Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Brandon  Sep 2014
Kept Waiting
Brandon Sep 2014
"You been writing anything lately man?"

"Just IOUs for the government, lawyers, and people who used to call me their friends."

"Sounds rough," Berkley remarked.

Harvard did not respond back. Instead he stared past Berkley's red tipped spiked hair to the girl behind him, watching the small movements she made while dancing to the band onstage. Harvard felt hypnotized by the shake of her hips and the way her quick dye black hair swayed to the left and to the right every time one of her feet left the ground as if she were walking in place.

"...all I'm saying is that someone should do something..."

Berkley was talking. Harvard couldn't focus. He heard his voice somewhere on the peripheral of reality but could not zero in on it. His eyes remained transfixed on the dancer.

"...it's all about helping. You feel drawn to it, ****** in almost to the rush you get from..."

Clips of Berkley's voice echoed in Harvard's ears. Sound bites of a conversation he knew he was part of but couldn't join in on.

The band on stage rocketed thru their set list with the lead singer strutting around in a sequined jacket, doing his best **** Jagger impression but looking more along the lines of a **** head coming down off a high. He played out every rock n roll cliche on stage and the audience cheered him on. Egged him on. The power of rock stardom working the room.

"Thank you Come-Blow-Us Ohio! See you in the morning when we're sneaking out of your house!"

The girl quit dancing and Harvard rolled his eyes back into reality. The past fifteen minutes came flooding into his conscience and he heard entire conversations, **** rock playing, cigarettes burning, beer spilling. It all played in his mind like a slow motion film set to fast forward.

"...I've been doing some soul searching and what I've found is that I lack soul," Harvard heard his voice answering Berkley. He still stared past his friend at the girl who now sat down at one of the tables, the heat of the night stained her shirt and hung closely to the contours of her structure. She smiled at something someone at the table said and Harvard wished silently that he had said something to make her smile like that but felt his feet become anvils rooted to the hardwood floor beneath him when he tried to shift his weight closer to her.

"...There's something about a soul that begs for a creative outlet, if its not being fulfilled it enters into a state of stasis until it withers into the heart of a cynic."

"So I should be creative and my soul will flourish?"

"At the very least you'll have something to bargain with when you meet the devil."

"I've met the devil, good dude, gets a bad rap."

The next band finished setting up on stage and Harvard watched out of the corner of his eye as the girl stood up and sauntered over to the dance floor and began once again writhing in rhythm to the music on the stage. He tried not to stare but again found himself transfixed on her dance and he once again heard the real world shut out and echo around him.

"...hey man, where'd you go?" Berkley snapped his fingers in front of Harvard's face forcing him out of his trance.

"Oh hey...sorry...I...um..." Harvard couldn't forge any words and waiting for his mind to come back to him. "Sorry I don't know what happened, I just kinda zoned out I guess; say anything important?"

"Nothing out of the ordinary. I solved the dilemma of world peace and everything but its cool no one really wants that."

"Yeah, you're right. Hey I need another beer, you want one?"

"Yeah, get me something hipster."

"PBR coming right up."

Harvard could hear Berkley laugh as he walked towards the bar, paid for the beers, and turned around, walking directly into the girl. He managed not to spill any beer on her and hoped that his tongue would not spill any inappropriate words as well.

"Hi, for me?" She laughed. She laughed harder when Harvard handed her one. She took it and brought it to her lips. He could see a smile hidden behind the clear plastic cup.

"I'm Harvard," he introduced himself.

"I'm Mallory but you can call me Yale. Everyone does.. My parents called me that but never told me why." She blushed at the way the words spilled out of her mouth to a complete stranger.

Harvard smiled and once again found his mind working in slow motion before he blurted out that it was nice to meet her.

"You too..." She hesitated, "I should get back to my friends..." Yale felt that sentence leave her mouth for an eternity and wished that she had not said it. She quickly added, "thank you for the beer, maybe I'll see you again?"

"Maybe," was all Harvard could muster. He felt his legs become rubber and as much as he did not want her to leave he wished she would do so quickly before he collapsed into a pile of beer and clothes.

He watched her slink away back to her group of friends as the world sped up around him. He sipped his beer and gained the strength to walk back to where Berkley stood.

"Hey man, where's mine?"

"Oh...uh...yeah sorry I forgot. Here I'll go back and get it."

"Nah it's alright. I need to go anyway, I have to be up in a few hours..."

Harvard and Berkley shook hands and said their goodbyes. Harvard stayed back and watched the headliner come on stage and start playing. He looked at Yale and smiled as she began dancing again but this time every few beats she would look back at him and a big smile would spread across her face. She did this too many times to count and Harvard suddenly found himself standing closer and closer to her, not sure if he had moved or if she had. He looked around and he was not in the same spot nor was she with her friends.

Yale turned around, happy to see the man she met at the bar behind her. She couldn't explain it but felt as if she were drawn to him and that the closer she was to him the slower the world around them moved. "Hi again," she said.

"Hi back," Harvard fumbled for words again before pulling Yale closer to him and staring at her for what felt like an eternity. She began dancing, slowly at first, pressing herself closer and closer against him.

Yale draped her arms around the shoulders and neck of Harvard and pulled herself closer, grinding herself as close as she could to him. She felt the music around her but danced to a different rhythm, one that only she and Harvard seemed to be hearing.

The world around them stopped moving but they did not notice. They danced together until after the music had stopped playing and the band got off stage. The lights came on and the bouncers and bartender announced last call.

"I think I've been waiting for you," Yale whispered.

"Sorry it's been a long wait, I got held up." Harvard tried to be smooth but failed.

Yale laughed and pulled Harvard closer. "Next time, don't keep me waiting."

She kissed him deep as her friends pulled her away and out of the bar. Their fingers holding on to each other until they could no longer.

Harvard stood in the room and stared blankly at the door. A bouncer nudged him and he started walking towards the door and outside. He got to the curb and sat down, trying to collect his thoughts and let his drunk wear off.

A car screeched to a halt somewhere across the street from him but Harvard barely noticed until the shadow of someone stood over him. He looked up to see Yale. She stared intently at him and handed him a piece of paper.

"I mean it. Next time don't keep me waiting." She said sternly with affection before turning around and getting back in the car with her friends.

Harvard unfolded the paper and looked it. It was her number. He folded it back up and put it in his pocket and started walking, vowing to himself to never let her have the agony of waiting again.
Mateuš Conrad May 2020
. h'america is as much an ideology as is... islam... this... the best... pig-farmed english you could somehow... not teach... not have mustered from a slav... a pseudo-russian... inconvenience ego... contender? satellite pawn: your... *****-slave yugoslav bourbon... excavations of: the lost flood of mongolian: tribe-folk... the pakistani with the surname: khan... your peoples... prior... no-guilt... island strapped... peruvian conquistadors... or... better strapped... less the cerveza folk... more... the belittled sort of: sorting folk... blah blah...

it's honestly hard to write anything -
when one is still... shell-shocked...
fromwhat could be cited as a devil's decade:
13 years...
                 from the age of 21
through to: aged 34...
            one of those relationship remainders...
we both got into smoking...
well... she was well ahead of me
in the cigarette domain...

       no... however i will attire the event...
whatever verbiage...
it doesn't allow a "justice" to trickle down...
it just so happens that i want
to listen to some depeche mode...
and not some tool / porcupine tree...

13 years of smoking... from the nadir of
40 a day... locotomotive breath...
iron on the tongue... phelgm pancakes
harked in the morning from
a tobacco "hangover"...

                  oscilating around 20 per day...
for some time...
and all it took was a week... 10 days...
and i'm still in possession of 3 cigarettes...
and those two i reserve for the end
of the day ritual...
    smoking the first is like:
finding oneself with a belly-full of
a child of gravity...
otherwise: gravity... unless falling...
to look up at the stars and the moon
and the sea: it's something you don't
exactly feel with two feet strapped
to the orb... no movement of
the tectonic plates...
sometimes with *******...
index and middle... of the left hand...
pushed under the right arm-pit...
to feel the pulse of the arteries...

i hardly think this is a call for celebration...
13 years can disappear like...
nothing even took place...
to substitute the habbit with...
reading... playing video games?
nibbling on carrots... nuts...
or just... waiting for the tide to recede...
and for a sea of patience to come
with tomorrow's tide...

all that... and none of it...
at the end of the day... the two cigarettes
are like a metaphor fo crack *******
or syringe strapping imitation
leech...
        clear thinking: or therefore none...
no spaghetti muddles...
at best: imitation of biting into ice...
or... stretching a rubber-band until...
well: you can't feel it about to snap...
since it snaps...

                 a second gravity...
                all concentrated in the stomach...
and esp. when the legs have not been
"properly" used up...
but remain tight-and-fidgety with goosebumps
when the ****** of tobacco lines the nerves...

i don't know why i can't celebrate this...
it's such a private event... such an exslusivity...
after all... in linear fashion:
to experience speed... a concentrated
exploration of space... within a hyper-dictum
of time...
        in a linear way...
but a second gravity: without falling?
but otherwise whirling in the stomach?

a devil's decade: 13 years...
              3 more... otherwise a dozen...
which is only 1 more...
the devil's dozen...
          simon peter, andrew, james, john, philip,
bartholomew, matthew, thomas,
james son of alphaeus, simon the zealot,
judas son of james and judas iscariot...
count hey-zeus out of the equation...
                                               there's paul...

and that's what eminem does...
when rapping... on white h'america?
changes the subject - a personal tirade over...
somehow i too link certain aspects...
13 years of...

this... oh so mediocre...
           because: clearly... i don't know what
to make of it...
                 thank god i retained those
two cigarettes at the end of the day...
than have been hooked on nicorette chewing
gum / patches...
                or the usual "a.a." support...
support: "support":
         help yourself: by every single
and no dead or alive guru...
            
                i really don't have anything
to write...
                 i'm walking away from
a 13 years of tobacco addiction...
   and what i'm really thinking about...
the first thirsts of cold-turkey are long gone...
it's been under a week...
over a week... whatever...

             what i'm really thinking about...
well...
   how would it feel like...
to farm animals...
                  how does it feel to... pet animals...
a completely different dynamic...
after all... a farmer would own...
petting-worth animals...
like a cat... for... catching mice...
or a dog... to... warden... sphynx...
cerberus... watch-over the property...
how some would make the dogs
so ferocious... that a chain would
sometimes not be withstanding
to the ferocity of the barking...

           eh... it's slightly off-putting...
to pet animals...
when you're being given a factory
edit of the original moo!
  or snorkling in knee-deep-**** and mud
and rotten potatoes of pork...
i don't mind... the end product
is what interests me...
the **** is silk? tapeworm ****?!
or there-abouts...
       but... it's so much different...
when you... farm animals...
     lucky for me... my... somewhat...
immediate family still owned a farm...
and chickens in the yard...
oh yeah... catching a chicken is one thing...
amnesia of the chicken shack...
catch one... sure thing...
then with axe onto the stump...
head sticks to the stump...
last traces of life while the eyes roll back
and the tongue protrudes from the beak...
while... all the other chickens gather...
and start drinking the blood...

a bit like the two tiers of people...
some people must feel inclined to become
these... sociopathic farmers...
there are the humans you herd...
there are the humans you pet...
the ones you pet will probably find about
you herding them...
and rebel... since... you're not...
some gargantuan: ****** obvious...
miracle of a god descent... crown, pomp...
circumstance... all that was borrowed
from god... in splendour... heavens!
lo! behold... versailles was built!

the future charles III of england...
started 8pm today... on classic.fm with his own show...
i tuned in for a minute or two to hear
his voice...
      i do hope that when ol' lizzie is dead...
he doesn't cower... he dons! he dons the title:
charles the third!
  i ****** well hope... he doesn't become...
no... he can't become: george VII...
formerly known as charles: the prince of wales!
he has to be! charles the third!
he has waited this long!
he has to retain his name!

but that's the beauty of the monarchy...
it's so ******* pompous and omnipresent...
it doesn't hide... in... secular... grey-matter
of deep-state... there are just too many tiers
of power... even though... there's only symbolism...
but a reverence for it: nonetheless!
grey-matter of shadow-people in grey suits!
blinking: for god's sake! blinking black-holes
of hush hush: what was once...
the aristocracy... that's too replaced with...
the burden of crazed-loon bureaucracy!

i've quit smoking... well... "quit"...
2 cigarettes from 20 a day... circa...
  is much better than a nicorette patch...
         or some: pepperspray tasting chewing gum...
it's not a cigar... if you were asking...

but the original idea...
    farming animals...
             petting animals...
                    dogs... the ideal pets...
i'm sorry... i can't put on a leash or a muzzle...
a chihuahua can bite like a piranha...
i don't see the excuses needed to comfort
people afraid of big dogs... alsatians...
dobermans... that's the freedom allowed with cats...
if you get a chance to build their characters...
they will tend to take a dump in your
neighbour's garden...
yes... me... following sherlock feline...
with a black plastic bag and *****...
permission to... be allowed entry into your garden?
or are you... going to trebuchet that ****
back onto my lawn?

dogs or "petting" tarantulas? serpents?
the idea of petting went out of the window...
when... people started to fathom the...
what adjective?! to pet a ******* tarantula...
yes... me... running to the shop that sells
tarantulas... with caption: free tow-twos...
how about you keep that freak-****
in the jungle with all those gimp-suit sexed-up
antics... and i... get to...
farm a chicken... i get to... farm a pig?

no... of course no... although...
who couldn't be teased with latex jill and her
spider annex: library of "misdeeds"
for the library of: hard-ons...

now that you mentioned it... sure... i have a...
pressing concern... how to not...
over-cook pork...
see... pork is a bit like pasta...
you can serve it undercooked like beef...
but... it's also like chicken...
and beef... combined... you don't want
to serve it... overcooked...
only barbarians are fond of well-done beef...
probably arab...
    they only stomach well-done steaks
or minced beef...
they have no palette for tartare steaks...
too much inbreeding with stinking lamb
does the trick...
whatever they might say of pork...
the aesthetic meat... leather too... shoes and belts...
lamb? for the slaughter?
eh... stinking puritanical meat worthy
of teacher 'ebrew and righteous son:
mecca ibn sudan.

because... ha ha... it's one thing being racist...
you know... detailing the physiognomy
differences between blacks and whites...
choccies and porky pies...
and the cinnamon people in between...
that's one thing...
it's like everyone was asleep...
the whites were racist...
the only people... ever...
but that's one thing...
   i find it harder to digest...
there's no name for it...
  kosher-ism... halal-ism?
         to be... more racist than racist...
almost a vegan / vegetarian taming...
   someone is being critical... of what you eat...
i imagine... malcom x being given a free
pass as a black totem in mecca...
shot dead... when converted... because...
still shuffled pork on the sly...

beside skin deep: please leavde your leather
shoes and belts... lace
beside the concept / concern for the mosque...
racism: morphed into an ideological
manifest...
for a while... let us leave thse
turban and tent dwelling folk
with their newly acquired riches
to the ***** of:
if i am to prepare lamb meat...
i treat it liky chilly...
the meat... stinks of something beside...
death... innocence prescribed...

           you are told... wrong...
when ingesting the fruit of eden... somewhat...
these nomads of quasi-sikh turbans
for the women: the niqab girdle-grooms...
their wetted-appetites:
unable to satiate gyrocentrism leftovers...
and... pass from the living...
toward the theatre of the would be alive...
less the circumcised mess: misantrophes...

it's one thing to be chockie...
another to be porky-pink'ish...
     but what you eat?
that's... somehow... off-putting?
    puritan with some crab-meat
in this numbed jaw?
no one the persians rebelled against
the camel-jockey prescription of:
words only... no images...
pasta squiggles of phonetic encoding...
arabic... tironian a posteriori notations...
then again: one could argue:
tironian a priori notations...

shrimp-**** and eyes that would
resemble... at best... squinting from too much
sun... and at worst... ******* on a lemon...
12" of **** and the twelve-pounder
juicing worth of ***...
her ***...
                for me to comment
on the mongol horde esque libido of
the fellow woman of my race...
no... the islamic idea of a heavenly harem...
mind you: it would satisfy her:
if she was to be crowned the juggling act
of three: at least one to compete with
the da vinci sodomites...

to be told you can't eat something...
i'm already a bad joke as:
"bweetish" as it comes...
tucked away with the afro-saxon...
the anglo-slav...
                 you just have those lips
that look like full-bloom best:
imitation: floral patterns of a ******...
best equipped for *******...
i swim: you sink...
you run... i start an arithmetic of catching
my breath...
the cinnamon people are...
if they are equipped with a polytheism
of the raj... and are saved with
culinary ambitions...
"we'd" call them the blue indians...
and that's also: to mind...
their elder: sanskrit...
              पअरउत
र - or how the englishman lost the trill:
rattle-snake R: for rolling...
when he... became: the nuanced... keeper...
vanguard... of the Raj...
perhaps... the anthropomorphic genesis
in africa: givenz zee apulus... apex: gorrilolulz...
but... the sribbles and *******?
india the basin... akapit: paragraph:
the tear of sri lanka...

i.e. so much for me succumbing to the anglican:
we'z all wo'z allz: ex afri-ka'ka'kazia...

oh sure... sure... we... the sensible:
secular post-christians of the protestant wealth
of the west...
happy to afford the dumbed-down
congregations of the newly conscripted...
believers of africa and south h'america...
carrot dangling: run donkey! run!
one of your own: a pope! a cardinal!
poland is still running on that...
remark of... the passing of power...
the first pope to be given status of... saint...
john paul II the saint of:
kissing airport tarmac...

             and then of course...
the hyped intricacy of the orthodox branch
of the bureau of hierogylphics and
synonymous litanies...
          the events of the baltic sea:
would never be...
the sort of ****-show...
that... the events of the mediterranean sea...
hell... the events of the black sea...
christianity isn't merely dumb...
it's just... over-hyped...
               the pork the pork... the pork!
who would require...
a criticism of pork and pig and ms. porky
to suit... alliance...
no matter... i'm on the cusp of quitting
smoking...

we can caricature our physiognomy...
but... how do you... caricature...
what you eat... your... sustenance?
you, black... have a pillow for a nose...
me, white... have a death's lack of...
           i don't have a nose...
i have... a death's clench sucker...
       i have a pinch nose...
        so much for over-inflated lips...
and... my missing... elongated...
myth elves: the protruding ears...
like: no body...

                 current / the currency of
the now h'america... and the immediacy
of nostalgia: as a history: moving forward /
anywhere but back...
nietzsche opened up a nostalgia for ancient
greece...
  h'americans... opening up... a nostalgia...
for 1950s h'america...
how can you write a future history...
from a stand-point / stand-off...
of nostalgia...
this... immediacy of nostalgia...
who's who and who isn't citing...
a richard brautigan... or... a frank o'hara?!
because: there's the sucker and no punch
for the next verse of...
****'s sake... walt whitman?!
o captain! my... john keating...
                 no... it's not about glorifying
the original intent... mr. president...
the english teacher...
mr.! thomas! bunce!

               how can any history be written...
when there's... a nostalgia: impediment...
the hsitory of an immediacy
lacklutered by a past...
the past: however framed...
before... the dead are allowed to
turn and grovel in their graves...
i have 'ere... my gobble-whick of...
pretending: no shadows will
ever exist... at noon...
scrathing... timidy bed-fellows...
loitering squat...

we are to grovel for the cousin
imps and apes of: first born:
english born... navajo...
     tortilla...
the old fling of england...
and the spanish...
             the conquistadors...
loose nouns dog **** flinging applause:
i fall asleep in a bed:
i welcome the new day...
most... egregious (archaic)...

  these western lands...
mmm... they're not very much akin
to our flavour...
that they dictate... refurbishment...
unless it's para-english...
alter- proto- welsh...
  kashubian... masovian...
silesian...
                    kres...
                    
ei hhynnal coch.. and it:
pronouns neutral: does... ****-wit...
gender-fluid-retardo: perfecto...

and i too wish i had...
themes of crusader songs...
but... i have none...
these that i marked...
teutonic knights of no order...
       barbarossa being pickled...
livonians... prussians...
lithuanians...
                    i'm sorry...
that i'm too far away from
you to return to europe
from your: hubris...
             in crafting... the...
                conscripts: shikhs...
ask the russians! ask the rush-******-whips!
agony of a tongue: beside their own!
the post-colonial powers
return!
the post-colonial powers! make a return!
so much for those of us...
not having... a colonial past!
are we to pay for... such...
benevolent gracing
of gratitude from the people
"made"... under... colonial... rule?!
from the perspective of the strong...
why... am i... expected to treat
these care-bears with...
the right: equipped
manchester shovel?

          you spike my drink
or am i... to... simply...
take the right, godly ****...
into all the urns...
the rest of you are to drink from?

i see my forehead glee: akin to my elbow...
and i call that phenomenon:
something benevolent of *****....
yep... not s'unni... but... shyte...
****.. persian: rebellion of camel-jockey...
****'ite... macron i...
dot's the worthy due: guillotine...
echo of the baltic sea...
we somehow: managed...
to lessen the romance...
unlike the english...
the romans conquered:
romanced the ******...
the vikings conquered...
romanced the ******...
the mongols never made it...
nor the huns..
so much for "brexit":
with your lineage of currency...
and your status as an island...

glory! vistory! ******* and all!
because: best felt!
in... places... akin to... devon!
a londoner will abhor someone...
with origins in the vicinity of bristol...
like... because...
there's no other?

n'ah... this night is pretty much worth
all the other nights...
it's worth sleeping...
it's not worth... whatever: leftover...
"worth" of...
this... this "apparent"...
yep... leftover... be...
something for the worth of yale
h'american... or...
dignitary president...
              officiated cul de sac executive orders...
it's... such an anglo-saxon fetish for...
*** beside the boudoir...
    dodo, lilac... gimp... latex...
      dickens...
                  liberty at:
i feign to allow myself to have... lapsed...
in what? good question...
even i... do not... attempt to baron
myself: over;
pithy... not pity... me...
you god-sucker...
******* ******* son's of eire...
me good-son...
    term me: years! under...
the tsarina! *******...
new yawn-ker...
       big mouth... no new bullseye...
the same old manchester...
the same ol'...
porky pies...
the same ol' chimneys and:
love's all... at cul de sac:
southend... porky pie munch:
luvvie: ol' guv.

yem: yup... ol' groove.. zzz-tizzle...
smart bruiser:
geezer with a sneeze pops up
at random places and jokes...
retards... lobotomy cruiser...
rhymes like... a cockey...
prior... to... tourettes... the lost...
the last... and what's:
the remains of...
the always... last...
and the worst... told... chalk of joke.
se relationship remainders...
we both got into smoking...
well... she was well ahead of me
in the cigarette domain...

       no... however i will attire the event...
whatever verbiage...
it doesn't allow a "justice" to trickle down...
it just so happens that i want
to listen to some depeche mode...
and not some tool / porcupine tree...

13 years of smoking... from the nadir of
40 a day... locotomotive breath...
iron on the tongue... phelgm pancakes
harked in the morning from
a tobacco "hangover"...

                  oscilating around 20 per day...
for some time...
and all it took was a week... 10 days...
and i'm still in possession of 3 cigarettes...
and those two i reserve for the end
of the day ritual...
    smoking the first is like:
finding oneself with a belly-full of
a child of gravity...
otherwise: gravity... unless falling...
to look up at the stars and the moon
and the sea: it's something you don't
exactly feel with two feet strapped
to the orb... no movement of
the tectonic plates...
sometimes with *******...
index and middle... of the left hand...
pushed under the right arm-pit...
to feel the pulse of the arteries...

i hardly think this is a call for celebration...
13 years can disappear like...
nothing even took place...
to substitute the habbit with...
reading... playing video games?
nibbling on carrots... nuts...
or just... waiting for the tide to recede...
and for a sea of patience to come
with tomorrow's tide...

all that... and none of it...
at the end of the day... the two cigarettes
are like a metaphor fo crack *******
or syringe strapping imitation
leech...
        clear thinking: or therefore none...
no spaghetti muddles...
at best: imitation of biting into ice...
or... stretching a rubber-band until...
well: you can't feel it about to snap...
since it snaps...

                 a second gravity...
                all concentrated in the stomach...
and esp. when the legs have not been
"properly" used up...
but remain tight-and-fidgety with goosebumps
when the ****** of tobacco lines the nerves...

i don't know why i can't celebrate this...
it's such a private event... such an exslusivity...
after all... in linear fashion:
to experience speed... a concentrated
exploration of space... within a hyper-dictum
of time...
        in a linear way...
but a second gravity: without falling?
but otherwise whirling in the stomach?

a devil's decade: 13 years...
              3 more... otherwise a dozen...
which is only 1 more...
the devil's dozen...
          simon peter, andrew, james, john, philip,
bartholomew, matthew, thomas,
james son of alphaeus, simon the zealot,
judas son of james and judas iscariot...
count hey-zeus out of the equation...
                                               there's paul...

and that's what eminem does...
when rapping... on white h'america?
changes the subject - a personal tirade over...
somehow i too link certain aspects...
13 years of...

this... oh so mediocre...
           because: clearly... i don't know what
to make of it...
                 thank god i retained those
two cigarettes at the end of the day...
than have been hooked on nicorette chewing
gum / patches...
                or the usual "a.a." support...
support: "support":
         help yourself: by every single
and no dead or alive guru...
            
                i really don't have anything
to write...
                 i'm walking away from
a 13 years of tobacco addiction...
   and what i'm really thinking about...
the first thirsts of cold-turkey are long gone...
it's been under a week...
over a week... whatever...

             what i'm really thinking about...
well...
   how would it feel like...
to farm animals...
                  how does it feel to... pet animals...
a completely different dynamic...
after all... a farmer would own...
petting-worth animals...
like a cat... for... catching mice...
or a dog... to... warden... sphynx...
cerberus... watch-over the property...
how some would make the dogs
so ferocious... that a chain would
sometimes not be withstanding
to the ferocity of the barking...

           eh... it's slightly off-putting...
to pet animals...
when you're being given a factory
edit of the original moo!
  or snorkling in knee-deep-**** and mud
and rotten potatoes of pork...
i don't mind... the end product
is what interests me...
the **** is silk? tapeworm ****?!
or there-abouts...
       but... it's so much different...
when you... farm animals...
     lucky for me... my... somewhat...
immediate family still owned a farm...
and chickens in the yard...
oh yeah... catching a chicken is one thing...
amnesia of the chicken shack...
catch one... sure thing...
then with axe onto the stump...
head sticks to the stump...
last traces of life while the eyes roll back
and the tongue protrudes from the beak...
while... all the other chickens gather...
and start drinking the blood...

a bit like the two tiers of people...
some people must feel inclined to become
these... sociopathic farmers...
there are the humans you herd...
there are the humans you pet...
the ones you pet will probably find about
you herding them...
and rebel... since... you're not...
some gargantuan: ****** obvious...
miracle of a god descent... crown, pomp...
circumstance... all that was borrowed
from god... in splendour... heavens!
lo! behold... versailles was built!

the future charles III of england...
started 8pm today... on classic.fm with his own show...
i tuned in for a minute or two to hear
his voice...
      i do hope that when ol' lizzie is dead...
he doesn't cower... he dons! he dons the title:
charles the third!
  i ****** well hope... he doesn't become...
no... he can't become: george VII...
formerly known as charles: the prince of wales!
he has to be! charles the third!
he has waited this long!
he has to retain his name!

but that's the beauty of the monarchy...
it's so ******* pompous and omnipresent...
it doesn't hide... in... secular... grey-matter
of deep-state... there are just too many tiers
of power... even though... there's only symbolism...
but a reverence for it: nonetheless!
grey-matter of shadow-people in grey suits!
blinking: for god's sake! blinking black-holes
of hush hush: what was once...
the aristocracy... that's too replaced with...
the burden of crazed-loon bureaucracy!

i've quit smoking... well... "quit"...
2 cigarettes from 20 a day... circa...
  is much better than a nicorette patch...
         or some: pepperspray tasting chewing gum...
it's not a cigar... if you were asking...

but the original idea...
    farming animals...
             petting animals...
                    dogs... the ideal pets...
i'm sorry... i can't put on a leash or a muzzle...
a chihuahua can bite like a piranha...
i don't see the excuses needed to comfort
people afraid of big dogs... alsatians...
dobermans... that's the freedom allowed with cats...
if you get a chance to build their characters...
they will tend to take a dump in your
neighbour's garden...
yes... me... following sherlock feline...
with a black plastic bag and *****...
permission to... be allowed entry into your garden?
or are you... going to trebuchet that ****
back onto my lawn?

dogs or "petting" tarantulas? serpents?
the idea of petting went out of the window...
when... people started to fathom the...
what adjective?! to pet a ******* tarantula...
yes... me... running to the shop that sells
tarantulas... with caption: free tow-twos...
how about you keep that freak-****
in the jungle with all those gimp-suit sexed-up
antics... and i... get to...
farm a chicken... i get to... farm a pig?

no... of course no... although...
who couldn't be teased with latex jill and her
spider annex: library of "misdeeds"
for the library of: hard-ons...

now that you mentioned it... sure... i have a...
pressing concern... how to not...
over-cook pork...
see... pork is a bit like pasta...
you can serve it undercooked like beef...
but... it's also like chicken...
and beef... combined... you don't want
to serve it... overcooked...
only barbarians are fond of well-done beef...
probably arab...
    they only stomach well-done steaks
or minced beef...
they have no palette for tartare steaks...
too much inbreeding with stinking lamb
does the trick...
whatever they might say of pork...
the aesthetic meat... leather too... shoes and belts...
lamb? for the slaughter?
eh... stinking puritanical meat worthy
of teacher 'ebrew and righteous son:
mecca ibn sudan.

because... ha ha... it's one thing being racist...
you know... detailing the physiognomy
differences between blacks and whites...
choccies and porky pies...
and the cinnamon people in between...
that's one thing...
it's like everyone was asleep...
the whites were racist...
the only people... ever...
but that's one thing...
   i find it harder to digest...
there's no name for it...
  kosher-ism... halal-ism?
         to be... more racist than racist...
almost a vegan / vegetarian taming...
   someone is being critical... of what you eat...
i imagine... malcom x being given a free
pass as a black totem in mecca...
shot dead... when converted... because...
still shuffled pork on the sly...

beside skin deep: please leavde your leather
shoes and belts... lace
beside the concept / concern for the mosque...
racism: morphed into an ideological
manifest...
for a while... let us leave thse
turban and tent dwelling folk
with their newly acquired riches
to the ***** of:
if i am to prepare lamb meat...
i treat it liky chilly...
the meat... stinks of something beside...
death... innocence prescribed...

           you are told... wrong...
when ingesting the fruit of eden... somewhat...
these nomads of quasi-sikh turbans
for the women: the niqab girdle-grooms...
their wetted-appetites:
unable to satiate gyrocentrism leftovers...
and... pass from the living...
toward the theatre of the would be alive...
less the circumcised mess: misantrophes...

it's one thing to be chockie...
another to be porky-pink'ish...
     but what you eat?
that's... somehow... off-putting?
    puritan with some crab-meat
in this numbed jaw?
no one the persians rebelled against
the camel-jockey prescription of:
words only... no images...
pasta squiggles of phonetic encoding...
arabic... tironian a posteriori notations...
then again: one could argue:
tironian a priori notations...

shrimp-**** and eyes that would
resemble... at best... squinting from too much
sun... and at worst... ******* on a lemon...
12" of **** and the twelve-pounder
juicing worth of ***...
her ***...
                for me to comment
on the mongol horde esque libido of
the fellow woman of my race...
no... the islamic idea of a heavenly harem...
mind you: it would satisfy her:
if she was to be crowned the juggling act
of three: at least one to compete with
the da vinci sodomites...

to be told you can't eat something...
i'm already a bad joke as:
"bweetish" as it comes...
tucked away with the afro-saxon...
the anglo-slav...
                 you just have those lips
that look like full-bloom best:
imitation: floral patterns of a ******...
best equipped for *******...
i swim: you sink...
you run... i start an arithmetic of catching
my breath...
the cinnamon people are...
if they are equipped with a polytheism
of the raj... and are saved with
culinary ambitions...
"we'd" call them the blue indians...
and that's also: to mind...
their elder: sanskrit...
              पअरउत
र - or how the englishman lost the trill:
rattle-snake R: for rolling...
when he... became: the nuanced... keeper...
vanguard... of the Raj...
perhaps... the anthropomorphic genesis
in africa: givenz zee apulus... apex: gorrilolulz...
but... the sribbles and *******?
india the basin... akapit: paragraph:
the tear of sri lanka...

i.e. so much for me succumbing to the anglican:
we'z all wo'z allz: ex afri-ka'ka'kazia...

oh sure... sure... we... the sensible:
secular post-christians of the protestant wealth
of the west...
happy to afford the dumbed-down
congregations of the newly conscripted...
believers of africa and south h'america...
carrot dangling: run donkey! run!
one of your own: a pope! a cardinal!
poland is still running on that...
remark of... the passing of power...
the first pope to be given status of... saint...
john paul II the saint of:
kissing airport tarmac...

             and then of course...
the hyped intricacy of the orthodox branch
of the bureau of hierogylphics and
synonymous litanies...
          the events of the baltic sea:
would never be...
the sort of ****-show...
that... the events of the mediterranean sea...
hell... the events of the black sea...
christianity isn't merely dumb...
it's just... over-hyped...
               the pork the pork... the pork!
who would require...
a criticism of pork and pig and ms. porky
to suit... alliance...
no matter... i'm on the cusp of quitting
smoking...

we can caricature our physiognomy...
but... how do you... caricature...
what you eat... your... sustenance?
you, black... have a pillow for a nose...
me, white... have a death's lack of...
           i don't have a nose...
i have... a death's clench sucker...
       i have a pinch nose...
        so much for over-inflated lips...
and... my missing... elongated...
myth elves: the protruding ears...
like: no body...

                 current / the currency of
the now h'america... and the immediacy
of nostalgia: as a history: moving forward /
anywhere but back...
nietzsche opened up a nostalgia for ancient
greece...
  h'americans... opening up... a nostalgia...
for 1950s h'america...
how can you write a future history...
from a stand-point / stand-off...
of nostalgia...
this... immediacy of nostalgia...
who's who and who isn't citing...
a richard brautigan... or... a frank o'hara?!
because: there's the sucker and no punch
for the next verse of...
****'s sake... walt whitman?!
o captain! my... john keating...
                 no... it's not about glorifying
the original intent... mr. president...
the english teacher...
mr.! thomas! bunce!

               how can any history be written...
when there's... a nostalgia: impediment...
the hsitory of an immediacy
lacklutered by a past...
the past: however framed...
before... the dead are allowed to
turn and grovel in their graves...
i have 'ere... my gobble-whick of...
pretending: no shadows will
ever exist... at noon...
scrathing... timidy bed-fellows...
loitering squat...

we are to grovel for the cousin
imps and apes of: first born:
english born... navajo...
     tortilla...
the old fling of england...
and the spanish...
             the conquistadors...
loose nouns dog **** flinging applause:
i fall asleep in a bed:
i welcome the new day...
most... egregious (archaic)...

  these western lands...
mmm... they're not very much akin
to our flavour...
that they dictate... refurbishment...
unless it's para-english...
alter- proto- welsh...
  kashubian... masovian...
silesian...
                    kres...
             ­       
ei hhynnal coch.. and it:
pronouns neutral: does... ****-wit...
gender-fluid-retardo: perfecto...

and i too wish i had...
themes of crusader songs...
but... i have none...
these that i marked...
teutonic knights of no order...
       barbarossa being pickled...
livonians... prussians...
lithuanians...
                    i'm sorry...
that i'm too far away from
you to return to europe
from your: hubris...
             in crafting... the...
                conscripts: shikhs...
ask the russians! ask the rush-******-whips!
agony of a tongue: beside their own!
the post-colonial powers
return!
the post-colonial powers! make a return!
so much for those of us...
not having... a colonial past!
are we to pay for... such...
benevolent gracing
of gratitude from the people
"made"... under... colonial... rule?!
from the perspective of the strong...
why... am i... expected to treat
these care-bears with...
the right: equipped
manchester shovel?

          you spike my drink
or am i... to... simply...
take the right, godly ****...
into all the urns...
the rest of you are to drink from?

i see my forehead glee: akin to my elbow...
and i call that phenomenon:
something benevolent of *****....
yep... not s'unni... but... shyte...
****.. persian: rebellion of camel-jockey...
****'ite... macron i...
dot's the worthy due: guillotine...
echo of the baltic sea...
we somehow: managed...
to lessen the romance...
unlike the english...
the romans conquered:
romanced the ******...
the vikings conquered...
romanced the ******...
the mongols never made it...
nor the huns..
so much for "brexit":
with your lineage of currency...
and your status as an island...

glory! vistory! ******* and all!
because: best felt!
in... places... akin to... devon!
a londoner will abhor someone...
with origins in the vicinity of bristol...
like... because...
there's no other?

n'ah... this night is pretty much worth
all the other nights...
it's worth sleeping...
it's not worth... whatever: leftover...
"worth" of...
this... this "apparent"...
yep... leftover... be...
something for the worth of yale
h'american... or...
dignitary president...
              officiated cul de sac executive orders...
it's... such an anglo-saxon fetish for...
*** beside the boudoir...
    dodo, lilac... gimp... latex...
      dickens...
                  liberty at:
i feign to allow myself to have... lapsed...
in what? good question...
even i... do not... attempt to baron
myself: over.
Forty Days

A Season of Grief, a Season of Rejoicing

November 9-December 20, 2014

For Barbara Beach Alter 
It is Christmas morning in Saco, Maine, where today Bett, Aaron, Emily, Thomasin and our beloved cousin Marie find ourselves gathered to celebrate our first Christmas without dadima (our name for Barbara Beach Alter).  Brother Tom writes that already in India he and Carol with Jamie, Meha and Cayden (the only of her seven greatgrandchildren Barry never held) have celebrated.  Today Marty and Lincoln join us in Maine.

This gathering of documents—notes, drafts of memorial services, poems, homilies—is my christmas present to each of you.  It is a record, certainly subjective, of grief and rejoicing.

John Copley Alter
1:14 a.m.
Saco, Maine 
November 9

Loved ones,
Barbara Beach Alter died peacefully at 2:55 Sunday morning (today).  Bett and I had the good fortune to be there for the final beating of her good strong heart.  She murmured charcoal.  The nurse who was bathing her afterwards noted how few wrinkles there were, and it is true.
For those of you nearby you may if you want visit Mom in her room at hospice this morning (until noon).  Visit? Darshan? Paying respects?
Bett and I plan to be there around 11:00.
Much love to all. A blessed occasion.
John


November 10

Matthew 5:13-19
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

yesterday in the early hours my mother died her saltiness
restored all that had through the months of her old
age and convalescence obscured the lens of her life cleaned
away so that for us now more and more clearly
as we hear about her through the memory and love
of so many people her good works shine forth in
their glory but it is to the days of her
convalescence the days of her dementia I would turn our
minds those of us who spent time with her at
Wingate long-term care facility remember that Barbara Beach Alter became
at times fierce in her commanding us that ‘not one
letter, not one stroke of a letter’ of the commandments
should be altered do you remember that those of you
and us who were given the work and gift of
spending time with Barry in those days in that condition

remember for instance how fussy she became about the sequence
of food on her tray how impatient with us for
our trespasses and violations how adamant that we look forward
for instance and not back at her how she would
say stop holding my hand and saying you love me
you have work to do o she was almost impossible
and certainly incoherent and demented in her obsession with law
and procedure fussy impatient imperious I do not forget being
scolded reamed out put in my place for having somehow
failed to do what the ‘law and the prophets’ demand

Barbara beach alter in the days before hospice in the
nursing home and hospital and even if we are honest
in the final years of her life found herself caught
up in the rigidity of her anxious desire to be
faithful to the laws and commandments of her life and
that made her at times extremely demanding to be with

amen and the epistemological confusion of course the clash between
her reality and ours it was all an ordeal for
her and for those of us who kept her company

and yet and yet through it all and now as
that ordeal for her is no longer paramount as she
dances in heaven all the wrinkles and discomfort of her
life removed and forgiven Barbara Beach Alter kept the faith
living in the midst such that those who cared for
her most intimately the strangers all professed your mother blessed
us


Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.



So, brother and sister, here are my thoughts about the memorial service(s).
Let’s find a time when we three can be present; that’s the most important thing.  My life is currently the least constrained by agenda and schedule.  And then the grandchildren, recognizing that Jamie may not be able to come.  So, our work is to find our when our kids are able to come. Bett and I are exploring that with our three, each of whom has some constraint: Emily, the cost; Thomasin, the piebaking demands, Aaron school.  But we are flexible.

Much love.

John



Walking in my mother’s wake today some trees
a gentle breeze some dogs a little boy
the neighborhood and I took joy from interaction

we are at best a fraction in love’s
calculation after all heaven I realize is not
above or below cannot be taught comes naturally

as death does walking in my mother’s wake
I found new allies learned yet again not
to take myself too seriously to be caught

off guard as a matter of principle and
not to insist that I understand but live
in the midst of forgiveness


in my mother’s wake I am reading these books for
some way to continue to knock on her door Wendell
Berry he can tell me some things and William Blake
he can take me closer and I remember she described
me once as an unused Jewish liberal so I am
reading about protestant liberalism but ham that I am also
reading Carl Hiassen’s Bad Monkey and Quo Vadimus that my
daughter left behind and mythologically Reflections from yale divinity school
no fooling Denise Levertov David Sobel Galway Kinnell’s translation of
Rilke some wake

November 11

Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus said, "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

this morning in the wee hours my mother died one
of the wise bridesmaids whose lamp to the end was
full she carried always the flask of oil that is
joy that is the love of the kingdom of heaven
and of the bridegroom a flask always replenished by prayer
by devotion by a humble courageous living in the midst

she expected every day the bridegroom to come in other
words and she was also one who would never refuse
to share even the last drop with somebody in need

and at the end it is so clear the door
into the banquet hall was not closed to her as
it is not closed to any one of us foolishness
is to believe otherwise to believe that the bridegroom will
not come today in the early morning in the wee
hours that is when he comes in the midst of
other plans is when he comes even when we are
doing what we assume to be good work when we
are doing what gives us pleasure our duty joy comes
then unsummoned unpredictable random even according to all our best
laid plans my mother loved so many things her pleasure
included dancing late in her life terminally unsteady she invented
what we loved to urge her to do namely the
sitting jig and we grew up with images of her
Isadora Duncan dancing with white scarves in an enchanted forest

Barbara Beach Alter aka Barry aka dadima bari nani aunt
and daughter wife missionary is now I know dancing a
rollicking boisterous jig on the shores of a lake that
is as her grandson once confided to her god in
liquid form spilly Beach of course also dyslexic executive function
compromised she was but one who loved to be always
in the midst surrounded by loved ones some of them
absolute strangers she shared her oil because for her it
came welling up from an inexhaustible source a deep eternal
well of such illumination and laughter such giddy divine chuckles

for her there was to be no exclusion she would
not find the awful idea of being one of the
foolish applicable to anybody but happily she welcomed into her
midst so many it is hard to imagine how many

so there she is now a bridesmaid dancing for joy
in such elegant clothing with such perpetual brightness

amen hallelujah rejoice


sometimes I think she pulled us all out of the
magic hat sometimes I think she knit us all into
one of her theologically impossible sweaters and then with a
wink she passes through the eye of the needle and
is gone and we are left to play in her
honor endless hands of solitaire sometimes I think we are
no more than the hermeneutics of her life the epistemology
artless she was not her heart like one of those
magical meals for her then a doxology praise then praise
she knows salvation

what is a life’s work it is like a landscape
dotted with oases and gardens for the thirsty and the
lost it is like scraping through dry barren ground and
finding there suddenly not only the theology of paradise but
such seeds your hands ache to begin the planting what
is a life’s work what has been shut for too
long opens what has been shut for too long opens

a life’s work renews itself then with death the kernel
of hope that dies in springtime sprouting is what a
life’s work becomes

November 12

John 21:15-17
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.

I know my mother very much enjoyed having breakfast with
god and that the meals of her nursing home drove
her nearly crazy and that when at last she found
hospice o she again could imagine the feast of heaven
at which Jesus breaks bread with us and speaks with
such clarity do you love me more than these I
know it was questions as simple and overwhelming as this
that dominated her final days do you love me love
being  one of the last five words she attempted to
speak do you love me she wrestled in her last
months with epistemology and psychology and theology and all had
to do with whether she could answer unequivocally you know
that I love you and that she could say of
her life that she had broken bread with god we
all remember in her life those moments when there was
a great gladness an innocent acceptance of what lay immediately
in her presence now those months in the nursing home
tormented her in precisely this fashion that it was hard
to accept to be in the midst of such mediocrity
and woe to be innocent and accepting but now praise
god there she is a happy guest at the great
feast and we left behind bereft can acknowledge that she
loved god in her own fashion as best she possibly
could and do you remember being with her there in
hospital or nursing home and she commanding us to move
beyond holding her hand and saying we loved her and
to feed the sheep to do that work which will
make of this earth this here and now an outstation
of heaven Barbara Beach Alter loved god in her own
fashion as best she possibly could we remember that and
that memory is today like a great network a web
of love and inspiration o we would gladly one more
time hold her hand and say I love you but
we know also clearly I think today what the work
is to love our neighbor as ourselves to work for
peace and justice I think of my sister with her
colleagues in WEIGO and how her sisters have understood her
grief  let us break our fast together then glad for
the worldwide web that in these days is reading the
gospel of the life of Barbara Beach Alter praise god


feed
tend
feed
in exchange for his three denials Peter is given three imperative verbs
feed
tend
feed
this is the commission Jesus after breakfast on the shore of the sea of Galilee gives to Peter
twice he says feed
in the commonwealth of Massachusetts 700,000 people are hungry
1 in 6 americans are hungry
living in uncertainty about their daily bread
more than 18,000,000 in Africa
842,000,000 around the world go to bed hungry


Marty and Tom
The thinking about the memorial service is taking this slow and cautious turn, namely that we have three services (at least), one in Sudbury, one in New Haven (allowing Stan and Chuck and others to come) at First Presbyterian (with Blair Moffett we hope), and of course one in India.
The date frame appears to be somewhere between December 17 and 20, unless you have other thoughts.
The actual cremation happens tomorrow.  Lincoln, Bett, Alexis and I will attend, and then of course there is In the Midst on Friday.
Love you more than tongue can tell.
John


the thing with a life well lived is that many
people have partaken the way let’s say a river moves
down through any number of different lives all the time
sedulously seeking the shortest path to the sea to steal
a line from somebody or other meandering a watershed within
which so many of us find a way to live
our own lives nourished and for each of us the
river distinct and different white water the slow fertile meander
the delta and we say to each other this is
the composite river


sometimes I feel like a sleepwalker trying to run a
marathon sometimes I feel like a speedbump in a blizzard

an arrow in a wind tunnel sometimes I feel like

a hazard sign in an old age home sometimes I
feel like a tyrannosaurus rex trying to ride a tricycle

and sometimes those are the good days when identity is
strong like an icicle in a heat wave is strong

I try to read wisdom literature at happy hour scotch
and Solomon can’t go wrong I think and sometimes I

feel like crying

November 13

four days ago we were left alone there with your
body after your breathing ceased and the proud stubborn beating
of your heart and in those four days beloved mother
so much I would love to say to you and
share the antics of the squirrel late leaves on the
neighborhood trees music Orion the network the atlas of love
your life has left behind and all the words we
are the gospel of today and I would sit with
you there then in silence as I sit now four
days later vigilant insomniac aware that the kingdom of heaven
is not more complicated than singing than love than dancing

we are all dancing the dance lord siva teaches and
the s
THE HOUSE OF DUST
A Symphony

BY
CONRAD AIKEN

To Jessie

NOTE

. . . Parts of this poem have been printed in "The North American
Review, Others, Poetry, Youth, Coterie, The Yale Review". . . . I am
indebted to Lafcadio Hearn for the episode called "The Screen Maiden"
in Part II.


     This text comes from the source available at
     Project Gutenberg, originally prepared by Judy Boss
     of Omaha, NE.
    
THE HOUSE OF DUST


PART I.


I.

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

And the wandering one, the inquisitive dreamer of dreams,
The eternal asker of answers, stands in the street,
And lifts his palms for the first cold ghost of rain.
The purple lights leap down the hill before him.
The gorgeous night has begun again.

'I will ask them all, I will ask them all their dreams,
I will hold my light above them and seek their faces.
I will hear them whisper, invisible in their veins . . .'
The eternal asker of answers becomes as the darkness,
Or as a wind blown over a myriad forest,
Or as the numberless voices of long-drawn rains.

We hear him and take him among us, like a wind of music,
Like the ghost of a music we have somewhere heard;
We crowd through the streets in a dazzle of pallid lamplight,
We pour in a sinister wave, ascend a stair,
With laughter and cry, and word upon murmured word;
We flow, we descend, we turn . . . and the eternal dreamer
Moves among us like light, like evening air . . .

Good-night!  Good-night!  Good-night!  We go our ways,
The rain runs over the pavement before our feet,
The cold rain falls, the rain sings.
We walk, we run, we ride.  We turn our faces
To what the eternal evening brings.

Our hands are hot and raw with the stones we have laid,
We have built a tower of stone high into the sky,
We have built a city of towers.

Our hands are light, they are singing with emptiness.
Our souls are light; they have shaken a burden of hours . . .
What did we build it for?  Was it all a dream? . . .
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam . . .
And after a while they will fall to dust and rain;
Or else we will tear them down with impatient hands;
And hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.


II.

One, from his high bright window in a tower,
Leans out, as evening falls,
And sees the advancing curtain of the shower
Splashing its silver on roofs and walls:
Sees how, swift as a shadow, it crosses the city,
And murmurs beyond far walls to the sea,
Leaving a glimmer of water in the dark canyons,
And silver falling from eave and tree.

One, from his high bright window, looking down,
Peers like a dreamer over the rain-bright town,
And thinks its towers are like a dream.
The western windows flame in the sun's last flare,
Pale roofs begin to gleam.

Looking down from a window high in a wall
He sees us all;
Lifting our pallid faces towards the rain,
Searching the sky, and going our ways again,
Standing in doorways, waiting under the trees . . .
There, in the high bright window he dreams, and sees
What we are blind to,-we who mass and crowd
From wall to wall in the darkening of a cloud.

The gulls drift slowly above the city of towers,
Over the roofs to the darkening sea they fly;
Night falls swiftly on an evening of rain.
The yellow lamps wink one by one again.
The towers reach higher and blacker against the sky.


III.

One, where the pale sea foamed at the yellow sand,
With wave upon slowly shattering wave,
Turned to the city of towers as evening fell;
And slowly walked by the darkening road toward it;
And saw how the towers darkened against the sky;
And across the distance heard the toll of a bell.

Along the darkening road he hurried alone,
With his eyes cast down,
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.

Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
And birth with laughter and pain.
And the trees grew taller and blacker against the skies
And night came down again.


IV.

Up high black walls, up sombre terraces,
Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,
The yellow lights went climbing towards the sky.
From high black walls, gleaming vaguely with rain,
Each yellow light looked down like a golden eye.

They trembled from coign to coign, and tower to tower,
Along high terraces quicker than dream they flew.
And some of them steadily glowed, and some soon vanished,
And some strange shadows threw.

And behind them all the ghosts of thoughts went moving,
Restlessly moving in each lamplit room,
From chair to mirror, from mirror to fire;
From some, the light was scarcely more than a gloom:
From some, a dazzling desire.

And there was one, beneath black eaves, who thought,
Combing with lifted arms her golden hair,
Of the lover who hurried towards her through the night;
And there was one who dreamed of a sudden death
As she blew out her light.

And there was one who turned from clamoring streets,
And walked in lamplit gardens among black trees,
And looked at the windy sky,
And thought with terror how stones and roots would freeze
And birds in the dead boughs cry . . .

And she hurried back, as snow fell, mixed with rain,
To mingle among the crowds again,
To jostle beneath blue lamps along the street;
And lost herself in the warm bright coiling dream,
With a sound of murmuring voices and shuffling feet.

And one, from his high bright window looking down
On luminous chasms that cleft the basalt town,
Hearing a sea-like murmur rise,
Desired to leave his dream, descend from the tower,
And drown in waves of shouts and laughter and cries.


V.

The snow floats down upon us, mingled with rain . . .
It eddies around pale lilac lamps, and falls
Down golden-windowed walls.
We were all born of flesh, in a flare of pain,
We do not remember the red roots whence we rose,
But we know that we rose and walked, that after a while
We shall lie down again.

The snow floats down upon us, we turn, we turn,
Through gorges filled with light we sound and flow . . .
One is struck down and hurt, we crowd about him,
We bear him away, gaze after his listless body;
But whether he lives or dies we do not know.

One of us sings in the street, and we listen to him;
The words ring over us like vague bells of sorrow.
He sings of a house he lived in long ago.
It is strange; this house of dust was the house I lived in;
The house you lived in, the house that all of us know.
And coiling slowly about him, and laughing at him,
And throwing him pennies, we bear away
A mournful echo of other times and places,
And follow a dream . . . a dream that will not stay.

Down long broad flights of lamplit stairs we flow;
Noisy, in scattered waves, crowding and shouting;
In broken slow cascades.
The gardens extend before us . . .  We spread out swiftly;
Trees are above us, and darkness.  The canyon fades . . .

And we recall, with a gleaming stab of sadness,
Vaguely and incoherently, some dream
Of a world we came from, a world of sun-blue hills . . .
A black wood whispers around us, green eyes gleam;
Someone cries in the forest, and someone kills.

We flow to the east, to the white-lined shivering sea;
We reach to the west, where the whirling sun went down;
We close our eyes to music in bright cafees.
We diverge from clamorous streets to streets that are silent.
We loaf where the wind-spilled fountain plays.

And, growing tired, we turn aside at last,
Remember our secret selves, seek out our towers,
Lay weary hands on the banisters, and climb;
Climbing, each, to his little four-square dream
Of love or lust or beauty or death or crime.


VI.

Over the darkened city, the city of towers,
The city of a thousand gates,
Over the gleaming terraced roofs, the huddled towers,
Over a somnolent whisper of loves and hates,
The slow wind flows, drearily streams and falls,
With a mournful sound down rain-dark walls.
On one side purples the lustrous dusk of the sea,
And dreams in white at the city's feet;
On one side sleep the plains, with heaped-up hills.
Oaks and beeches whisper in rings about it.
Above the trees are towers where dread bells beat.

The fisherman draws his streaming net from the sea
And sails toward the far-off city, that seems
Like one vague tower.
The dark bow plunges to foam on blue-black waves,
And shrill rain seethes like a ghostly music about him
In a quiet shower.

Rain with a shrill sings on the lapsing waves;
Rain thrills over the roofs again;
Like a shadow of shifting silver it crosses the city;
The lamps in the streets are streamed with rain;
And sparrows complain beneath deep eaves,
And among whirled leaves
The sea-gulls, blowing from tower to lower tower,
From wall to remoter wall,
Skim with the driven rain to the rising sea-sound
And close grey wings and fall . . .

. . . Hearing great rain above me, I now remember
A girl who stood by the door and shut her eyes:
Her pale cheeks glistened with rain, she stood and shivered.
Into a forest of silver she vanished slowly . . .
Voices about me rise . . .

Voices clear and silvery, voices of raindrops,-
'We struck with silver claws, we struck her down.
We are the ghosts of the singing furies . . . '
A chorus of elfin voices blowing about me
Weaves to a babel of sound.  Each cries a secret.
I run among them, reach out vain hands, and drown.

'I am the one who stood beside you and smiled,
Thinking your face so strangely young . . . '
'I am the one who loved you but did not dare.'
'I am the one you followed through crowded streets,
The one who escaped you, the one with red-gleamed hair.'

'I am the one you saw to-day, who fell
Senseless before you, hearing a certain bell:
A bell that broke great memories in my brain.'
'I am the one who passed unnoticed before you,
Invisible, in a cloud of secret pain.'

'I am the one who suddenly cried, beholding
The face of a certain man on the dazzling screen.
They wrote me that he was dead.  It was long ago.
I walked in the streets for a long while, hearing nothing,
And returned to see it again.  And it was so.'


Weave, weave, weave, you streaks of rain!
I am dissolved and woven again . . .
Thousands of faces rise and vanish before me.
Thousands of voices weave in the rain.

'I am the one who rode beside you, blinking
At a dazzle of golden lights.
Tempests of music swept me: I was thinking
Of the gorgeous promise of certain nights:
Of the woman who suddenly smiled at me this day,
Smiled in a certain delicious sidelong way,
And turned, as she reached the door,
To smile once more . . .
Her hands are whiter than snow on midnight water.
Her throat is golden and full of golden laughter,
Her eyes are strange as the stealth of the moon
On a night in June . . .
She runs among whistling leaves; I hurry after;
She dances in dreams over white-waved water;
Her body is white and fragrant and cool,
Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . .
I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights
Of a broken music and golden lights,
Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling
Between my hands and their white desire:
And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance,
Dipping to screen a fire . . .
I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees,
But as I lean to kiss her face,
She is blown aloft on wind, I catch at leaves,
And run in a moonless place;
And I hear a crashing of terrible rocks flung down,
And shattering trees and cracking walls,
And a net of intense white flame roars over the town,
And someone cries; and darkness falls . . .
But now she has leaned and smiled at me,
My veins are afire with music,
Her eyes have kissed me, my body is turned to light;
I shall dream to her secret heart tonight . . . '

He rises and moves away, he says no word,
He folds his evening paper and turns away;
I rush through the dark with rows of lamplit faces;
Fire bells peal, and some of us turn to listen,
And some sit motionless in their accustomed places.

Cold rain lashes the car-roof, scurries in gusts,
Streams down the windows in waves and ripples of lustre;
The lamps in the streets are distorted and strange.
Someone takes his watch from his pocket and yawns.
One peers out in the night for the place to change.

Rain . . . rain . . . rain . . . we are buried in rain,
It will rain forever, the swift wheels hiss through water,
Pale sheets of water gleam in the windy street.
The pealing of bells is lost in a drive of rain-drops.
Remote and hurried the great bells beat.

'I am the one whom life so shrewdly betrayed,
Misfortune dogs me, it always hunted me down.
And to-day the woman I love lies dead.
I gave her roses, a ring with opals;
These hands have touched her head.

'I bound her to me in all soft ways,
I bound her to me in a net of days,
Yet now she has gone in silence and said no word.
How can we face these dazzling things, I ask you?
There is no use: we cry: and are not heard.

'They cover a body with roses . . . I shall not see it . . .
Must one return to the lifeless walls of a city
Whose soul is charred by fire? . . . '
His eyes are closed, his lips press tightly together.
Wheels hiss beneath us.  He yields us our desire.

'No, do not stare so-he is weak with grief,
He cannot face you, he turns his eyes aside;
He is confused with pain.
I suffered this.  I know.  It was long ago . . .
He closes his eyes and drowns in death again.'

The wind hurls blows at the rain-starred glistening windows,
The wind shrills down from the half-seen walls.
We flow on the mournful wind in a dream of dying;
And at last a silence falls.


VII.

Midnight; bells toll, and along the cloud-high towers
The golden lights go out . . .
The yellow windows darken, the shades are drawn,
In thousands of rooms we sleep, we await the dawn,
We lie face down, we dream,
We cry aloud with terror, half rise, or seem
To stare at the ceiling or walls . . .
Midnight . . . the last of shattering bell-notes falls.
A rush of silence whirls over the cloud-high towers,
A vortex of soundless hours.

'The bells have just struck twelve: I should be sleeping.
But I cannot delay any longer to write and tell you.
The woman is dead.
She died-you know the way.  Just as we planned.
Smiling, with open sunlit eyes.
Smiling upon the outstretched fatal hand . . .'

He folds his letter, steps softly down the stairs.
The doors are closed and silent.  A gas-jet flares.
His shadow disturbs a shadow of balustrades.
The door swings shut behind.  Night roars above him.
Into the night he fades.

Wind; wind; wind; carving the walls;
Blowing the water that gleams in the street;
Blowing the rain, the sleet.
In the dark alley, an old tree cracks and falls,
Oak-boughs moan in the haunted air;
Lamps blow down with a crash and ****** of glass . . .
Darkness whistles . . . Wild hours pass . . .

And those whom sleep eludes lie wide-eyed, hearing
Above their heads a goblin night go by;
Children are waked, and cry,
The young girl hears the roar in her sleep, and dreams
That her lover is caught in a burning tower,
She clutches the pillow, she gasps for breath, she screams . . .
And then by degrees her breath grows quiet and slow,
She dreams of an evening, long ago:
Of colored lanterns balancing under trees,
Some of them softly catching afire;
And beneath the lanterns a motionless face she sees,
Golden with lamplight, smiling, serene . . .
The leaves are a pale and glittering green,
The sound of horns blows over the trampled grass,
Shadows of dancers pass . . .
The face smiles closer to hers, she tries to lean
Backward, away, the eyes burn close and strange,
The face is beginning to change,-
It is her lover, she no longer desires to resist,
She is held and kissed.
She closes her eyes, and melts in a seethe of
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.
Laura Jul 2013
Now listen to the tale of Lila LaRue
A tale that taught us
to think before you do.
A plump gal she was, weighed three hundred and three
She had a strange love for berries, you see?
She hopped down Yale Trail,
And sat on stump
Plop! Right next to Edward the grump.
Edward was old, his memory fading
and didn’t appreciate Lila’s space invading.
“Lila,” he grumbled
“what do you need?”
“I’m looking for the old Yale Berry Tree!”
He sighed and humphed and grumped and thought,
“Kids these days.”
The adventures they sought!
He pointed to the left,
and said ”follow the trail.”
How Lila couldn’t wait to fill her pail!
Lila ****** to her side,
And broke into a run;
She had to get berries
‘Fore the day was done.
But then Edward shouted
something she couldn’t make out
so she lifted her head to see what it was about.
But she tripped on a root
And fell into a tree
“Its old Yale!”
Lila thought with great glee.
She plucked off a berry,
with a strange looking skin
But what was stranger
Was what lied within.
The juice is too ****,
she thought much too late.
Then the grump found her,
in her lifeless state.
“Such a fool, that Lila LaRue.
never read the sign, like I told her to do.”
“Poisonous Berries, please do not eat.”
The sign read, freshly painted and neat.
Always listen to Edward
for he is old and wise.
“Never let a careless  mistake
become your demise.”
RAJ NANDY Jun 2017
Dear Poet Friends, the Sphinx remains shrouded in myth, legend, and History. Modern research by archaeologists and Egyptologists have revealed some of its hidden mysteries. My research has resulted in providing you with a short & a balanced view about the Sphinx, keeping in mind the short attention span of my readers. Unfortunately, I am not able to post the Illustrative photographs here which accompanies my Sphinx story. Hope you like this story, thanks, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.
            
         THE MYSTERY OF THE EGYPTIAN SPHINX

INTRODUCTION
Towering over the Giza plateau facing the rising sun over the
River Nile,
The Sphinx stands defiant for over four millennia, braving the
vagaries of weather and marauding time!
With a lion’s body and a human head the Sphinx remains
shrouded in part myth, part legend, and ancient History.
While the date of its construction, and identity of its face
have intrigued scholars for many centuries.
Today I shall tell you about this monumental and magnificent
structure,
Which stands as an iconic symbol of Egyptian architecture!
Man fears Time since he forever remains as it’s bonded
prisoner in captivity.
However, only few hours of freedom are granted to him during
his earthly sojourn, to live and love life with impunity!
But Time fears the Pyramid and the Sphinx, as they stand
defiant with their raised head;
As miniature symbols of eternity which even Time dreads!

MYTHS AND LEGEND ABOUT THE SPHINX
Many controversies and theories abound as to the identity
of its builders during ancient times.
Some say it was built by the people who came from Plato’s
lost ‘Continent of Atlantis’, prior to the Egyptians, way back
in time!
Others say it was the ancient Zulus who had inhabited the
wet and rainy Giza region with its great lake.
Around 8000 BC, during the close of the Great Ice Age!
But with changing weather pattern the Giza region later became
a desolate and a deserted area.
Yet no records or hieroglyphs survive, to make things clear.
The name ‘Sphinx’ is said to have been given 2000 years later  
by the enterprising Greeks.
Since in Greek Mythology there is a Sphinx, but with a woman’s
face, a lion’s body and with eagle’s wings;
Which guarded the entrance to the ancient Greek City of Thebes.
To the Greeks we owe the ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’ which asked all
passing travelers the following question:
“What is it that has one voice, and walks with four legs in the
morning, with two during the day, and with three in the evening
time?”  - about which those travelers had no notion!
The Sphinx devoured all those who had failed to answer, till the
Greek Oedipus confronted the Sphinx and replied,
That the riddle had described the three stages of a Man’s life.  
Since he crawled on all four as a child, grew up to walk on two
legs.
But during old age used a stick which became his third leg.
Hearing the correct answer the Sphinx is said to have jumped
into an abyss killing itself!

THE  SPHINX PROPER  
Modern Egyptologists generally agree, that the Sphinx had been
carved out from a single mass of limestone mound, -
Which dominated the Giza plateau before 2540 BC.
Built by Pharaoh Kufu’s son Khafre of the Fourth Dynasty.
Khafre was the builder of the second largest pyramid standing
next to his father’s Great Pyramid of Giza.  
While the Sphinx stands on the eastern most boundary of the
Desert Sahara;
Six miles west of Cairo, on the edge of Giza plateau.
It is 240 feet in length and almost 70 feet in height, aligned to
the Pyramid of Khafre behind.
The Sphinx lies on its hunches guarding the vast ‘City of the Dead’.
Where pharaohs mummified bodies lie deep within the pyramids;
To facilitate journey of their soul to gain eternal life and be
resurrected,
To join the Happy Fields of Osiris the Egyptian God of after-life
and death.

Great conquerors like Alexander and Napoleon had stood
dwarfed before the mighty Sphinx.
But to Napoleon we remain grateful for our knowledge of
Egyptian civilisation among other things.
For it was his soldiers who had discovered the Rosetta Stone
in Egypt in 1799, with its  bilingual inscription.
Written in Egyptian hieroglyphs and Coptic Greek, resulting in
the decipherment of the Ancient Egyptian pictorial inscriptions!

EXCAVATIONS AND RESEARCH WORK
The Sphinx had been buried by the shifting sands of the desert
many a time during past centuries.
While periodic restoration work continues to preserve it for
posterity.
American archeologist Mark Lehner and his team during the 1970s,
had analysed the bedrock under the mighty Sphinx.
They found natural cracks and fissures, and also narrow passage
ways dug by early treasure seekers!
His team climbed all over the Sphinx like Lilliputians over Gulliver, -  while mapping its structure entire.
It was found the Sphinx had been subjected to five major restoration efforts since 1400 BC .
While Mark’s dedicated efforts earned him a Doctorate in Egyptology at the Yale University.

Mark’s research also concluded that the visage of the Sphinx was
once painted in red.
While traces of blue and golden yellow decorated the ‘nemes’, the
Pharaoh’s brightly stripped head dress.
Controversies rage even to this date, as to whose features the
Sphinx’s Negroid face did actually represent.
While the disfigured nose of the Sphinx has given rise to many
speculations.
Was it the Muslim Arab conquerors, or a fanatical Sufi Turk who had tried to destroyed it as a pagan symbol!
Today I recall that the mighty 1700 years’ old statue of the Bamiyan
Buddha in Central Afghanistan.
Which was destroyed during March 2001 as a pagan statue by the
fanatical Taliban!
  
Mark feels that in all likelihood the Sphinx’s face was that of Khafre, with whose pyramid the Sphinx stands aligned.
While those ancient architects had arranged the location of the three pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in conformity with solar events, - while choosing their construction site.
A settlement bigger than 10 football fields at this site was excavated,
Where the Sphinx formed an integral part of Pharaoh Khafre’s building complex!
This ‘Lost City’ of Mark Lehner had barracks, workmen’s quarters and kitchenette.
While remnants of diets found suggested workers were perhaps
rendering national service, and were not slaves.
No iron or bronze tools were found, only crude stone hammers and
copper chisels lay buried beneath the ground.
These copper chisels had to be sharpened at the charcoal furnace
frequently, for executing chiseling  work with artistry.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GIZA COMPLEX AREA
Mark Lehner and other Egyptologists felt that the pyramids, Sphinx, and the Temples Complex of Khafre was thoughtfully arranged,
For linking solar events and harnessing the power of the Sun God  
to resurrect the soul of the Pharaohs after their death!
This transformation not only guaranteed eternal life for their dead king,
But also sustained the universal national order, passing of seasons, the annual flooding of the Nile, and their people’s well being.
During sunset at March or September equinoxes when the sun appears to sink into the shoulder of the Sphinx, -
“At the very same moment the shadows of the Sphinx and the pyramids
both symbol of the king becomes merged silhouettes.
Sphinx representing Khafre as Horus the revered falcon god, offers with
his two paws to his father Khufu incarnated as Ra the sun god, who rises
and sets in that temple,” – as the ancient Egyptian’s thought.
Unfortunately  Kafre’s dream was not realised, since the Sphinx Temple remained unfinished as now we get to see,
As the Old Kingdom of Egypt finally broke apart around 2130 BC.
The desert sand began to gradually swallow up the Sphinx, till almost a thousand years later,
Thutmosis IV cleared the area, and introduced cult of Sphinx worship during the New Kingdom Era!
Rest is history, which has been already covered by me.

     CONCLUDING THE SPHINX STORY
The ancient Sphinx as Egypt’s iconic art,
Has captured the onlookers mind and heart.
Buried deep within its shifting sand,
Lies many a secret still unknown to man!
The Sphinx still beckons out to me,
Perhaps one day I shall get to see.
Today the Sphinx stares out at a fast food restaurant.
As it now faces a full frontal urban assault!
The rising water level of the Nile, tourism, traffic, and
air pollution, along with many urban constructions;
Make the authorities to worry about its preservation!
The Sphinx beckons out to man from eons past,
What is that secret it wants to share with us?
Perhaps it is about Environmental Degradation;
And the urgent need for Global Preservation!
                                                   ­        -Raj Nandy
ALL COPYRIGHTS WITH THE AUTHOR ONLY
Tupelo Sep 2014
Puddles in black asphalt make for perfect lagoons
murky waters stirring, kissed with light bent from the sun
air conditioners brace the ledge, ready to jump
marlboro in the air, sunday morning is a holy sight
unanswered questions on bus stop benches,
basketball court with boys who have sprouted like weeds,
too fly for high, or too high for fly,
all background music to the thumping of ball on concrete,
Elders on rocking chair thrones atop of stoops,
witness to all that plays out,
from corner store ballets and 3 a.m. shootouts,
The beauty of it all, an orchestra of bodies,
awakening from slumber for yet another day
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
.i'm pretty sure that someone like Mozart, composed, in total silence, didn't hum out a tune, given that he had to micromanage symphony, or rather, the latter stage of polyphony - synchronization of all subsequent parts... whereby music was more optical in its genesis than people might like to believe... of course auditory in its exodus from the godhead, but... i'm pretty sure the composition process for classical music, would never amount to the sort of fun impromptu of jazz... must be a black privilege sort of, "thing" to have found jazz lying around...

how did the beatniks even believe that
a cross-generational mongrel of an art
form, fusing poetry with jazz could ever work?
robert pinsky still has the dream -
but it's a bit like:
      you think you can smoke marijuana
and listen to blues?
              not drink a drop of the devil liquor
and take blues seriously?
       just like sonny clark would have
said: 'if you don't shoot it,
     you don't smoke it'...
         given that... this is not stoner rock
type of wasp hive droning, humming,
heavily repeated rhythm...
              nothing wacky like
thievery corporation doing a live
rendition of the forgotten people
                                             live on KEXP...
what's that phrase?
    i feel monged -
   i.e. so ****** that you don't know
if it's a brain or a jelly,
         a stomach or krāng...
an 8th of an ounce could last me a week...
never mind...
   but how could they even suppose
that, somehow... jazz would dissolve
into acid jazz...
   that ****** variant you don't hear
in a jazz club...
   sure... the one up in Edinburgh was
jazz by name only...
       instead?
   one night i heard the cover
of neil young's song old man...
yeah... very ******* jazzy...
                what's next, a banjo quartet?
first jazz song i ever heard was
art blakey & the jazz messangers'
      opening track from the album
   of the same name - moanin'...
          SOLD...
           had to stash on some of the records...
but did i really want to speak over
the music?
             did i want to contaminate
the music and produce some ****** mash-up
akin to the beatnik experiment?
     *******... high on dope...
              never bothered to call jazz...
the black man's equivalent status of
what white man's classical music is...
     and where's jazz now?
joshua redman isn't exactly a lifejacket
when a boat with 20 is sinking...
jazz has been neglected...
    relegated as posh black boy music
heading off to Yale... wap... or wrap it up...
talk with a mouth but forget playing
the ******* horns, the sax...
              can't exactly see a revival...
   but would i really want to speak to this music?
feels a bit like talking over an opera...
made sense back then, makes little or no sense
now...
                    beside the point...
      there's still a heatwave in england...
every morning i wake up in a furnace -
    or as if attired in a metallurgy suit working
raw metals...
       and i always ask myself the question...
to rehydrate...
   would i rather eat half a watermelon,
or drink a big glass of water?
                         it's always the first.
oui  Oct 2014
Cocaine
oui Oct 2014
Anastasia was my friend
her face was always pale
she always wore a ribbon
& her daddy went to yale

she was the talk of all the playground
the new girl always is
excited, unready to settle
like her coke-a-cola's fizz

until she sat beside me
& tapped me very slow
"i want to run away," she said
"but i don't know where to go"

i too was quite unpleased
"come and follow me"
so there we packed our knapsacks
and took off for Belize
there now is a graduate from Yale
who lies boldly
               getting red and then pale
when asked about girls
and high school beer swirls
he swears he never drank too much ale
Apropos Brett Kavenaughs very unconvincing statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
RAJ NANDY May 2015
Declared as an UNESCO Heritage Site in 1983, is today a place of tourist attraction, - this ancient city of Inca pride! Please read its absorbing story, you will not regret it ! Thanks, - Raj Nandy

MACHU PICCHU: THE LOST CITY OF THE INCAS!

(I)
At those ethereal heights where only eagles dare,
And where the Condor glides to gently perch;
Above the Urubamba Valley of Peru, -
Stretches the peaks of Machu Picchu and Huayna
Picchu;
Where the sky above is a clear cerulean blue!
And on a cloud-draped ridge connecting both
these Andean peaks, -
Lies the magnificent site of Machu Picchu, –
which many tourists seek!
A city hewed and carved out of rocks and stones,
Which in proud defiance to marauding time,
Stands there for nearly six hundred years, -
A majestic symbol of Inca pride!
(II)
The Inca Kings were the ‘child of the sun’,
Their chief deity was the Sun God - ‘INTI’,
Their ninth king who expanded and consolidated
their Empire,
Was known as the great Emperor Pachucuti!
This king and his architects, at an altitude of
8000 feet built the great Inca City!
To worship their gods and honor their ancestors,
And as a royal family resort and a summer retreat!
Inca religion was based around Nature, and their
architecture blended with the landscape around!
At Machu Picchu they felt closer to their gods,
And could almost hear His sound!
Pachucuti also built the city of Cuzco, the capital
of the Inca Empire,
They never had horses or wheels those days,
Their ‘runners’ covered their kingdom entire!
With posts located at suitable distances, for
relaying messages throughout their Empire!
(III)
The ruins of Machu Picchu covers 13 sq kms,
Lying some 70 kms north-west of Cuzco city,
Nestled amidst the navel of the mountain rocks,
Hidden from the praying eyes of all adversaries!
Surrounded by gushing mountain rivers and
yawning chasms going down deep;
And with secret ropeway bridges, this Inca hideout
was all complete!
It escaped the greedy Pizarro’s eyes, that Spaniard
who came for Inca gold,
Leaving Machu Picchu untouched, for the entire world
to behold!
So the urban sector of Machu Picchu has 140 buildings
still intact;
With steps and terraces cut into steep granite face,
And streams and aqua-ducts to irrigate their lands!
(IV)
The citadel lies on a flat surface, which is a 20 hectares
spread!
With a sacred and a residential area, and houses for
priests, nobility and guests!
‘Amautas’ were men both holy and wise, conducted
ceremonies and read the stars;
But the Incas had no written script, and took help of
the ‘quipu’ by far!
The ‘quipu’ was a numerical system using many
knotted strings, -
With which they kept records and accounts of almost
any and everything!
(V)
A Sacred Area had temples and buildings,
All dedicated to the Gods by Pachucuti;
A Sun Temple, and the sacred Intihuatana Stone,
For ‘binding the sun’ – the great Inti !
During the Equinox on the 21st of March and September,
When the sun was directly above the Intihuatana Stone, <
The priests performed ceremonies and offered prayers, -
To keep the sun caged and in control!
Legend has it that should a sensitive man, keep his
forehead on this sacred Stone, -
His ‘third eye’ would open up, and the ‘spiritual world’
he shall behold!
(VI)
It was Hiram Bingham a professor from Yale University,
Who in July 1911 rediscovered this miniature Inca City!
He took three years to clear the jungles and the wild
vines;
And the artifacts he had found were sent to the US -
as precious finds!
The modern architects who visited Machu Picchu,
all marvelled at the techniques used;
A ‘dry stone technique’
* without mortar, had all of
them pretty confused!
Many stones weighed around fifty tones, and others were
cut into various shapes and size;
And were fitted with such precision, leaving no room
even for a blade of knife!
The peaks there often get covered with mist,
And is the abode of white fluffy clouds;
This stairways to where the Inca gods dwell, #
Is where Machu Picchu is to be found!
- Raj Nandy
(- ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED -)
Notes: -Huayna Pichu stands behind Machu Picchu -
40mtrs higher! It has a steeper climb and has the ‘Temple of
the Moon’ inside a dark cave! +Declared a Heritage Site
by UNESCO in 1983.< Sun being directly above the sacred stone did not cast any shadow, so the priest said he had caged the Sun! *
Dry stone
technique without mortar also used in Egyptian Pyramids! #Many
tribes believed Incas were Gods! Thanks for reading, - Raj Nandy.

............................................. ................................................. .....................
Abbie hailed a yellow top cabbie

Brenda had a sister in-law named Glenda

Cate ran late on her first date

Delly ate seven bowls of lemon jelly

Edwina drove to the town of Catalina

Fran burnt her finger on the very hot frying pan

Gwen had a strong yen to go and see her aunty Jen

Hope bought her husband a towing rope

Isobel fell under the magician's spell

Joann took her mother on a holiday in a caravan

Kylie went to the dentist with her brother Wylie

Lesley liked listening to Elvis Presley

Marcia enjoyed eating a freshly baked focaccia

Nell saw a turtle coming out of his shell

Olga lived at the top end of the river Volga

Primrose had a Pinocchio nose

Queenie knitted a multicolored beanie

Ruth could never tell the whole truth

Stacey loved playing dress ups with her friend Tracey

Tilly behavior was always rather silly

Una bought a house in the suburb of Yagonna

Verity wanted to be a well known celebrity

Winifred never stopped taking about Alfred

Xena was presented with a court subpoena

Yale told her teacher a tall tale

Zealand ventured out into the bushland

— The End —