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A REACTIONARY TRACT FOR THE TIMES

(Phi Beta Kappa Poem, Harvard, 1946)

Ares at last has quit the field,
The bloodstains on the bushes yield
To seeping showers,
And in their convalescent state
The fractured towns associate
With summer flowers.

Encamped upon the college plain
Raw veterans already train
As freshman forces;
Instructors with sarcastic tongue
Shepherd the battle-weary young
Through basic courses.

Among bewildering appliances
For mastering the arts and sciences
They stroll or run,
And nerves that steeled themselves to slaughter
Are shot to pieces by the shorter
Poems of Donne.

Professors back from secret missions
Resume their proper eruditions,
Though some regret it;
They liked their dictaphones a lot,
T hey met some big wheels, and do not
Let you forget it.

But Zeus' inscrutable decree
Permits the will-to-disagree
To be pandemic,
Ordains that vaudeville shall preach
And every commencement speech
Be a polemic.

Let Ares doze, that other war
Is instantly declared once more
'Twixt those who follow
Precocious Hermes all the way
And those who without qualms obey
Pompous Apollo.

Brutal like all Olympic games,
Though fought with smiles and Christian names
And less dramatic,
This dialectic strife between
The civil gods is just as mean,
And more fanatic.

What high immortals do in mirth
Is life and death on Middle Earth;
Their a-historic
Antipathy forever gripes
All ages and somatic types,
The sophomoric

Who face the future's darkest hints
With giggles or with prairie squints
As stout as Cortez,
And those who like myself turn pale
As we approach with ragged sail
The fattening forties.

The sons of Hermes love to play
And only do their best when they
Are told they oughtn't;
Apollo's children never shrink
From boring jobs but have to think
Their work important.

Related by antithesis,
A compromise between us is
Impossible;
Respect perhaps but friendship never:
Falstaff the fool confronts forever
The **** Prince Hal.

If he would leave the self alone,
Apollo's welcome to the throne,
Fasces and falcons;
He loves to rule, has always done it;
The earth would soon, did Hermes run it,
Be like the Balkans.

But jealous of our god of dreams,
His common-sense in secret schemes
To rule the heart;
Unable to invent the lyre,
Creates with simulated fire
Official art.

And when he occupies a college,
Truth is replaced by Useful Knowledge;
He pays particular
Attention to Commercial Thought,
Public Relations, Hygiene, Sport,
In his curricula.

Athletic, extrovert and crude,
For him, to work in solitude
Is the offence,
The goal a populous Nirvana:
His shield bears this device: Mens sana
Qui mal y pense.

Today his arms, we must confess,
From Right to Left have met success,
His banners wave
From Yale to Princeton, and the news
From Broadway to the Book Reviews
Is very grave.

His radio Homers all day long
In over-Whitmanated song
That does not scan,
With adjectives laid end to end,
Extol the doughnut and commend
The Common Man.

His, too, each homely lyric thing
On sport or spousal love or spring
Or dogs or dusters,
Invented by some court-house bard
For recitation by the yard
In filibusters.

To him ascend the prize orations
And sets of fugal variations
On some folk-ballad,
While dietitians sacrifice
A glass of prune-juice or a nice
Marsh-mallow salad.

Charged with his compound of sensational
*** plus some undenominational
Religious matter,
Enormous novels by co-eds
Rain down on our defenceless heads
Till our teeth chatter.

In fake Hermetic uniforms
Behind our battle-line, in swarms
That keep alighting,
His existentialists declare
That they are in complete despair,
Yet go on writing.

No matter; He shall be defied;
White Aphrodite is on our side:
What though his threat
To organize us grow more critical?
Zeus willing, we, the unpolitical,
Shall beat him yet.

Lone scholars, sniping from the walls
Of learned periodicals,
Our facts defend,
Our intellectual marines,
Landing in little magazines
Capture a trend.

By night our student Underground
At cocktail parties whisper round
From ear to ear;
Fat figures in the public eye
Collapse next morning, ambushed by
Some witty sneer.

In our morale must lie our strength:
So, that we may behold at length
Routed Apollo's
Battalions melt away like fog,
Keep well the Hermetic Decalogue,
Which runs as follows:--

Thou shalt not do as the dean pleases,
Thou shalt not write thy doctor's thesis
On education,
Thou shalt not worship projects nor
Shalt thou or thine bow down before
Administration.

Thou shalt not answer questionnaires
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs,
Nor with compliance
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit
A social science.

Thou shalt not be on friendly terms
With guys in advertising firms,
Nor speak with such
As read the Bible for its prose,
Nor, above all, make love to those
Who wash too much.

Thou shalt not live within thy means
Nor on plain water and raw greens.
If thou must choose
Between the chances, choose the odd;
Read The New Yorker, trust in God;
And take short views.
dazmb Jun 2015
a lupine prayer
to bear and bull
cry wolf
cry wolf
cry wolf
now look into his eyes
until you think like I do
and then take a desperate man
for his last penny
(finance options available)
go long on a cheeky Nando's
followed by
no
inflation
constant
expansion
short the small print
and profit from the fight
against pollution by
investing in the future
but as returns don't come cheap
diversify and purify the self
the Ganges is so polluted
it has gall bladder cancer
the main economic indicators
are telling us that
inflation is set to jump, while
British statisticians are optimistic
that the housing ladder
will continue to defy gravity
as it is an export barometer
with a blue eyed quant inside
crying wolf
crying wolf
cry wolf
Completely befuddled
We fake it as muggles
The abuse we face alone
Buries confusion in our bones

The siren places fear in our hearts
She can be ours
If she wants the part
We can get ahead
By abusing those who would give their bread

In this we are all the same
Many silent murderers with unimportant names
Psychopaths on angry paths
Hell bent on *******

Would you let them continue to dictate the conditions?
Do you trust the statisticians?
We are the result of the easy decision
The sagging construction of constant derision

Another man's home subject to intrusion
A stance is required to end the delusion

They're not here to protect you

It's all an illusion!
Third Mate Third Jan 2015
count thy words
like you count your breathes -
not!

the estimable statisticians
can estimate
the proximate number
of breaths
our lives will take,
the inventory of words,
we shall on average aggregate

we breathe recklessly,
never stopping
to slow down the rate
with which we tirelessly
consume ourselves

think of the
mess of words,
a brain store,
like a breath,
use it and then
purposeful lose it,
once employed,
nevermore,
so write often,
even longingly,
as in,
write long,
write hard,
every word expelled,
a treasure,
returned to
brother poets
for their
consumption and reutilization,
the monoxide,
of a shared oxide

when thy stock of
words in trade,
almost all used up,
perforce,
must write only
short little sweet nothings

well,
in happy desperation,
compose
alliterative allegations,
nonsensical noises,
aiming to pleases
summation of essential humanness

remain few breaths,
issue rhythmic sounds,
colorful grunting noises,
outed

one last intelligible poem
that cannot ever be read
I think I'll buy a book
tomorrow;
maybe an autobiography
of a young black kid
who made it big;
defying odds
and urban statisticians
who had him in the pen
by 19;

a shallow grave
by 29

with pages of preparation
and focus;
perseverance
when failure became
a formidable foe;
a social sledgehammer
slamming him
back into his basement
studio
with the rodents,
chronic unemployment
and piles of unpaid bills

and diplomas on the wall
framed in gold and mahogany

and photographs of fleeting
scenes of success
and hope

fleeting...

banished by fate?

am I destined to be
old, gifted and poor
like my fathers before me?

what dreadful deed
or sin
has sealed my destiny
with such savage sorrow?

maybe my hero,
the young black kid
in the book
I'll buy tomorrow

who made it big...

will have some answers...

~ P (Pablo)
(8/7/2013)
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2015
i guess in england i am marx... i spotted one victorian asset that leaves me gobsmacked... so if pedophiles are the lowest of the low in the crime pyramidal scheme... i can almost see it as those with melancholia and schizophrenia being like pedophiles... instead of proper treatment these people get the syringe filled with ridicule... the lowest of the low in the crime theatre are pedophiles while in medicine they’re the mentally ill. do you know how many marriages i’ve seen fail because of overcooked pasta?!*

it’s odd, the moment you realise the hebrew femininity
in stefan zweig’s biography of hölderlin,
it appears when scardanelli (pseudonym)
makes his gesture at the passing of napoleon,
schiller, beethoven, novalis, schubert and waiblinger...
its picturesque depiction of the ivory tower,
the piano the solace of solitude that eclipses
the solstice of congregational sanity so so animalistic
in the morse code platonism of s.o.s.
(what form is it? usually a sinking ship):
frequent flier requires company!
retired divorcee requires ping-pong partner!
oh the horror of such scenarios... never content
with one’s own company, are we?
too bad... i was about to write some satire...
i guess sarcasm will do...
zen buddhism is a perfect antidote for this:
stefan zweig laments the “loneliness” of the poet,
zen buddhism says: **** the world, let the lack of the world
fulfil you... isolationism tactic, purely pronoun related...
no dates to remember, no third party antics... no politics...
the voluntary beggar had more brains than the voluntary sacrifice,
it’s like: i can always go back to my honey abode
with the lineage of princes... or i can try and avoid crucifixion...
hmm... unbaked dough... what a lost will for choice!
no you see... zen buddhism makes this whole shunning the world
and interaction in it a positive...
on the no. 86 bus going to school i learned my first lesson
in non-constipated writing with a relative the sole eyes
of wounded pride avoided...
forget the world and let the world forget you.
works miracles... i live in a jamaican shanty town
and the whole ghetto is filled with me...
it’s the only world i desired and it desires me...
it’s not exactly tübingen...
the chance of an essex lad entering university
is quickly sentenced with the birmingham folk
at u.c.l. stating: we’ll crucify you for the accent!
the essex lad retorts: 'but that’s 200 miles from derbyshire -
what’s your point?!'
thank god i studied in edinburgh... i can keep an eye
on saxon politics from a stoic scot perspective without betting
on the winning horse...
if i went to london as “originally planned” i’d have dropped out
because the ******* are so pompous they hide their pomp
with protests: oh look... they brought the drums out with them too,
if i was serious about protesting about something i’d
look for knives and hammers... you know... the french reign of terror
democracy... forceful... i think they just read the memo
with a typo: bring ye conniving slogans and your cameras to lineage plot details
for social media outbursts!
you could never have proper statistics with television
programs... no we see them all the time...
the internet folk are really party-party orientated...
i can spot about 9 statisticians in a group of 10:
i.e. there's gucci trendy and there's pixxel trendy...
although in the latter sense you're cognitively naked...
and in the former sense you have to ask
someone for a deciphering specialisation
without flinging out the badge of honour that
reads: AUTHENTIC GUCCI TAILORED IN
SOMALIA BUT DESIGNED IN ITALY.
Sam Temple Apr 2015
The days hold America’s rare air
as the election cycle once again ramps up
enough wealth to end poverty
spent daily on advertisements
aimed at convincing the masses
that they can end poverty simply by
being elected –
campaign managers bash statisticians
for expressing pole numbers
not conducive to their bottom line
relying instead on sound bites
and FOX news so-called reporting –
Hundreds of households held for ransom
with “voting” as the only way to avoid
repercussions and retribution
from self-righteous Republicans
wringing their hands, awaiting a win –
mandated munchkins munch on museum merchandise
manufacturing baseless accusations
manipulating the mainstream
always, for more –
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2015
overly theorising poetry can only allow university profs. specialising in the subject the mid-grammar eloquence of philosophical narrative endeavour the um-um-um-ah-ah-mm-mm-blah-blah in trying to elaborate or simply clarify... as it stands... i'm using roman lettering... but i'm writing in chinese in order that many more can live and claim the sire totality of entitlements via lost marxism and the endowment of 3.4 children being nailed rather than ******* into the tangle of seaweed comparisons along the beach of socio-economic paraphrase - i can write english... and you can pretend to be stupid... believe me... i can play this hide & seek until our death dies when we live a second time and forget that i wrote this and you read it; we'll hide ourselves in the blanks, and the hope that remains is: we won't despair over having our memory wiped out like robots unnecessarily memorising the digits of π after 3; how i rather till the field at late summer than till my thoughts into numbers for the sunshine of i.q. glee in parental authority gratified and applauded to simply turn me into a white tadpole of rosy cheeks chequered between success and failure of strangers' expectation levitated into the ******* familial model that's ready for the jaws and clumsy fingers of scientific failures known as statisticians... the journalists of the world of science with numerological headlines that call you - also included.*

sometimes theologising with israel
is like standing next to the brimstone
caste of the golden calf
trying to resurface with people
not used to cast statued embodiments
of pharaohs in stone among hindu
endowments of number & sustenance...
but so it goes...
palestinians come as fleshy shields
for egyptians not having moved an inch since
the crucifixion...
elongating the nile higher than the crumbling
everest of buddha attempting border
and horizon of the dali lama's exile
not extended to los angeles in quest...
if only all nations stood the mark of colorado
of easiest divide in linchpin park of stuttering piston remark...
no i didn't decide to escape through there...
i took the friend's groomed necessity of remorse
to keep him sane...
i grew his remorse and my once loved love
to be his kin... his kind...
i grew his remorse like a vegetable
into a success of career and familial reliefs...
i grew him into a son
into that he might feel remorse being fed
responsibility of the life i could have also lived,
and her too... into a lived i could have lived with her...
and they germinated... into germany...
and i solidified my etymology via logical coupling
with epistemology and eugenics that was without
logic except darwin who was not the only
person to logistic time, timing and timings...
and there it was left... a poem...
a scratch of nebuchadnezzar on the wall
prior to the fear seen by balthazar...
the fear of seven years of madness:
the judea slaves could see the pythagoras a-tip
the pyramids...
but salvage the mind of civilisations
to upkeep prophecy with the foolish
gardens of upside-down, encrusting the king's
skin with oaken bark creases in human age
known as wrinkling or turtle... to see sense of mind
dribbling senses in equations of 1/5 and 5/1
given correlations for the messiah to be sacrificed
and ordaining the comfort of prayer on the crux,
rather than the discomfort of prayer through
work and the thing ordained prayer - on a throne
to our wonder of not having looked
eagerly for the knee to bend beside the algebra of
90º and a, b, c... but instead provoked the anger
of cloning narcissus in mirrors and wax of the idols?
why are you praying over suffering - are you praying
for more suffering, or a quick end?
are you praying for more suffering or your liberation
through the choices of others?
i cannot deny that you took your choices like you
picked up chopsticks... and decided you life
was a free chicken chow mein...
if it was... i can see the bums regurgitate raw cement
into your eyes... and if it wasn't...
i can see you partake in gang rapes of the pensioners' purses
driving them to suicide...
i can then remedy my "name & shame" poetry...
excusing it all as... "capturing the moment,"
given the early stressor signalisation of traffic
past 20, 21, 22... beginning with only the second decade,
of the 21st century.
Bringing tears of pain
Full redness and burning
Campfires of the Earth
Volcanos, ripping investments
Planning of all the ants

"It'll destroy the world,"
Views of eco freaks
On the wrench
Only seeing the bolt

On, not the pureness of the engine
Revving of all the gear heads
White knuckling all those who don't;
Pure daily drivers, all

Specializing in their niches
Preyed upon by statisticians
Numbers, by day
Astrologists by night

Spinning above our heads
Lain east to west, chi
Without regard
For silly things
no truth login Jul 2020
how can it be,
the mathematicians,
the statisticians,
can so well predict

the curvature of my day;
is my life so impoverished,
so undifferentiated, my course;
the climb, the leveling, the
ultimatum gliding, a summary
path to an unremarkable landing

probable outcomes of my
statistical profile so calculable;
my dreams, their peculiarities,
essences, massaged into conformity

hatch plot, deceive, it’s cool,
write a poem, unpredictable,
who could foretell, this scheme,
let’s keep a secret, tween us only,
cover the keyhole, so their eye
cannot peak inside the you and I,
two twice ten thousand indecipherable,
writer and reader, we one, inseparable

only we can decode the true meaning
They speak of strong and stable
From upon the piles of bodies
Single parents, students, disabled,
All crushed beneath their buddies
Sitting comfortably at tables
Ignoring statisticians and studies
Eating enough to feed the poor for weeks.

They "help" the Just About Managing
While managing the damaging
Of every socioeconomic security
"For the good of the country" - false purity
All hints of injustice swept quickly aside
With an aside, a joke, to hide the domocide
Avert the eyes, from the resounding bell toll
As the death toll climbs, losing control

There is no war here, no battle, no fight,
Only poverty and hunger - the trophies of the right.
jimmy tee  Mar 2014
18
jimmy tee Mar 2014
18
insatiability is congenital
the ability to be lazy
an important life lesson

stir the stew pass the soup
both items fraught
with catastrophic possibilities

best to stand back let it flow
very little need for movement
a full shift on the couch

whatever occurs adds to the norm
the world is a statisticians dream
numbers are mirrors facing each other

the vanity virus

— The End —