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Soft, easy to walk on
Pleasant, comfortable
Familial, forgettable
That's carpet.

Hateful, vengeful
Frustrated, ill-intentioned
Always mentioned, enfuriating
That's toxic.

Please love me.
Will you listen to me?
How are you doing?
That's carpet.

Please love me.
I'm empty.
I need you.
That's toxic.

I love you,
I'll do anything for you!
Please command me.
That's carpet.

I deal with your idiocies
I deal with your standards
I conform to fit inside your image.
That's toxic.

Can you hug me in front of
All of these people?
So that they know I'm worth something?
That's carpet.

After you listen to me,
I'll say I'm useless.
I'll say it's not your fault.
That's toxic.

I don't want to ***,
I don't want to talk,
I want you to trust me and tell me everything.
That's carpet.

All I want is ***,
All I need is some warm body.
Give me the fuel I've run out of.
That's toxic.

I'll give you everything
And do whatever you want
For whatever feigned love you can muster.
That's carpet.

I'm ready to conform.
Give me drugs and let me tighten up
While you let loose and accidentally love me.
That's toxic.

I'll text you back immediately.
And patiently await your response.
Rejoice in this moment you did for me.
That's carpet.

Give me advice.
So I can shoot you down.
So I can let you down.
So I can let you drown.
In my toxic civil war
Where I knew no solution would come
From my internal struggle.
But you took a side
And felt the wrath of one of my forces.
I can't help you.
Leave me alone.
That's toxic.

I walk around
By myself late at night.
I text you and say I need you.
Don't worry about where I am.
I needed to be alone,
But now I don't.
I just escaped misery and wanted to
Find you.
Find me,
Or I'll run away.
Block me,
So I can fester.
That's carpet.

Let me give you a million compliments.
Easily.
While you find one for me
And slip a shark a steak
Even though he'll always be hungry.
Sharks barely ever **** humans,
But they're so scary.
It's the hunger, it's the image.
It's not the behavior.
It's not.
The image is hunger.
Always give me more.
That's toxic.

I serve.
I help.
I pleasure, assist, provide
I care, then I care more.
Then I go home and rub off
The disappointment and fear of alone.
Then I care more.
And I wait for the love I give
To come to me.
And I think it will.
That's carpet.

Leave me alone.
Be honest.
That's what I need.
Let your honesty drown you
Because I'm honest too.
And I'll open up the floodgates,
Without remorse.
Sorry if you drown.
I overthink, bottle up, and overshare.
That's toxic.

Please love me.
Please act with me,
Act out the fantasies I have planned.
And re-enact the ones I did.
I'm toxic.
I'm carpet.
That's me.
A poem idea I had, here it is
Amaranthine May 2017
Carpet of chewing gum
Is stuck on my tongue
&
I am speaking fuzzy.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Carpet of  black hairs
Is blocking my sunlight
&
I am thinking hazy.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Carpet of spectacles
Is choking my vision
&
I am seeing muddy.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Carpet of earrings
Is grabbing all attention
&
I am hearing cloudy.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Carpet of tan
Is tarnishing my reactance
&
I am doing unclear.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Carpet of shoes
Is separating me & Earth
&
I am walking smear.
Oh it's a blur blur blur.... Everywhere...

Or is it
Carpet of negativity on my soul
Is stopping my good heart
&
I am living a blur blur blur......everywhere?
#blur #carpet
Emmalie Morales Oct 2012
This awkward silence makes me crazy. I fix my eyes on the floor, entranced in the layers of loops in the stained cream carpet. I don't blink for what feels like hours at a time, testing the willpower and the strength of my eyelids to see how long I can keep them open. My vision begins to blur and tears form in the dark corners of my radiant sea-blue eyes, and I'm not positive whether they are tears from the dry pain consuming them or from your words that hurl at me, bouncing off my skin as if being rejected by Jesus at the glowing gates of heaven, and falling to the same stained cream carpet I gaze at. I watch them crash to the floor and writhe beneath me, banging their fists on the floor, screaming at the top of their little lungs, running in circles and eating each other alive. I then begin to wonder whether it matters where the tears come from, what caused the flood down my face like water through a leaky dam built when "engineers" were merely cowboys with hammers and nails.

The look in your eyes makes me crazy; why I refrain from making direct eye contact. The carpet will suffice, at least it doesn't stare back with those eyes. Your notice of the tears cascading slowly down the soft curve of my blood rushed cheeks changes your mood instantly, and I can feel the color of your aura change as your tone drops. You apologize and I watch the words dance on the floor beneath my feet. "I'm" dances slowly in circles, a slow lonely waltz, next to my loose shoe lace in an empty section of this stained old carpet covered with conversation. "Sorry" lays flat, twitching on the tip of my shoe, convulsing almost to the beat of my heart, which I can hear pulsing through my headache. You wait for a response, a word, a few words, anything. But it seems you have taken them all already. And all the words I could say now lay beautifully still on this carpet of mine.
Sara L Russell Nov 2015
Sara L Russell 11/11/2015, 01:45am*

I wanted to end writer's block.
So I got on my magic carpet and said "Take me to India."
It took off at fantastic speed.
Clouds flew past like frantic ghosts.
I thought I saw Lord Ganesh
smoking a hookah by the Taj Mahal.
The sparkling waters of the Ganges soon came into view.
I dismounted the magic carpet and waded out
in my long chiffon dress, into the cool water.
Candles shaped like lotus flowers drifted idly by.
Suddenly I caught my toes on a reed and was falling,
falling, falling...
the magic carpet flew away.
Woke up in ****** Carpet Right.
To be continued...
Ashley May 2018
My knees are weak as I fall to the ground.
The stairs I lay on has yellow fuzzy carpet. Carpet that is full of crumbs, dust, and nail polish.
The yellow carpet was once white, but is now not, no one knows why only it knows.
My knees can’t stabilize as my brain can’t make a move.
Without a moving body I have no moving brain, but I can’t have a moving body without a brain.
All I can think of is the words you put in my head. I’m to scared of your movements and every word you say is like a million of needles pinching me to teach me a lesson.
I’ve become to weak that I don’t seem weak to myself. Because for as long as I can remember I’ve been like this, weak. That I forgot how it felt to try or work hard.
So once I lay on the yellow fuzzy carpet. Not worried someone will see my salty tears hit the stairs, or see me falling to the ground. All I care about it whether or not if you know your words hurt too much to explain.
Whether or not you choose to be this way.
Because I’m feeling the yellow fuzzy carpet beneath me, and I’ve been on this yellow fuzzy carpet stairway to many times before.
Is this okay? It's practically a draft and I only feel a need to write poetry when I am panicking or crying
A storm broke out in the middle of the night and the window slammed with a mighty thud.
"Oh crumbs,'   what on earth."eek,
He quickly shot out of bed and downstairs to find the flower *** and all its contents scattered all over the living-room floor. What a mess thought Mr Ketchup I'll just leave it until the morning Oh what a nuisance. Off he went upstairs to bed.
Oh dear that wasn't very clever you see the carpet had only been laid three weeks ago. And the dye hadn't  dried oh well I guess Mr Ketchup will have some explaining to too When Sweet Potato Face arrives back from her sisters.
She had been away on a short visit for a couple of days. Mr ketchup hated visiting Family he'd rather be stuck at home reading his favorite comic. Sweet Potato Face will give him comic indeed. He really should have been more careful to lock up. And last night he forgot to lock the living-room window. I wonder what His other half will say when she arrives back home tomorrow. The very next day Mr ketchup Gave a loud sigh oops and rushed down the stairs to mop up the mess from the flowers pots. But Oh no that torn it now, what ever shall I do He quickly put on the kettle on for some hot water. he pulled the bucket and the half eaten mop from the cupboard. Mr Ketchup poured in some
car wash cleaner instead of carpet shampoo. Oh no as you can imagine the color in the carpet started to run and Poor Mr Ketchup began to sneeze .
He sneezed so hard that the bucket went flying into the air and landed all over
Mr Ketchup he looked like something from a horror film. the dye from the carpet had run.  everywhere, they was soap suds  flying around.
" Oh bother," i be in so much trouble. I'll give haggis and neaps a ring and see if
they can help me out. Luckily enough for him Neaps and Haggis come to his rescue and a good job too they saved his bacon. it would be rather nice if he to
could return the favor. Haggis and Neaps where always at his beck and call.
Just for once he thought I need to do something special for haggis and Neaps.
I will treat them both to a slap up meal down at Saltyard cafe. They bake some really yummy cakes with cream and the scones just melt in your mouth. The soup is tasty and it is served with thick clunks of bread. I book us a table for lunch next Tuesday. It will be a big surprise for them both.
Will Mr Ketchup actually keep his word find out in the next chapter.    

Mr Ketchup woke up in the middle of the night scratching from head to toe.
"Oh Dear, are you alright you seem to be very itchy."?
"It's those stupid midges, they have eaten me a live and ****** out all of my blood. He groaned.
" Well lets see if we can put some calamine lotion on that will calm the itch down." said Sweet Potato Face."
Down the stairs they both trod and oops Mr Ketchup was so busy scratching that he missed the middle step. Bump-tie bump head first down the stairs until he reached the bottom step. Poor Mr Ketchup
He did look in a bit of a daze. Sweet Potato Face found the bottle of lotion and applied it at once. But goodness Mr ketchup looked like he had the measles. So she empty out the whole bottle and Mr ketchup Looked like a strawberry cream cake. Not good enough to eat though.  Mr Ketchup had
difficultly standing he'd appeared to be in so much pain.
" I cannot stand it's to painful he moaned."
"let's get you checked over at the hospital, 'Wait.'! here she said.
Minutes later the ambulance arrived with it's sirens on and they took Mr ketchup to the hometown hospital. His head needed a few stitches. But if Mr ketchup wasn't keen on being stitched up,but it was for his own good.
" Come now Mr Ketchup don't be such a coward we need to get these in so sit still and be brave. replied the nurse."
Mr ketchup Had been given orders to rest and take it easy for a few days. he wasn't allowed to wander as he pleased.
"Well that's torn it now I have to cancel the booking for tomorrows lunch. Haggis and neaps will be so disappointed, But on the other hand I could tell them to go by themselves and i wont have to pay a penny."  
Well I might have guessed he'd pull a fast one. There he goes again whatever shall we do we you Mr Ketchup.....
Alexa Sz Apr 2010
I sat upon the soft detailed carpet
we rose into the air
out of the window
seeing the world
New York, Rome, Greece, Paris, London, Tibet, Beijing,
Budapest, Oslo, Munich, India, African plains, Jerusalem, West Bank, etc
What was the best is the people and the culture
how different each one is but yet wanting the same thing
riding the magic carpet made me think about how everyone
in the world
could work together
to make peace
but there is still those internal
disagreements
peace between enemies
hurts further

In real life I was my imagination
and the carpet was my dream
the future is my hope
FIRST DAY

1.
Who wanted me
to go to Chicago
on January 6th?
I did!

The night before,
20 below zero
Fahrenheit
with the wind chill;
as the blizzard of 99
lay in mountains
of blackening snow.

I packed two coats,
two suits,
three sweaters,
multiple sets of long johns
and heavy white socks
for a two-day stay.

I left from Newark.
**** the denseness,
it confounds!

The 2nd City to whom?
2nd ain’t bad.
It’s pretty good.
If you consider
Peking and Prague,
Tokyo and Togo,
Manchester and Moscow,
Port Au Prince and Paris,
Athens and Amsterdam,
Buenos Aries and Johannesburg;
that’s pretty good.

What’s going on here today?
It’s friggin frozen.
To the bone!

But Chi Town is still cool.
Buddy Guy’s is open.
Bartenders mixing drinks,
cabbies jamming on their breaks,
honey dew waitresses serving sugar,
buildings swerving,
fire tongued preachers are preaching
and the farmers are measuring the moon.

The lake,
unlike Ontario
is in the midst of freezing.
Bones of ice
threaten to gel
into a solid mass
over the expanse
of the Michigan Lake.
If this keeps up,
you can walk
clear to Toronto
on a silver carpet.

Along the shore
the ice is permanent.
It’s the first big frost
of winter
after a long
Indian Summer.

Thank God
I caught a cab.
Outside I hear
The Hawk
nippin hard.
It’ll get your ear,
finger or toe.
Bite you on the nose too
if you ain’t careful.

Thank God,
I’m not walking
the Wabash tonight;
but if you do cover up,
wear layers.

Chicago,
could this be
Sandburg’s City?

I’m overwhelmed
and this is my tenth time here.

It’s almost better,
sometimes it is better,
a lot of times it is better
and denser then New York.

Ask any Bull’s fan.
I’m a Knickerbocker.
Yes Nueva York,
a city that has placed last
in the standings
for many years.
Except the last two.
Yanks are # 1!

But Chicago
is a dynasty,
as big as
Sammy Sosa’s heart,
rich and wide
as Michael Jordan’s grin.

Middle of a country,
center of a continent,
smack dab in the mean
of a hemisphere,
vortex to a world,
Chicago!

Kansas City,
Nashville,
St. Louis,
Detroit,
Cleveland,
Pittsburgh,
Denver,
New Orleans,
Dallas,
Cairo,
Singapore,
Auckland,
Baghdad,
Mexico City
and Montreal
salute her.



2.
Cities,
A collection of vanities?
Engineered complex utilitarianism?
The need for community a social necessity?
Ego one with the mass?
Civilization’s latest *******?
Chicago is more then that.

Jefferson’s yeoman farmer
is long gone
but this capitol
of the Great Plains
is still democratic.

The citizen’s of this city
would vote daily,
if they could.

Chicago,
Sandburg’s Chicago,
Could it be?

The namesake river
segments the city,
canals of commerce,
all perpendicular,
is rife throughout,
still guiding barges
to the Mississippi
and St. Laurence.

Now also
tourist attractions
for a cafe society.

Chicago is really jazzy,
swanky clubs,
big steaks,
juices and drinks.

You get the best
coffee from Seattle
and the finest teas
from China.

Great restaurants
serve liquid jazz
al la carte.

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they serve is Jazz
Rock me steady
Keep the beat
Keep it flowin
Feel the heat!

Jazz Jazz Jazz
All they is, is Jazz
Fast cars will take ya
To the show
Round bout midnight
Where’d the time go?

Flows into the Mississippi,
the mother of America’s rivers,
an empires aorta.

Great Lakes wonder of water.
Niagara Falls
still her heart gushes forth.

Buffalo connected to this holy heart.
Finger Lakes and Adirondacks
are part of this watershed,
all the way down to the
Delaware and Chesapeake.

Sandburg’s Chicago?
Oh my my,
the wonder of him.
Who captured the imagination
of the wonders of rivers.

Down stream other holy cities
from the Mississippi delta
all mapped by him.

Its mouth our Dixie Trumpet
guarded by righteous Cajun brethren.

Midwest?
Midwest from where?
It’s north of Caracas and Los Angeles,
east of Fairbanks,
west of Dublin
and south of not much.

Him,
who spoke of honest men
and loving women.
Working men and mothers
bearing citizens to build a nation.
The New World’s
precocious adolescent
caught in a stream
of endless and exciting change,
much pain and sacrifice,
dedication and loss,
pride and tribulations.

From him we know
all the people’s faces.
All their stories are told.
Never defeating the
idea of Chicago.

Sandburg had the courage to say
what was in the heart of the people, who:

Defeated the Indians,
Mapped the terrain,
Aided slavers,
Fought a terrible civil war,
Hoisted the barges,
Grew the food,
Whacked the wheat,
Sang the songs,
Fought many wars of conquest,
Cleared the land,
Erected the bridges,
Trapped the game,
Netted the fish,
Mined the coal,
Forged the steel,
Laid the tracks,
Fired the tenders,
Cut the stone,
Mixed the mortar,
Plumbed the line,
And laid the bricks
Of this nation of cities!

Pardon the Marlboro Man shtick.
It’s a poor expostulation of
crass commercial symbolism.

Like I said, I’m a
Devil Fan from Jersey
and Madison Avenue
has done its work on me.

It’s a strange alchemy
that changes
a proud Nation of Blackhawks
into a merchandising bonanza
of hometown hockey shirts,
making the native seem alien,
and the interloper at home chillin out,
warming his feet atop a block of ice,
guzzling Old Style
with clicker in hand.

Give him his beer
and other diversions.
If he bowls with his buddy’s
on Tuesday night
I hope he bowls
a perfect game.

He’s earned it.
He works hard.
Hard work and faith
built this city.

And it’s not just the faith
that fills the cities
thousand churches,
temples and
mosques on the Sabbath.

3.
There is faith in everything in Chicago!

An alcoholic broker named Bill
lives the Twelve Steps
to banish fear and loathing
for one more day.
Bill believes in sobriety.

A tug captain named Moe
waits for the spring thaw
so he can get the barges up to Duluth.
Moe believes in the seasons.

A farmer named Tom
hopes he has reaped the last
of many bitter harvests.
Tom believes in a new start.

A homeless man named Earl
wills himself a cot and a hot
at the local shelter.
Earl believes in deliverance.

A Pullman porter
named George
works overtime
to get his first born
through medical school.
George believes in opportunity.

A folk singer named Woody
sings about his
countrymen inheritance
and implores them to take it.
Woody believes in people.

A Wobbly named Joe
organizes fellow steelworkers
to fight for a workers paradise
here on earth.
Joe believes in ideals.

A bookkeeper named Edith
is certain she’ll see the Cubs
win the World Series
in her lifetime.
Edith believes in miracles.

An electrician named ****
saves money
to bring his family over from Gdansk.
**** believes in America.

A banker named Leah
knows Ditka will return
and lead the Bears
to another Super Bowl.
Leah believes in nostalgia.

A cantor named Samuel
prays for another 20 years
so he can properly train
his Temple’s replacement.

Samuel believes in tradition.
A high school girl named Sally
refuses to get an abortion.
She knows she carries
something special within her.
Sally believes in life.

A city worker named Mazie
ceaselessly prays
for her incarcerated son
doing 10 years at Cook.
Mazie believes in redemption.

A jazzer named Bix
helps to invent a new art form
out of the mist.
Bix believes in creativity.

An architect named Frank
restores the Rookery.
Frank believes in space.

A soldier named Ike
fights wars for democracy.
Ike believes in peace.

A Rabbi named Jesse
sermonizes on Moses.
Jesse believes in liberation.

Somewhere in Chicago
a kid still believes in Shoeless Joe.
The kid believes in
the integrity of the game.

An Imam named Louis
is busy building a nation
within a nation.
Louis believes in
self-determination.

A teacher named Heidi
gives all she has to her students.
She has great expectations for them all.
Heidi believes in the future.

4.
Does Chicago have a future?

This city,
full of cowboys
and wildcatters
is predicated
on a future!

Bang, bang
Shoot em up
Stake the claim
It’s your terrain
Drill the hole
Strike it rich
Top it off
You’re the boss
Take a chance
Watch it wane
Try again
Heavenly gains

Chicago
city of futures
is a Holy Mecca
to all day traders.

Their skin is gray,
hair disheveled,
loud ties and
funny coats,
thumb through
slips of paper
held by nail
chewed hands.
Selling promises
with no derivative value
for out of the money calls
and in the money puts.
Strike is not a labor action
in this city of unionists,
but a speculators mark,
a capitalist wish,
a hedgers bet,
a public debt
and a farmers
fair return.

Indexes for everything.
Quantitative models
that could burst a kazoo.

You know the measure
of everything in Chicago.
But is it truly objective?
Have mathematics banished
subjective intentions,
routing it in fair practice
of market efficiencies,
a kind of scientific absolution?

I heard that there
is a dispute brewing
over the amount of snowfall
that fell on the 1st.

The mayor’s office,
using the official city ruler
measured 22”
of snow on the ground.

The National Weather Service
says it cannot detect more
then 17” of snow.

The mayor thinks
he’ll catch less heat
for the trains that don’t run
the buses that don’t arrive
and the schools that stand empty
with the addition of 5”.

The analysts say
it’s all about capturing liquidity.

Liquidity,
can you place a great lake
into an eyedropper?

Its 20 below
and all liquid things
are solid masses
or a gooey viscosity at best.

Water is frozen everywhere.
But Chi town is still liquid,
flowing faster
then the digital blips
flashing on the walls
of the CBOT.

Dreams
are never frozen in Chicago.
The exchanges trade
without missing a beat.

Trading wet dreams,
the crystallized vapor
of an IPO
pledging a billion points
of Internet access
or raiding the public treasuries
of a central bank’s
huge stores of gold
with currency swaps.

Using the tools
of butterfly spreads
and candlesticks
to achieve the goal.

Short the Russell
or buy the Dow,
go long the
CAC and DAX.
Are you trading in euro’s?
You better be
or soon will.
I know
you’re Chicago,
you’ll trade anything.
WEBS,
Spiders,
and Leaps
are traded here,
along with sweet crude,
North Sea Brent,
plywood and T-Bill futures;
and most importantly
the commodities,
the loam
that formed this city
of broad shoulders.

What about our wheat?
Still whacking and
breadbasket to the world.

Oil,
an important fossil fuel
denominated in
good ole greenbacks.

Porkbellies,
not just hogwash
on the Wabash,
but bacon, eggs
and flapjacks
are on the menu
of every diner in Jersey
as the “All American.”

Cotton,
our contribution
to the Golden Triangle,
once the global currency
used to enrich a
gentlemen class
of cultured
southern slavers,
now Tommy Hilfiger’s
preferred fabric.

I think he sends it
to Bangkok where
child slaves
spin it into
gold lame'.

Sorghum,
I think its hardy.

Soybeans,
the new age substitute
for hamburger
goes great with tofu lasagna.

Corn,
ADM creates ethanol,
they want us to drive cleaner cars.

Cattle,
once driven into this city’s
bloodhouses for slaughter,
now ground into
a billion Big Macs
every year.

When does a seed
become a commodity?
When does a commodity
become a future?
When does a future expire?

You can find the answers
to these questions in Chicago
and find a fortune in a hole in the floor.

Look down into the pits.
Hear the screams of anguish
and profitable delights.

Frenzied men
swarming like a mass
of epileptic ants
atop the worlds largest sugar cube
auger the worlds free markets.

The scene is
more chaotic then
100 Haymarket Square Riots
multiplied by 100
1968 Democratic Conventions.

Amidst inverted anthills,
they scurry forth and to
in distinguished
black and red coats.

Fighting each other
as counterparties
to a life and death transaction.

This is an efficient market
that crosses the globe.

Oil from the Sultan of Brunei,
Yen from the land of Hitachi,
Long Bonds from the Fed,
nickel from Quebec,
platinum and palladium
from Siberia,
FTSE’s from London
and crewel cane from Havana
circle these pits.

Tijuana,
Shanghai
and Istanbul's
best traders
are only half as good
as the average trader in Chicago.

Chicago,
this hog butcher to the world,
specializes in packaging and distribution.

Men in blood soaked smocks,
still count the heads
entering the gates of the city.

Their handiwork
is sent out on barges
and rail lines as frozen packages
of futures
waiting for delivery
to an anonymous counterparty
half a world away.

This nation’s hub
has grown into the
premier purveyor
to the world;
along all the rivers,
highways,
railways
and estuaries
it’s tentacles reach.

5.
Sandburg’s Chicago,
is a city of the world’s people.

Many striver rows compose
its many neighborhoods.

Nordic stoicism,
Eastern European orthodoxy
and Afro-American
calypso vibrations
are three of many cords
strumming the strings
of Chicago.

Sandburg’s Chicago,
if you wrote forever
you would only scratch its surface.

People wait for trains
to enter the city from O’Hare.
Frozen tears
lock their eyes
onto distant skyscrapers,
solid chunks
of snot blocks their nose
and green icicles of slime
crust mustaches.
They fight to breathe.

Sandburg’s Chicago
is The Land of Lincoln,
Savior of the Union,
protector of the Republic.
Sent armies
of sons and daughters,
barges, boxcars,
gunboats, foodstuffs,
cannon and shot
to raze the south
and stamp out succession.

Old Abe’s biography
are still unknown volumes to me.
I must see and read the great words.
You can never learn enough;
but I’ve been to Washington
and seen the man’s memorial.
The Free World’s 8th wonder,
guarded by General Grant,
who still keeps an eye on Richmond
and a hand on his sword.

Through this American winter
Abe ponders.
The vista he surveys is dire and tragic.

Our sitting President
impeached
for lying about a *******.

Party partisans
in the senate are sworn and seated.
Our Chief Justice,
adorned with golden bars
will adjudicate the proceedings.
It is the perfect counterpoint
to an ageless Abe thinking
with malice toward none
and charity towards all,
will heal the wounds
of the nation.

Abe our granite angel,
Chicago goes on,
The Union is strong!


SECOND DAY

1.
Out my window
the sun has risen.

According to
the local forecast
its minus 9
going up to
6 today.

The lake,
a golden pillow of clouds
is frozen in time.

I marvel
at the ancients ones
resourcefulness
and how
they mastered
these extreme elements.

Past, present and future
has no meaning
in the Citadel
of the Prairie today.

I set my watch
to Central Standard Time.

Stepping into
the hotel lobby
the concierge
with oil smooth hair,
perfect tie
and English lilt
impeccably asks,
“Do you know where you are going Sir?
Can I give you a map?”

He hands me one of Chicago.
I see he recently had his nails done.
He paints a green line
along Whacker Drive and says,
“turn on Jackson, LaSalle, Wabash or Madison
and you’ll get to where you want to go.”
A walk of 14 or 15 blocks from Streeterville-
(I start at The Chicago White House.
They call it that because Hillary Rodham
stays here when she’s in town.
Its’ also alleged that Stedman
eats his breakfast here
but Opra
has never been seen
on the premises.
I wonder how I gained entry
into this place of elite’s?)
-down into the center of The Loop.

Stepping out of the hotel,
The Doorman
sporting the epaulets of a colonel
on his corporate winter coat
and furry Cossack hat
swaddling his round black face
accosts me.

The skin of his face
is flaking from
the subzero windburn.

He asks me
with a gapped toothy grin,
“Can I get you a cab?”
“No I think I’ll walk,” I answer.
“Good woolen hat,
thick gloves you should be alright.”
He winks and lets me pass.

I step outside.
The Windy City
flings stabbing cold spears
flying on wings of 30-mph gusts.
My outside hardens.
I can feel the freeze
deepen
into my internalness.
I can’t be sure
but inside
my heart still feels warm.
For how long
I cannot say.

I commence
my walk
among the spires
of this great city,
the vertical leaps
that anchor the great lake,
holding its place
against the historic
frigid assault.

The buildings’ sway,
modulating to the blows
of natures wicked blasts.

It’s a hard imposition
on a city and its people.

The gloves,
skullcap,
long underwear,
sweater,
jacket
and overcoat
not enough
to keep the cold
from penetrating
the person.

Like discerning
the layers of this city,
even many layers,
still not enough
to understand
the depth of meaning
of the heart
of this heartland city.

Sandburg knew the city well.
Set amidst groves of suburbs
that extend outward in every direction.
Concentric circles
surround the city.
After the burbs come farms,
Great Plains, and mountains.
Appalachians and Rockies
are but mere molehills
in the city’s back yard.
It’s terra firma
stops only at the sea.
Pt. Barrow to the Horn,
many capes extended.

On the periphery
its appendages,
its extremities,
its outward extremes.
All connected by the idea,
blown by the incessant wind
of this great nation.
The Windy City’s message
is sent to the world’s four corners.
It is a message of power.
English the worlds
common language
is spoken here,
along with Ebonics,
Espanol,
Mandarin,
Czech,
Russian,
Korean,
Arabic,
Hindi­,
German,
French,
electronics,
steel,
cars,
cartoons,
rap,
sports­,
movies,
capital,
wheat
and more.

Always more.
Much much more
in Chicago.

2.
Sandburg
spoke all the dialects.

He heard them all,
he understood
with great precision
to the finest tolerances
of a lathe workers micrometer.

Sandburg understood
what it meant to laugh
and be happy.

He understood
the working mans day,
the learned treatises
of university chairs,
the endless tomes
of the city’s
great libraries,
the lost languages
of the ancient ones,
the secret codes
of abstract art,
the impact of architecture,
the street dialects and idioms
of everymans expression of life.

All fighting for life,
trying to build a life,
a new life
in this modern world.

Walking across
the Michigan Avenue Bridge
I see the Wrigley Building
is neatly carved,
catty cornered on the plaza.

I wonder if Old Man Wrigley
watched his barges
loaded with spearmint
and double-mint
move out onto the lake
from one of those Gothic windows
perched high above the street.

Would he open a window
and shout to the men below
to quit slaking and work harder
or would he
between the snapping sound
he made with his mouth
full of his chewing gum
offer them tickets
to a ballgame at Wrigley Field
that afternoon?

Would the men below
be able to understand
the man communing
from such a great height?

I listen to a man
and woman conversing.
They are one step behind me
as we meander along Wacker Drive.

"You are in Chicago now.”
The man states with profundity.
“If I let you go
you will soon find your level
in this city.
Do you know what I mean?”

No I don’t.
I think to myself.
What level are you I wonder?
Are you perched atop
the transmission spire
of the Hancock Tower?

I wouldn’t think so
or your ears would melt
from the windburn.

I’m thinking.
Is she a kept woman?
She is majestically clothed
in fur hat and coat.
In animal pelts
not trapped like her,
but slaughtered
from farms
I’m sure.

What level
is he speaking of?

Many levels
are evident in this city;
many layers of cobbled stone,
Pennsylvania iron,
Hoosier Granite
and vertical drops.

I wonder
if I detect
condensation
in his voice?

What is
his intention?
Is it a warning
of a broken affair?
A pending pink slip?
Advise to an addict
refusing to adhere
to a recovery regimen?

What is his level anyway?
Is he so high and mighty,
Higher and mightier
then this great city
which we are all a part of,
which we all helped to build,
which we all need
in order to keep this nation
the thriving democratic
empire it is?

This seditious talk!

3.
The Loop’s El
still courses through
the main thoroughfares of the city.

People are transported
above the din of the street,
looking down
on the common pedestrians
like me.

Super CEO’s
populating the upper floors
of Romanesque,
Greek Revivalist,
New Bauhaus,
Art Deco
and Post Nouveau
Neo-Modern
Avant-Garde towers
are too far up
to see me
shivering on the street.

The cars, busses,
trains and trucks
are all covered
with the film
of rock salt.

Salt covers
my bootless feet
and smudges
my cloths as well.

The salt,
the primal element
of the earth
covers everything
in Chicago.

It is the true level
of this city.

The layer
beneath
all layers,
on which
everything
rests,
is built,
grows,
thrives
then dies.
To be
returned again
to the lower
layers
where it can
take root
again
and grow
out onto
the great plains.

Splashing
the nation,
anointing
its people
with its
blessing.

A blessing,
Chicago?

All rivers
come here.

All things
found its way here
through the canals
and back bays
of the world’s
greatest lakes.

All roads,
rails and
air routes
begin and
end here.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow
got a *** rap.
It did not start the fire,
we did.

We lit the torch
that flamed
the city to cinders.
From a pile of ash
Chicago rose again.

Forever Chicago!
Forever the lamp
that burns bright
on a Great Lake’s
western shore!

Chicago
the beacon
sends the
message to the world
with its windy blasts,
on chugging barges,
clapping trains,
flying tandems,
T1 circuits
and roaring jets.

Sandburg knew
a Chicago
I will never know.

He knew
the rhythm of life
the people walked to.
The tools they used,
the dreams they dreamed
the songs they sang,
the things they built,
the things they loved,
the pains that hurt,
the motives that grew,
the actions that destroyed
the prayers they prayed,
the food they ate
their moments of death.

Sandburg knew
the layers of the city
to the depths
and windy heights
I cannot fathom.

The Blues
came to this city,
on the wing
of a chirping bird,
on the taps
of a rickety train,
on the blast
of an angry sax
rushing on the wind,
on the Westend blitz
of Pop's brash coronet,
on the tink of
a twinkling piano
on a paddle-wheel boat
and on the strings
of a lonely man’s guitar.

Walk into the clubs,
tenements,
row houses,
speakeasies
and you’ll hear the Blues
whispered like
a quiet prayer.

Tidewater Blues
from Virginia,
Delta Blues
from the lower
Mississippi,
Boogie Woogie
from Appalachia,
Texas Blues
from some Lone Star,
Big Band Blues
from Kansas City,
Blues from
Beal Street,
Jelly Roll’s Blues
from the Latin Quarter.

Hell even Chicago
got its own brand
of Blues.

Its all here.
It ended up here
and was sent away
on the winds of westerly blows
to the ear of an eager world
on strong jet streams
of simple melodies
and hard truths.

A broad
shouldered woman,
a single mother stands
on the street
with three crying babes.
Their cloths
are covered
in salt.
She pleads
for a break,
praying
for a new start.
Poor and
under-clothed
against the torrent
of frigid weather
she begs for help.
Her blond hair
and ****** features
suggests her
Scandinavian heritage.
I wonder if
she is related to Sandburg
as I walk past
her on the street.
Her feet
are bleeding
through her
canvass sneakers.
Her babes mouths
are zipped shut
with frozen drivel
and mucous.

The Blues live
on in Chicago.

The Blues
will forever live in her.
As I turn the corner
to walk the Miracle Mile
I see her engulfed
in a funnel cloud of salt,
snow and bits
of white paper,
swirling around her
and her children
in an angry
unforgiving
maelstrom.

The family
begins to
dissolve
like a snail
sprinkled with salt;
and a mother
and her children
just disappear
into the pavement
at the corner
of Dearborn,
in Chicago.

Music:

Robert Johnson
Sweet Home Chicago


jbm
Chicago
1/7/99
Added today to commemorate the birthday of Carl Sandburg
Cormac O'Rourke Jun 2013
You're arms are stained
Like my carpet.
Wine spills onto your wrist
Like my carpet.
Your skin is as soft as the moon's light
Like my carpet.

But unlike my carpet,
You cannot be replaced.
howard brace Feb 2012
Inconspicuous, his presence noted only by the obscurity and the ever growing number of spent cigarette stubs that littered the ground.  It had been a long day and the rain, relentless in its tenacity had little intention of stopping, baleful clouds still  hung heavy, dominating the lateness of the afternoon sky, a rain laden skyline broken only by smoke filled chimney pots and the tangled snarl of corroded television aerials.

     The once busy street was fast emptying now, the lure of shop windows no longer enticed the casual browser as local traders closed their premises to the oncoming night, solitary lampposts curved hazily into the distance, casting little more than insipid pools mirrored in the gutter below, only the occasional stranger scurrying home on a bleak, rain swept afternoon, the hurried slap of wet leather soles on the pavement, the sightless umbrellas, the infrequent rumble of a half filled bus, hell-bent on its way to oblivion.

     In the near distance as the working day ended, a sudden emergence of factory workers told Beamish it was 5-o'clock, most would be hurrying home to a hot meal, while others, for a quick drink perhaps before making the same old sorry excuse... for Jack, the greasy spoon would be closing about now, denying him the comfort of a badly needed cuppa' and stale cheese sandwich.  A subtle legacy of lunchtime fish and chips still lingered in the air, Jack's stomach rumbled, there was little chance of a fish supper for Beamish tonight, it protested again... louder.

     From beneath the eaves of the building opposite several pigeons broke cover, startled by the rattle as a shopkeeper struggled to close the canvas awning above his shop window.  Narrowly missing Beamish they flew anxiously over the rooftops, memories of the blitz sprang to mind as Jack stepped smartly to one side, he stamped his feet... it dashed a little of the weather from his raincoat, just as the rain dashed a little of the pigeons' anxiety from the pavement... the day couldn't get much worse if it tried.  Shielding his face, Jack struck the Ronson one more time and cupped the freshly lit cigarette between his hands, it was the only source of heat to be had that day... and still it rained.

     'By Appointment to Certain Personages...' the letter heading rang out loudly... 'Jack Beamish ~ Private Investigator...' a throat choking mouthful by any stretch of the imagination, thought Jack and shot every vestige of credulity plummeting straight through the office window and amidst a fanfare of trumpet voluntary, nominate itself for a prodigious award in the New Year Honours list.   Having formally served in a professional capacity for a well known purveyor of pickled condiments, who  incidentally, brandished the same patronage emblazoned upon their extensive range of relish as the one Jack had more recently purloined from them... a paid commission no less, which by Jack's certain understanding had made him, albeit fleeting in nature, a professional consultant of said company... and consequently, if they could flaunt the auspicious emblem, then according to Jack's infallible logic, so could Jack.  

     The recently appropriated letterhead possessed certain distinction... in much the same way, Jack reasoned, that a blank piece of paper did not... and whereas correspondence bearing the heading 'By Appointment' may not exactly strike terror into the hearts of man... unlike a really strong pickled onion, it nevertheless made people think twice before playing him for the fool, which sadly, Jack had to concede, they still invariably did... and he would often catch them wagging an accusing finger or two in his direction with such platitudes as... "watch where you put your foot", they'd whisper, "that Jack's a right Shamus...", and when you'd misplaced your footing as many times as Jack had, then he reasoned, that by default the celebrated Shamus must have landed himself in more piles of indiscretion than he would readily care to admit, but that wouldn't be quite accurate either, in Jack's line of work it was the malefactor that actually dropped him in them more often than not.

     A cold shiver suddenly ran down his spine, another quickly followed as a spurt of icy water from a broken rain spout spattered across the back of his neck, he grimaced... Jack's expression spoke volumes as he took one final pull from his half soaked cigarette and flicked it, amid an eruption of sparks against the adjacent brick wall.  Sinking further into the shadow he tipped his fedora against the oncoming rain, then, digging both hands deep within his pockets, he huddled behind the upturned collar of his gabardine... watching.

     It was times such as these when Jack's mind would slip back, in much the same way you might slip back on a discarded banana peel, when a matter of some consequence, or in particular this case the pavement, would suddenly leap up from behind and give the back of Jack's head a resoundingly good slapping and tell him to "stop loafing around in office hours... or else", then drag him, albeit kicking and screaming back into the 20th century.  This intellectual assault and battery re-focused Jack's mind wonderfully as he whiled away the long weary hours until his next cigarette; cup of tea, or the last bus home, his capacity to endure such mind boggling tedium called for nothing less than sheer ******-mindedness and very little else... Beamish had long suspected that he possessed all the necessary qualifications.  

     Jack had come a long way since the early days, it had been a long haul but he'd finally arrived there in the end... and managed to pick up quite a few ***** looks along the way.  Whilst he was with the Police Constabulary... and it was only fair to stress the word 'with', as opposed to the word 'in'... although the more Jack considered, he had been 'with' the arresting officer, held 'in' the local Bridewell... detained at Her Majesties pleasure while assisting the boys in blue with their enquiries over a minor infringement of some local by-law that currently had quite slipped his mind at that moment.  Throughout this enforced leisure period he'd managed to read the entire abridged editions of Kilroy and other expansive works of graffiti exhibited in what passed locally as the next best thing to the Tate Gallery, whereupon it hadn't taken Jack very long to realise that it was always a good place to start if you wanted free breakfast, in fact the weeks bill of fare was tastefully displayed in vivid, polychromatic colour on the wall opposite... you just had to be au-fait with braille.
                            
     No matter how industrious Beamish laboured to rake the dirt there always appeared to be a dire shortage of gullible clients for Jack to squeeze, what would roughly translate as an honest crust out of, and although his financial retainer was highly competitive he understood that potential clients found it bewildering when grappling with the unplumbed depths of his monthly expense account, which would tend to fluctuate with the same unpredictability as the British weather, the rest of Jack's agenda revolved around a little shady moonlighting... in fact he'd happily consider anything to offset the remotest possibility of financial delinquency... short of extortion... which by the strangest twist was the very word prospective clients would cry while Jack beavered around the office with dust-pan and brush sweeping any concerns they may have had frantically under the carpet regarding all culpability of his extra-curricular monthly stipend... and they should remain assured at all times... as they dug deep and fished for their cheque books, and simply look upon it as kneading dough, which eerily enough was exactly the thick wedge of buttered granary that Jack had every intention of carving.

     Were there ever the slightest possibility that a day could be so utterly wretched, then today was that day, Jack felt a certain empathy as he merged with his surroundings... at one with nature as it were.  The rain, a timpani on the metal dustbin lids, by the side of which Beamish had taken up vigil, also taking up vigil and in search of a morsel was the stray mongrel, this was the third time now that he'd returned, the same apprehensive wag, yet still the same hopeful look of expectation in his eyes, a brief but friendly companion who paid more attention to Jack's left trouser leg than anything that could be had from nosing around the dustbins that day... some days you're the dog, scowled Beamish as he shook his trouser leg... and some days the lamppost, Jack's foot swung out playfully, keeping his new friend's incontinence at a safe distance, feigning indignance  the scruffy mongrel shook himself defiantly from nose to tail, a distinct odour of wet dog filled the air as an abundance of spent rainwater flew in all directions.   Pricking one ear he looked accusingly at Jack before turning and snuffled off, his nose resolutely to the pavement and diligently, picking out the few diluted scents still remaining, the poor little stalwart renewed its search for scraps, or making his way perhaps to some dry seclusion known only to itself.
  
     Two hours later and... SPLOSH, a puddle poured itself through the front door of the nearest Public House... SPLOSH, the puddle squelched over to the payphone... SPLOSH, then, fumbling for small change dialled and pressed button 'A'..., then button 'B'... then started all over again amid a flurry of precipitation... SPLASH.  The puddle floundered to the bar and ordered itself a drink, then ebbed back to the payphone again... the local taxi company doggedly refused to answer... finally, wallowing over to the window the puddle drifted up against a warm radiator amidst a cloud of humidity and came to rest... flotsam, cast upon the shore of contentment, the puddle sighed contentedly... the Landlady watched this anomaly... suspiciously.

     The puddle's finely tuned perception soon got to grips with the unhurried banter and muffled gossip drifting along the bar, having little else to loose, other than what could still be wrung from his clothing... Beamish, working on the principle that a little eavesdropping was his stock-in-trade engaged instinct into overdrive and casually rippled in their general direction...  They were clearly regulars by the way one of them belched in a well rehearsed, taken-a-back sort of way as Jack took stock of the situation and was now at some pains to ingratiate himself into their exclusive midst and attempt several friendly, yet relevant questions pertinent to his enquiries... all of which were skillfully deflected with more than friendly, yet totally irrelevant answers pertinent to theirs'... and would Jack care for a game of dominoes', they enquired... if so, would he be good enough to pay the refundable deposit, as by common consent it just so happened to be his turn...  Jack graciously declined this generous offer, as the obliging Landlady, just as graciously, cancelled the one shilling returnable deposit from the cash register, such was the flow of light conversation that evening... they didn't call him Lucky Jack for nothing... discouraged, Beamish turned back to the bar and reached for his glass... to which one of his recent companions, and yet again just as graciously, had taken the trouble to drink for him... the Landlady gave Jack a knowing look, Beamish returned the heartfelt sentiment and ordered one more pint.

     From the licenced premises opposite, a myriad of jostling customers plied through the door, business was picking up... the sudden influx of punters rapidly persuaded Beamish to retire from the bar and find a vacant table.  Sitting, he removed several discarded crisp packets from the centre of the table only to discover a freshly vacated ashtray below... by sleight of hand Jack's Ronson appeared... as he lit the cigarette the fragile smoke curled blue as it rose... influenced by subtle caprice, it joined others and formed a horizontal curtain dividing the room, a delicate, undulating layer held between two conflicting forces.

     The possibility of a free drink soon attracted the attention of a local bar fly, who, hovering in the near vicinity promptly landed in Jack's beer, Beamish declined this generous offer as being far too nutritious and with the corner of yesterdays beer mat, flipped the offending organism from the top of his glass, carefully inspecting his drink for debris as he did so.

     A sudden draught and clip of stiletto heels as the side door opened caused Beamish to turn as a double shadow slipped discreetly into the friendly Snug... a little adulterous intimacy on an otherwise cheerless evening.  The faceless man, concealed beneath a fedora and the upturned collar of his overcoat, the surreptitious lady friend, decked out in damp cony, cheap perfume and a surfeit of bling proclaimed a not too infrequent assignation, he'd seen it all before... the over attentive manner and the band of white, Sun-starved skin recently hidden behind a now absent wedding token, ordinarily it was the sort of assignment Jack didn't much care for... the discreet tail, the candid snapshot through half drawn curtains... and the all too familiar steak tartare... for the all too familiar black eye.

     To the untrained eye, the prospect of Jack's long anticipated supper was rapidly dwindling, when it suddenly focused with renewed vigour upon the contents of a pickled egg jar he'd observed earlier that evening, lurking on the back counter, his enthusiasm swiftly diminished however as the belching customer procured the final two specimens from the jar and proceeded to demolish them.  Who, Jack reflected, after being stood out in the rain all day, had egg all over his face now... and who, he reflected deeper, still had an empty stomach.  Disillusioned, Jack tipped back his glass and considered a further sortie with the taxicab company.

     "FIVE-BOB"!!! Jack screamed... you could have shredded the air with a cheese grater... hurtling into the kerb like a fairground attraction came flying past the chequered flag at a record breaking 99 in Jack's top 100 most not wanted list of things to do that day... and that the cabby should think himself fortunate they weren't both stretched flat on a marble slab, "exploding tyres" Jack spluttered, dribbling down his chin, were enough to give anyone a coronary... further broadsides of neurotic ambiance filled the cab as the driver, miffed at the prospect of missing snooker night out with the lads, considered charging extra for the additional space Jack's profanity was taking...

     And what part of 'Drive-Carefully', fumed Beamish, did the cabby simply not understand, that pavements were there to be bypassed, 'Nay Circumvented', preferably on the left... and not veered into, wildly on the front axle... an eerie premonition of 'jemais-vu' perched and ready to strike like a disembodied Jiminy Cricket on Jack's left shoulder, looking to stick its own two-penny worth in at the 'Standing-Room-Only' arrangements in the overcrowded cab... and at what further point, Jack shrieked, eyes leaping from his head as he lurched forward, shaking his fist through the sliding glass partition, had the cabbie failed to grasp the importance of the word 'Steering-Wheel...' someone wanted horse whipping, and as far as Beamish was concerned the sole contender was the cab driver...

     In having a somewhat sedate and unruffled disposition it had fallen to Beamish... as befalls all great leaders in times of adversity, to single handedly take the bull by the horns, so to speak and at great personal cost, alert the unwary passing motorist...  Waving his arms about like a man possessed whilst performing acrobatic evolutions in the centre of the road as the cabby changed the wheel came whizzing around the corner at a back breaking 98 on Jack's ever growing list... and why, Jack puzzled, why had they all lowered their side windows and gestured back at him in semaphore..?  Rallying to its aid, Jack's head and shoulders now joined his shaking fist through the sliding glass partition and into the cabby's face, "Who" Beamish screeched with renewed vigour ,"Who Was The Man", Jack wanted to know... *"a
Bailey Kreutzer Jun 2013
On this old red carpet I once laid,
For five years and five days.
Every day I would lay on my own,
But I never really was alone.

The rich warmth on this ground.
Much like a quilt would surround.
I would block out all the sound,
Just laying on the carpet; the ground.

When the sixth day showed its color,
The measurements showed I was taller.
The magic in my world was gone.
All to the fault of the sixth dawn.

I revisit again wishing I was then.
On the red carpet the way I'd been.
Sometimes I like how the past can be.
Forever on the old red carpet will be me.
The only memory I can remember vividly is laying on my living room carpet all alone because my siblings would be at school my mother at work and my father asleep I would just lay in the sunspot on the carpet for hours daydreaming it was the happiest I ever was in my childhood :) so I thought that I should share a shed of it with everyone here :) thanks for reading it means quite a bit to me<3
Delilah Dec 2016
Confetti settles in the crease of the carpet.
I wake up with pints of honey buzzing
in the center of my chest. My eyelashes cast shadows
like tick marks on my cheeks. No chaos.
The backs of my legs are tender
from crawling through the window to the roof.

We watched a paper mache moon from the roof
the night before. Small towns are boring liked threads from the carpet
but the people have hearts that are tender
like living peaches, always buzzing.
Just one picture of us, five sorry teens with internal chaos
dancing through string lights and breathing shadows.

Harris has a fascination with those shadows.
Her membership would be awarded with a dive from the roof.
She always loves the smell of checklist chaos,
or formulating plans while lying on the carpet
of her room. Her emotions are pulled taut and buzzing,
resonating fear when she forgets how to be tender.

Julia’s wire existence couldn’t try to be tender
She is a fat slap of clarity across your dispositions. Shadows
can’t cast new shapes across her buzzing
body. Her ******* pointing toward the roof
and her feet sinking between carpet
folds. like every time she is around it’s chaos.


Britt’s eyes reflect blue waves free from chaos
and each word skips across his tongue gentle and tender.
His clothes, Goodwill and kind-of-used-carpet
and camera casts light to evade shadows.
Short prayers dare scrape the roof
of his mind. Send heritage and denial buzzing.

Nelson is 7 years of swallowed gum and buzzing
alarm clocks, warning the world of chaos.
He climbs up rusted ladders to the roof
to shout of love and it’s lack of tender
tendencies. He is a fall breeze where leaves force shadows
across the laundry line, too weak to leave a hole in the carpet.

I glide through my days alluding tender
my mind scoffs at the chaos of my daytime shadow
but under the roof, i'm just a chalk outline pushed into carpet.
judy smith Feb 2016
Fashion rarely looks to the Brit awards for style inspiration but somehow fashion finds its way, in dribs and drabs, to its red carpet. These awards are the unwanted stepchild of the red carpet and generally, this means it’s a bric-a-brac of high-end and high street looks. For every Rihanna in couture you have a Little Mix in Asos.

Such is life, though, and there were legitimate trends, aside from the James Bay/Kylie double hatter. First, in the spirit of Angelina Jolie’s 2012 viral, there was a Right Leg – as flashed by model Lily Donaldson and singer Lana Del Rey. Nightwear came in a rather lavish Miss Havisham-esque form via Florence Welch (cream slip, eiderdown wrap, bed-hair) and Rihanna (a lilac slipdress covered with seashell patterns), and which unexpectedly preceded Alexander McQueen’s autumn/winter 2016 collection. Finally, there was a definite nod to The Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City via Jess Glynn’s sparkling green jacquard suit, Kylie’s backless heels and Jack Garratt’s toned down double-breasted suit.

There were the half-successes, too: Adele’s cascading liver-red dress and matching lipstick was grownup, but compared to her memorable 2013 Valentino hit at the Grammy’s, it felt par-cooked. Singer Charli XCX has been a frow regular at this year’s London fashion week, so she went predictably designer in pale green Vivienne Westwood. But she was let down with her slicked-back hair, a styling addendum that somehow overegged the overall effect. She also looked stiff and uneasy, probably because, at 23, she was too young to pull it off.

The menswear was far more experimental. To wit: Labrinth in a blue and pink orchid-print suit which, unaccessorised, had just enough humour to work (it looked like a box of Cadburys Roses). Mark Ronson did his usual trick of pepping a cleanly cut suit with the odd flourish. This time it was a monochrome dogstooth suit covered with a static print. Even JLS’s Marvin Humes, in a Yves Saint Laurent bomber jacket, epitomised the modern man. And what Carl Barât lacked in pizzazz he made up for by wearing a Hedi Slimane suit (although less said about the James Bay hat, the better).

The misses, of course, were plentiful. The mullet dress is the trend that refuses to die (see Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and half of Little Mix in various synthetic horrors). Alexa Chung rarely puts a brogue wrong, but here in a velvet bustier dress, was fairly forgettable (lesson: don’t step out of your style lane). Then, of course, there was Keith Lemon, who pillaged the misses of awards seasons gone (the Pharrell hat, the pseudo-Gucci blazer … everything really). What did you expect from Keith Lemon? The Brits then: a series of blind taste tests on the red carpet, none of which gets full marks.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com | www.marieaustralia.com/evening-dresses
Joseph Boulet Feb 2010
It feels like there’s a carpet lined in front of me
A red carpet of destiny
Behind me another carpet vast
Of things I’ve gone through long since past

Sometimes when things don’t go your way
You got stuck and it ruined your day
But when the day is ending soon
You find yourself lucky until noon

You never notice when good things come
My life is horrible but it’s just begun
Maybe you don’t realize what you’re doing
It’s all written down but you think you’re losing

But maybe you don’t believe
Maybe you don’t like
The idea of someone
Writing your life

But sometimes you may feel
Like the world is against you
I believe it’s meant to be
What about you
Hey is that part of real life
the grimy and ***** bits
oh ****...
sweep it under to carpet

Is that guy trying to say something more
can you not read between the lines
oh Jesus he said **** again
hey hey, just sweep that write under the carpet

Has freedom died and gone to heaven
did the thought police infiltrate your mind
well take this write too
and just sweep it under the carpet

By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Hollywood.
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

BACKGROU­ND:
The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
fantasy.
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
King!
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film strip around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!


PARAMOUNT STUDIO:
Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

WARREN BROTHERS:
During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
ThoughT Feb 2013
There's an elephant with a fire poker on a magic carpet.  There was something about this typical scene that made me not want to part it.  I jumped aboard, he put his trunk around me, laughed and said, "Hello friend!"  I was bewildered as to would become of this journey, but I already wished it'd never end.  
         I asked the 'phant where we were going, and if there was a fire to poke.  He told me, "Ryno, we're to save a sacred city before it all goes up in smoke.  My name's Vishwah, and the city of Ramthew has been my home since birth for many many years.  Unfortunately this thriving place seems to now be consumed by tears.  LaChunga's an evil man that's recently taken over; a vicious tool with relentless rule.  He's hurting all with no discrimination, and that just isn't cool.  This is why I've been searching for someone to come to our city's aid.  I just fear there's not much time before the hope starts to completely fade."  Inspired I jumped up, he yelled, "Sit down!  You surely don't want to fall!"  I obliged and said, "We'll talk about seat belts later, either way I'll risk it all."
         He sensed that the time was right and swooped down into the town.  After seeing the drained expressions on various faces I couldn't wait to face the clown!  I said that I wanted a weapon to teach him a lesson, 'cuz I'm not much of a choker.  Immediately he said, "This is for you," and presented a different fire poker.  I've never felt more prepared to fight a battle for a city, and serve up some similar medicine to the man that knows no pity.
        I gathered some locals together to share the plan I had.  Vishwah & I were to break into the palace that night, though normally I'd consider that bad.  Thankfully they had an elephant entrance in the back of the structure.  Inside we were confronted by a captivating woman, who said she'd help, but I wasn't sure if I could trust her.  Nearby guards, were alarmed, and the girl ran out of the room.  Rear to rear it was the elephant and I, seemingly left to our doom.  Wildly flailing our fire pokers, against the mob we began to push.  Before we knew it we had beaten our adversaries and put an end to the ambush.  
        What followed was a series of hallways and locked doors with uncertainty on where to go.  Then after catching a glimpse of a fire in the distance it seemed,* now we know.  *Just beyond it was a huge circular room with the ruler at his desk.  He stood up as if he knew we were there and said, "This is your final test."  He spoke of knowing all of our plans and capturing almost all involved.  Despite every word he said we knew our plans had not dissolved.  
        He pulled a lever as we grew closer and the floor in front of us had dropped!  He then let out a hearty laugh thinking we've been stopped.  Vishwah and I looked at each other and nodded as he grabbed me with his trunk.  Vish threw me across the gap in the floor and I flew with a lot of *****.  I looked into LaChunga's eyes and he looked as though he didn't know what to feel.   Gazing back into mine I know he could tell **** just got real.  
        Reaching at his side he grabbed out his sword as I charged at him with much discord and we both felt the surge of vibrations as our metals clashed.  I told him, "Punk you can consider yourself a potatoe, 'cuz you're gonna get mashed!"  I swung and whapped him across the face, which seemed to put him in a daze.  But before falling over he splashed my face with a powder and my world had vanished in a haze.
         I eventually came to, to LaChunga's screaming and the girl's beauty in my face.  He was screaming to be let out for she put him in a chain-like embrace.  The floor was back, Vishwah was there, as I was surrounded by a crowd of stares.  The people were free & overcame the strife.  All of the hope had come back to life.  I said, "For now, LaChunga should live out his days getting pies thrown at him at the peoples' discretion.  He will be faced with nothing left to taste and know the true meaning of oppression."
The people were joyous and excited, but wanted me as their king.  I turned to the girl and said, "If you were my queen it'd make my heart sing!"  She blushed and accepted, but I said I'd only rule if all the people were by my side.  After all the cheers and emotions that were felt I said, "Let's all go on a celebratory magic carpet ride, now with seat belts!"
Almost 2 years ago, I told my friend Josh Picard, that I could write to anything.  I told him to give me a line.  "There's an elephant with a fire poker on a magic carpet." is what he said.  That night, this happened.
Paul M Chafer Dec 2013
On a cold winter’s night,
The ground white with snow,
Laura thought of a friend,
She lost so long, long ago.

Through her bedroom window,
Gazing longingly at the sky,
She wished upon the stars,
For a carpet that could fly.

If she owned such a carpet,
Perhaps, for a little while,
She would make a journey,
Travelling mile after mile.

Watched by moon and stars,
She would fly far, far away,
To visit her long lost friend,
It would be such a special day.

Laura’s thoughts escaped,
As on the carpet she flew,
And through make-belief
She made her wish come true.

On a cold winter’s night,
The ground white with snow,
Laura thought of a friend,
She lost so long, long ago.

© Paul Chafer 2014
Written for my daughter Rachel who lost a friend when folk in my family decided to split. I wrote it from Laura's perspective, I know she'll never read it, but hopefully, she'll know we never stopped loving her. X
Tom Leveille Nov 2014
here's how it happens
the morning after
you reach into the drawer
where the your t-shirts live
to find it austere
you'll shrug because
you're still drunk
& you can't remember
when last it was
that you had something wet
or how long it's been
since you made the floorboards blush
or why the carpet is upset
who wouldn't be
the contents to the upended ashtray
strewn around the apartment
resemble the aftermath
of the smallest war
to ever take place in norfolk
some midnight thief
must've made off with the lighter
because it isn't in
any of your favorite spots
maybe you chucked it
along with a hundred other things
that make noise when they land
in the neighbors yard
you won't remember putting
the refrigerator's belongings
in the bathtub
or scrawling a buzzard
on the bedroom door
but then again who would
you'll pretend it's spring again
before putting on your winter coat
to go out front with a cigarette
in your mouth
you'll hope for a passing stranger
to *** a light from
or drag yourself to the corner
with couch cushion change
to buy a new lighter
and on your way
you won't bother looking back
this is just another day
on eggshells for no reason
another november
choking on birthday candles
on your way home
you step over beer cans
the kind you fell in love with
and wonder who
had the last laugh last night
or if anyone said a word at all
it might've been another
moment of clarity
it might have been some idiot savant
any adjective that feels like home
anything that keeps you thirsty
Better that every fiber crack
and fury make head,
blood drenching vivid
couch, carpet, floor
and the snake-figured almanac
vouching you are
a million green counties from here,

than to sit mute, twitching so
under prickling stars,
with stare, with curse
blackening the time
goodbyes were said, trains let go,
and I, great magnanimous fool, thus wrenched from
my one kingdom.
its a blue Monday
after Super Sunday
Americas 45th funday
yesterdays spectacle

the dip is done
the broken bones
of buffalo wings
fill giant glad bags

the ridged ripples
of broken Doritos
scattered on the floor
wait for a vacuums hum

dead soldiers rattle
a melodious cascade
the aroma of flat Bud
plunge into recycle bins

ribbed Trojans
dripping bagged ****
rim plastic trash cans
confirm an ****'s frenzy

the game forgotten
commercial reveries remain
seared into the briney mush
of compliant olfactories

collective hallucinations
successfully branded
a new and improved
global consciousness

Madmen Shamans
ebulliently channel
transactional zeitgeists
from the ripped boxes of
Best Buy plasma screens

Monday morning
water cool scuttlebutt
the planet is buzzing about...

Google's cool slap
of IPod clad automatons
the vanquishers of IBM's evil empire
Apple's brave new world is next
("meet the new boss,
same as the old boss?")

we all dug
rolling with Eminem
through the glitzy
streets of Motown

How cool is 8 Mile?
The hoods lookin good
angelic chorus lifts spirits
Swing Low Sweet Chrysler

The artistic types
faun over
the graphic beauty
illustrious aestheticism

moving story line
the epic journey
of the worlds
greatest brand

heroic product marketing pros
rival Jason and the Argonauts
sojourning trans-formative odysseys
of clever packaging and fat tail shelf life

holding precious real estate
of living imaginations
infecting hearts and minds
of future generations

realizing
everything
ends better
with coke

The State Farm Pre-Game
Jimmy Johnson's new coiff
jawed away with his old boss
rattlesnake booted Jerry Jones

A poignant embrace captured in
living color on grand jumbo trons
lording over a cavernous palace
a new stadium for Homeboys

Jimmy J asks Jerry J
"Why you overpaid
for The Boys New
Crib?"

"A billion 4,
a palace for the masses".
Jerry breaks some news
with an impish wink.
"No expense is spared
for the peeps."

"I always make out,
get a good return. I
make a profit. Ain't
America great."

This year Super Bowl
went Hollywood
and installed
a long red carpet.

Mike Strahan, collared
Harrison Ford.
Bagging his greatest sack
on a dazzling red rug.

"How many Super Bowls
is this for you?"
Strahan whistles
through his gaped teeth.

The aging Indiana Jones
came to promote his new flick,
"Cowboys and Aliens"
(I'm told an early Cannes
favorite. And it should be. Spoiler alert,
the movie is a moving story of an American tragedy.
Romo blows another one
throwing an interception in overtime.
The Aliens return it 95 yards for a touchdown.
Boy's lose again. America's Team vanquished by bubble headed Martians.
All of Texas weeps.)

Indy
coolly quips an answer
whipping with sarcasm,
"after today, one."
yuck yuck
lol

Strahan continues
to stalk Ford like a
scrambling quarterback,
"where will you be sitting?"

Ford shrugs
"dunno,
somewhere
up-there,
I guess",
he points to
the lofty
luxury boxes.
Royalty sits
next to God
in Jerry Jones
house of the
people.

Ford dons a green scarf.
He's down with the Pack.
Another sunshine *****
in the seat.

Michael Douglas and Zeta Jones
arrive in time to hear
Keith Urban sing
"Who Wouldn't Want to be Me?"

"He's alive
He's free
Who wouldn't
want to be me?"

Indeed who?

The parade
of heroes
continue.

The walking,talking
little S Corp, LLC's
dance their way
into the stadium
on resplendent
cushions of red.

Terrific brands
all earnestly
questing to
urgently
deliver
messages
to promote
themselves
and plug
shameful
products.

A Black Eye Peas
teaser
blinks onto
my giant
flat screen.

Will I Am
a black man
in a blacker mask
marches down the street
zapping people
with a ray gun.
(fascist culture is so cool, a
little light on liberation,
but **** does he look bad as all get out
in that leather rumble don't **** with me
outfit)

Jamie Foxx on the royal carpet leaks
that he yodeled three tunes
at a pregame party for Jerry's Kids;
T Boone and the Big W among them.

Quick cut
to Jamie's
new movie
Rio.
(I wonder if its
about Mexicano's
crossing the river?)

Wealth
Power
the perfect
image of ourselves
take a pill

I am Limitless
a new movie?
I've seen this one before.
I think I'm watching it now.

Just Go With It
Adam *******,
Jennifer Aniston
Americas sweetheart
teamed with Americas
kosher jokester.

He looks hot
in his droopy
pretend
don't give a ****
orange sweatshirt
and acid washed jeans.

Jennifer's ****, legs
what can you say
about America's sweetheart?
I think Brad Pitt
made a big mistake.

Bill O
is next.
Posturing,
arm wrestles
with the Prez,
shadow boxes
with the Big O.

"Muslim Brotherhoods
Rendition
Mubarack goes off the reservation
knows where the bodies are buried"
***!
***!

(Do we really need a dose of Fox Fear?
Is there no escape from the pernicious harangue?
Don't they know its Super Bowl Sunday?)

Bill O's drive by continues,
"Obamacare,
why do Americans hate you?"
Great journalism by this Fox ****.

Bill O is
haughty,
arrogant,
disrespectful
a despicable bully
and a self serving blow hard.

(My bladder is busting.
Its a great time to take a ****.)

We escape to
the freshness
of Owen Wilson's
smiling face,
playing two hand touch.

His bent nose
shining
he trots about
Jerry's field
carefree as a child.
(Is this a pitch, pass and punt
contest for A Listers?)

Other stars
join the light fun;
goose cheerleaders
give the cabana boys
hand-jobs
and themselves
a well earned blow-job.

Its an **** of photo ops
product placement
a sizzling collection
of dancing brands
prancing on the gridiron
of the New Cowboy field.

Ashton Kutcher
peeks over the shoulder
of a tweeting W.
I'm impressed
W knew
how to use
his thumbs.

Mrs. W's
permanent smile
was clearly visible
from the stadiums
cheapest seats.

Condie sat
way to the right
quietly stewing
lamenting
lost opportunities
of a gig as NFL
Commissioner.

On the stadiums floor
the frenetic dancing
of the
bumping
brands
fast
approaches
ecstatic elation.

Hollywood's version of
Whirling Dervishes; is
immediately stilled
as the solemn portion
of the program
commences.

The Declaration of Independence
is read by a bright galaxy of stars
accompanying armed service personnel
and other diligent American's.

"We hold these truths
to be self evident"

"United colonies
levee war,
dissolve bounds,
our day of allegiance
lives, fortunes and sacred honor
freedom is common sense,
free, equal, united"

CEO's
imprisoned
in Jerry's
luxury boxes
overcome
with
emotion
pound fists
on the glass
smearing
cocktail sauce
on the windows
of the suites.

Illegal
Chicano's
bravely
step forward
with rolls
of Bravo
and Windex
to wipe
it clean.

The focal point
of festivities
seismically
shifts like a
tectonic plate
almost as large
as Jerry's Stadium.

The stampede
of cheers
thunder like
canon shots,
the patriotic
ramparts of
militant
free market
capitalism
supplants the
shallow frivolity
of consumer slavery.

We are
compelled
to kneel
to celebrate a
Eucharist of
nationalism.

My partner explodes,
"Can't watch a football game
and view it for what it is,
a ******* football game."

The Fox
broadcasters
dedicate
this segment
of the show
to our military.

I squirm in my seat.
Sorry,
but the declaration is about
free people in free societies
not militarism.

Next up
dis old cowboy
Sam Elliot.
He knows
how to speak
the language
of real football fans.
Finally, a man of the people.

Sam introduced the cities.
He starts with Pittsburgh.

"Built on steel
a place where
terrible is good
these are the
enduring qualities
of this great American City."

The Steelers
make a timely entrance
onto the floor of the stadium,
as millionaires erupt
shaking their terrible towels.

Sam's
fuax
folkism
for
Fox Sports
continued.

"Green Bay is Title Town
the people never quit.
Crafty veterans are winners
exhorting all to greatness"

Images
of Lombardi's
toothy grin
fills my 72 inch screen.
A visitation by
America's Saint,
the sanctifier
of all competition
anoints the proceeding,
the quest to claim
the trophy named
for the games
very own
Archangel
of the
Gridiron.

The extended gig of
Lombardi's ghost
has haunted America
for over half a century;
has reportedly been seen
stalking the stage
on Broadway.

The anointed
Packers sprint
onto the field and
millionaire cheese heads
taking big bites out of life
erupt in cheers.

My hi def wide screen
made by Sharp reports
Battle of Los Angeles
opens 3/11/11.
The Chicago Code
premiers on Fox
sometime in March.

Walter Payton
Man of The Year Award
is presented
to an NFL Player
watching the game
with the troops
in Iraq.

The millionaires
don't cheer,
but the Fox announcers
are verklempt
overcome with patriotism.

Michelle Lee,
star
of Fox'***** show
Glee,
poses in front of a
sanitized choir
in blue uniforms to sing
America the Beautiful.

The beautiful song
is but an opening act
for the musical centerpiece
Star Spangled Banner.

The cameras cut
to a smiling W.
He can't get into Switzerland
but ******, he won't be turned out
of JJ's OK Corral.

Christina Aguilera
takes center stage.
She mounts
the silver football
crowning the
Holy Logo of the NFL
to sing the hallowed
Star Spangled Banner.

She fumbles her lines!
She forgot the rockets red glare!
The Steelers are crying.
The Packers are angry.
Ice melts from the stadiums roof.
The foundations of Jerry Jones
new stadium shakes.

A fly over of 4 fighters in formation
appears to be unaffected by the flub.
The planes do not crash.
They stay in formation.

The pilots spare Christina
a strafing and drone strike.
The republic remains
secure for now.

An unfamiliar announcer
addresses TV land.
He offers an apology to the fans
who cannot be seated.

The fire marshals
have revoked
Jerry's seating plan.
Greed got the better
of this man of the people.
Cowboy Stadium
is overbooked!

What is happening?
Is this America?
An ATT commercial
arrives just in time.

ATT has a new plan for America.
They encourage us to live social
with the new ATT AG.
Free market solutions
always work best.

Michael Douglas
reads another
patriotic exhortation.

"United we,
see the journey
of Acme Packers
as our journey."

"We see the resolve
of US Steel
as our resolve.
Big dreams
believe the best
journeys are
celebrated together."
(I'm down with that.
Whats good for Jerry Jones
is still good for me.
Right On! Check this stadium.
Power to the people!
It may not apply to the people who
will not be seated but tough nuggies.
This is America ******. Everybody
can't be seated at the table.
Even if they paid for their seat.
This ain't Red China.)

Neon Dion and other inductees
into the Football Hall of Fame
tosses the coin.
Steelers' call tails.
Heads it is.

At half time
The Black Eyed Peas
descend from
an upper Valhalla.

Still attired in
black fascist threads
The Righteous Peas
start wailing as
white metallic minions
dressed as
Imperial Storm Troopers
gallop to surround
their idols.

Precise formations
goose steppin bops
choreographic steps
the visceral *****
perfect counter-point
to swabbles of wiggling Peas.

Slash,
Guns and Roses
guitar hero
gunslinger
strode on stage
winging
this gal of mine
in choreographed
unison with
the leggy
Fergie.

Pumping it louder
the spectacle incites
the dancing
Imperial minions
quick steppin
and fetchin it
as Usher descends
in white unison
to leap and dance
over nasty
black peas.

The Gods
are descending
upon us.
Their words
have become
flesh.

The BEP's bleat
"kids are dying
wheres the love?"
Art does mirror life.

The neon hearts
of cheap
glow sticks
light up
the time
of our lives.

We are
cubed box heads
happily dancing along
the 50 yard line
answering China's
resounding drum
of frantic proletarians
bashing away
neocolonial disgrace
during the opening
ceremony of the worlds
greatest Olympian
display of
the pounding will
of an emerging nation
arriving on the world stage
with urgent insistence.

In America
we party on
every night
swiping
revoked
credit cards
for express lane
exits at the
local Walmart.

We are proud
highly personal
bar codes!

We refuse to be
marked down and flung
into discount bins at a
Tupelo Dollar Store.

Our light of life
flashes across screens
directing the trading pits
at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Each Super Bowl Sunday
souper bowl beggars
collect canned soup
for hungry Americans
at the local Shop and Drop

begging for larmen
boxes of Kraft
freeze dried noodles
and cans of Progresso
the feast of kings

A triumph
of the
Will I Am
BOOM BOOM
Says
Will I Am

I finish my bag of
Cool Ranch Doritos
and lick my partners
fingers clean.

Music Selection
Steve Miller,
Livin in the USA


2/7/11
Oakland
jbm
(WIP)
Poemasabi Aug 2012
In a second grade classroom
a tiny ant with a treasure thinks only of taking it to his colony.
A big hero he will be.
So he drags a piece of popcorn much bigger than he.

he drags
and pulls
and tugs

On a second grade classroom floor,
the ant's work is hard but will be worth it.
A big hero he will be.
So he drags a piece of popcorn much bigger than he.

he drags
and pulls
and tugs

On a second grade classroom rug,
the ant's task seems insurmountable but he knows of no other way.
So for an hour, he retraces his path backwards dragging a piece of popcorn
across the classroom rug.

He drags
and tugs
and pulls

In the open of a second grade classroom,
the ant feels exposed on the carpet but cover is closer now, he can feel it.
It's just there, where the wall meets the carpet.
A space just big enough to hide an ant.

Closer and closer.

He tugs and pulls and drags his prize closer still
Pulling and dragging the popcorn lurches across the carpet.

His rear legs reach cover
Then his thorax, his abdomen, his head with antennae and mandibles

then

The Problem.

and...

In a second grade classroom
a line of popcorn rests
where the carpet meets the wall.
Scottie Green Jul 2012
I’ve always been the quiet type, never one to do the speaking, just listening and observing the lives of those around me.
If I can remember correctly, I began as a light blue, sheltering a newborn baby, Conner, I was covered in wallpaper lined by teddy bears with white silk bow ties like pin stripe pants.
Those few days before his birth in ’62 were filled with anxiety and anticipation, with his parents sneaking in to gaze upon my blue coat, tears in their eyes for the gift that they were days away from receiving. However, they would soon find that the young baby spent little time in my embrace other than evening naps, otherwise his cries became loud with the longing for his mum.

Six years later the teddy bears came down from the walls along with the crib, to be replaced by a bed, the baby blue coat replaced by a loud red.
Watching him grow, I saw his good days and his bad, he was built for math, fast cars, and jubilant laughter.
He had come to me in the midst of April when the flowers outside the windows bloomed, and left for a university after they flowered a mere twelve times.
Once again, his parents visited me, with tears in their eyes as if by being with me his presence would be restored.

His father had talked of a promotion he’d dreamed of, so with more money they were off to a more luxurious home, I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy.

I was alone for a while, while the wallpaper had been striped from me and I lay bear and exposed for quite some time, only briefly being introduced to new families by a smiling woman with high heels and big hair.
A group of four moved in, Tom, Adam, Lana, and Louisa. They painted my walls a bright yellow and carpeted my wooden floors, they added filing cabinets, desks, a white board, a telephone, and a book shelf that decorated my left side.
The boys were mechanics, around thirty years at the time, and worked strenuous hours. They bent over their desks re-drawing, re-scaling, and re-shaping until perfection.
Blue prints poured from their cabinets. The two girls owned a boutique down by the grocery store, I saw them less often, but they didn’t bring home their work, only their stories and their stress. It was a short acquaintance with the group, as their hearts were set on the big city and soon their paychecks were capable of supporting that lifestyle.

I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy for them.

The following year in ’88 a family of four moved in.
John, Ali and their twin girls converted me to a gym with barbells and some odd-looking mechanism called a “Bo Flex” used for hanging up dry cleaning and attracting the dust.
By then my vibrant yellow walls had faded to beige and my beige carpet had faded to yellow.

I don’t know much about those folks, as in-home gyms are more for decoration than utilization, I guess. The girls visited on days when the heat was unbearable in the Texas sun, running in with loud laughter as they let their weight thud into the ground. They sprawled themselves out on my floors making snow angels, in my warm, worn carpet. Oh, how I loved their attention!

They also left the windows open unlike Adam and Tom, so even when they weren’t around the sunshine kept me company. After fourteen years Bailey left shortly after Annie. I rarely saw anyone for a year or so after that.
The house became too big for John and Ali, and they decided to make the move to Florida that they’d always dreamed of.

The movers came and lifted the heavy weights from my creaking floors, but I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy.

The last person that came to live among my embrace was the eldest daughter of three girls. She and I became the closest of all prior inhabitants. Perhaps it was because of the frequent lack of happiness in her eyes, it was the only time I’d had an issue with my inability to intervene in a situation and speak as opposed to listening.
She left my walls there bare color, but adorned me with newspaper clippings and photographs. I was never lonely because her sisters looked up to her, never wanting to leave me, because they never wanted to leave her.
She was more imaginative than the young boy, and more precise than the mechanics.
The music she played was constant and expansive, from Sinatra and Coltrane to A Tribe Called Quest and the Rolling stones. It all correlated with her mood, causing me great joy when the tempo was fast, and depression in times when the dark music fell upon the room.
Her life appeared to be a struggle, as she often threw herself upon the carpet crying until late hours in the night. Only to wake up before the sun rose to write lengthy accounts of the inexplicable sadness she frequently experienced.

Soon she found the help that I was unable to provide with a therapist who visited her in the privacy of her own bedroom. The kind woman encouraged her to participate in activities beyond the confines of my four walls.
She had dreamed to be a psychologist, she wanted to help people, because she knew first hand how much some really needed it. And at age eighteen, that’s exactly what she set off to become.

She moved to Boulder the university she had written about and had wanted to attend for years past.
So I was not sad, I was not lonely, I was happy for her.

She doesn’t rest within my walls and doesn’t watch my flowers bloom, but the sisters, they often come back to visit and roll up the blinds to let the sun shine in, practice their own talents, and fall in love with their own dreams, I am not lonely, they don’t leave me. In fact, one of them is sprawled out upon my floor now, taking over her sister’s absence with a pen and paper of her own.
This is something I originally wrote a few years ago when my sister was leaving for school. I read it to her and allowed her to edit it. Since then I haven't been able to find the original version so she deserves proper credit for the part she did in touching it up as far as word choice, punctuation, and small additions and subtractions to my piece of work. I hope you enjoyed it!
RAJ NANDY Apr 2015
Dear Poet Friends, being fond of Art, I wanted to compose on
this topic for a long time in a simplified form! Egyptian Art and
Architecture influenced the Early Greeks, who in turn influenced the Romans and other civilizations! Initially Art and architecture, religion and culture, were all closely inter-related! Real distinction emerged with the Italian Renaissance. Here I have used only a portion of my personal notes. Hope you find this interesting to read! Sorry for the length! Kindly give Comments after you have managed to read the entire portion in your spare time. Thanks, -Raj

INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY
OF WESTERN ART IN VERSE:
          PART ONE
    * BY RAJ NANDY

INTRODUCTION
Art over the centuries has been variously defined,
But an all embracing definition is rather hard to find!
Ayn Rand defined Art as a recreation of reality according to
artist’s values, his view of existence, and choice;
Who recreates by a selective rearrangement of the elements
of reality, and not simply out of a void!
Study of Art History is a study of man’s creative evolution;
A progress of his wakened consciousness, and a restless
striving towards perfection!
The progress of his mind, taste and skill, which has gradually
evolved through past traditions;
Finding ultimate expression in his multi-faceted creations!
I commence this story from its earliest days, and mention those
Ancient Civilizations which influenced Art in many ways.
Art has been greatly influenced by religion, culture and history;
Therefore, knowing these aspects becomes necessary to
fully appreciate this Art Story!

PREHISTORIC STONE AGE ART:
Let us take a ride on the magic carpet of History, down
past millenniums to begin our Art Story;
Right into the ancient Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic
Eras of the Stone Age,
When early humans left their creative imprints on rock
surfaces and on walls of caves!
Long before the evolution of any proper coherent speech
or communication,
In some 350 caves of France and Spain are seen paintings
of large wild animals like horses, antelopes and bison;
Bearing witness to the story of gradual human evolution!
The cave paintings of Chauvet, Cosquer, and Lascaux, date
between 8000 and 1700 BC,
Drawn by nameless and faceless people who emerged from
an inhospitable Ice Age;
Those nomadic tribes who were hunter-gatherers living in
pre-historic caves!
The Story of Art therefore begins before recorded History,
Pieced together by scholars with the help of science and
archeology!
During the Neolithic Period beginning around 8,000BC,
Ancient man became gradually sedentary, engaging in
agriculture and animal husbandry!
With these nomads settling down in small communities,
Art became mystical and monumental in range;
As seen in the megalithic (large stone) structures of the
famous Stonehenge!
This type of post and lintel structure is also found in ancient
Egyptian architecture, and later in Greece as its special
feature!
Art History spans the entire history of mankind,
Right from the pre-historic days, up to our modern times!
Man’s everlasting quest for immortality lies etched on
rocks and raised stone edifices, defying marauding Time!

MESOPOTAMIAN ART (3500-300BC) :
Let us now travel fast forward on our magic carpet to reach
the Fertile Crescent,
Where the Tigress and the Euphrates Rivers flow, to the
Ancient Civilization of the Sumerians! (3500-2300BC)
The birth of civilization has been traced to Southern
Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians built their first cities,
As the earliest River Valley Civilization around 3500 BC!
It was a period when writing got invented in its earliest
Cuneiform form;  (around 3400 BC)
When Patriarch Abraham established the worship of a Single
God, in a revolutionary religious reform! (Judaism)
Mesopotamian Civilization as the source of our earliest
surviving Art dates back to 3500BC;
When major civilizations like the Sumerian, Akkadian,
Babylonian, Hitties, Assyrian, and the Persians, in this
chronological sequence, contributed to Art History!
Mesopotamian Art in general glorified their powerful rulers
and their connection with divinity;
Reflected on their city gates, palace complexes and ziggurats,

are scenes of both victorious wars and their prosperity!
Art was then highly functional and repetitive; depicting
love of beauty, a sense of order, and power of hierarchy,
- in their sculptures and motifs.
However, no signatures were ever found bearing the name
of the Artist!
It is interesting to note that both the potter’s wheel and the
cart wheel, made their first appearance around 3500 BC
and 3200 BC respectively;
With the Sumerians contributing to art and culture, and the
progress of Human Civilization immensely!
(Ziggurats are semi-pyramid like structures with steps, a temple complex located in the center of all ancient Sumerian cities-states! Saragon the Great of Akkad from the North, defeated the Sumerians in the South, & united entire Mesopotamia around 2300 BC, for the first time in Mesopotamian History, & they ruled for 200 years.)

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART :(3000 BC -500BC)
Next we travel to an isolated area of north-east Africa,
Where the White Nile flows down from Lake Victoria.
The Nile enters Upper Egypt traveling through Sudan,
Is joined by the Blue Nile at Khartoum to become one!
Continues its flow north through Egypt Lower, flowing
into the Mediterranean as the World’s longest river!
Historian Herodotus had called Egypt ‘the gift of the Nile’;
Ancient Egypt became a rich treasure trove of art and
architecture for all times!
The Nile valley area was protected by the desert on its
east and the west;
In the north by the Mediterranean, and towards the
south by a rugged mountainous terrain!
Annual flooding of the Nile along with an effective
irrigational network,
Ensured Egypt’s prosperous stability, congenial for her
many innovative architectures and art works!
Egyptian Art got shaped by her geography, mythology
and her polytheistic religion;
Also by their preoccupation with after-life and belief in  
the immortal soul’s continuation;
Thus elaborate funeral rites were performed by priests for  
the body’s preservation by mummification! *
(
’KA’= was a real astral twin or stellar double of an Individual, which continued to exist even after death, requiring the same sustenance as the humans, so food offerings were made in the coffins! ‘BA’= shaped like a human-headed bird, composed of non-physical attributes of an Individual. ‘BA’ collected the deceased’s personality after death from the mummified remains & united it with the ‘KA’, making a person complete; thereby making it possible for the person to be reborn as ‘AKH’ (Star), - in its ultimate unchanging form, to join Osiris in the ‘Happy Fields’! Since this journey to the next world was fraught with danger, magical funerary spells & rites were performed by the priests, with incantations from the ‘Book of the Dead’, inside the funeral chamber of the Pyramid!)

Art During Old, Middle, and New Kingdom Period:
Egyptian Art was concerned with ensuring continuity of the
universe, their Gods, the King and the people;
A projection into eternity a version of reality pure and free
from all earthly evil!
Therefore in ancient Egyptian society, conformity over
individuality was always encouraged;
Artists worked in groups with conservative adherence to
rules, order and form,
And all individual artistic initiatives strictly discouraged !
Their earliest pyramids the Mastaba, the Step, and the Bent
Pyramids were all prototypes;
While the Great Pyramid of Giza built for Pharaoh Kufu,
- was the first true pyramid which still survives!
Art comes down to us as ‘funerary art’ designed for the tombs,
Which was to accompany the royalty in their journey to an
afterlife, with its symbolic forms!
This symbolism is seen in their paintings, statues and architecture;
In vibrant color codes of their paintings as a special feature!
Where White was the symbol of purity, Black for death and night;
Green for vegetation or new life, Blue for water and the sky;
Red for life and victory, and Yellow like Gold as the flesh of the
Gods and also the Sun God ruling the sky!
Thanks to Jean-Francois Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta
Stone, (1822)
We are able to decipher many mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian
with the cracking of the Hieroglyphic Code!
Larger than life statues with poise and austere harmony at the
Luxor Temple complex survive;
Symbolic of the individual’s status, while creating zones of
strangeness for imagination to thrive!
(
’Matsaba’= Egyptian for ‘bench’, referred to bench shaped pyramids;
“Step Pyramids” = were like benches placed one on top of the other in
a tapering form going up vertically!)

The Old Kingdom Period covers a five hundred years span
of Ancient Egyptian History, (2686-2181BC)
Known as the ‘Age of Pyramids’, with Pharaohs from the
Third to the Sixth Dynasty!
“The World fear Time, but Time fears only the Pyramids”,
- is an Ancient Egyptian Proverb;
Whose ‘heterogeneous structure’ made it earthquake
proof, making Time to reluctantly serve! #
Here we find formalized figures with long slender bodies,
idealized proportions and large staring eyes;
Where Kufu’s Great Pyramid of Giza raises its mighty head
as the highest, on the west bank of the Nile;
And the mighty Sphinx guard the entrance to those ancient
royal tombs, though defaced, still survive!
These pyramids were like Pharaoh’s getaways to eternity,
An insurance to an afterlife of peace and prosperity!
(# Pyramids with stone blocks of different sizes & shapes made them
Earthquake resistant; & use of pink granite in the inner chambers
made them erosion resistant against Time!)

The Middle Kingdom Period (2040-1650 BC) :
Following 150 years of civil disorder Theban ruler Mentuhotep
the Second, reunified Egypt and ruled up to Nubia, (Sudan)
And began the Classical Era when Block Statues appear,
indicating political stability;
When artisans worked with bronze and copper alloys, designing
exquisite jewelry!
Kings now preferred to be buried in secret tombs, Pyramids
having lost their appeal,
And work began on the west bank of the Nile, in the Valley of
Kings!
(
Inside those rock cut ‘funerary temples’ on the East bank of the
Nile, opposite Ancient Kingdom of Thebes ; Pharaohs from the
Early and Late New Kingdom Periods were buried, including
Tutemkhamen.)

Early New Kingdom Period (1550 -1295 BC):
Between the Middle Kingdom and this Era, Art remained
static for almost a hundred years,
When the Hyksos from the Near East fought the weak Theban
Rulers!
In 1550 BC Theban Prince Ahmose reunited Egypt, and was
succeeded by able rulers, who ushered in the Golden Age!
Art works continued to maintain its basic traditional style,
With successive Kings from the 18th Dynasty consolidating
their kingdom’s wealth and power all the while!
But Egypt witnessed a change with an innovative style in Art,
When Amenhotep IV in 1353 BC became King, initiating a
fresh start!
This king changed his name to ‘Akhenaten’, the spirit of Aten,
-- ‘The disk of the Sun’;
Abandoned the pantheons of Gods with Aten as the ‘sole God’,
and a religious revolution had begun!
His new capital city of Amarna, 200 miles north of Thebes,
Got decorated with a new kind of art work to make it complete!
The statues now appear more realistic displaying emotions,
With fluidity of movement, unlike those rigid earlier creations!
The artistic talent of this Amarna Period gets best exemplified,
In the exquisite bust of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s Great Royal Wife!
Regarded as ‘icon of international beauty’, a great archeological
find ! **
(
Discovered by a German team of Archeologists in 1912 at Amarna! This 19 inch long limestone Nefertiti statue weighs around 20 kg, now housed in Berlin Museum; comparable only to the artistic Golden Mask of Tutankhamen!)

King Tutankhamen (1336-1327 BC):
Akhenaten’s unpopular rule was short-lived, with those humiliated
Theban priests calling him the ‘Heretic King’!
A nine year old boy Tutankhamen (‘The living image of Amun’),
was next to succeed him!
King Tut restored the worship of Amun, in a back-lash against
Akhenaten;
Shifted the royal palace back to Thebes, with the religious center
at Karnak once again!
King Tut’s short ten year’s rule remained buried in 3000 year’s
of Egyptian History,
Till Howard Carter found his richly laden intact tomb, in the
Valley of the Kings! (1922)
King Tut’s priceless and exquisitely carved golden face mask,
reflected the exalted standard of art work;
Weighing ten kilos, inlaid with semi-precious stones, and eyes
made of obsidian and quarts!
With the King’s early death, the 18th Dynasty of Pharaohs came
to an abrupt end,
And the 19th and 20th Dynasties of the Late Kingdom Period
commenced!
The famous rock temple of Abu Simbel now got built, under the
warrior and builder Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Kings!


Pharaoh Ramses-II of the Late Kingdom Period :
Here I sweep across centuries of Egyptian History, to mention
King Ramses-II’s contribution to our Art Story!
In Shelly’s famous poem titled “Ozymandias of Egypt” he is
immortalized; (Greeks called Ramses-II “Ozymandias”!)
And as the Pharaoh associated with Moses in the movie “The
Ten Commandments”, he is popularized!
Egyptian Art is intrinsically bound with its religion, pyramids,
hieroglyphs, and architecture;
With a concentrated focus on ‘afterlife’ as its special feature!
In 1270 BC young Ramses took over from Seti the First,
And his rule for a period of 66 long years did last!
As the third Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, he had ruled with a
firm hand;
Recovered lost territories from the Hittites and the Nubians,
- earlier captured Egyptian lands!
He enlarged the territories of Egypt ensuring prosperity and
stability;
Became renowned as the famous Warrior and Builder King
of Ancient Egyptian History!
Ramses-II had expanded most of the temples, as recorded in
the artistic motifs and hieroglyphic symbols;
Here a special mention must be made of the Temples of Luxor,
Karnak, and Abu Simbel !

Temples of Luxor and Karnak in Ancient Thebes:
Ancient Thebes was located on the eastern bank of the Nile,
where the modern City of Luxor stands;
Thebes was once the capital of the 11th and 18th Dynasties,
And the power and religious center of all Egyptian land!
Gets mentioned in the 9th Book of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ where “heaps
of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes”!
Excavation work began in Thebes during the late 19th century;
And the gradual unearthing of the Temples of Luxor and
Karnak, added a new dimension to Egypt’s Art Story!
It must be remembered always, that the Ancient Egyptians in
those early days,
Structured their temple architecture to the point of ‘Sacred Art’!
With their knowledge of astronomy and geometry, they
aligned their temples so perfectly,
That the light of the rising sun fell on the temple’s innermost
sanctuary! (Temple of Abu Simbel is a great example,)
Where the Egyptian priests, who were also the artists, healers,
mathematicians, astronomers and scribes;
In dimly lit incense-filled sanctuaries performed the sacred rites!
The temples symbolized the cross roads of the cosmos, where
the divine and the mortal met in perpetual harmony!
These divine scenes were integrated into the very fabric of the
Egyptian society through chants and rituals;
With cosmological symbols of magical hieroglyphs, which
priests alone could transcribe in those days!
(
Thebes began to decline rapidly after Alexander the Great
established the port-city of Alexandria as Egypt’s new Capital
around 332 BC !)

Luxor Temple built by Amenhotep-III, was dedicated to God
Amun, his wife Mut and son Khonsu, - the Theban Triad;
Tutankhamen and Ramses-II expanding the temple during the
New Kingdom Period!
Creator God Amun became assimilated with the Sun God Re;
Was worshipped in Thebes, and in the cult centers of Luxor and
Karnak, - as Amun-Re!
The walls and columns of these cult temples were decorated
with carved and painted relief,
Depicting the interaction with Gods, and military exploits of
Egyptian Pharaohs and Kings!
The sun temple of Amenhotep-III at Luxor has many columns
resembling papyrus bundles,
Symbolic of the primeval marsh from where Creation was
believed to have unfolded !
A Sphinx Alley excavated between Luxor an
“I may be grown up but I’m only seventeen.”
The faded blue chairs were in rows, as could be expected. The building was old and the air was littered with dust; just like you would expect. The light shimmied through the draperies and tapestries and slithered across the floor in tiny slits that cut the room into pieces. The dark worn floors boasted years of scuffs and scratches. They were no longer mahogany for they were nearly black with age and dirt. The whole place was frozen in time. Even the air was reminiscent of years gone by. When you walked in you could expect to find memories nestled in corners or peeping out from one of the many books strewn around. The place breathed nostalgic fumes. Some might have called it “stale,” but many others would prefer to call it “alluring” or “curious.”

This was not her case. The door ****** the life out of the place as it slammed shut. The reverberations could be felt throughout the entire structure. Her anger fueled her along at a violent pace, sending chills up the drapes and swirling the dust into tornadoes of chaos. The floorboards rumbled and squealed in sheer terror under her feet. If you were here you would likely have tread softly and listened carefully just because you hoped the place was talking to you. But since this is her story and not yours, that is not the case.
She threw her body into the nearest chair and the force almost sent her backwards. The girl and the chair hung in time for a single moment, teetering on the edge of balance, but nothing happened. She kicked her feet up on to the chair in front of her out of utter disrespect.

Each breath that she blew carried venomous thought. Every air molecule expelled from her nose was laced with despise until it fell to the floor, devoid of life. You could feel the place shuddering with every breath. Or maybe she was shuddering. But it wasn’t important.
The girl let one lonesome anguished tear roll off her face, but since she was too strong for crying, she ****** her body out of the chair with every ounce of hatred she had inside. In one swift motion she swathed her face with her shirt to obscure and erase the tear. She stood there, filtering the air through her shirt, refusing to acknowledge everything the place had to offer. She dropped the weight of her head into her palms and bit her lip against the pain. She pulled her face back only to check the shirt. She knew it would be stained. She knew because every other time before it had been stained. She listened for a moment before she glided across the floor toward the nearest window.
When she finally came to a moment of rest, the place sighed in relief. The dust rested and the floorboards managed to quiet themselves. The drapes relaxed and everything paused again, settling back into a time of long ago. The place embraced her like the wind embraces a leaf. It helped her along gently as she was carried away.

Not wanting to be discovered, and not wanting to overstay her welcome, the girl carefully hid her soul behind the heaviest drape and emptily marched towards the door. She traced her finger along the scorch marks that marred the wood. The scars ran deep, evidencing a strong fire that had ravaged the place years before. The door oozed sympathy as the young girl shared her pain. Her heartbeat pounded out her sadness and resounded through the door and back to her. She clutched the **** in her hand and pushed it open. She slid through to the outside. She did not look over her shoulder. She did not carry a glimpse of hope within her. The flame in her heart was extinguished with the closing click of the door. She was outside. She watched as the place got smaller as she walked away.

His name was Devlin. “Dev” for short. It could’ve been “Devil.” It should have been “Devil.” He was the one who called the shots. This was his game; his rules. She was just a player who could be benched at any minute; suspended from the league in the blink of an eye. He knew the world. He had been learning it for years. As if the world was something that could be learned; that could be acquired. He missed the most important lesson for he never learned how to love. He had mastered affection and words spilled off his lips like honey. But love was not yet something he had come to possess.

Regardless of his material possessions, Dev knew he was missing something. He didn’t know what it was or how it could be acquired, or if it could be acquired. He only knew that the gaping black hole inside him was consuming him. There was no fulfilling this insatiable hunger. There seemed to be no solution. Only temporary fixes could easy the longing but with every dose the hole grew deeper.

           She too, knew that beneath his smile there was blackness. Not emptiness. Just blackness. There was no value, no gradation. No. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to hope for. She would have enough black to cover the entire world if she had wanted to paint. But she was honestly looking to survive.


                Time had gone by, but only by the measure of light. Time had not elapsed to heal her wounds. She had covered miles on the feet of one thought. She had traversed only into one idea during her journey and yet she had already reached her destination. It was easy to fall to your subconscious when your body was tattered. When she stepped through the threshold she almost imagined the place. But she stopped herself because she didn’t want to take the chance of contaminating it.

                Her eyes were closing and the soft carpet looking appealing in all its graying and deterioration. The couch and bed looked inviting but that was suicide. She was fighting the urge. She had too. She had tried to purge her mind but one insignificant monstrous thought plagued her. “Don’t go to sleep until I get back.” Her eyes lingered closed for a moment. How beautiful and welcoming this blackness was. It was gentle and comforting. Her eyes jumped open. How long had they been closed? Surely no more than a few minutes. Fate laughed in her face once again. “I told you: Don’t get to sleep until I get back.”
                The first one was the most painful. Even though her eyes were blurred from pain she could still see the look in his eyes. She had to look. The simple thought of closing her eyes would earn her several more. She clutched the threadbare carpet with all the dignity she could muster and stood like a soldier before a firing squad. Every wince squeezed the tears in her eyes closer and closer to escape, but she held on through the miserable pain. It wasn’t even his hands that hurt anymore. No, it was the iron, or the bat, or even the brick that hurt. When it was his hands, he sympathized with the contortions of her body. He felt her pain. When it was some other object, there was distance between them. Six, five, four, three, two… She could time the blows. When he wasn’t so angry they came faster, just to put the girl in her place. When he was enraged, they came slower. Each hit was followed by an explanation or justification. “You have to learn the hard way.” or “How dare you get blood on your clothes?” The indignation in his voice made her sick. “Don’t look at me like that!” “I love you.” Over time she had learned to smile over time. To lessen the pain.

                …Her face was burning. Every fiber in her body wrenched with pain. Every breath brought tears to her eyes. The shaking was uncontrollable. She never should
have fallen asleep…

                You see on the inside he was just a child who never knew love. But that was her job. To love him. He was one of those “monsters,” or rather a vortex, something to be awed and feared. A display of powerful destruction. But that was the point. He was ******* up everything good while furthering his own self-destruction. He would eventually collapse in on himself. It was inevitable. It was not a matter of time. It was not some probability that fate would determine. It was not plausible to think, no matter what length of time you were thinking for, that time could, and would, heal all wounds. This was not something that would fade into the background and blend into a dull gray. This was not something that could be fixed by a miracle of God. There was no twelve step program with guaranteed results. The only thing that could happen was the elimination of time. If this happened, then there could be change.  


                She had figured it out some time ago. A long while back before she knew the place. The only answer was destruction. You might even call it ******. But since it involved no bloodshed or munitions or hatred, it seemed to be a good idea. Even the victim was ultimately willing to go through with it. The only factor stopping the girl was love. Her love for him. She did love him. She truly and justly loved him. She loved everything about him. She loved him for chaos and instability. The only solution was to destroy time. Without time, there is no way to measure. There is no structure. There are no rules. The only structure is what you make in your mind. That was the easiest way to escape, the easiest way to ignore the pain, to ignore the love.        


                  However much she thought about it, she never thought about it enough. The hours she spent on the floor in utter stillness were useless. When her breath was shallow enough, she nearly died. Her shirt was stained with blood. It was severed from her hip to her elbow. Her face was swollen purple and blue. Four of her ribs were shattered. Her left ankle was swollen. Her eyes were sealed shut by dried tears. Her lips were pale and chapped. She could not breathe out of her nose. It was filled with blood. Her pants were a rolled in a crumpled ****** mess several feet away from her. Her legs were patched with bruises. Her fingernails had blood under them.


This was love.


Eventually. Not relative to time. Not relative to the beating, but relative to her. She crawled over to her pants and began to restore her dignity until a foot crashed down upon her hand, jarring her body into a fetal position on the floor. She forced her eyes to stare at her hand turning from pink to white to purple. She hung her head in shame and hoped for mercy or forgiveness. The crushing weight of the foot began to ease the slightest bit. “You didn’t learn. You never do.” She stood perfectly still, waiting. The foot lifted. He pulled her to her feet and bestowed a kiss upon her forehead. “That’s why I am here: To teach you.” He took the crumpled pants from the floor and removed her bloodied shirt. Then with **** of his head he motioned to the floor. “You will learn the meaning of humble today.” She lay back down and tried to glean warmth from the carpet. She was cold. Desperately cold.
Madeline Kennell Jul 2016
think of ice cream melting so you have to lick it off the sides of the cone

think of holding hands with a boy for the first time

think of being *****- not a gross ***** but ***** like you worked so hard today that you deserve this 800 calorie meal

think of the sounds of summer when you close your eyes, of a slight wind and the chimes that they blow about on your grandmother's porch

and speaking of grandmothers, and their porches, think of how you discovered watercolours in that very place

and think of coming home from a long day at the pool and watching the rain on your porch while you feel your skin cool down and you drink that amazing caramel tea

think of climbing the tree to get to the wall to climb on the garage roof and watch the clouds roll in over the mountains

think of the feel of the first time you got to hold a baby bunny and how in a way this made you see God

think of that feeling when you hiked the mountain even though your hip was broken and you got to the top and said 'i did it'

think of when you swam in the ocean and all your troubles ran off into the water and left you forever because the water was the pacific

think of putting on all that makeup and your prom dress just because you felt like it

think of dancing in the rain with your sister when the grass smelled sweet and the dirt was soft like a carpet and you felt at one with the world

think of cooking when billie holiday belts it from a record player and you sip red wine and pop the tomatoes in your mouth and your curls dangle in your vision

think of running off stage and getting high fived and glowing because you just successfully became someone else for a scene

think of that wonderful little secret joy you get from seeing that look he gives you when you're not looking... he just doesn't know you're staring at a glass reflection

think of how you have no money and the waitress is at one time annoyed with you because you can't afford a milkshake but grins as she walks away because she was that crazy kid too

think of the love you feel on your birthday when so many people made a special time to buy you something they think you'll like. even if you don't

think of falling asleep in the arms of someone you love and feeling like everything is in the perfect place and you are safe

think of the way cathedrals go up and up in the gothic style and how you understand the phrase heavenly light and feel yourself become weightless as you lean your head back

think of being cuddled in a soft blanket with hot chocolate while it snows, how you know your cheeks are pink and nose is rosy but it's all due to the world baring winter with you

think of thanksgiving and family and eating so much but being together because you are from the same people and you share blood and you are bound

think of swinging around your new haircut because you have nothing touching your shoulders and it ends so quickly and is new

think of drinking wine with your girlfriends in your pajamas and being classy together

think of backpacking through europe and how the locals know you are there to experience the real stuff and not some tour bus nonsense that never lets you stop at this little cafe you want to love

think of finishing a long book that shows wear on the covers that lets everyone know you smelled it paid so much attention to it for so long

think of falling asleep after a long day and knowing you deserve it and you are happy and all the bad is gone from your life. You've coughed out the demons and cried out the poison and you're now a week sober of sadness and everything is getting better and it's not even uphill from here, it's a sleigh ride now
Rashmitha Rao Mar 2014
I know, that night, lying on our magic carpet
in the quarter-light, floating in our little dorm,
we cared not about those details
that bother when in broad daylight,
we didn’t mind the improprieties
that pinch when in public spaces.

We were sailing close to the wind,
communicating through fingertips,
unknowing the memories that pricked…
We veered through a common dreamspace,
nestled into each others’ chests
and memorized the sounds they made…
Yes, that night I cried, like that bizarre fish
that refills its own pond of water,
copious tears that went over both our heads
and the carpet sank so deep
that all its magic went down with it.
Nov 26, 2011
Charlie Chirico Sep 2012
I guess it was when I found the eviction notice on the front door, or when I was going on three months being unemployed, or maybe even the point where I questioned myself as a writer, is when I sat down and started writing out facts. I was a writer in love with fiction, and besides my non-fiction work that allowed me enough money to eat (mostly to drink, unless there were food specials at the bar) I was writing short stories. I never thought about writing about my life, because in my mind I was still young. I was wet behind the ears; a little **** that thought he knew everything. I know nothing.

Dr. Seidman asked me if I wanted to play a board game.
I didn’t respond, in fact I looked as if I was ignoring him purposefully, but I wasn’t. He sat patiently and waited for me to respond. The truth was that I was apprehensive. This was the first time I had been in front of a therapist, and I didn’t know what to say, let alone how to act. I found it odd that the first thing he asked me was if I wanted to play a game. I was ****** as well. Before I got in the car with my mother I sat upstairs in my bedroom, took out my “inhaler” and packed the bowl. (During this time in my adolescence I was fascinated with marijuana and also with the devices used to smoke it with. I didn’t like rolling joints, and blunts had not caught on at that time. Instead, I would make my own bowls. My inhaler became one of my favorites; it was easy to conceal). I got ******, headed downstairs, grabbed a water, lit a cigarette (my parents were adjusting to the fact their fourteen year old was a smoker), waited outside of my mom’s station wagon, finished my cigarette, flicked it at the end of the driveway, and got in the car. The car ride to Dr Seidman’s office was unbearable. Neither of us spoke, the radio was turned down to a low volume, playing music form the 70’s and 80’s; Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight was playing. It was ironic to say the least. By the time the song ended we were in the general vicinity of his office. My mother was gripping the steering wheel, her knuckles becoming white, her face becoming red. It was at this point that I realized she was just as nervous as I was.

“**** her,” I thought. She was the reason I was going to see this man. I didn’t ask to come here and she had the audacity to be nervous. She was being selfish. We could have turned the station wagon around and went back home. We could have taken care of any of our problems at home. We didn’t need to consult a “professional” and talk about our “feelings.” This was the point that I felt my life had become the stereotypical suburban life: a life that you would see on television shows; one that consisted of doctors, prescription drugs, confused youth, mid-life crisis, and of course the nervous breakdowns.

We are in front of the doctor’s office. The area surrounding us looks like an industrial park. I don’t know what to think of this, but I in any sense an exterior cannot speak for an interior.

My mother and I are still in the station wagon, seat belts still buckled, the radio still down low, when she turns to me. She looks at me, only the way a mother can, and smiles. I can only bring myself to return her smile with a smirk. I have always been known for my apathetic smirk. I’m waiting for her to speak. I know she is trying to think of the right words, but like me, we have a habit of saying the wrong thing. Our words are always misplaced even though we might have the best intentions.

“Don’t ******* him,” she said

“Okay,” I said in return.

There must be a catalogue book that caters to therapists.

Dr. Seidman’s office looked very generic, like I had fallen into a bad movie, or like the only furniture allowed in the office had to be leather. That is the one smell I will always remember from his office. Even now when I smell leather I think of his office.

On his desk was a calendar, assorted writing utensils (although he had a name placard with a golden pen inserted in the center), and a desk lamp with the customary green glass shade. The wall to the right of him, and next to the office door, was lined with assorted books; filling up the bookcases that took up the full space of the wall. I was sitting on a leather couch that faced the office door. He was sitting in his leather armchair in front of his desk. He looked at me; I looked at the elaborate stitch work of the carpet. The office was calmly lit and relaxing, even though I still looked tense. I didn’t want him to look me in the eye. They were dry and red and I was high.

“Would you like to play a game?” He asked me.

I continued to stare at the carpet. He kept silent while waiting for my answer. I was thankful for that.

When I was tired of the carpet I glanced up and over to where he was sitting to find him looking at a marble chess set. I was expecting his eyes to be on me. They weren’t.

“What kind of game?”

“What do you like? I have board games, we can play cards, or checkers, or chess. Why don’t you tell me what game you’re good at? I’ve played them all countless times, but I’m always looking for a good challenge.” He said with a subtle level of smugness. He was trying to entice me, to challenge me, and it was working.

I spotted the checker board. “Checkers. I’m good at checkers.”

“Then checkers it is,” he said brightly. He stood and grabbed the antique looking checker board and grabbed a table to put in between us. He placed the board on the table and moved his seat closer. We were now face to face and ready to start our first of many strategic games.

Our first meeting was spent in front of a checker board in silence. Very seldom did we exchange words. After three games of checkers (which he won), we shook hands and he told me our session was over for the night. He walked me to his office door, said hello to my mother with a formal introduction, and told us both that he was looking forward to seeing us both the next week. My mother asked me to wait in the car while she asked the doctor a question. I didn’t argue. I walked to her car and unlocked it. I sat and for once in a long time felt at ease.

I went into Dr. Seidman’s office with a pre-conceived notion of talking, or not talking, about my feelings and what caused them. Instead we played checkers. We watched each other’s moves on the checker board. He had a way of making a vulnerable situation bearable. He put my anxiety at ease. But while I sat alone in my mother’s station wagon I couldn’t stop thinking of one thing he said before I walked outside. He said he was looking forward to seeing both of us the next week. I was curious by what he meant when he said “both of us.”
slay Sep 2018
Pleasure remains, but so does the pain, I’m going insane

Are you talking to me? Nah, I don’t think so
Are you asking me if I am mad at the world?
Well I’ll have to think, I guess, maybe? I know!
But I really can’t hear you, I have in headphones
Can we take a break? Cause I gotta smoke
Yes, and each one, it is killing me slow
Well technically fast,
E-R the better
I’d love to be deader than how I already feel in my guts on the inside
Black tar suffocating the fluids inside of my spine —
*****, you are a dime

Pleasure remains, but so does the pain, I’m going insane

“Why you so guarded?” Can’t get this enough
Please shut the **** up, my feelings are stuck
I can’t get enough of the **** from the plug
To put me in a coma from smoking too much
Every time I come thru, I water his buds
He got that good good
that fefe
That neek neek
Good gas got me prerolling
His blunts for the morning
When I'm not high, I'm boring
It's my niche through the torment
To numb all external stimulation endured on my journey
In the basement of a haunted house with all Windows boarded

I'm lonely!
Hopelessly, truthfully, desparingly torn between
Extending my warmth or further retreating
I just wanna die without leaving my momma cleaning
The mess of myself all cold and depleting, and
Soaking the carpet to live or to be in.
Beside myself now, oh, how ******* convenient.
The whispers of a woman in a moment once fleeting , but
That won't be me, will it?
Someone make me see different!
One of the versions of myself that I live with, because
I am infinite.
Still I'm human, I have limits
I could still push myself further than what im currently doing,

WHAT AM I PROVING?
i just wrote this *** imstill working on it
gracie Jul 2017
Perhaps we never truly met
until I heard your voice of flowers
spill hydrangeas across the carpet
of my bedroom at 3 am.

Those whispers of nothingness
that smell oh so sweetly in the night
begin to wither away as sunrise creeps in
through the window I forgot to close tight.
Robin Carretti Apr 2019
Your the one son being rebellious little darlings here comes
the sun drenching delicious but wait those cloudy days
watch out the hunters run ducking our heads like babies
wetting and water squirting beds getting too saucy
  ten O clock playpen the daring duck gourmet sauce
Orange you glad all her rich creme spread across
her penpals
Do you trust those gals too country slick on Newsweek

Getting paid he is the longest laid egg all grilled we are
not thrilled here is the "Chuckie Duckie" doll those *****
barbie collectors they are sitting duck Graphic Artist
Not one quack doll plastic surgeon duck lips she thinks
shes the hot stuff romantic "French" lips up the
"Eiffel Tower" splash splash she is out of cash
Those hot items presidential poll what a lost soul

Too much blue yes attention swan dancers Springtime
Not  the red attention yellow instead ****** please
I need a  journey not the "Attorney" such a ****** case
When you need them they always duck
When they have a new quack case they are ruining
my image
Duck tapesty Carol Kings youve got a friend

I'm feeling yellow homesick on your feather duck pillow
The same yellow tie a different atmosphere Go- Spa
She's flirting do you know where your going how is
life treating you he's giggling way too wild on her
goose chase
  Losing our grip down to her chicken bone hip
Duck season not much time for love being hunted

The Spa  la la ha have Merci' oh la la 'Disco Duck"
The wild ones the only ones quack- quack the
lonely ones
At the waterfront trip to "Chinatown" they let
them hang to dry but why Dad? They are better
like the delicacy shark finn soup we need a Spa
lucky green group Irish eyes are smiling stories
of ducks

I am  not buying do you see duck climb the
          "Eiffel Tower" yellow as a canary
All talk-talk is cheap lets talk French Mom walks
With her pretty duck handle umbrella we waddle
The penquin what a beauty swan feather pen
  But she's the"Prima Donna" look out!

The slingshot Marilyn Monroe wiggles out
                  The "Spa- Ma"
                 Don't  Scramble me darlings
                    Breakfast eggs cagefree
                     *          *          
My little chickadees organic brown on my gown
Spa duckies traveled the whole Atlantic town
The longest pond sleeping like "Rip Van Winkle"
twinkle twinkle
doublecrossed the street you get one dermerit
Sesame street Big bird how many words in duck
vocabulary quack- quack who get's the duck star

Mars from Men women go to the Spa like the bad
omen and they don't leave tap tap chop chop
I want it now!! Its now or never why does she always
get ugly duckling book delivered
Lazy goose she is the spoiled rotten egg how
do we love those  I apples
Carrots are for the eyes Mom always gets bird eyes

My little chickadees the Alaskan cute puppies
Big salute to the cutest duck feet "God Bless America"
  Visa  American Express Daffy Duck in Disney mess
the real picture "Mona Lisa" getting the duck
         Prime  chop minister
"Parliament Spa" prices so sinister
"Eat Duck and Pray" the  southern biscuits
more recruits

My cute rookies those duckier cookies another Spa day
So prim and proper teatime with "Queen deck"
  Alice in rabbit hole-Santa candycane poles cute chick
is homesick you better sent her money quick
The ducky bib the Chinese duck soup won ton
The feather fan she loves her Sushi roll Hollywood
Style California all duck drama
The best treatment duck made carpet

On the "Disney Hollywood" deck "Epcot"
On the futon what diction for a duck "My Fair lady"
Got the whole fortunes bed
The duck on the hill what a fool but the monk
Is the whole spiritual existence
The peacock's longest wait for lobster tails
centerpieces red bird Robin fly Robin Fly

Disco ball fancy tails she ended up up up to the sky
Her duck sunglasses a dozen ***** spin's the disco
The Duck Pop singer wants him back
High price or a short mack duck shooter attack
Food for thought homesick all saucy duck tie waiter
Cinderella rags to ducklings I went to "Woodstock"
Imagine me the teenager chick the duck split

Fill wing concert sky made a hit
The blues love is strange chick-lets are yellow
Like clock work what a duck work out orange          
        Duck handle umbrella               
 Duckies I pledge to you College Preppies
The chick feeder Ain't nothing but a hound dog
      Elvis heart breaker bird-brain feeder

  Moms duck sugar cookies
******* Jack one prize quack quack
 Huckleberry Finn paper boat old billy goat
  In the drowned mans eye holy ducks he delivered
I will blow you down duck horn the day you
were born
Having a third eye one duck Wendy 4 for a 4

Notre Dame church tragic but saved
   The  Easter yellow chicks

To Rome lend me your feathers no secret ears
Sticky Fingers she lost her writing finger in the
pond  OH! look whats beyond so kind
With her duckling apron dress he ducked
The chatty cat "City Dr Seuss"

Wearing duck boots those duck lips played her
like the fancy feast
The teachers pet the ducklings cute darlings
Spa cream she quite the flabber belly dancer
The ballet swan achiever "Spa One Day tripper"
The ugly duckling changed to beauty witch
Holy-land or duck pond Mickey's ears
                   Disneyland

Stand up daffy duck comedian Las Vegas
Godiva Peking duck soup flapping swishing
mess
The Big Ben red whose been sleeping in my
duck wing bed
The car stops he hiccups cute bebops
The guardian angel quack quack any luck
Yummy raspberry pie someone delivered

Christmas Scrooge all tears
New York lights camera I love my
        Serendipity chandeliers
Those duck tear drops last stop
Or you die__your still quacking
       Just in time said I
           Fly Robin Fly

     Saved my baby chick lovely
     Cradled her to love her
          Dr Seuss read
Its about all speculation dreaming need of a nature cool environment ;our eyes up get your cafe favorite cup my baby chicks  words will give flight and I hope you will feel just perfectly right with her duck lips  Quack Quack
july hearne Jul 2018
after the crossroads
the wrong turns
and taken risks not worth taking

there came a time in my life
when nothing came next

no highways calling out for me
just painted rainbow crosswalks
for staying put

i stayed inside a lot
the more i hid
the dirtier the carpet got

it was cheap and poorly cut
to begin with, the dirt i was daring to become filth didn't help

the more i hated the cost of living
the dirtier the carpet got
the richer jeff bezos got

so stupid i thought

it was a daily thought
my own personal seventieth seven

antichrist and nothing
but crowds to fill his headquarters
hairless cat of a shepherd and his reusable sheep
i stayed inside a lot

so stupid i thought
the more i hid
the dirtier the carpet got
we can only hope
a subsidized rocket ship
can only launch so high
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

in a far off province of
God forsaken Helmand,
our dear son Joey
met his untimely end

an explosive crack
a most terrible sound
felled a beloved Jersey son
to the cold cruel ground

working the live wires
of a well placed IED
a deathly burst killed him
it was awful to see  

Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine
in solemn duty fell
fellow brothers in arms
will forever reverently tell

of courage and character
of a dear fallen friend
and how the valiant warrior
met with death at his end

for he was always faithful
to his beloved corps
comrades couldn't ask
a valiant marine for more


2.

details of his death
are not the real story
selflessness and bravery
are but part of his glory

is it brash to
question why he fell?
in a useless bitter war
an embroiled senseless hell

a generation mustered
to fight in the war on terror
serving four tours of duty
in a lost decade of errors

two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq
could a nation ask a man for more?
for he was always faithful to the call
upholding pledges he hath sworn

3.

the burden of war
to a  few confined
it rarely crosses
an American’s mind

incessant war machine
drones on apace
the horror of conflict
so cleverly displaced

with afternoon baseball
and super bowl parties
big disco paychecks
and other selfish priorities

pay hollow tribute
to dear weary troops
when valor is mentioned
we gather in groups

we’ll raise the flag
sing stirring anthems
than its back to the party
pay it no more attention

self styled patriots
wave handfuls of flags
but ask them to contribute
the zeal soon lags

its left to the few
to shoulder burdens of many
fairness is lost
its a democratic calamity

four tours in a decade
an inhumane task
burdens require sharing
its only fair to ask

Joey was always faithful
to the task at hand
willing to step forward
to serve his homeland


4.

in the wake of 9/11
a nation deeply shaken
young patriots stirred
liberty’s call not forsaken

a call to serve answered
to quell the rise of terror
a clear clarion alarm
marks the nature of the era

Joey boldly came forward
to train and learn
the art of warriors
his bright patriotism burned

deployed to Afghanistan
to capture Osama
routing the Taliban
without much problem

but a pacified Afghan
not enough for Bush
he invaded Iraq
another military push

we rolled into Baghdad
adorned with victors garlands
Saddam’s statue toppled
our troops were honored

deposing a dictators
soon turned to occupation
a ****** mission transformed
to build the Iraqi and Afghan nations

once honored liberators
now a conquering force
bestriding broken nations
on a civil war course

military industrialists
stood to profit most
sweet protracted conflict
record earnings to boast

lives bartered for lucre
a region held hostage
the conflict deepened
hostilities hardened

America dipped into
a great recession
the war machine
bled money and
kept on ticking

scooping up contracts
rewarding investors
the dividends of war
heaven sent treasure

continuation of hostilities
preys on a nation's youth
as casualties mount
ill portents forsoothed

a fraction of citizens
bare heartaches of war
gulping measures of despair
to guard a nations door

a nation always faithful
to the holy pursuit of profit
a highest citizens calling
put money into your pocket


5.

our beloved Jersey son
gave a full measure of devotion
in dress blues they shipped him
back across the ocean

on the Dover tarmac
they received his remains
for a last ride northward
to his hometown terrain

repatriated body
bereft of soul saluted
solemn escort knelt
hearts trembled, tears muted

a hearse for a gallant man
flanked by state troop cruisers
to escort the funeral train
assure an honored movement

one last trip up
old thunder road
the storied highway
Joey often trod

the last detail legged up 17
reverent firefighters saluted  
from overpasses
to honor  the woeful scene

as the motorcade passed
the Garden State Malls
frenzied consumers
failed to notice at all

busy window shoppers
didn't to turn an eye
as Joey rolled home
to the sweet by and by

vets interred at the
Old Paramus Church
gently stirred in their graves
reasons for war they search

Channel 12 Chopper
circled its eye in the sky
televised the sad parade
captured many teary eyes

the early spring blooms
colorful petals displayed
maples and forsythias
a royal carpet laid

spring remains always faithful
as the new season turns
offer sunshine and glory
as our sinking hearts burn

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

leaves exploding
green shoots budding
****** white maple blooms
natures accolades stunning

the oaks yet bare
just waking from slumber
winters death passing
a sad day put asunder

the motorcade passed
Joey’s home on Prospect Ave
few  envision lifes endings
this woefully sad

red chevy pickup idles
in hoop crowned driveway
never to drain jumpers again
departed children can’t play

the eye in the sky
framed neighbors in mourning
welcoming back a fallen hero
unsettled emotions dawning

neighbors waved Old Glory
from painted stoops and curbs
unsure how this tragedy
visits this blessed suburb

green grass of home
always flush with spirit
tears welled in the eyes
most difficult to bear it

last cruise of the town
sad neighbors stand witness
paying final due respects
and ponder from a distance

what purpose is served
by this man’s passing?
the dead cannot speak
rationale is for the living

the terrible herse
death circles our town
moves through our day
hope of spring drowned

murderer of sunshine
killer of young flowers
budding trees breaking
our hearts an ashen pallor

we remember the beauty
of Joey’s stout face
as it looked on your finest day
exuding pure honor and grace

old vets gather
donning caps and pins
boasting semper fi jackets
jutting tear dripping chins

shaking hands, giving hugs
bearing tattered banners
the hearse ambles onward
we head home in solemn manner

good folks are always faithful
where beloved ones grew
the death of our children
we sadly cannot undo


7.

the bells of St. Lukes
called out from the sky
platoons of limping vets
marched in with pride

pomp and circumstance
requisite dress blues
family, friends, townsfolk
overflowed the pews

doleful bells resound
tolling a mournful reckon
the cost of war mounts
a family’s loss beckons

the casualties of war
falls upon a nation's youth
a seasons page not  turned
a flowing wound not soothed

the wistful cornet calling
floats on the fluted air
the bereaved ***** gently sounds
a congregations somber despair

an unsettling dirge
the parish grows uneasy
nationalist bravado wanes
in the forlorn sanctuary

both church and flag
draped in colors of war
mock stain glass windows
communicants adore

is it a betrayal of the flag
to offer enemies
psalms of reconciliation?
where does true loyalty lay
with God or a warring nation?

afterall this is a sanctuary
where peace and harmony reigns
are we not called to beat swords
into ploughshares as the highest
calling of our Lord?

we are always faithful
to the pathways to war
when the practice of peace
is what we should adore

8.

coughing and whispers
incessant low murmur
a baby cries out
we sit and remember

the crucifers process
in solemnity to greet
subtle ***** notes salute
a coffin draped in Old Glory sheets

the beloved child welcomed
to his eternal repose
priests splash holy water
within the sacred dome

an amazing grace revealed
lifted by marine pallbearers
dearly departed body presented
gently placed at the altar

a grief struck sister
lovingly eulogizes
recalls tonka trucks,
GI Joe’s and cool transformers

a punch in the nose
an approaching wedding
beckoning Eastertide
vacation plans left begging

my second grade class sent
Christmas cookies and cards
to dear Joey and warrior friends
he said it warmed stark winter hearts

he was raised in this church
taught trust and reconciliation
the comfort of the Lords peace
may it surely go with him

for he was always faithful
to sisters, family and faith
his resurrection service
imbues sacredness
to this space

9.

sharp in dress blues
Eddie T USMC Gunny
big 50 caliber smile
offers his eulogy

Bada Bing Jersey Humvee
we called him Joey Calzones
good mood, loved sausages
he tickled the funny bone

always willing to sacrifice
loved the Patriots Tom Brady
a women dominated household
gave him a way with the ladies

his calling explosive ordinances
he said he was livin the dream
March 6th last time we met
knocking frost off cold ones
man whatta scream

a gallant marine,
beloved brother,
a sure friend
he was always faithful
I’m deeply wounded
by his untimely end


10.

the gospel read
the homily offered
Ecclesiastes wisdom
a time for everything
proffered

God never turns
an eye from the beloved
though seasons change
we are not forsaken
never unloved

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

our rekindled hope
we rend and sow
our beloved Joey
knew this was so

our favorite son’s
example taught us
now rises on eagle’s wings
to claim his divine justice

Jesus faithfully tramped
the path to an awful death
Joey too fought the good fight
a warrior now gratefully at rest

The Lord holds him close
to the ***** of sure love
a cantors beatific voice incants
Joey’s spirit that forever enchants

The Lord is always faithful
to the bereaved and  beloved
no one ever forsaken
all unconditionally loved

11.

the Holy Eucharistic cup
affirms everlasting giving
tasted to nourish evermore
a libation for the living

singing the Beatitudes
praising peace makers
mercy filled voice and song  
pallbearers lift Joey’s coffin

off to seek his final peace
an earthly occupation ended
he’ll suffer worldly hate no more
down the aisle his coffin wended

the family closely followed
a mother haltingly sobbing
faithful marines came forth
to steady her wobbling

there is no sudden waking
from this terrible dream
the pungent incense rose
to the chapels sacred beams

the stained glass murals depict
the passion of Jesus’s story
illuming a consuming sorrow
in all its grace filled glory

the ***** of death slinks on again
we search for consolation
the recompense of honor blest
leaves a hollow heart wanting
no answers offered to quell the dark
of these terrible life’s moments
only the desperate need to hold onto
beleaguered treasure that sustains us

for we are always faithful
to the things we know
always faithful to the
things we refuse to let go

12.

the color guard and funeral detail
assembled in front of St. Luke’s
the cemetery right next door
the procession a short troop

the living will stumble through
the darkness of separation
seeking elusive answers
of poignant uncertainty;
all gave some, Joey gave all
nothing more required for his
journey through eternity

Joey will always be with us
his stories forever retold
as long as the machinery of
great nations engage
the gears of wasteful war

Joey’s spirit lives
in a peoples desire
for freedom, only if
our hope of peace
is greater than the
need for conflict

Joey’s lifes work
is sure to bear fruit
if those remaining
fight the good fight
by taking up the
task to protect and
expand the values
of liberty we
hold most dear

like our good
friend Jesus
Joey wears a crown
bejeweled with
a ring of thorns
hoisted on a
terrible cross
the sweet
incense of you
meets our nose
we inhale your
earthly presence
beholding beautifully
adorned crucifix,
a reminder of
unjust persecution
and a perfect
resurrection
yet this wretched
coffin remains

pledging allegiance
we rationalize our
stories, articulating
our small parts
in  heroic sagas,
reciting myths of
ourselves, recording
the grim history of
a young marine
surrounded by
a smart color guard,
feasting on todays
eucharist, this
days sweet taste
of  the daily bread
of human sorrow

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

Taps conclude
a wind rises
crows take flight
winging over
a stand of budding
Sugar Maples
exploding in white
blooms, reveling
in the glorious
sunshine of this
magnificent day

St. Luke’s stairway to
God Country and Home
smiling portrait of you
forever young

we surround your grave
to bless the earth
you've returned home
to your place of birth

our flowing pride
and salty tears bless
the anointed ground
that you loved best

a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blest
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest

for he was always faithful
to the blessed land
forever at peace
in the soils sure hands

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Salty rancher spackle is to Earthy diva smackers as Swinging hotel number is to?
Rippling cling bread is to Three lizard chariots as Indigo lime tangent is to?
Nighttime reunion planet is to Nettle lane scuffle as Soaking spider *** is to?
Fancy trance logs are to Sticky fudge lather as Vivacious gator college is to?
Cheerful blossom face is to Secret tractor rocket as Canned gremlin emblems are to?
Jealous pitchfork generals are to Heartbreaking patchwork veranda as Folding robot noise is to?
Pretty rhino rash is to Lost locket vengeance as Back pocket weather is to?
Frosted candy sidewalk is to Sneaky kook code as Shiny waffle smoke is to?
Sapphire cloud romance is to Magnetic comet lava as Blue triangle envy is to?
Vanishing honey melody is to Thermal elf pajamas as Whistling iceboat shampoo is to?
Peach mint politics is to Frozen doll pennies as Rusty anchor catapult is to?
Swollen pony fever Throbbing sword kazoo as Silent turbine science is to?
Obese germ thunder is to Stacked lemon towers as Corrupt moon jockey is to?
Demented insect whistle is to Glass trophy cleanup as Purple geode bubble is to?
Nighttime razor slime is to Lacquered dragon maps as Tint paper mittens are to?
**** camel drops are to Velvet ****** shoes as Slippery red muffins are to?
Flying hot drool is to Pale chocolate telescope as Tin trumpet ballet is to?
Expensive puppy speed is to Flowered duck mirror as Cosmic needle factory is to?
Fractured laser doodles are to Cracked butter gravel as Rubber holster straps are to?
Majestic panther fortress is to Jeweled cork target as Iron swan taxi is to?
Poisonous pepper bouillon is to ****** goat soap as Chrome feather pirates are to?
Digital gorilla scriptures are to Timid hunter stench as Frozen domino video is to?
Eccentric troll opera is to Transparent wax village as Spoiled coral agony is to?
Bizarre green metal is to Pillow eating hamster as Leather cavern ***** are to?
Eternal hurricane evidence is to Powdered rainbow perfume as Smoking yellow prune is to?
Liquid wish cleanser is to Exploding meadow ladders as Brittle rose hammer is to?
Caged foam filter is to Cherry balloon string as Ivory cactus spider is to?
Carbon puppet watch is to Sad kings compass as Elastic lace whiskers are to?
Nitrogen trolley dust is to Lazy elephant toffee as Orange toad choir is to?
Dark pole zodiac is to Blue finger blanket as Illegal bug nozzle is to?
Stinky towel cookies are to White jade caskets as Sticky snail tea is to?
Converting stellated caramels is to Mythic aerosol socks as Rubber raspberry jokes are to?
Flying clock carousel is to Whisky nut worms as Plastic fish platforms are to?
Queasy Vaseline queens are to Moody pigeon pills as Aqua mice fur is to?
Spotted bowl shadow is to Idiotic radiance lotion as Bungalow toad hearse is to?
Gushing chimney fungus is to Funky lamb acrobat as Utopian **** sprinkler is to?
Twinkling bungalow tablet is to Botanical duck rope as Bug hat ram is to?
Broken clock fossil is to Black ginger confetti as Parisian cobra meatloaf is to?
Silly Xerox ribbon is to Obedient raccoon carny as Traditional cat linguini is to?
Last astral advisor is to Elastic badger riddles as Broken circle rifles are to?
Bagged squire channel is to Temporary mosaic cake as Ancient bacon thread is to?
Wireless math army is to Moronic neon money as Pearl razor radar is to?
Rubber buzzard blizzard is to Troubled bubble wizard as Crushed hash ******* is to?
Purple birdy cure is to Tangled frost blossoms as Silken bridal saddle is to?
Unisex owl accordion is to Sugar bottomed boat as Optical nougat treasure is to?
Flavored saline rain is to Black arrow clan as Transistorized clam guitar is to?
Sharpened twig scar is to Mutant beet sonar as Baked troll mask is to?
Boxed noodle secrets are to Traditional guru buttons as Glossy marshmallow strategy is to?
Vibrating melted jelly is to Silver furniture dream as Spewing collated seats is to?
Burnt mountain pickles are to Baby preacher shoes as Sympathetic pilot pain is to?
Narrow portal treaty is to Monkey warehouse vacancy as Painted tornado trap is to?
Porch penny sulfur is to Glowing pony fat as Patched mattress bait is to?
Frigid waitress fallacy is to Graphic shrimp salute as Misted sneezing window is to?
Moist apple moss is to Daddy’s zoom seed as Downtown Pope cart is to?
Tired felon trickle is to Holographic squirrel candle as Wild ray hay is to?
Deadly zero chalk is to Folding wilderness chart as Curved ******* vacuum is to?
Hollow porcelain pellets are to Strawberry rain stencils as Microwave taxi nomads are to?
Wasted machete balcony is to Crumpled creature confessions as Fridge fuzzed fruit is to?
Sloppy demon damage is to Squeaky puppet chuckle as Mental arcade combat is to?
Monster trout stories are to Lewd pirate cocktail as Locked mammal grommet is to?
Rotting rope network is to Tragic toy goat as Cotton submarine shoes are to?
Complex pepper dance is to ****** cloud cushion as Marching taxi holiday is to?
Mental petal collectors are to Spooned barn putty as Dork factory fiction is to?
Hot spotted tops are to Timed stepping pests as Yogurt notching tartar is to?
Crazy dog comics are to Ambitious cartoon sphinx as Pavlov’s zinc ballet is to?
Soiled spinster wedding is to Padded razor wound as Floating fish map is to?
Slippery leopard pants are to Perfumed nut button as Dart wizard party is to?
Needy alien elephants are to Barking garden gnats as Quasar focused paper is to?
Slanted heart **** is to Bronzed cliff sandals are to Cunning jockey jokes are to?
***** thumbprint massage is to Holistic princess memory as Sliding dental sword is to?
Drifting wood whistle is to Fluorescent carpet powder as Foam dragon whistle is to?
Chopped web shadow is to Immortal vermin soup as Collapsing porch conspiracy is to?
Stolen thunder chant is to Haunted comet heart as Swollen throat portrait is to?
Fragrant frost parfait is to Grumpy caveman *** as Random stingray solo is to?
Squeaky polar turbine is to Silent lava fever as Oversized lunar fulcrum is to?
Synthetic dew droppers are to Pocket poster paste as Hypnotic screen dog is to?
Symbolic whirlpool nausea is to Dreaming tree phantom as Log badge bracket is to?
Camp hippo map is to Horseradish seizure insurance as Distant insect mirror is to?
German lady sherbet is to Stuntman laundry wax as Hungry butterfly ghost is to?
Fly smudged foil is to Amped maze coil as Shifting optic terror is to?
Automatic sheep floss is to Panoramic tanker anchor as Throbbing bone pillow is to?
Mutant clown village is to Nightmare translation treasure as Spotted spectral chakra is to?
Blind roach tweat is to Hermit worm tiara as Divine logo ritual is to?
Glueless gun stamp is to Malicious spam pump as Floral toffee pods are to?
Dudgeon mist removal is to Menacing bolt smacker as Boating duke shadow is to?
Costly metal plungers are to Creaky buzzing gushers as Glowing star cushions are to?
Raked barge sludge is to Crusted cream glitter as Zircon gutter babble is to?
Fake gold scholar is to Amish ******* mogul as Faithful ***** choir is to?
Sacred limo prayers are to Fried mice café as Splintered ****** thimble is to?
Dealing rabbit decals is to Pelican bongo festival as Patched equator rot is to?
Freedom gourd gasoline is to Cobblers studying acorns as Desecrated dice crater is to?
Tattered tapestry rod is to Busted particle scanner as Bogus piffle catalogue is to?
Trifle truffle raffle is to Last lamb laminate as Segmented cake goggles are to?
Domestic tackle tactic is to Ticking tic talk as Cordial corps coordinates is to?
Tucked duck caftan is to Sunken ramp ruckus as Wretched ranch rhetoric is to?
Clearly incomprehensible directions are to Useful archaic nonsense as Antiquated skeletal outline is to?
Bewildered beasts feasting are to Lazy busybodies resting as Vaccinating brave volunteers are to?
Lucky wagon dragons are to Famous gargoyle gargle as Formal postman funding is to?
Furrowed shroud chowder is to Borrowed tartan pajamas as Martini mixed algebra is to?
Cowgirl balloon helium is to Chewy glucose habitat as Stationary monument movement is to?
Diamond powered powder is to Diagonal diameter diagram as Purposely condensed expansion is to?
Organic iodine capsule is to Gleaming beach probe as Dominant dome static is to?
Shaving wrinkled targets is to Petting sensible monsters as Selling invisible whiskey is to?
Frozen piano architecture is to Note dotted clouds as Screaming Korean worms are to?
Sonic plant website is to Telepathic climbing clam as Bored protein exercise is to?
Gourmet mollusk cone is to Numb poodle caravan as Asian raven radar is to?
Brandon Webb Nov 2012
1
she taps he hand, twice.
across the room,
he stares, thinking
into empty air.
others, scattered
tap pencils or fingers
on desktops, booktops
and phone keyboards

the balding man
with black hair:
combed backward
and to differing angles
so that his head is split
vertically-
stands, above the room
his back turned

his words,
meant for the crowd
reverberate only
along classes fringe
but still take precedence
over nothing
even to them-
academics, outcasts


2
back of the room
reveals everything
to the observer
trying to see

blue-eyed brunette
glares vengefully
at no one,
just to glare

he looks up once
to watch
as another
pulls up
drooping jeans.
she laughs
at conversation
unmeant for,
and inaudible
to her


3
today, she smiles
and lets her lip fall
begging, like a puppy
But when they
lose eye contact,
she glares, again

he leaves footprints
on parallel desk
from lounging
then fires himself
to his feet
using stored energy,
and sugar from gum

words bounce along
the walls in the back,
and isolated eyes peer
towards the screen
but hide the fact
that they care


4
two week vacation
has left their minds
full of everything
except math,
so they listen
to him, while he speaks

but travel backward
in time, with
those closest them
while he creeps,
silent, around the room

she concentrates hard,
on her work
glaring at the page.
he sits a desk forward
feet on floor
neighboring desk full
today, but only physically

blue hat rests
on sketchbook,
its border
barely covering
closed eyes

blond head
implants itself
jokingly, into
smooth shining
white wall
with enough force
to collapse
accidental target

a hand raises
attracting gazes,
awestruck,
at her interest
in forgotten
material
of future tests


5
only a few eyes wander
from blue lined notebooks
though the left flank
still chatters, embodying
either a secretive chipmunk
or the breeze which starts the storm

storm clouds appear slowly
in sketchbook, blue hat bobbing
rhythmically in response to active pen

perched above the flock
reminiscent, split headed
papa bird scans the masks
of his shockingly silent chicks

random lecture breaks the silence.
Her eyes aren’t the only ones
Fixed into a steel laden glare
But the chipmunk wind ceases


6
his questioning glance lands
on uninhabited space,
exhibiting a yawn
which traverses through,
and twists, the faces of
those otherwise engaged

lecture ends with a question,
the scent of nuts blows through
mentally empty classroom
turning desks to predetermined
positions and swiftly inhabiting
three-quarters of the physical class

his steel glare has replaced hers
the latter’s eyes now soft as an infants

within five minutes, his voice
undergoes  a brutal, complete cycle
pleading, congratulating, yelling
and as always, lecturing


7
pre-test:

preparations for misery-
mundane chipmunk chattering,
jokes and laughs from random
oddities appearing everywhere

blue hat rests in intervals.
Blue coat rearranges
essay for another class

The girl in the sunny plaid
Rolls an orange along her hand

He points at nothing and asks
Nobody something without answer

The left flank, as always
Is turned away, conversing

A sigh rings outward loudly
Everyone glares, nervously,
Everywhere, reward of concentration


After my test:

First paper in, he scans lightly
Sets it down with a scowl
and yawns, twice, breaking the
silent shroud of heavy fog
which is hanging overhead

wandering free eyes witness
down-turned heads concentrating
as much on tests  as on moving
their hands wildly, excitedly
trying to communicate non-vocally

others have yet to detach themselves
from their seats and stride upward,
hopefully more triumphantly
than their sole predecessor

one shuffles now, slowly toward him
his hand shaking as he releases
that  paper, he turns away as it flutters
onto the desk- he replants himself in his

twelve others walk forward
smiling, shrinking, sometimes speaking
and always he glares, triumphant
knowing his success at our failure


later:

his near-sleeping form            
finds distraction, in waking
dreams, jumping back suddenly
breaking from his plank-like state
without speaking. excitement
for approaching weekend is
communicated in the left flank

two girls break the silence
running in from outside            
he glares at them, but laughs

everyone breaks into groups
after the conversation about
mysteriously nutty discarded sock

he runs to the forefront
forehead folded, finger on mouth
no-one notices, but still he glares

8
he smiles and glares at the floor
his legs swinging back and forth            
tan slacks rustling softly

exaggerated scores bubble in ears            
as they search for their destroyer

in front of forgotten faces falls
the page of a forgotten tome

several yawn, hoping, understandably
that their stretched lips
will pull themselves far enough
to barricade ears from his droning

he kills himself, twice, bumbling
into half-thought chastisements
of the  flittingly flirtatious students
intermingling hoping behind him
causing waves of whispers, laughter
and slightly strengthened chatter

he re-aligns his thoughts quickly
and rambles on again, always

9
he speaks to her softly
from across a sea of desks
she looks up, panicking calmly
distracted from distraction

in silence, blank eyes turn
surprised at the non-withering
state of her barely living corpse

he asks a question, looking up
a single answer is given
unemotional and short, buy ending
heavy hanging awkward silence

how talented the teacher
who gives his lecture while
still addressing unrelated
student self lectures

the still silence given
in his questioning lull
hangs so loudly the whispers
traversing the classroom appear
silent as finger wiggle
and pencils trace zeros

his extrication, caused by
distractingly thunderous voice
is met with a comment
causing a wave of laughter
starting at his mouth
and extending to inhabit everything

10
half the time gives
twice the attention
as they concentrate
on keeping him on
the undying topic
of the work we
have already done

they admit defeat
as dusty tome opens
spreading a nutty cloud
causing heads to turn
and words to leap.

from opens lips,
mischievous gremlins
sprout, dancing on
tables and chuckling
away from the sigh
of his down-turned, split
shining, globular mind

he scratches pink ear
with bone pale finger
reading unrelated words

in the center of the room
both mentally and physically
he sits, momentarily quiet
as dark eyes glare past
rumpled pink nose,
concentrating

blue hat rests on open palms
above dust covered open page
he slips into sleeping state
but picks himself up
and stares though thin borderline
toward shiny rambling forehead

a shutter cord flies forward
the hand at the end pulling hard
but with no affect to the shutters
neither lowering the physical
or raising the mental

the color of non-color pencils
interrupts the class momentarily
as she strides forward to compare
and then criticizes his care

he just sits, smiles and stares

11
eleven desks lie empty
of one form more than usual
amplifying the arm movements
of the ever ticking seconds

his obscured mouth flings seeds
which sprout into words
before even meeting the worn
blood-colored carpet below

in the main room, sixteen
sit silent, sketching, sleeping
or siphoning the last minute

12
those left awake, and alive
have come to understand
the numbers on the screen
this being their specialty
in a nutty shell, of course
splitting, as we are, large
crowds of numbers, and us
being teenagers, isn’t that
how we think, in numbers
and ratings of everything
and, sitting in the central
crowd are the talented
crowd-splitters
flattery-spitters

13
the silence of half absence
is pierced, as always by vocal
anomaly, centered around
rows of shining wood
bookrests, but only one
set of hollow, dark-rimmed
vacant eyeballs watches
well-welcomed interruption

he lets us work, standing.
Someone somewhere opens
A large container of nuts
Entire class starts stuffing
Handfuls into puffy cheeks
Absorbing sensations into
Eternally ravenous minds

The apocalyptic mix of noises
Is split again by central
Nutcracker, and those in corners
Glare, smiling, rubbing shadowed
Acne scarred faces
with raw-bitten nails

14
balding papa bird speaks loudly
transforming his voice, becoming
vocally legendary cartoon duck

the wave of resulting laughter
ends in un-given nut-break
spreading, without speech
the understanding that his
comedic digression will not
meet a quick extinction

we greet the weekend
by rising early
our excuse: competition
to devour the worm

15
three heads are downturned
peering into textbooks
as the tsunami breaks

the days end starts
and beady eyes peer
in the direction of his
moving head, colored
gothic gargoyle in the
dim cloudlight streaming
through dust coated
slit windows

the room transforms
becoming triumphantly,
grumpily, repeatedly
conversational

artificial silence
spreads like a wave
from right back corner
to left front corner
leaving behind
the half of the room
hidden behind the wall
of troublemakers
who will eventually
cause the wall to topple
with the sheer force
of assorted nuts

16
blue hat is scrunched
under the of a fist
pounding on his head,
result of the decibels
consumed, and produced
by the embodiment
of the thoughts around him
which fall from stuffed
cheeks. Bounce off tables
and spread a sickening aroma
as their shells split
exposing, revealing
nothing

17
red face glances upward
as harsh words split
the widening sea of snickers
his words stop, first time today
as whispers spread wildly
of his speed in delivering answers
seconds later, room is silent
as statement ends and lecturer
turns back to him, offering
as always, another wave
of deep felt, anger hardened
quietly whispered, criticisms

thunderous-rush-voice leads
out of habit and necessity
the minutes following
his behavioral digression
each word stabbing split-headed
pointy-nosed papa bird, their
form a walnut-wood spear
crafted from drifted thoughts
of those sitting nearest him

18
on his back lies a pile of nuts
professor’s earthquake
shoulder shaking causes
eyes to open, back to rise
and with a tremendous roar
both physical and meta-physical,
it topples to worn carpet
and the laugh-track plays on

19
silence- pierced into being
by shrill, violent, mountainous
rise, and fall, of thunderous decibels-
hangs, heavier, louder than
the quick gone loudness replaced
or, in all actuality, displaced
mere seconds before being scrawled
into eternal memory
of those whose noses
sniff, daily, nutty clusters
of letters, which exclude
always, the ever-present x
the destructive π
and that y, which of course
flies as high as forgetful
nut-bearers




©Brandon Webb
2012
This is a series of observations, and. collectively, is the longest thing i've ever written, at 8847 words
Ranger Rick Jun 2015
Inhale swiftly
come down quickly
hit the Floor
Be no more.

What a comfy Carpet,
but it ***** me under
like a tar pit.
I'm left to wonder
If it's dragging me
down to Heaven.
I've sunken seven feet under.

I see the light,
it's been lit.
Maybe this time I just might
reach for it.
Reach through the rug.
Reach down and give a tug.

But my arm won't budge.
A mortal's terror
What if he holds a grudge?
It's just not fair.
God no not like this,
Think of all the things I'll miss.
If I see the suns rays
Lord I swear I'll change my ways.

This Time...

— The End —