red hair. Scottish but of many American generations. Nora grabbed blindly at a face just out of memory’s reach. Her hold on the bannister revealed the places where varnish had been rubbed away by her wringing hands. From the kitchen, acrid cigarette stench and shuffling. Inflamed knees hating her meticulous descent, but better this ordeal each day than to abandon the bedroom they had shared. When the two met, Rowan still sent money to his agricultural folks in New York (“Upstate,” he protested more than once, “Not that awful city, but in the countryside!” and he’d pantomime a deep breath) because of the expenses of running their farm. Nora’s now. From the cafe he had bought her an almond pastry, triangular, smaller than a palm, its sweet crisp flakes made her think of Mediterranean forests, and when the two were married they worked this hereditary farm. Nora knew all the animals, when they still kept livestock. Now Nora’s farm, whose after? When her little Matthias was born they had praised him as the farm’s inheritor. Unwise.
Last step. Sound from the kitchen of Connie shifting in her seat, rustling papers. Smell of strong coffee. Strong cigarettes. Composed herself, quietly cleared throat. Sauntered down the hallway, monitoring expression and tone. Nora said, “Hello Constance. When did you three get here?”
“Hey ma,” said the woman’s voice when the elder crossed into the kitchen. “For christ’s sake don’t call me that.”
“For christ’s sake, don’t take his name,” Ma scolded, but then traced her way past the table to the countertop and felt about for utensils. “I’ll make you something Connie.” The counter was in front of her, bathroom to the left, stove to her right and along that same wall was the back door. ”How about some nice eggs and toast like how you like.”
“No ma, I handled it already.”
“And what color is that hair of yours this time?” Ma asked, carefully inserting slices of bread into the toaster. “Seems like months you haven’t been by.”
A patronising, sarcastic chuckle. “…it’s orange, ma.
Listen—”
“That is so nice. Your father’s hair was just that shade of orange.” Felt around inside the refrigerator. The styrofoam carton. Small and cold and round, her fingers seized four of them. “Do you remember?”
Pause. “I remember, ma.”
“What I don’t understand,” said Ma swallowing a cough, expertly igniting one gas burner as practiced and putting on hot water for tea, “is why you don’t fix to keep it natural. I love our nice fair hair, very blonde, very pretty.” Back home in Germany Nora had been the favorite of two men, but many years since engaging in the frivolous antics she in those days entertained. “Best to flaunt your natural hair color while it’s still there: orange like Matt and dear Rowan, or fair like you and Lorelai got.” Memories of her own face as she remembered it. Relatively young the last time she had seen. What wrinkles there must be. What a mask to wear. No wonder Bastian. Nora ignited another burner. Tick tick tick fwoosh. Smelled gas. Sound of the almost boiling water complaining against its kettle. Phantom taste of anticipated tea. Regret. The contents of the vial hidden on the top shelf. Today maybe the. Sound of heavy rain. “And how are your bundles of mischief?”
Connie sighed. “I told Lorelai to get her little **** inside the house, as if she hears a word. She’s playing with Ed somewhere in the fields I don’t wonder, rain be ******. That girl is such a little — well she’d better not be down by the creek anyhow. Could get flooded in a downpour like this. Bastian was out with her, but he’s playing in his room now. You know we don’t have time to stay long today, it’s just that you and I got to finally square this business away. No more deliberating, ok?”
Swallowed. “Course, Constance. Just nice to hear your voice. You’re taking care?”
“Care enough. Last time I was — oh! Jesus, ma!”
Ma’s egg missed the pan’s edge. She felt herself shatter the shell into the stove top, in her mind’s eye saw the bright orange yolk squeezed into the albumen. The burner hissed against liquid intrusion. Connie made a strained noise and scooped her mother into a seat at the table. Movement. Crisply, the sound of two fresh eggs being broken and sizzling on the pan. Scrambled as orange as Connie’s guarded temper. The table’s cool surface. Phantom smell of pine wood polish and recollections of Rowan at his woodworking tools building this table once. Other breakfasts. Young Constance, young Matthias. Young self. Her left hand massaged her aching right shoulder, then she switched. The sound of plates being readjusted with unnecessary force.
“You know,” said her daughter, “living in one of them places might even be fun. Might be good for you instead of moping about this place. But like I’ve been saying, we got to make our decision today: sell this place or pass it on. I know you don’t take no walk, cause where would you go? What’s the point in keeping all this **** land if you’re not gonna do nothing with it? You can’t even ******* see it!”
“Constance! Language!”
“Come on ma, just cut it out! This is great property, and you’ve let it get so it’s bleeding money.”
“…But Constance I can’t sell it, not like your brother wants me to do. He’s always trying to get rid of this place and turn a profit, but someone needs to take care of it! You know that this is the house that your f—“
“‘That your grandparents lived in where your father and I raised you…’ Yeah I know, ma. And I get it. Believe me. But what you’re doing is just plain impractical, why don’t you think about it? All you’re doing is haunting this place like a ghost. Wouldn’t you rather live somewhere where you can make friends? Things can’t go on like this.” A plate was placed softly on the table and it slid in front of Ma. Can’t go on like this. Egg smell. Salted. Toast, margarine. A cup of tea appeared nearby. “Anything else you want? Here’s a fork.”
“What will you eat, Constance?”
“I ate, ma, I ate already. Have your breakfast, then we can talking about this for real. Ok?” Then, the sound of her daughter’s body shifting in surprise, a pleasant unexpected, “Oh,” before Connie said low and matronly, “Hi baby, how you doing? Are you hungry?” But only the sound of the downpour. Orange eggs still softly sizzled. The wind pushed the creaking house. “Sweetie, you don’t have to hide behind the door, it’s ok. Come say hi to grandma… don’t you want some scrambled eggs?” Refrigerator’s hum. Barking echoed, coming over the hill. But not even the little boy’s breathing. Grandma had met the twins two years ago, following the **** of Constance’s rebellious years and independence. Nora was reminded of her german gentlemen and her own amply tumultuous adolescence. She could forgive. Two years ago Lorelai and Bastian had already been too big to cradle and fawn over, but they were discovered to be just starting school and already bright pupils. Grandma hung her head. Warm steam from where the uneaten eggs waited patiently. Edgar’s approaching yapping. And, fleeing from the doorway, a scampering of feet so light they might have been moth wings. Down the hallway back into his room. “Sorry ma,” said Constance.
Shrugged. A nerve flared in pain up her neck but she didn’t react. Only fork scrape. Ate eggs. On introduction, poor little Bastian had burst into tears and refused to go near her. Connie had consoled: “It’s ok baby, she’s just Grandma Nora! She’s my mother.” But poor little Bastian inconsolable: “No, no, no! She’s not!” What a wrinkled mask it must be. How hideous unkempt with silver hair. How horrible unflinching eyes. “She’s not,” would sob the quiet boy in earnest, “she’s a witch! Don’t you see?” And he never would let Grandma hold him. Lorelai was always polite, hugged warmly, looked after her pitiable brother, but her mind too was far elsewhere. Edgar alone loved them all unconditionally and was equally beloved. Barking. Yowling. Scratches at the door. Downpour. Door and screen door opened, wet dog happy dog entered, shook, and droplets on her cheek.
And there appeared Lorelai, a star out of sight. “Hey mom. Hi grandma!”
Grandma swiveled for cosmetic reasons to face where the door. Grinned, “Hello Lorelai. Wet?” Envisioned yellow sunlight entering with the excitable girl in spite of the deluge.
“Oh it’s so rainy out there grandma, I found little streams through your fields and big mud puddles and Edgar showed me where your secret treasure was, we found it!”
“Stop right there, missy!” commanded Constance. “For christ’s sake you look like you took a bath in the mud and the **** dog with you. Come on, your filthy coat needs to be on the rack, right? Now your boots.”
Warm nose found Nora’s palm, excited lapping. Slimy fur, smelly fur. A cold piece of egg dangled in her fingers, then dog breath came hot and licked it up. Satisfied, he trotted off elsewhere, collar jingling out of the kitchen and down the hall.
Little Lorelai lamented, “I couldn’t help it mom, the mud was all over the place! When we got past the motor barn and the one alfalfa field that looks like a big marsh frogs went ‘croak croak croak’ but Edgar growled and chased them and then we made it all the way in the rain to the creek and it’s so much—”
“Now you just hold on. Hold still!” Sounds of wrestling. Grunts of a struggle. “That creek must have been overflowing! Didn’t I tell you not to? You didn’t take your new phone out there did you, Lori?”
“No ma’am.”
“**** right you didn’t, cause I sure ain’t buying you a new one. Didn’t I tell you not to go all the way out there? Didn’t I? Now you get into that bathroom and wash your **** hands!”
“But I’m telling Grandma a story!” huffed little yellow haired Lorelai.
“Well wash your hands first and then we’ll hear it, Grandma don’t listen to misbehaving girls who are all muddy and gross. Not a squeak from you till you look like you come from heaven instead of that nasty creek.”
A profound sigh, a condescending, “Fine,” a door closing and a squeaky faucet running. Muffled hands splashed, dampened off-key ‘la la la’s.
“Who knows what the hell that one is ever talking about,” said Connie. “It’s everything I can do to get her to shut up for five ******* minutes. You done with your eggs?”
Ma fidgeted. The plate was scraped away, and a clunk by the sink. Licked her lips, mouthed a syllable, about to speak. But then her house creaked three strong along the east wall. From deeper within bubbled a suppressed sob: “Mom,” little Bastian wailed, “Mom, come quick!” Constance sighed, Constance cursed, and Constance swept off down the hallway struggling to refrain from stomping.
Sound of washing. Wind. Rain. Alone. Cold. Picking out the paint for this room, listed in gloss as ‘golden straw yellow.’ Rowan hadn’t liked it and chose himself the bedroom’s color in retaliation. The loss of the home they had built together. The contents of the vial hidden on the top shelf: do they see it? Bathroom sink stopped flowing, door wrenched open. Smell of soap, clean smell. Grandma said to her, “Your mother went to check on Bastian,” Taste of eggs still yellow on her tongue.
“What a *****!”
Stunned. “Lorelai!” she snapped. “Don’t you dare take that language!”
“But mom does it all the time.”
“Then Lorelai, it’s up to you to be better than your mother. When I’m not around any more, and your mother neither, you’ll be the one who keeps us alive.”
“But as long as you’re alive you’ll always be around, you’re not a ***** like mom. And remember? I got all the mud off so can I finally tell you can I what we found? Well actually it was Edgar found it. Oh and I’ll describe it real good for you grandma just like you could see it: when we pulled up we were just wandering in the blue rain, Bastian and me, and silly Edgar joined us but Mom tried to make us come back of course but I told Bastian to stay with us at first, but later I changed my mind on it. It was he and me and Edgar were hiding in the old motor barn where it smells like a gas station remember grandma and he was so excited to see the sun when it rose and made the morning violet sky he started clapping and Edgar got excited too and was barking ‘bark bark’ and howling so I told Bastian to go back even
twelve caesuras Apr 2014
newton's third law states
that for every action there is an equal and
opposite reaction
but i wonder if isaac knew how well it would apply to life:
we are simply one monstrous
reaction comprised of smaller ones,
constantly giving ourselves whiplash to
turn back and see the real-life test results
and the reason i believe in reincarnation is the law of
conservation of energy:
things can neither be created nor destroyed, only
transformed
.
but if we continue any further
into thermodynamics,
i might begin to think again of entropy
and how we are
all
falling apart.

i am edgar,
with ravens on my tongue and
on all papers i come into
contact with, and always the
ill-fated heroine
meeting with a terrible outcome
though that could also
be me.

i am edgar,
with a dead lover and
a broken family, and a
love for the darkness found in cellos and
empty bottles of liquid flames strewn
across my floor
with labels that all translate to "alcoholic"

i am edgar,
nestled uncomfortably in
the greatest city in the world,
sitting on the bench in front of an out of tune
baby grand,
my fingers unable to recollect
where they are supposed to go.

i am edgar,
with empty bottles of xanax holding upturned earth,
and dandelions.

yes, i am edgar
and i will disappear from
the streets of our beautiful baltimore.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America 2/27/2013
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You have been connected to Edgar V.
Edgar V:  Cancer Treatment Centers of America, this is Edgar. How may I help you?
Suzy Berlinsky:  Is this Cancer Treatment Centers of America?
Edgar V:  yes it is Suzy.
Suzy Berlinsky:  Does your organization attack tumorous growths with radio waves?
Edgar V:  Steve we use many different methods, I think you are referrinf to ablation through radio frequency
Edgar V:  referring to radiofrequency ablation.
Edgar V:  yes we do.
Edgar V:  May I ask if you are chatting in for yourself or someone close to you?
Suzy Berlinsky:  And, naturally, patients suffer the symptoms of radiation sickness: nausea, edema, loss of hair & nails?
Edgar V:  I do not know Steve, I am not familiar with the side effects of that particular treatment, I see you chatted in back in 2010, may I ask if you are chatting in for yourself or a loved one?
Suzy Berlinsky:  So as not to waste time, I would like to chat with a clinician rather than someone from sales.
Edgar V:  Suzy, I would love to help you unfortunately I do not have a doctor available to speak to you. the American Cancer Society may be able to help you at 1-800-227-2345.
Suzy Berlinsky:  Your organization claims that its protocols are superior to those implemented by the American Cancer Society. Why would you direct me to them?
Edgar V:  Thank you for chatting in today.
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"Introduction to Edgar Finch"

Edgar Finch was a man,
Was a man was he.
Edgar Finch couldn't stand,
Couldn't stand to see;

His same old life,
His same old way,
His same old wife,
Each and every day.

Into his head,
He decided to live,
Though if you asked,
The truth he'd never give.

But truthfully,
Quite youthfully;

He found better accommodation,
Within his imagination.
Check for the collection, The Collected Poems of Edgar Finch, to find all of the poems in the series.
‘Twas many moons ago in fled days of yore,
In a distant realm of a golden shore,
When there dwelt a maiden of golden hair,
The last fairest by the name of Lenore.

The sweetness of her mellifluous voice,
Like only Angels of high heaven can make;
The beaminess of her impeccable face,
Reflections of a dawn sun-kissed lake.

Once by a golden noontide, so they say,
Perfectly salubrious was the day,
Fairly enriched by heaven's fairest ray
That Lenore chose to potter by the bay.

She marveled at so wide a limpid sea,
That was a vast luminous blue millpond,
Whispering mellifluous lullabies
Like of Angels upon heaven's compound.

“O sea, thou art lovely like a sweet dream,”
Quoth Lenore, “In thy waters I must swim.”
Hence as quick as a plummeting sunbeam,
In waters jumped the little seraphim.

Frosted in sheer elation she galloped
Upon the crest of so gentle a wave,
But every sea creature lifted its head,
Whilst doleful as marigold by a grave,

And in faint whispers didst bid her adieu,
"Farewell Lenore," till she was out of view,
Away where mortals of yore never knew,
Away where none canst ever have a clue.

In a while, the sun had shone her last ray
And solitary stars were beaming bright
Upon heaven's timelessly stonking bay,
But she still alone In the dead of night.

By luck, on yonder was a galleon
Of a sundeck decked with bright neon,
Her glossy sails as if from diamond hewn,
With words golden blazoned upon her stern:

Come thou little maiden, come thou aboard,
But little did innocent Lenore know,
At the back words in clear ruby-red read:
“To the kingdom of eternal sorrow.”

Not so long faded the night, dawn was nigh,
Heaven's molten gold began oozing by,
Whilst silvery clouds waltzed athwart the sky,
That Lenore's eyes slavered with ecstasy.

But then, there came a dog in the manger,
A hateful wave assailed the galleon
And heavens raged with roaring thunder
That echoed louder than the hungriest lion.

Tossing her where the sea kisses the skies,
Hence now but a speck on the horizons,
And there she galloped by and by downwards
Till wrecked upon shadowy blue islands

That bore words by the shores: “Little maiden,
Welcome thou to the kingdom of Nineva,
Where mortals shalt see thee never again,
For here you'll dwell forever and ever.”

This sent poor Lenore reeling far in mind
That with cinder-like eyes stumbled behind
But her galleon she could hardly find
For it had long vanished into the wind.

But hark! Yonder woods sprang a companion,
A lad whose names were Edgar Alan Poe;
Bestrode upon a snowy fair stallion
Who unto her whispered softly and low:

“If the moon be fair, then thy skin fairer,
If the stars be bright, then thine eyes brighter,
If snow be white, then thy lip’s gems whiter,
If the sun be hot, then thy hair hotter,

Then tell me, what bringeth thou to Nineva,
A realm of eternal sorrow and fear,
Where no mortal hath escaped ever,
But ever doomed in dungeons of despair?”

Despite her visage was lugubrious,
Her worries were all now but fugacious,
That yonder fair floral woods susurrous
Galloped whilst trees sang in tunes mellifluous.

For Edgar’s words of kindness had soothed her
Now doth she beam with ethereal luster
Like of night lanterns upon heavens shore
Scintillating in a wondrous cluster.

Alas! strange and covetous myriad eyes
By yon brier coveted the beauty queen
That as passes a fiend in the night skies
Did spy upon her with eyes all unseen

'Tis then when Edgar was away hunting
Whilst the beauty queen was all alone singing
When those dreamy figures came whispering
Amongst each other whilst wildly smiling.

Bestrode upon many a snowy fair horse,
Their strange faces, as pale as death her self.
Their voices, as if thousand snakes didst hiss,
Betwixt them, there lordly sprang an elf

Who unto her said, "how sweet thou dost sing,
Thy melodious voice would so please our king,
Unto thee, rubies and pearls shalt he bring,
Of banished gold shalt be thy nuptial ring."

"Nay", softly replied the little maiden,
To thy king I canst not walk down the isle,
For in violent love I'm with a swain,
Thy king's treasures outweigh not his smile.

"Wretch", why dost thou abhor our proposal?
For soon thou art to regret having done so,
So cried the elf, "opting for a mortal
Than a mighty king who is immortal"?

"Hark! Fair moon, see that morrow by noontide
Thou art by the edge of yon verdant moor,
For then thou shalt come with us yonder side
Neath the sea, and dwell with us evermore."

At this, a wild wind danced by many a leaf
And so vanished the strange troop of the elf
That she busted with a sigh of relief
Though deep within, her soul kindled with grief.

Not long, news sprinkled into the swain's ear
Who gathered a troop of a thousand men
Each bearing a bow, a hummer and spear,
All ready to guard the beauty queen.

When came morrow, they took little Lenore
And laid her beneath a lone sycamore
That stood by the edge of a lonely moor,
And then all matched towards the shingly shore.

No army led by any hostile king
Towards them could ever come any near.
There job was great that they did chant and sing
Songs of triumph of the fled days of yore.

Alas! To match towards the sycamore,
There pale and cold laid innocent Lenore
With not any single bone of poor her
Broken, but her breath taken evermore.

Mute, forlon, and motionless stood the swain
With bitter tears galloping from his eye,
With his soul 'neath a sepulchre of pain
That from yon day on, the realm he did curse.

For in Nineva, a realm dim and deep,
There not a mean ray of light canst now creep,
And there all creatures night and day dost weep
Till sweet Lenore wakes from eternal sleep.


©Kikodinho Edward Alexandros, Kampala, Uganda. 16th.July.2018.

#tale #adventure #fantasy #Lenore #EdgarAlanPoe #Nineva
"Nineva" is a magical kingdom in "Kikos's Legendarium"...a miscellany of tales of mystery and maccabre like you've never heard of. Tales such as: The Enchanted Gold, The Dwarf Of Nineva, Woods Have Eyes, Jazabel The Witch, The Novelty Tea ***, The Witch's Cauldron, The Lonely Hut, The Nectar Stream, among so many others.
And this tale is as well one of a grand scene in an adventurous movie script im penning.

#Each line in decasyllables
#Lenore is a name of a maiden I borrowed from Edgar Alan Poe's tales of mystery.
Emily B Mar 2016
Edgar Lee Masters. 1869–
  
Silence
  
  
I HAVE known the silence of the stars and of the sea,  
And the silence of the city when it pauses,  
And the silence of a man and a maid,  
And the silence for which music alone finds the word,  
And the silence of the woods before the winds of spring begin,          
And the silence of the sick  
When their eyes roam about the room.  
And I ask: For the depths  
Of what use is language?  
A beast of the field moans a few times  
When death takes its young.  
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities—  
We cannot speak.  
  
A curious boy asks an old soldier  
Sitting in front of the grocery store,  
"How did you lose your leg?"  
And the old soldier is struck with silence,  
Or his mind flies away  
Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.  
It comes back jocosely  
And he says, "A bear bit it off."  
And the boy wonders, while the old soldier  
Dumbly, feebly lives over  
The flashes of guns, the thunder of cannon,  
The shrieks of the slain,  
And himself lying on the ground,  
And the hospital surgeons, the knives,  
And the long days in bed.  
But if he could describe it all  
He would be an artist.  
But if he were an artist there would he deeper wounds  
Which he could not describe.  
  
There is the silence of a great hatred,  
And the silence of a great love,  
And the silence of a deep peace of mind,  
And the silence of an embittered friendship,  
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis,  
Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,  
Comes with visions not to be uttered  
Into a realm of higher life.  
And the silence of the gods who understand each other without speech,  
There is the silence of defeat.  
There is the silence of those unjustly punished;  
And the silence of the dying whose hand  
Suddenly grips yours.  
There is the silence between father and son,  
When the father cannot explain his life,  
Even though he be misunderstood for it.  
  
There is the silence that comes between husband and wife.  
There is the silence of those who have failed;  
And the vast silence that covers  
Broken nations and vanquished leaders.  
There is the silence of Lincoln,  
Thinking of the poverty of his youth.  
And the silence of Napoleon  
After Waterloo.  
And the silence of Jeanne d'Arc  
Saying amid the flames, "Blesséd Jesus"—  
Revealing in two words all sorrow, all hope.  
And there is the silence of age,  
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it  
In words intelligible to those who have not lived  
The great range of life.  
  
And there is the silence of the dead.  
If we who are in life cannot speak  
Of profound experiences,  
Why do you marvel that the dead  
Do not tell you of death?  
Their silence shall be interpreted  
As we approach them.
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.



And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
www.youtube.com/
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.


Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.



Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
                                                        
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Humanoid.
Iris Rebry Oct 2014
Dear Edgar,
We've never met,
But I know why you walked the streets
Of Baltimore at 4 am.
I too walk the streets of my own mind,
Hearing the raven's cries
And walking up at midnight to the sound of a tell-tale heart
Wondering if it is nothing more
Than the bells in my brain
Or the black cat running up the alleyway.
Dear Edgar,
We've never met,
But I know why you walked the streets
Of Baltimore at 4 am.
I took have whisked into the shadows
An inky cloak upon my back
Wondering whether my heart feels more like a pit or a pendulum
Or whether I will fall like the house of usher,
A gold bug
In the masque of red death.
Dear Edgar,
We've never met,
But I know why you walked the streets of Baltimore at 4 am.
Never more
William Wilson.
And silence- a fable,
Or is it?
Terry Collett Mar 2018
Edgar's dead now. You never
thought about getting old,
never entered your head that

reality, it always seemed far
off, something which happened
to other people, the old people.

Edgar is no more. You met him
after the war, after the whole
show was over, when some men

never came back or if they did
some were haunted or half part
missing in brain or head. You

look at yourself in the mirror,
take in the grey, the thinning
hair, pale blue eyes looking

washed out as if you'd taken
them out a left them too long
in water. Edgar grew ill at the

end, not his old self, not himself
at all, seemed not want to be here
any more, seemed on bad days

to gaze out at the pond at the far
off shore. You have sorted out his
clothes and belongings, given

away his clothes, his books, his
old records he seldom played at
the end, he knowing he was hoping

to die, you thinking he would mend.
You dress simply now, nothing
showy or fashionable as once

you would; it seems no sense now,
no point beyond the deemed decent,
the greys and whites or pale blues,

your hair no longer permed or done
as you used to do, just combed or
brushed in a style you recognize

as you. Edgar has gone away, some
other place you do not know: you wait
aged and tired for your time to go.

— The End —