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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
Mateuš Conrad Apr 2016
talk of empire can be a tedium to say the least,
the Maharajahs of India never felt more
at home with european literature and
culture overall, but class system doubly
emphasised - or as the television series proved -
hardly an affair for the pithy concerns of
pitiable folk - first season i never bothered to
sense a tightening -
you see, looking at colonialism is not looking
at racism - racism has a dynamic to it,
colonialism has a hierarchy - the two differ,
second season in i sense colonialism as the
intelligent form of racism, presuppositions too many,
racism for the poor and the idiotic and
colonialism for the rich and cultured and
Gentlemanly - pork buttocks for the fork to my care,
i said once i'm not into these post-colonial
dynamics in England - the only winners are
Australians, former convicts who care much about
preservation of the populace of crocodiles -
this 2nd season is really piling it in to differentiate
between barbaric discrimination and civilised
discrimination - i guess a prior history of instilled
hierarchy made the Maharajahs akin to the Brits
(the caste system, untouchables in Bengali),
the "great rulers" didn't mind, they were actually
trying to be kept in the commonwealth -
such aristocracy easily scared and even more easily
scarred - the aristocrats of communism came from
the intelligentsia - bookworms and hardly the
pompous old farts ready to hunt tigers replacing
goats with little children tied to wooden poles -
that's what capitalism fears, a coerced class of
intelligent people, coerced into a class, they fear this,
it's hard to control such people, collective ignorance
is too easily dissected and denied, via doubt -
hardly a reason to be a recipient of existence (out of
every instance per se, hence the sigma unfathomable) -
and to only be rewarded with entertainment?
these far-left intellectuals breed on thought to be
the sole existential reward, and subsequently entertainment;
i too find thinking a pleasure, when you assume that
there's no reward for it, or a reliability to it
being a kindred of an ***** phallus -
never mind - you see, this talk of empires has given
me an ideal conclusive remark:
landlocked empires, or, should i say,
empires that thrive on spreading via land alone,
ref. e.g. to the Mongol or the Alexandrian empire...
they're short lived, they increase landmass exponentially
and very successfully - their motto:
strike the iron while it's hot -
they depend on constant success - they require
a bacterial like membrane of being seemingly
invincible - these land locked empires come and go
very quickly -
unlike the second type of empire building,
those which also require more than horse hoofs
at a gallop, the ones that treat the power of the seas
as its arteries, and land as their veins -
the British empire, the Roman empire -
once an empire is dependent on sea and subsequently
trade, it will be convincingly successful and will
outlast all those brutal empires that spread via land alone -
russia is indeed an anomaly - but then again hardly
an anomaly given the harsh terrain it encompasses -
no one wants to live there, who in their right state
of mind would, anyway?
the russian pride has a weakness - siberia -
oh **** looks great, a 12" protruding **** of geography,
but it's Siberia, -40°C... the way i see it, Russia
is the size of from its borders with Ukraine
Belarus and the Baltic states and the Ural mountains...
the rest is Mongolia - the peoples are steppe Eskimos.
so to summarise - ambitions of empire building that
do not utilise the power of the sea are indeed
the largest but also of the shortest lifespan -
like that old fable of an old farmer dividing his land
among his sons - sooner or later it ends up
a complex intricacy akin to the Holy Roman Empire -
or as the Romans said: dub the germans holy
and you're going straight to hell! little princes that became
major beggars and leeches - the louse jealousy took over...
breadcrumb like land ownership:
20 kilograms of potatoes a year for each son,
enough to feed a pig for a month...
and yes, doubly conclusive, i don't know why
Christianity is blamed for the desecration of greek
culture, the so called "robbing of the greek culture" -
i can't imagine any singled out people
to be infused with ****** and keep it up -
Nietzsche blamed Socrates, the modern intellectuals
blamed Jesus of Nazareth... you know who i blame?
Alexander the great, a Macedonian after all,
and Aristotle (partially) -
that's the greeks though - the Mongols had nothing
prior and nothing after of note on the blank page
or care for a library, and perhaps that's all the better,
you hardly hear news from Mongolia in our
present age... they had the wind to write their history
in that great Genghis Khan Stampede;
i did tell you that the communist experiment took
place in Mongolia, didn't i? before it was accepted
as counter-Tsar pyramidal and later in the satellite states
it was first tested in Mongolia...
if you don't believe me, believe the guy who
sat in the UCL history library and was writing up
essay notes roughly 9 years ago.
As empires fall, brought to there knees

I know you will be down on it

this is why I love humankind

for maggots can never merit them

You and planet are deemed dangerous

so the sun will swallow you

just as you do

injustice disrespect

So let empires fall

let me hurt them for you

who are you kidding *****

as empires of Babylon fall

Your terror of hate is over

I reached that final day

you will take it up to the hilt

as if you were some serious gay

What a dusty subject

waiting to turn to dust

like my mother Earth

and the last of me

When you are gone

I will leave a marker

tell those that care

Humans lived here

By Christros Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
Matt Bancroft Feb 2013
“Ask me about my patches”

Was written in Sharpie on a piece of cardboard hung by string and Duck tape from
his backpack.

I didn’t dare ask.
I was late.

The image of hipster: gauged ears, lip and nose pierced, cut-off jacket vest, tight
black jeans, —and patches.

I didn’t dare ask him.
But I was forced to read the large one sewn across his back.

That’s when I realized my first judgment was wrong. Not an image: he was a force,
his patches his power.

That was all just a glance, just a memory of a patch of the face of a woman
with streaked black hair, a tear? its fading... but the words won’t.

The words that I won’t tell; the words that carry with them the power of
the history of man.

Not of humans, of man: man who has ruled this world, man who has buried mother earth
(alive) deep inside herself.

Who pinned her down and penetrated all orifices— inserting, and removing and inseminating;
making her pregnant with *******.

Man—men—when did we do this? Who was the first among us to realize his
superior strength?

I don’t dare ask because I am not ready for the answer.
I am not ready to ask myself the questions that I feel but don’t know.

I realize when I pass someone on the street, I don’t know anything—every woman I see at
night has a past, every man and every child.
I don’t know any of it.

But, I do know some about the history of man.
Still must I hear?—shall hoarse FITZGERALD bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse?
Prepare for rhyme—I’ll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.

  Oh! Nature’s noblest gift—my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover’s solace, and the Author’s pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which ’twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Our task complete, like Hamet’s shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream
Inspires—our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

  When Vice triumphant holds her sov’reign sway,
Obey’d by all who nought beside obey;
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime,
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime;
When knaves and fools combined o’er all prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale;
E’en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

  Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand.
Still there are follies, e’en for me to chase,
And yield at least amusement in the race:
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed, Pegasus!—ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy!—have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed—older children do the same.
’Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print;
A Book’s a Book, altho’ there’s nothing in’t.
Not that a Title’s sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame.
No matter, GEORGE continues still to write,
Tho’ now the name is veiled from public sight.
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
Not seek great JEFFREY’S, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

  A man must serve his time to every trade
Save Censure—Critics all are ready made.
Take hackneyed jokes from MILLER, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault;
A turn for punning—call it Attic salt;
To JEFFREY go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie,’twill seem a sharper hit;
Shrink not from blasphemy, ’twill pass for wit;
Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic, hated yet caress’d.

And shall we own such judgment? no—as soon
Seek roses in December—ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that’s false, before
You trust in Critics, who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By JEFFREY’S heart, or LAMB’S Boeotian head.
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced,
Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;
To these, when Authors bend in humble awe,
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;
While these are Censors, ’twould be sin to spare;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?
But yet, so near all modern worthies run,
’Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.
Then should you ask me, why I venture o’er
The path which POPE and GIFFORD trod before;
If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.
“But hold!” exclaims a friend,—”here’s some neglect:
This—that—and t’other line seem incorrect.”
What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got,
And careless Dryden—”Aye, but Pye has not:”—
Indeed!—’tis granted, faith!—but what care I?
Better to err with POPE, than shine with PYE.

  Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a POPE’S pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation’s praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people’s, as the poet’s fame.
Like him great DRYDEN poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then CONGREVE’S scenes could cheer, or OTWAY’S melt;
For Nature then an English audience felt—
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire’s self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of now.
The loaded Press beneath her labour groans,
And Printers’ devils shake their weary bones;
While SOUTHEY’S Epics cram the creaking shelves,
And LITTLE’S Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves.
Thus saith the Preacher: “Nought beneath the sun
Is new,” yet still from change to change we run.
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas,
In turns appear, to make the ****** stare,
Till the swoln bubble bursts—and all is air!
Nor less new schools of Poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize:
O’er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevail;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own;
Some leaden calf—but whom it matters not,
From soaring SOUTHEY, down to groveling STOTT.

  Behold! in various throngs the scribbling crew,
For notice eager, pass in long review:
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace,
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race;
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror jostle on the road;
Immeasurable measures move along;
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange, mysterious Dulness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels—may they be the last!—
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast.
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner’s brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why;
While high-born ladies in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Despatch a courier to a wizard’s grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

  Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knight.
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think’st thou, SCOTT! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though MURRAY with his MILLER may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade,
Let such forego the poet’s sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain!
And sadly gaze on Gold they cannot gain!
Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted Muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo’s venal son,
And bid a long “good night to Marmion.”

  These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the Bards to whom the Muse must bow;
While MILTON, DRYDEN, POPE, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed Bays to WALTER SCOTT.

  The time has been, when yet the Muse was young,
When HOMER swept the lyre, and MARO sung,
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,
Without the glory such a strain can give,
As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, content,
On one great work a life of labour spent:
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the Ballad-monger SOUTHEY rise!
To him let CAMOËNS, MILTON, TASSO yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field.
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked BEDFORD for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in Glory’s niche;
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison,
A ****** Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on,
Arabia’s monstrous, wild, and wond’rous son;
Domdaniel’s dread destroyer, who o’erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e’er knew.
Immortal Hero! all thy foes o’ercome,
For ever reign—the rival of Tom Thumb!
Since startled Metre fled before thy face,
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race!
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales;
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville’s, and not so true.
Oh, SOUTHEY! SOUTHEY! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chaunt too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
“God help thee,” SOUTHEY, and thy readers too.

  Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple WORDSWORTH, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend “to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;”
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of “an idiot Boy;”
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the “idiot in his glory”
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.

  Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity’s a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elegize an ***:
So well the subject suits his noble mind,
He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kind.

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would make Parnassus a church-yard!
Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow,
Thy Muse a Sprite, Apollo’s sexton thou!
Whether on ancient tombs thou tak’st thy stand,
By gibb’ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band;
Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page,
To please the females of our modest age;
All hail, M.P.! from whose infernal brain
Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train;
At whose command “grim women” throng in crowds,
And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds,
With “small grey men,”—”wild yagers,” and what not,
To crown with honour thee and WALTER SCOTT:
Again, all hail! if tales like thine may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease:
Even Satan’s self with thee might dread to dwell,
And in thy skull discern a deeper Hell.

Who in soft guise, surrounded by a choir
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta’s fire,
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hushed?
’Tis LITTLE! young Catullus of his day,
As sweet, but as immoral, in his Lay!
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.
Pure is the flame which o’er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns
Yet kind to youth, this expiation o’er,
She bids thee “mend thy line, and sin no more.”

For thee, translator of the tinsel song,
To whom such glittering ornaments belong,
Hibernian STRANGFORD! with thine eyes of blue,
And boasted locks of red or auburn hue,
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick Miss admires,
And o’er harmonious fustian half expires,
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author’s sense,
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence.
Think’st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns in a suit of lace?
Mend, STRANGFORD! mend thy morals and thy taste;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive; thy pilfered harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian Bard to copy MOORE.

Behold—Ye Tarts!—one moment spare the text!—
HAYLEY’S last work, and worst—until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or **** the dead with purgatorial praise,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see “Temper’s Triumphs” shine!
At least I’m sure they triumphed over mine.
Of “Music’s Triumphs,” all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph’d there.

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward
On dull devotion—Lo! the Sabbath Bard,
Sepulchral GRAHAME, pours his notes sublime
In mangled prose, nor e’en aspires to rhyme;
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke,
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch;
And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms,
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

  Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings”
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, still whimpering thro’ threescore of years,
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles!
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls?
Whether them sing’st with equal ease, and grief,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bells,
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse’s hap,
If to thy bells thou would’st but add a cap!
Delightful BOWLES! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
’Tis thine, with gentle LITTLE’S moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere Miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor BOWLES for LITTLE’S purer strain.
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone—but, pausing on the road,
The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode,
And gravely tells—attend, each beauteous Miss!—
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles! in thy memory let this precept dwell,
Stick to thy Sonnets, Man!—at least they sell.
But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe:
If ‘chance some bard, though once by dunces feared,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first,
Have foiled the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets
Hisham Alshaikh Aug 2018
Brave men fighting
Knights crawling
Strong men dying
Kings crying
Emperors imploring
Kingdoms falling
Empires collapsing
Poets writing
Musicians performing
Paintings begging
Statues Kneeling
For a glimpse of your eyes


--Hisham Alshaikh
Glimpse of Your Eyes. Version 1.
Annie Quill Jun 2014
Empires fall
Empires rise
Empires live
Empires die
Michael W Noland Sep 2012
[A] is for
An
Archer with
An
Arrow through his
Adams
Apple, very
Applicable, to the
Ample
Amounts of
Amiable
Attitude,
Adorning his heart, in
After
Action
Attributes, that impart, the
Admiration, of
*******, in this
Acting out of
Arrogance bit. he is,
Astute, in his
Allure, and
Aloof, in the
Air, of
Aspiration, in which, he was
Alienated in the
Agony, of
Asking
Assassins, the
Aforementioned. lights, camera,
Action. recipe of the
Ancient
Admirals of
Avian
Aliens, that
Attacked, with the
Arms and fists, of
Arachnids, now
Aching to be
Activated in sudden
Allegiance to the
Answers, of the truth.
Accumulating wealth for
Anarchy's of
Abating
Angels in
Atrophied,
Alchemical
Academies of the ever
After life .. . of silence.
****** strengthens in these
Accolades of violence, in
Alliance to
Appliances
Appearing in the
Arson of
Apathy, happily, to
Anguish in the
Amputation of my
Abdomen, if it meant i'm a real
American, even, when, only
Ash, remains.
Acclimating in its remains
Attained, the
Articles of my pain, in
Affluent shame, next time ..
Aim... oak
[A]?

[B] is for the
Bah of
Black sheep, and
Big
Bit¢hes, fat cats,
Bombarded in the
Blasted,
Bastion of
Blackened
Benevolent
Blokes,
Berating the
Blasphemous,
Be-seech, of
Brains, to feel
Bad, about the
Blotching of
Binary codes, erroding, the
Blanked out
Books, of
Belittled
Bureaucrats,
Bowling
Back the
Bank rolls of
Betterment, from the
Back of the
Blackened
Bus, as i'm
Busting guts, in the
Bubbling
Butts, of *****
Benched, but
Beautiful, in the
Battle, in the
Bane, of existence.
Baffled, in the strain of
Belligerence, in
Beating the
Beaming
Butchery into
Billy's
Broken
Brains, in
Bouts, of
Battering
Bobby's for
Bags of
*******
Before, affording to
Build
Bombs, is just
Beyond
Breaking
Beer
Bottles on the
*******
Benefactors of
Boulder
Bashing with the
Beaks, of
Birds, with no
Bees. just a
Being, trying to
[B]


[C] is for the
*****
Courting the
Choreography, in
Computerized
Curtains,
Circumventing the
Cultured,
Contrivance of
Chromatic
Cellars,
Calibrating, to the
Contours of
Calamities,
Celebrating the
Cyclical,
Cylinders of
Cyphered
Calenders,
Correcting the
Calculations, of
Crooks
Coughing, in
Courageous
Coffins of
Canadians,
Collecting
Cobble stones, from
Catacombs, in the lands of the
Conquered,
Capturing the
Claps of thieves, sneaky
Cats, of greed. its
Comedy. oh
Comely, to my
Cling of
Cleanliness, and for your self
[C]

[D] is for the
Dip *****, as they
Delve
Deeper in the
Deliverance, of
Deviant
Deities,
Dying to
Demand
Dinner
Delivered in the throws of
Death,
Deceiving
Defiance of
Darkened
Dreams,
Demeaning that which
Deems the
Dormant of the
Dominant, to be
Demons of
Deviled
Devilry,
Dooming us for
Destruction.
Deploy the,
Damsels in
Duress.
Defiled and
Distressed,
Detestable and
Dead. in the thump of
Drums,
Dumbing down the
Debts of,
Dire regrets.
Dissect the
Daisies of,
Disillusion, in the current
Days,
Diluting night into
Dawn,
Disconnecting the
Dots of the
Dichotomy, and arming me, in the
Diabolatry, of,
Demonology, as i watch me
Dwindle away, the
[D]

[E] is for
Everything in nothing,
Eating the
Euphoric
Enigmas of
Enlightened
Elitists,
Exceeding in the
Extravagant
Essence of
Esoteric
Euphemisms,
Escaping the
Elegance of the
Elements in the
Eccentricity of
Eclectic
Ecstasy,
Exhaling, the
Exostential blessings, of inner
Entities, and renouncing the
Enemies of my
Ease,
Easily to appease
Extraterestrial
Empires,
Extracting the lost
Embers of
Enlightenment, in
Excited delight, but to later
Entice, the fight, and
Escape, like a thief into the night of
Everywhere,
Entering the
Exits of
Elevators leading no where, to
Elevate, this useless place,
Encased in malware in the
Errant
Errors of
Every man,
Enslaved, of flesh and
Entrails,
Enveloping the core of
Everything, that matters,
Enduring, the chatter, of
Evermore,
Ever present in
Everybody
Ever made to take
[E]

Funk the
Ferocity of
Foolish
Fandangos, with
Fanged
Fanatics,
Fooled in the
Fiasco of
Fumbled
Fantasies,
Falling through the
Farms of
Freely
Found
Fans,
Flying in the
Fame of
Fortune.
Fornicating on the
Fallen
Fears of
Fat
Fish getting their
Fillet of
Fills.
Feel me in the
Frills

Granted with
Generosity.
Giblets of
Gratitude and
Greed,
Greeting the
Goop and
Gobbled
Gore,
Gleaned from the
Glamour of
Ghouls in
Gillie suits,
Getting what they
Got
Going, in the
Gratuitous
Gallows of a
Game
Gaffed by
Giants.

Hello to the
Horizon of
Hellish
Hilarity, in
Hope of
Happy, to
Heave from
Heifers, to
Help the
Hemp
Harshened
Hobos in
Heightened
Horror, to
Honor the
Habitats of
Hapless
Habituals,
Herbalising the work
Horse, named
Have Not, in the
Haughtily
Hardened
Houses of
Happenstance.

Ignore the
Ignorant
Idiots, too
Illiterate to
Indicate the
Indicative
Instances of
Idiom in the
Irrelevant
Inaccuracy of
I,
In the
Intellect of
Idle
Individuals,
Irritated with the
Irate
Illusion of
Idols
Illustrated upon the
Iris,
In the
Illumination of
I.

******* the
Jobless
Jokers, and
Jimmy the
Jerkins from their
Jammie's, in
Justified,
Jousting off the
Jumps, in
Jokes, and
Jukes of
Just
Jailers,
Jesting for
Jammed
Jury's to
****
Judgment from the
Jitter
Juiced
Jeans of
Jesus.

**** the
Keep of
Khaki-ed
Kool aid men,
Kept in the
Kilometers of
Kits,
Kin-less
Kinetics,
Knifing the
Knights of
Kneeling
Kinsmanship,
Keeling over the
Keys of
Kaine, with the
Karmic
Karate
Kick of a
Kangaroo.

Love the
Levity, in the
Luxurious
Laments of
Loveliness,
Lovingly
Levitating in
Level,
Lucidly.
Living in
Laps, of
Lapses,
Looping, but
Lacking the
Loom of the
Latches
Locked with
Leeches of the
Lonely
Lit
Leering of
Lightly
Limbs, that
Lash at the
Lessers in
Loot of
Lost letters,
Lest we
Learned in the
Lessons of
Liars.

Marooned in
Maniacal
Masterpieces,
Masqueraded as
Malignant
Memorization's of
Motionless
Mantras, but
Merrily
Masking
Mikha'el the
Mundane, who is
Musically
Mused of
Monsters,
Mangling the
Monitor, but
Maybe just a
Moniker of
Marauders.

Never to
Navigate the
Nautical
Nether of
Never
Nears.
Not to
Nit pic the
Naivety of
Nicety.
Notions
Neither take
Note
Nor
Name the
Noise of
Nats in the
Nights of
Neanderthals
Napping in the
Nets of
Ninjas

Ominous in the
Obvious
Omnipotence of
Oblivious
Obligatory
Opulence,
Of
Other
Oddly
Orchards
Of
Offices,
Ordaining
Orifices in
Offers of
Ordinary
Ordinances in
Option-less
Optics,
Optionally an
On-call Oracle, in
Optimal,
Overture.

Perusing the
Pestilent
Pedestals of
Personal,
Parameters,
Pursuing the
Petty
Plumes of
Piety with the
Patience of a
Pharaoh,
******* on the
People with the
Penal
Pianos of
Port-less
Portals, in the
Paperless
Points in the
Palpal
Pats of
Pettiness.
Poor, but
Prideful.

Quick to
Qualify the
Quitter for a
Quick
Quill in
Queer
Quivering of
Quickened
Questioning,
Queried in the
Quakiest of
Quandaries.
Quarantined to a
Quadrant, of
Quagmires.
Questing the
Quizzing of
Quotable
Quartets.

Relax in the
Relapse of
Realizations, and
React with
Racks of
Rolling
Rock to
Rate the
Rep of the
Rain-less.
Roar in
Rapturous
Rendering of the
Random
Readiness in the
Ravenous,
Rallying, of the
Retinal
Refracting of
Reality.
Realigning, the
Righteous
Rearing of the
Realm, and
Retrying.

Steer the
Serenity in
Sustainability, and
Slither through the
Seams of
Slumbered
Scenes.
Secrete the
Solo
Sobriety of
Sapped
Sassys,
Salivating upon a
Slew of
Stupidity,
Steadily
Supplied in
Stream,
Suitably
Slain in the
Steam of
Sanity.
Sadly, i
Still
Seem,
Salvagable.

Topple
The
Titans in
Tightened
Terror.
Torn
Territories
Turn
Turbulent in
The
Teething of
Totality.
The
Telemetry of
Time,
Tortured of
Torrent
Theories,
Told in
Turrets of
Transpiring
Terribleness, from
Tumultuous
Tikes unto
Teens,
Trading
Toys for
Tea.
Thrice
Thrusted upon by the
Tyranny of
Tanks.

Unanimous is the
Ugliness in the
Undertones of
Undreamed
Ulteriors
Undergoing the
Unclean in the
***** of
Utterly
Upset
Users,
Uplifting the
Unfitting
Ushers in
Underwear-less,
Ulcers,
Undergoing the
Ultra of
Uberness.

Venial in
Vindictive
Viciousness of
Vindicated
Venom,
Venomously
Vilifying the
Vials of
Villainy in the
Veins of
Vampires,
Validity of
Valuable
Violence, is
Valiant in the
Vaporous
Vacationing of
Vagrant
Vices.

Why
Whelp in the
Weather
When you can
Wave to the
Whirling
Wisps,
Whipping Where the
Whimsical Were
Way back in the
Wellness of
Whip its,
Wrangling my
World,
With
Waterless
Worms, as
War shouts are
Wasted in the
Wackiest
Walks of
Waking
Wonder.

Xenophobic
Xenogogue, of
Xenomorphic
Xeons, turn
Xyphoid, in the
Xenomenia of my
X, my
Xenolalia of
X, to
***. im lost in the
Xenobiotic zen of
Xerces, on a
Xebec to the
X on the map.
Xenogenesis, in the
Xesturgy of my
Xyston
Xd

Yelling
Yearned from
Yelping.
Yard
Yachts
Yielding, to the
Yodel of
Yeah
Yeahs, to the
Yapping of
******
Yuppie
Yoga
Yanks, over
Yonder.
Yucking it up with the
Yawn of a
Yocal.

Zapped from a
Zone i
Zoomed with
Zeal in the
Zig and
Zag of my
Zapping
Zimming
Zest, upon a
Zombie-less
Zeplin.
Zealot,
Zionist, or
Zoologists,
Zeros or ones, just
Zip your
Zip locked. and
Zzzzz
Zzzz
Zzz
Zz
Z
Zero
this is a work in progress
JR Rhine Jan 2017
I broke up with God
at our favorite eatery
in our favorite booth.

We settled into familiar creases
and asked for the usual.

My eyes lazily staring at fingers
stirring the straw around the ice cubes,
God cautiously spoke up:

“Is something wrong?”

“Nothing.” (Thinking about the dormant phone
concealing behind the lock screen
the open Facebook tab
lingering over the relationship status section.)

They silently mused over the laconic reply,
til the waitress showed up with the food.

“Thank you!” God blurted with agonizing alacrity.

I received the sustenance lifelessly
and aimlessly poked at the burgers and fries.

The waitress eyed me with vague inquisition,
popping a bubble in the gum between
big teeth, refilled my water
and pirouetted hastily.

We ate in ostensible harmony,
the silence gripping like a chokehold,
the visible anxiety and subdued resolve
settling like a stifling blanket
over the child waking
from a nightmare—

Til we couldn’t breathe,
and I ripped back the covers
and looked into the eyes
of my tormentor.

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

God, taken aback by the curt statement,
dropped their burger with shaking hands,
silently begging with wetting eyes
a greater explanation.

So I elaborated:

“It’s not you, it’s me.

For your immaculate conception
was created by human hands,

your adages rendered obsolete
by human words,

your purpose and plan for us
distorted by human nature—

I cannot hate myself any longer.

I cannot pretend to know you at all.

Who my mother and father say you are
is not who my friends think you are,
nor my teachers, my pastor,
the president, Stephen Hawking,
Muhammed, the KKK, Buddha,
the Westboro Baptist Church,
Walt Whitman, Derek Zanetti,
******,
and Billy Graham.

I am told you care who I bring into bed (and when),
and what movies I watch,
and what music I listen to—

I have not heard what you say about
child soldiers, the use of mosquitos,
or the increased destruction of the earth
which you proudly proclaimed your creation,
or the poverty and disease and famine
which has ridden so many of your children—”

God interjected,
“But you’re chosen!”

I snorted,

“You say I’m chosen
to spend eternity with you—
why me?

Why’d you pick me among
thousands, millions, billions?

I’ve been told I’m ‘chosen’
since birth
by others like me—

those with fair complexion,
blue eyes,
blonde hair,
a firm overt ****** attraction towards women,
and a great big house
with immaculate white fences
delineating their Jericho.

I’ve already fabricated eternity
here among the other ‘chosen’
and there is a world of suffering
right outside the fence
and I see them
through the window of my bedroom
every day.

Am I chosen,
if I don’t vote Republican

Am I chosen
if I am Pro-Choice

Am I chosen
if I cohabitate with my girlfriend

Am I chosen
if I never have kids

Am I chosen
if I say ‘Happy Holidays’

Am I chosen
if I don’t want public prayer in schools

Am I chosen
if I don’t want a Christian nation

Am I chosen
if I don’t repost you on my wall
or retweet your adages?

I’m tired
being the ubermensch,
for it has not brought me
happiness
and I blame you.

I will not ignore
the cries of the suffering
believing it is I
who is destined to live
in bliss.

I will not buy
Joel Osteen’s autobiography(ies).

I will not tithe
you my money
for a megachurch
when another homeless shelter
closes down.

I will not tell a woman
what to do with her body,
or a man
that he is a man
if they say they are not.

I am neither Jew nor Gentile,
and I will stand with
my brothers and sisters
of Faith and Faithlessness,

Gay and Straight,
Black and White,

and apart from these extremes
free from absolutes
the ambiguous, amorphous
nature of Humankind
which I praise.

There is much pain and suffering
in this world,
potentially preventable,
but hardly can I believe
it’s part of your plan
to save
me.

I will not be saved
if we are not
all saved—

not one will burn
for my divinity.

The gates will be open to all—
and perhaps you believe that too,
but I’ve gotten you all wrong
and that cannot change,
as long as there is
mortality, and
corruption, and
power, and
lust, and
greed.”

God whined, growing bellicose,

“It is through me that you will find eternity,
I am the one true god!
I am the God of your fallen ancestors,
it is because you have fallen short
that you need me!”

I replied, growing in confidence,

“We have all fallen short,
yes,
but we are also magnificent.

We have evolved,
we have created,
we have adapted,
we have survived.

We have built empires,
and we have destroyed them.

We have cured diseases,
and we have created them.

We have done much in your name.
We’ve done good,
and we’ve done evil—

And unfortunately it’s all about
who you ask.

Your name is a burden on the oppressed
and a weapon of the oppressor.

You are abusive, God.

You tell me you are jealous.

You tell me apart from you I will suffer for an eternity.

I’m scared to die, yet want to die,
because of you.

You have made life a waiting room
that is now my purgatory. It is

Hell On Earth.

So you see,
it’s not you,
it’s me—
a mere mortal
who has tried to put a face
to eternity
and it has left me
empty.

And also,
it’s me,
for I have learned to love me,
as I have expelled your self-loathing imbibition,
and the deleterious zeal
I have proclaimed
through ceaseless
trepidation
and self-flagellation—

I have learned to love me
by realizing I am not inherently evil,
that my body is not evil,
that my mind is not evil,
and, ultimately, that
there is no good
and there is no evil.

My body is beautiful,
my mind is beautiful,
this world is beautiful,
and we are destroying it
waiting for you to claim
us.

I leave you
in hopes to see you
again one day,

and perhaps you will look
different than I have
perceived or imagined,

and in fact
I certainly hope so.”

Just then the waitress strolled back up
with a servile smile:
“Dessert?”

“No, thank you,”
I smiled politely.

And with that,
I paid the check,
and took a to-go box—

walked out into the evening rain
to my car,
put on a secular song
that meant something real to me
and drove off
into the night—

feeling for the first time
free
and alive.
By
Alexander K Opicho

(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)


Spiritual scholars of Christian Science have a concept that there is
power in the name. They at most identify the name Jesus and the name
of God, Jehovah to be the most powerful names in the spiritual realm.
But in the world of literature and intellectual movement, art,
science, politics and creativity, the name Alexander is mysteriously
powerful. Averagely, bearers of the name Alexander achieve some unique
level of literary or intellectual glory, discover something novel or
make some breakaway political victories.

Among the ancient and present-day Russians, most bearers of the name
Alexander were imbued with some uniqueness of intellect, leadership or
literary mighty. Beginning with the recent times of Russia, the first
mysterious Alexander is the 1700 political reformist and effective
leader, Tsar Alexander and his beautiful wife, tsarina Alexandrina.
The couple transformed Russian society from pathetic peasantry to a
middle class society. It is Tsar Alexander’s leadership that lain a
foundation for Russian socialist revolution. Different scholars of
Russian history remember the reign of Tsar Alexander with a strong

bliss. This is what made the Lenin family to name their son Alexander
an elder brother to Vladimir Ilyanovsk Ilyich Lenin. This was done as
parental projection through careful   choice of a mentor for their
young son. Alexander Lenin was named after this formidable ruler; Tsar
Alexander. Alexander Lenin was a might scholar. An Intellectual and
political reformist. He was a source of inspiration to his young
brother Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who became the Russian president after
his brother Alexander, had died through political assassination.
However, researches into distinctive prowess of these two brothers
reveal that Alexander Lenin was more gifted intellectually than
Vladimir Lenin.

Alexander Pushkin, another Russian personality with intellectual,
cultural, theatrical and   literary consenguences. He was a
contemporary of Alexander pope. He is the main intellectual influence
behind Nikolai Vasileyvich Gogol and very many other Russian writers.
He is to Russians what Shakespeare is to English speakers or victor
Hugo is to French speakers, Friedriech schiller and Frantz Kafka is to
Germany readers or Miguel de Cervantes to the Spaniards. Among English
readers, Shakespeare’s drama of king Lear is a beacon of English
political theatre, while Hugo’s Les miscerables is an apex of French
social and political literature, but Pushkin’s Boris Godunov, a
theatrical political satire, technically towers above the peers. For
your point of information my dear reader; there has been a
commonaplace false convention among English literature scholars that,
William Shakespeare in conjunction with Robert Greene wrote and
published highest number of books, more than anyone else. The factual
truth is otherwise. No, they only published 90 works, but Pushkin
published 700 works.
Equally glorious is Alexander Vasileyvich sholenstsyn,the, the, the
author of I will be on phone by five, Cancer Ward, Gulag Archipelago’
and the First Cycle. He is a contemporary of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor
Dostoyevsky, Alfred Nobel and Maxim Gorky. Literary and artistic
excellence of Alexander Sholenstsyn,the, the anti-communist Russian
novelist was and is still displayed through his mirroring of a corrupt
Russian communist politics, made him a debate case among the then
committee members for Nobel prize and American literature prize, but
when the Kremlin learned of this they, detained Alexander sholenenstyn
at Siberia for 18 years this is where he wrote his Gulag Archipelago.
Which he wrote as sequel five years later to the previous novel the
Cancer Ward whose main theme is despair among cancer patients in the
Russian hospitals. This was simply a satirical way of expressing agony
of despair among the then political prisoners at Siberia concentration
camps .In its reaction to this communist front to capitalist
literature through the glasnost machinery, the Washington government
ordered chalice Chaplin an American pro-communist writer to be out of
America within 45 minutes.
Alexander’s; Payne, Pato, Petrovsky, and Pires are intellectual
torchbearers of the world and Russian literary civilization. Not to
forget, Alexander Popov, a poet and Russian master brewer, whose
liquor brand ‘Popov’ is the worldwide king of bar shelves?
In 1945 the Russians had very brutish two types of guns, designed to
shoot at long range with very little chances of missing the target.
These guns are; AK 47 and the Molotov gun. They were designed to
defeat the German **** and later on to be used in international
guerrilla movement. The first gun AK 47 was designed by Alexander
klashilinikov and the second by Alexander Molotov. These are the two
Alexander’s that made milestones in history of world military
technology.
The name Alexander was one of the titles or the epithet used to be
given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is taken to mean the one
who comes to save warriors. In Homer’s epical work; the Iliad, the
most dominant character Paris who often saved the other warriors was
also known also as Alexander. This name’s linkage to popularity was
spread throughout the Greek world by the military maneuvers and
conquests of King Alexander III. Alexander III is commonly known as
Alexander the Great .  Evidently; the biblical book of Daniel had a
prophecy. It was about fall of empires down to advent of Jesus as a
final ruler. The prophecy venerated Roman Empire above all else. As
well the, prophecy magnified military brilliance, intellect and
leadership skills of the Greek, Alexander the great, the conqueror of
Roman Empire. Alexander the great was highly inspired by the secret
talks he often held with his mother. All bible readers and historians
have reasons to believe that Alexander of Greece was powerful,
intellectually might, strong in judgment and a political mystery and
enigma that remain classic to date.
In his book Glimpses of History, jewarlal Nehru discusses the Guru
Nanak as an Indian religious sect, Business Empire, clan, caste, and
an intellectual movement of admirable standard that shares a parrell
only with the Aga Khans. Their   founder is known, as Skander Nanak
.The name skander is an Indian version for Alexander. Thus, Alexander
Nanak is the founder of Guru Nanak business empire and sub Indian
spiritual community. Alexander Nanak was an intellectual, recited
Ramayana and Mahabharata off head; he was both a secular and religious
scholar as well as a corporate strategist.
The American market and industrial civilsations has very many
wonderful Alexander’s in its history. The earliest known Alexander in
American is Hamilton, the poet, writer, politician and political
reformist. Hamilton strongly worked for establishment of American
constitution. Contemporaries of Hamilton are; Alexander graham bell
and Alexander flemming.bell is the American scientist who discovered a
modern electrical bell, while Fleming, A Nobel Prize Laureate
discovered that fungus on stale bread can make penicillin to be used
in curing malaria. Other American Alexander’s are; wan, Ludwig,
Macqueen, Calder and ovechikin.
Italian front to mysterious greatness in the name Alexander
spectacularly emanates from science of electricity which has a
measuring unit for electrical volume known as voltage. The name of
this unit is a word coined from the Italian name Volta. He was an
Italian scientist by the name Alesandro Volta. Alesandro is an Italian
version for Alexander. Therefore it is Alexander Volta an Italian
scientist who discovered volume of electrical energy as it moves along
the cable. Thus in Italian culture the name Alexander is also a
mystery.
Readers of European genre and classics agree that it is still
enjoyfull to read the Three Musketeers and the Poor Christ of
Montecristo for three or even more times. They are inspiring, with a
depth of intellectual character, and classic in lessons to all
generations. These two classics were written by Alexander Dumas, a
French literary genious.he lived the same time as Hugo and
Dostoyevsk.when Hugo was writing the Hunch-back of Notredame Dumas was
writing the Three Musketeers. These two books were the source of
inspiration for Dostoyevsky to write Brothers Karamazov. Another
notable European- *** -American Alexander is  Alexander pope, whose
adage ‘short knowledge is dangerous,’ has remained a classic and ever
quoted across a time span of two centuries. Alexander pope penned this
line in the mid of 1800 in his poem better drink from the pyrene
spring.

In the last century colleges, Universities and high schools in Kenya
and throughout Africa, taught Alexander la Guma and Alexander Haley as
set- book writers for political science, literature and drama courses.
Alexander la Guma is a South African, ant–apartheid crusader and a
writer of strange literary ability. His commonly read books are A walk
in the Night, Time of the Butcher Bird and In the Fog of the Season’s
End. While Alexander Haley is an African in the American Diaspora. An
intellectual heavy- weight, a politician, civil a rights activist and
a writer of no precedent, whose book The Roots is a literary
blockbuster to white American artists. Both la Guma and Haley are
African Alexander’s only that white bigotry in their respective
countries of America and South Africa made them to be called Alex’s.
The Kenyan only firm for actuaries is Alexander Forbes consultants.
Alexander Forbes was an English-American mathematician. The lesson
about Forbes is that mystery within the name Alexander makes it to be
the brand of corporate actuarial practice in Africa and the entire
world.
Something hypothetical and funny about this name Alexander is that its
dictionary definition is; homemade brandy in Russia, just the way the
east African names; Wamalwa, Wanjoi and Kimaiyo are used among the
Bukusu, Agikuyu and Kalenjin communities of Kenya respectively. More
hypothetical is the lesson that the short form of Alexander is Alex;
it is not as spiritually consequential in any manner as its full
version Alexander. The name Alex is just plain without any powers and
spiritual connotation on the personality and character of the bearer.
The name Alexander works intellectual miracles when used in full even
in its variants and diminutives as pronounced in other languages that
are neither English nor Greece. Presumably the - ander section of the
name (Alex)ander is the one with life consequences on the history of
the bearer. Also, it is not clear whether they are persons called
Alexander who are born bright and gifted or it is the name Alexander
that conjures power of intellect and creativity on them.
In comparative historical scenarios this name Alexander has been the
name of many rulers, including kings of Macedon, kings of Scotland,
emperors of Russia and popes, the list is infinite. Indeed, it is bare
that when you poke into facts from antiques of politics, religion and
human diversity, there is rich evidence that there is substantial
positive spirituality between human success and social nomenclature in
the name of Alexander. Some cases in archaic point are available in a
listological exposition of early rulers on Wikipedia. Some names on
Wikipedia in relation to the phenomenon of Alexanderity are: General
Alexander; more often known as Paris of Troy as recounted by Homer in
his Iliad. Then ensues a plethora; Alexander of Corinth who was the
10th king of Corinth , Alexander I of Macedon, Alexander II of
Macedon, Alexander III of Macedonia alias  Alexander the Great. There
is still in the list in relation to Macedonia, Alexander IV  and
Alexander V. More facts of the antiques have   Alexander of Pherae who
was the despotic ruler of Pherae between 369 and 358 before the Common
Era. The land of Epirus had Alexander I the king of Epirus about 342
before the Common Era and Alexander II  the king of Epirus 272 before
the Common Era. A series of other Alexander’s in the antiques is
composed of ; Alexander the  viceroy of Antigonus Gonatas and also the
ruler of a **** state based on Corinth in 250 before the common era,
then Alexander Balas, ruler of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria between
150 and 146 before the common era . Next in the list is  Alexander
Zabinas the ruler of part of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria based in
Antioch between 128 and 123  before the common era ,  then Alexander
Jannaeus king of Judea, 103 to 76  before the common era  and last but
not least  Alexander of Judaea  son of Aristobulus  II the  king of
Judaea .  The list of Alexander’s in relation to the antiquated  Roman
empire are; Alexander Severus, Julius Alexander who lived during the
second  century as the Emesene nobleman, Then next is Domitius
Alexander the Roman usurper who declared himself emperor in 308. Next
comes Alexander the emperor of Byzantine. Political antiques of
Scotland have Alexander I , Alexander II and Alexander III of Scotland
. The list cannot be exhausted but it is only a testimony that there
are a lot of Alexander’s in the antiques of the world.
Religious leadership also enjoys vastness of Alexander’s. This is so
among the Christians and non Christians, Catholics and Protestants and
even among the charismatic and non-charismatic. These historical
experiences start with Alexander kipsang Muge the Kenyan Anglican
Bishop who died in a mysterious accident during the Kenyan political
dark days of Moi. But when it comes to  The antiques  catholic
pontifical history, there is still a plethora of them as evinced on
Wikipedia ; Pope Alexander I , Alexander of Apamea also the  bishop of
Apamea, Pope Alexander II ,Pope Alexander III, Pope Alexander IV, Pope
Alexander V, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Alexander VII, Pope Alexander
VIII, Alexander of Constantinople the bishop of Constantinople , St.
Alexander of Alexandria also the  Coptic Pope and Patriarch of
Alexandria between  then Pope Alexander II of Alexandria the  Coptic
Pope  and lastly Alexander of Lincoln the bishop of Lincoln and
finally  Alexander of Jerusalem.
However, the fact of logic is inherent in the premise that there is
power in the name .An interesting experience I have had is that; when
Eugene Nelson Mandela ochieng was kidnapped in Nairobi sometimes ago,
a friend told me that there is power in the name. The name Mandela on
a Nairobi born Luo boy attracts strong fortune and history making
eventualities towards the boy, though fate of the world interferes,
the boy Eugene Mandela ochieng is bound to be great, not because he
was kidnapped but because he has an assuring name Nelson Mandela. With
extension both in Africa and without ,May God the almighty add all
young Alexander’s to the traditional list of other great and
formidable  Alexander’s that came before. Amen.

References;
Jewarlal Nehru; Glimpses of History


Alexander K Opicho is a social researcher with Sanctuary Researchers
ltd in Eldoret, Kenya he is also a lecturer in Research Methods in
governance and Leadership.
Photography,
Photo journalistic,
Everyday, realistic.

Commercial, architecture, landscape, artistic,
Industrial, fashion, ethnographic, pornographic.

Big Brother, fallace, stealer of souls, vouyer.
News seller, instant gratifier, man pleaser, woman abuser.

Barthes, Sontag, Cindy Sherman,
Virginia Woolf, Warhol. Weegie, Francesca Woodman,
Leibovitz, Adams, Arbus, Tina Modotti,
Nan, Evans, Hoffer and even the Paparazzi.

Cheap *****, digital manipulator, image poser,
Center fold, coupons, Jackie O and Marilyn Monroe.
Where did they go:

Lifeless paper product, painter's picture mess,
C-type, digital archival,
Sepia, black and white, hard drive retrival.

Image addict,
Image taker,
Image maker,
image seller,
image buyer.

Newspaper, magazine, graphics and ads,
TV, dreams, even the trash.

Billboards, subways, phones and buses:

Utopia:
Surreal, crop, stretched and air brushes.

Modern ideal.
Surface manipulator.
Brain conditioner.
Consent manufacturer.

Oh Photography,
I got you in my eye.
A few thousand dollars,
A BFA, A critical scholar.

Or maybe a nerd,
Just boys with toys.
Telephoto genitals, with motor drive action.
Studio lights, umbrella traction.

Oh Photography,
You proprietor of obscene.
Detailed, de-sensitized.
Court ordered, jury analyzed.

Click, image, copy, edit, paste, print or post.
Myfacespace, twitter, flicker,
An internet media overdose.

Pry, spy, your friend's friend's acquaintances.
Parties, picnics, reunions and shows.
Visits, vacation, style, shoes and clothes.


Pics, photos, images, jpegs and giffs.
Snap shot, portrait, panoramic, Kodak kiss.

Exacerbate:
Divorce, break-ups, jealousy, envy, love and fears.
Devour and captivate society for years.

Slaves to Western and Capitalist desires,
Destruction of Earth with psychological, monetary empires.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2016
one - i don't understand why saying "it's the 21st century" is somehow seen as a compensation for 20 centuries of our inhumanity, or a case of: only improvements reside in us - seems just as false to say - men can overcome angels, as stated by the first Christians... yeah, we can do miracles with technology and ultra-secular communication dynamics - discarding the existence of such beings resulted in hen parties with plastic wings and halos... what a great method to discard such being, and subsequently appropriate their features, if ever needed, but altogether unnecessary... two - that disrespecting heterosexuality aligned with the power of science has made it altogether a pointless endeavour in re-enacting the monogamous nature of swans: if we can breed the many perversions, ahem, deviations, we surely require en equal share of respect, before science undermines any deviations into an economic format of breeding pure heterosexual contingencies... three: who the hell said i was throwing anyone off a roof? i was just curious about the slack pressurising the alias big brother / grey matter dictator into teaching us language, then to later make us into a Koranic cyclops or having to sway one side, but not the other, teaching us vocabulary in school, but robbing us of a fluidity of language beyond school, in society... any rational man would say: just teach me the knuckle, the stone and the stick to express my manners... because, to be frank, i'm not into faking being civilised, just teach me to be a barbarian from the start, don't dangle the magic carrot in front of my eyes when it's a fake... teach me the barbarism you want to suppress later on in life: i'm not into being Dolly 2.3419, and an attache to a sheepdog for herding purposes to take it up the **** and shut up: because a member of Parliament did it to me aged 14; for example.

subjectivity is doubled attacked, it's not the merely rationalist
approach of an objective side of things,
i could understand tiresome efforts
Chinese politics while walking
the tourist plot on the great wall -
in a society that's seismically acknowledging
social or whatever coherence,
i find it a bit of limbo of paraphrasing
trans - or trans-physics, or the active
way to usurp metaphysics, by deviating
from thought as an activity, and more
how words are sense datum co-ordinates
that are like dictators: because it just, feels,
funny, and, offensive. ***** vocabulary,
that's what i call it... after a while you concentrate
on what ****** you off, first the educational
autocracy teaches you a vocabulary,
then come the St. Thomas' terrorists with:
you need to revise your vocabulary...
like **** that'll happen, you don't own
language, i don't own language, you're
little fascist agenda to censor such awoke
the boy that was supposed to wake Barbarossa
from his slumber with the cry: crows! crows!
a cloud of crows! funny how the eagle is a
failed emblem for empires, and the crow isn't...
mind you, the English succeeded with
an empire half-and-half: a lion and a unicorn...
i'd guess as much with a monkey and
a centaur, or at least a Cerberus - something
mythical - well, sure, the Poles are attacked
in Britain... but ever hear about the Scot
being attacked in an English village?
a Scot was attacked just the other day,
because kilts were deemed offensive...
so trans-gender is good, meta-gender is:
had a wee t'ink 'bout it...
   robots start with the pronoun use: one...
royalty start with the pronoun use: we...
                 and in between we have paranoid
they and we... and insecure you and i -
or as e. e. cummings would have it:
    *i say no world
                 can hold a you
   shall see the not
             because
  and why but
                          (who
        -
true, but as much of not is entanglement
              with knots - or ought to tries -
  to not or to knot and be -
                              Shakespeare also said:
  funny how i was born neo-liberal,
millennial tattooed - and fake-left...
   i hear the right is a tsunami of focus these days,
all the generation Z are buying into
obstructing gay-marriage, and are adamant
   on not abusing pronouns - hence the current
revival in grammar school education in England -
they don't drink, i.e.: taking psychopathic gambles,
they're prone to social-media overdoses
rather than succumbing to excess ecstasy and palpitation:
i had 190 "friends"... let's just call them vantage points...
   sheered that social media sheep: only 13 left...
but at least objectivity outright says:
       subjectivity is subhuman, science taught us
that subjectivity is the fire between two flint stones,
all in all necessary - but objectivity said:
             two flints! two flints! no fire!
what attacks subjectivity is not objectivity,
it's satire... to humanise everything: good or bad,
with a standard of humour... well... telling a sad
joke to later tell the same sad joke by satirising it...
punch in a face; because there are only so number of
things that are funny in life... the English language
doesn't seem to understand that even the odd chance
of black humour, will not lift the spirits of those,
who, quiet frankly, don't want to be humoured...
the only humour left is not to provision the public
with barbaric satire, sometimes empathy will do,
because it's emphatic humour,
   it's Godot's roundabout humour: the shared experience.
laughing for the sake of laughing is
             a cry from apathy's lost interest in
being pardonably dasein - laughing at all the truthful
autobiographic desecrate is apathy's last
chance to impress: but how foul it all sounds by then...
   the western version of buddhism suddenly feels like
  a taste of pears in november: not sour, not bitter...
just maggoty foul - yucky goo
                  of a plum-shaded rouse of the skin
tinged hue after contact with knuckle and knee.
  but they attacked a ******* Scot in an English village,
because of a kilt...
                                   he knows the strand of ganging up
in hyena numbers and then the celebratory drink
of compensating conscience - they'll sooner accept
     a trans-gender dunno'h than a hot-blooded
heap of tartan - ever ask the homosexuals what
they think of St. Thomas' gospel?
              i think: too much, too early, too innocently.
and if they tell you: speak differently!
they will, i'm ****** sure they will want to
control your grammar without any specialisation -
you'll wonder: summer in Syria?
                     because as racism goes,
they attack the difference, and the difference is only
skin deep, like they did with the Afros of Kentucky,
the Kentucky Afros will spring right back,
    because the abuse was only skin deep,
therefore their soul was enlarged, and they'll
play the blues, and the jazz, and rap, and break-dance...
but if the abuse goes to the depth of soul...
in that it's soul-deep...
                                and because it's white v. white...
it will ferment, and nothing positive will come from it...
no jazz, no blues... nothing of cultural importance...
   it will be haggled in the political market
to the point where both sides will find it utterly
unbearable: and then start to sheer their skins...
        you won't get anything from this soul-deep
attack... if the holocaust is what it felt like,
            then this is a minor post-holocaust episode,
a reminder...
                          and by god, i thank god
for the fact that the Picts are involved -
                                                            whe­re to now?
O Imperium Gladstone paraphrase?
                            it will be hard to beat the unicorn -
all empires donning the eagle duly fail -
centaur and a frog? maybe next time.
RAJ NANDY Jul 2015
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST WORLD WAR
            BY RAJ NANDY: PART ONE

                   INTRODUCTION
  “What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?
         Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
        Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.”
      -by Wilfred Owen, British Army Lt. killed in
        action in France on 04th Nov 1918.

The Socialists called it the ‘Imperialist’s War’,
and it was the ‘Trench War’ for the soldiers;
But Europe hailed it as ‘The War to End All Wars’,                
Expecting it to end prior to 1914’s Christmas!
But alas, it soon became a mighty global war
fueled by national and ethnic aspirations and
territorial lust!
The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, heir
to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, -
On the 28thof June 1914 at Sarajevo, was the
spark which triggered off this great catastrophe!
During 1876 when German Chancellor Bismarck
was asked about chances of an European War at
a future date;
He felt that Europe was like a big store house of
gunpowder keg!
While pointing to the volatile BALKANS he had said,
That European leaders were smoking in an arsenal,
where a small spark could cause a mighty explosion!
And 38 years later the world had witnessed,
Bismarck’s unfortunate prediction!
This war ended on 11th of November 1918, after a
four and half year’s long duration;
With 16.5 million military and civilian deaths, and
many more wounded and missing in action!
For the War had spread beyond the traditional
killing fields,
Killing many innocent civilians following the
bombing raids by German Zeppelins!
Now, before proceeding further some background
information here becomes necessary,
To understand the socio-political events leading
to the unfolding of this Great War Story!

         PRELUDE TO THE GREAT WAR
The Nationalistic fervor aroused by Napoleon,
And the February Revolution of 1848 in France,
Inspired Europe’s inhabitants to preserve their
ethnic and racial identities, without leaving
things to chance!
The Italian and German unification, and the
Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian polarization,
Aroused the expectations of the Slavic people,
Who remained spread all over Central and
Eastern Europe!
The various ethnic groups forming the Slavic race,
Always dreamt of an independent Balkan State!

         CAUSES FOR ‘THE GREAT WAR’
Imperialism, Nationalism, Militarization, Alliances,
and finally the assassination of the Archduke
Ferdinand,
Are the five main causes for this war, which is
generally mentioned by our Historians!
However, I shall now try to acquaint you briefly,  
With some relevant events from our recorded
History.

BRITISH IMPERIALISM:
Towards the turn of the 20th century Britain was
the dominant global imperial power;
And since the mid-19th Century it was seen that
the sun never set over the British Empire!
The British had a vast mercantile and a naval fleet,
To trade with, and administer their far flung colonies.
At the turn of the 20th Century the British Navy was
changing over from steam to oil power like other
big nations;
So the oil fields of the Middle East was important
for British militarization.
Also passage through the Suez Canal was vital for
maintaining their colonial possessions!
These facts will get linked up in Part Two of my
later composition!

GERMAN NATIONALISM:
The nationalistic fervor aroused in Germany
since Chancellor Bismarck’s days,
Made the Germans try to outstrip the British
in many ways!
This fervor was reflected in Goethe’s poetry and
through Richard Wagner’s musical notes;
Between 1898 and 1912 five Naval Laws were
passed in the German Reichstag, by majority
votes,
For building battleships, cruisers, and 96 torpedo
boats;
Which later became a scourge for Allied and
British shipping, known as the U-Boats!
The German nationalism and militarization went
hand in hand during those days,
While her industrialization also progressed at a
rapid pace.
Kaiser Wilhelm II had sought “a place in the sun”
by trying to outstrip the British in the arms race!
Statistic show more number of German scientists
had received the Noble Prize for their inventions,
Between this period and World War- II, when
compared with the combined winners of other
Western nations!

AUSTRIA-HUNGARIAN MONARCHY:
In 1867 by a comprising agreement between
Vienna and Budapest the capital cities,
The Austro-Hungarian kingdom became a Dual
Monarchy!
Many ethnic groups had composed this Monarchy
in those early days as we see;
With Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, and Slavic
people like the Czechs, Poles, Croats, Slovaks,
Serbs, and the Slovenes!
While the Austrian Officers of this Monarchy spoke
German, the majority of the soldiers were Hungarians,
Czechs, Slovaks, who never spoke German!
So the soldiers were taught 68 single-words of
German commands,
For the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army to function
collectively as one!
While Francis Joseph their sovereign and emperor,
aspired to become a strong centralized European
power.
But out of the 50 million people of this Monarchy
around 23 million were Slavs,
Who always dreamed of an independent Slavic
Kingdom in the Balkans!

THE BALKANS & THE KINGDOM OF SERBIA
After the Iberian and the Italian peninsulas of
Europe, the BALKAN peninsular is seen to be
lying in Europe’s extreme south east, -
South of the Danube and Sava River, bounded
in the west by the Adriatic and Ionian Sea.
In the east is the Aegean and Black Sea,
With the Mediterranean Sea in the south, -
washing the tip formed by Greece with its many
islands around!
Now much of the Balkan areas were under the
Ottoman Empire since early 14th Century;
And here I cut across many centuries of past
European History!
Following a series of revolutions since 1804
against the Turks,
The Principality of Serbia was carved out in the
area of the Balkans!
A new constitution in 1869 defined it as an
independent State of Serbia;
Was internationally recognized at the Treaty
of Berlin in 1878, to later become the Kingdom
of Serbia!
This kingdom was located south adjoining the
Monarchy of Austro-Hungarians, much to their
annoyance those days,
Since the Kingdom of Serbia was looked upon
as a ‘beacon of liberty’ by the Southern Slavic
race!

THE BOSNIAN CRISIS (1908-1909)  
This dual provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina
in the Balkans,
Were formally under the control of the
Ottoman Sultan.
With permission of the Congress of Berlin in
1878, it was administered by Austria-Hungary;
Though the legal rights remained with Turkey!
But the Slavic population present there had
Nationalistic ambitions,
Aspired to join the Slavs in nearby Kingdom of
Serbia, to form a pan-Slavic nation!
The Slavic population in Austria-Hungary, also
entertained such dreams wistfully!
Now in 1908 a ‘Young Turk Movement’ based
at Macedonia,
Had planned to replace the absolute Turkish
rule in Bosnia!
And by modernizing the Constitution hoped
to rejuvenate the sick Ottoman Empire.
These developments set alarm bells ringing
in Austrian capital Vienna!
So on the 6th of October 1908 they quickly
annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina!
After having lost a war with Japan, and following
an internal Revolution of 1905 the Russians,
Prevented an escalation by staying out of the
Bosnian Crisis!
But the annexation of Bosnia had angered the
Serbs greatly,
So they started to train secret terrorist groups to
liberate Bosnia from Austria-Hungary!
These terrorist groups operated in small cells,
Under the leadership of Col. Dimitrijevic, also
known as the ‘Apis’ those days.
Now, a secret cell called the ‘Black Hand’ operated
in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo with Gavrilo
Princep as one of its members;
Who was trained and equipped in Serbia along
with other ‘Black Hand’ members.
The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had remained
distressed about these subversive activities by
the Slavic race!
So in Jan 1909 they obtained the unconditional
support from Germany, in the event of a war
with Serbia even if Austria was the aggressor!
And also secretly hoped in a war to annex
Serbian territory!
For in the two Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913,
Serbia had greatly extended its territory to
become a powerful adversary!
Serbia had also obtained an assurance from
its protector Russia, should a war break out with
Austria!
Now, as tension mounted upsetting the delicate
balance of power in the Balkans gradually,
Archduke Franz Ferdinand with his wife Sophie,
planned to visit Sarajevo from Austria-Hungary!
It was a God sent moment for the secret
organization the ‘Black Hand’,
To plan the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand!

THE ASSASSINATION: SARAJEVO 28TH JUNE 1914
Now when I look back in time I pause to wonder,
How such an amateurish assassination plot could
have ever succeeded,
Without the cruel hands of destiny and fate!
The 28th of June was a bright summer’s St. Vitus
Day and a holiday in Serbia;
And also the 14th marriage anniversary of Franz
Fernandez and his wife Sophia!
Several assassins were positioned along the route,
Which was to be taken by the Archduke!
While the motorcade proceeded to the Town Hall
a bomb was thrown,
Which bounced off the rear of Archduke’s car,
Injuring few bystanders and a passenger in the
rear car!
The Archduke however refused to cancel his trip,
Saying that it was the act of some lunatic!
After completion of the Town Hall ceremony, the
Archduke wanted a change of plan deviating from
the laid down route;
By wanting to visit the patients in the hospital,
Injured by the bomb which had struck his cars
rear hood!
But the Czech driver was not briefed and took
a wrong turn by mistake;
Reversed trying to correct himself, stalled the car
stoppling next to Gavrilo Princep!
Presenting Princep with a stationary target, a
cruel work of destiny and fate!
Prince pulled out his pistol and fired two shots  
at a point blank range, killing both Ferdinand
and  wife Sophie;
When Ferdinand cried out ‘’Sophie, Sophie,
don’t die, live for the children’’, - words which
now remain enshrined in History!

TRIAL OF PRINCEP & THE CONSPIRATORS
The trial began in a military court on 12th of
October at Sarajevo,
With three judges and no jury, when Princep
pleaded 'Not Guilty'!
Killing of Duchess Sophie was an unplanned
accident,
Since he wanted to **** the Governor instead!
He claimed to be a Serbian nationalist working
for the unification of the Slavic race,
and detested the annexation of Bosnia by the
Austo-Hungarians!
Along with 15 other accused, Princep was found
guilty of high treason;
But being underage, was sentenced to 20 years
labour in prison.
But died three year's later from tuberculosis!

           CONCLUDING PART ONE
  ''Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
   There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
   But dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold."
      -Rupert Brook, part of the British Naval Expeditionary
       Force, buried in Skyros, Greece 1914.
Now, looking back over a hundred years in
hindsight I do realize,
That this assassination was not the immediate
cause or the spark which triggered this War,
But only an excuse and a pretext for the
Austro-Hungarians to carve up Serbia,
And distribute those territories between
Allies and friends of Austria;
Also enhance the prestige of their Empire!
Since the war had commenced almost two
months after the Archduke’s assassination,
Austria had lost the high moral ground for
vengeance with righteous indignation!
It was a cynical and a predetermined plan
of Austria in connivance with Germany,
To destroy Serbia and squash the hopes of
Slavic people for a pan-Slavic State, - as we
now get to see!
This war ended with the dissolution of four old
Empires of the Austro-Hungarians, Ottomans,
Tsarist Russians, and the Germans!
While new nations of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia,
Austria, and Hungary, got created from the
dissolved Empire of Austria-Hungary.
Russia gave up lands creating Finland, Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania.
The Ottomans gave up lands in SW Asia and the
Middle East, and in Europe retained only Turkey!
Thus this Great War had creating new nation states,
And gave Europe its new revamped face!
Composed by Raj Nandy of New Delhi,
Thanks for reading patiently!
   TO BE CONTINUED LATER AS PART TWO
**ALL COPY RIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR
Dear Readers, this is a product of three weeks of my research work, put across in simplified verse! Hope to compose Part Two at a later date, and tell you about trench warfare & the poems composed about this War! On the 28th of June 2015, 101 years of this First World War was completed! Kindly give Comments only after reading in your spare time, for this Great War  took place during our grandfather's time! Thanks! -Raj
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
Drunk, we staggered home.

Aware of having been
some
other where
a while

That woman, she could answer

any question rebbi axt,
Ohhhhmyyy

she laugh and say, Dude, I got the Intent-net,
in my hand

That's more than a list of numbers, this
accounting idle words going on, on going, as fast as

lightning, at the scale, of, say

cat-ions ifiying an-ions
at random,
seen systematical, from a distance
zoom out
at the scale, of, say
Great Deep Field.

Center you, I'm no matter.

synchro
now

zoom out
Use that steam program
Universe Sandbox,
you gotta see that to imagine this, right,

and next is what you keep saying is unbelievable,
but its not.

Good things come to them
to whom
good makes more sense.

Earth from the moon POV

Confusion flux, spurtual,  caused by the solar flare of all solar flares,
one side

Whooshing the Ice left from Patton's flood
into steam, the stuff, not the app,

which swooshhhesssssssssss smack
into the freezing repurcussions
from the daark side…

The Noah event, that was bad,
This one, the last one, this just previous one,

was spiritual. Magnitudes incomparable
(save in parable and example, exemplar gratis,
says the bodiless being, with a roll of  my wrist and a bow)

At that very time on the side away from the flare,
the daark side of the planet, this one…

a Donald Patton nitrogen snow ball
that nearly breached Roche's limit,

too not nearly enough,
dis -integration
The atmosphere freezes
to the quark level, snap,

the cold
explosive
forward momentum
booms a nitrogen bubble now
minusminusminus
solid nitrogen
melting

any heat locked in flare fired steam,
what was once the water
that washed away the gods and locked their cities
of ivory under the ice

on the sunny side,
where now, then,

a solar flare like legends build empires upon
has passed, fires rage

there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Only miners survived, gold digger mostly,
few alchemists who knew the mystery in mercury,
Lost was all knowing but to a very few,
who truth be told had been the owner's
well kept servants, ministers of this and that
they perished with all the fires touched

we diggers, we only marvel

How bits of time, exact as ours, can be seen happening
all in bubble of Mercury. Cooked out red rock like these.

"Blood o' the gods of old, swat I'astold."

Messages from the gods, grandma, said, "Mercury calls for gold, gold listens, when fire's hottern fire can be,
unless
the breath of men blow on the coals", we all said that last part and blew out the light. G'night


but a story told a wee bit here a qubit there
here a little, there a little
line upon line,
precept upon precept,

'cept no body knows what I know about cept,

capere, a story starts, a provisioning tale. Wait.

it means grip. like a tool. rock breaks nut.

Paper covers rock, but scissors are so far in the future
that now, my time, my mind wanders after whys

this authoritative telling of the story, in it,
none know the terminal tale.

As in times past, there were survivors who lived to tell

and old stories never die. Old story tellers do,

Tho' here's a clue.
Meek's not bad,
stupid, for no reason, is.

Living long for the sake of a song heard once,
in dream luring me on, promising right now, I'll

know what it's like to see, oh

POV I made this clear some time ago,
time is less predictable than any imagined, before 2018
when, you know…

Even those tales old drunk Hesiod sold
in the Hittite tavern at Delphi,

Chronos thought wrong in those,
he ruled but for the merest gleam o'

Time, then a bubble gen erated by the thought of
opposition to transition,
nothing to something,
pushing /pushing back
stretch/snap/spark
that takes power, pulsing power, throbbing power

push/stretch
glow/snap
you know, imagine, glowing - cheat, think 2018 CG
glow/snap
Planc time,
each time the bubble pushes back
a ripple
imagine a clock, later, if you believe then, you must.

Now, see the bubble of all men have imagined,
since the time when such a bubble was only evil,
continually.

It went viral.
Noah we know for sure, almost, survived, ? Cushites kept records. In Africa.
Akkad kept record, too.
Some Hopi survived somehow and they have a tale.

They say they know the story is ten thousand years old,
I've been to a crossroads
on their journey,
stories
tell of it, still, today.

Holy means marked for good reason.
Marked with clues, not riddles, maps

Sacred means secret means hidden away for use,
not common, every day, quotidian use, right use.

Time, the opposing force, is precious to us all.
In time, we do all we can and die,

in ever, we expand, in no time at all. I imagine.

You fill it. Now, Your expandable mind's time,

time pushes from the outside,
wisdom pushes from the inside,

And so it goes, life goes on and music grows on ya,

Amusing how they do that, teeny muses dancing
shiva on the tip of my tongue,

singings songs in tongues I've never known
if they
are words on tongues
or sounds on tongues,

notes,

Baysian Binary Cross Validation
still ends with some people thinkin'
"it is finished" left them with a ton o'weight,
that's wrong, insist resistance.

Some, heavy duty, leaders of lambs, they claim
power in their mouths, spoken from fixed hearts,

but fixed upon, is truly the song,
said, words are only
little bits of whole sym ulacrum of re-ify-ing

where broken things re-pair, and life goes on…

"fixed, my heart is fixed",
no, your heart is machine of the most magnificent design, perfected,
a time at a time.
Flexing, pacing time itself, faster slower,

try some time
alone
be still, pond still

I know the story broke,
I could not hold it.

In the night, bitter cold
Frozen fragile...

There are pieces scattered every

where, everywhere
there is time, there is at least, a point

a story may stand upon and ask an angel
to dance.
Dance, give it some flare, what do we care?

Nobody's watching, but that fly.
This is read, by me at http://anchor.fm/kenpepiton
Life is good at my house, thankyou. A reader is needed more than words can tell. My posts are a book now, few stand solidly on their own. Thank you if you spend your time perusing them please tell me where I muddy the flow, or break the story.
At the start we fought and argued
Trying to find some common ground
But now those days are gone
We could conquer empires
Newdigate prize poem recited in the Sheldonian Theatre
Oxford June 26th, 1878.

To my friend George Fleming author of ‘The Nile Novel’
and ‘Mirage’

I.

A year ago I breathed the Italian air,—
And yet, methinks this northern Spring is fair,—
These fields made golden with the flower of March,
The throstle singing on the feathered larch,
The cawing rooks, the wood-doves fluttering by,
The little clouds that race across the sky;
And fair the violet’s gentle drooping head,
The primrose, pale for love uncomforted,
The rose that burgeons on the climbing briar,
The crocus-bed, (that seems a moon of fire
Round-girdled with a purple marriage-ring);
And all the flowers of our English Spring,
Fond snowdrops, and the bright-starred daffodil.
Up starts the lark beside the murmuring mill,
And breaks the gossamer-threads of early dew;
And down the river, like a flame of blue,
Keen as an arrow flies the water-king,
While the brown linnets in the greenwood sing.
A year ago!—it seems a little time
Since last I saw that lordly southern clime,
Where flower and fruit to purple radiance blow,
And like bright lamps the fabled apples glow.
Full Spring it was—and by rich flowering vines,
Dark olive-groves and noble forest-pines,
I rode at will; the moist glad air was sweet,
The white road rang beneath my horse’s feet,
And musing on Ravenna’s ancient name,
I watched the day till, marked with wounds of flame,
The turquoise sky to burnished gold was turned.

O how my heart with boyish passion burned,
When far away across the sedge and mere
I saw that Holy City rising clear,
Crowned with her crown of towers!—On and on
I galloped, racing with the setting sun,
And ere the crimson after-glow was passed,
I stood within Ravenna’s walls at last!

II.

How strangely still! no sound of life or joy
Startles the air; no laughing shepherd-boy
Pipes on his reed, nor ever through the day
Comes the glad sound of children at their play:
O sad, and sweet, and silent! surely here
A man might dwell apart from troublous fear,
Watching the tide of seasons as they flow
From amorous Spring to Winter’s rain and snow,
And have no thought of sorrow;—here, indeed,
Are Lethe’s waters, and that fatal ****
Which makes a man forget his fatherland.

Ay! amid lotus-meadows dost thou stand,
Like Proserpine, with poppy-laden head,
Guarding the holy ashes of the dead.
For though thy brood of warrior sons hath ceased,
Thy noble dead are with thee!—they at least
Are faithful to thine honour:—guard them well,
O childless city! for a mighty spell,
To wake men’s hearts to dreams of things sublime,
Are the lone tombs where rest the Great of Time.

III.


Yon lonely pillar, rising on the plain,
Marks where the bravest knight of France was slain,—
The Prince of chivalry, the Lord of war,
Gaston de Foix:  for some untimely star
Led him against thy city, and he fell,
As falls some forest-lion fighting well.
Taken from life while life and love were new,
He lies beneath God’s seamless veil of blue;
Tall lance-like reeds wave sadly o’er his head,
And oleanders bloom to deeper red,
Where his bright youth flowed crimson on the ground.

Look farther north unto that broken mound,—
There, prisoned now within a lordly tomb
Raised by a daughter’s hand, in lonely gloom,
Huge-limbed Theodoric, the Gothic king,
Sleeps after all his weary conquering.
Time hath not spared his ruin,—wind and rain
Have broken down his stronghold; and again
We see that Death is mighty lord of all,
And king and clown to ashen dust must fall

Mighty indeed their glory! yet to me
Barbaric king, or knight of chivalry,
Or the great queen herself, were poor and vain,
Beside the grave where Dante rests from pain.
His gilded shrine lies open to the air;
And cunning sculptor’s hands have carven there
The calm white brow, as calm as earliest morn,
The eyes that flashed with passionate love and scorn,
The lips that sang of Heaven and of Hell,
The almond-face which Giotto drew so well,
The weary face of Dante;—to this day,
Here in his place of resting, far away
From Arno’s yellow waters, rushing down
Through the wide bridges of that fairy town,
Where the tall tower of Giotto seems to rise
A marble lily under sapphire skies!

Alas! my Dante! thou hast known the pain
Of meaner lives,—the exile’s galling chain,
How steep the stairs within kings’ houses are,
And all the petty miseries which mar
Man’s nobler nature with the sense of wrong.
Yet this dull world is grateful for thy song;
Our nations do thee homage,—even she,
That cruel queen of vine-clad Tuscany,
Who bound with crown of thorns thy living brow,
Hath decked thine empty tomb with laurels now,
And begs in vain the ashes of her son.

O mightiest exile! all thy grief is done:
Thy soul walks now beside thy Beatrice;
Ravenna guards thine ashes:  sleep in peace.

IV.

How lone this palace is; how grey the walls!
No minstrel now wakes echoes in these halls.
The broken chain lies rusting on the door,
And noisome weeds have split the marble floor:
Here lurks the snake, and here the lizards run
By the stone lions blinking in the sun.
Byron dwelt here in love and revelry
For two long years—a second Anthony,
Who of the world another Actium made!
Yet suffered not his royal soul to fade,
Or lyre to break, or lance to grow less keen,
’Neath any wiles of an Egyptian queen.
For from the East there came a mighty cry,
And Greece stood up to fight for Liberty,
And called him from Ravenna:  never knight
Rode forth more nobly to wild scenes of fight!
None fell more bravely on ensanguined field,
Borne like a Spartan back upon his shield!
O Hellas!  Hellas! in thine hour of pride,
Thy day of might, remember him who died
To wrest from off thy limbs the trammelling chain:
O Salamis!  O lone Plataean plain!
O tossing waves of wild Euboean sea!
O wind-swept heights of lone Thermopylae!
He loved you well—ay, not alone in word,
Who freely gave to thee his lyre and sword,
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon:

And England, too, shall glory in her son,
Her warrior-poet, first in song and fight.
No longer now shall Slander’s venomed spite
Crawl like a snake across his perfect name,
Or mar the lordly scutcheon of his fame.

For as the olive-garland of the race,
Which lights with joy each eager runner’s face,
As the red cross which saveth men in war,
As a flame-bearded beacon seen from far
By mariners upon a storm-tossed sea,—
Such was his love for Greece and Liberty!

Byron, thy crowns are ever fresh and green:
Red leaves of rose from Sapphic Mitylene
Shall bind thy brows; the myrtle blooms for thee,
In hidden glades by lonely Castaly;
The laurels wait thy coming:  all are thine,
And round thy head one perfect wreath will twine.

V.

The pine-tops rocked before the evening breeze
With the hoarse murmur of the wintry seas,
And the tall stems were streaked with amber bright;—
I wandered through the wood in wild delight,
Some startled bird, with fluttering wings and fleet,
Made snow of all the blossoms; at my feet,
Like silver crowns, the pale narcissi lay,
And small birds sang on every twining spray.
O waving trees, O forest liberty!
Within your haunts at least a man is free,
And half forgets the weary world of strife:
The blood flows hotter, and a sense of life
Wakes i’ the quickening veins, while once again
The woods are filled with gods we fancied slain.
Long time I watched, and surely hoped to see
Some goat-foot Pan make merry minstrelsy
Amid the reeds! some startled Dryad-maid
In girlish flight! or lurking in the glade,
The soft brown limbs, the wanton treacherous face
Of woodland god! Queen Dian in the chase,
White-limbed and terrible, with look of pride,
And leash of boar-hounds leaping at her side!
Or Hylas mirrored in the perfect stream.

O idle heart!  O fond Hellenic dream!
Ere long, with melancholy rise and swell,
The evening chimes, the convent’s vesper bell,
Struck on mine ears amid the amorous flowers.
Alas! alas! these sweet and honied hours
Had whelmed my heart like some encroaching sea,
And drowned all thoughts of black Gethsemane.

VI.

O lone Ravenna! many a tale is told
Of thy great glories in the days of old:
Two thousand years have passed since thou didst see
Caesar ride forth to royal victory.
Mighty thy name when Rome’s lean eagles flew
From Britain’s isles to far Euphrates blue;
And of the peoples thou wast noble queen,
Till in thy streets the Goth and *** were seen.
Discrowned by man, deserted by the sea,
Thou sleepest, rocked in lonely misery!
No longer now upon thy swelling tide,
Pine-forest-like, thy myriad galleys ride!
For where the brass-beaked ships were wont to float,
The weary shepherd pipes his mournful note;
And the white sheep are free to come and go
Where Adria’s purple waters used to flow.

O fair!  O sad!  O Queen uncomforted!
In ruined loveliness thou liest dead,
Alone of all thy sisters; for at last
Italia’s royal warrior hath passed
Rome’s lordliest entrance, and hath worn his crown
In the high temples of the Eternal Town!
The Palatine hath welcomed back her king,
And with his name the seven mountains ring!

And Naples hath outlived her dream of pain,
And mocks her tyrant!  Venice lives again,
New risen from the waters! and the cry
Of Light and Truth, of Love and Liberty,
Is heard in lordly Genoa, and where
The marble spires of Milan wound the air,
Rings from the Alps to the Sicilian shore,
And Dante’s dream is now a dream no more.

But thou, Ravenna, better loved than all,
Thy ruined palaces are but a pall
That hides thy fallen greatness! and thy name
Burns like a grey and flickering candle-flame
Beneath the noonday splendour of the sun
Of new Italia! for the night is done,
The night of dark oppression, and the day
Hath dawned in passionate splendour:  far away
The Austrian hounds are hunted from the land,
Beyond those ice-crowned citadels which stand
Girdling the plain of royal Lombardy,
From the far West unto the Eastern sea.

I know, indeed, that sons of thine have died
In Lissa’s waters, by the mountain-side
Of Aspromonte, on Novara’s plain,—
Nor have thy children died for thee in vain:
And yet, methinks, thou hast not drunk this wine
From grapes new-crushed of Liberty divine,
Thou hast not followed that immortal Star
Which leads the people forth to deeds of war.
Weary of life, thou liest in silent sleep,
As one who marks the lengthening shadows creep,
Careless of all the hurrying hours that run,
Mourning some day of glory, for the sun
Of Freedom hath not shewn to thee his face,
And thou hast caught no flambeau in the race.

Yet wake not from thy slumbers,—rest thee well,
Amidst thy fields of amber asphodel,
Thy lily-sprinkled meadows,—rest thee there,
To mock all human greatness:  who would dare
To vent the paltry sorrows of his life
Before thy ruins, or to praise the strife
Of kings’ ambition, and the barren pride
Of warring nations! wert not thou the Bride
Of the wild Lord of Adria’s stormy sea!
The Queen of double Empires! and to thee
Were not the nations given as thy prey!
And now—thy gates lie open night and day,
The grass grows green on every tower and hall,
The ghastly fig hath cleft thy bastioned wall;
And where thy mailed warriors stood at rest
The midnight owl hath made her secret nest.
O fallen! fallen! from thy high estate,
O city trammelled in the toils of Fate,
Doth nought remain of all thy glorious days,
But a dull shield, a crown of withered bays!

Yet who beneath this night of wars and fears,
From tranquil tower can watch the coming years;
Who can foretell what joys the day shall bring,
Or why before the dawn the linnets sing?
Thou, even thou, mayst wake, as wakes the rose
To crimson splendour from its grave of snows;
As the rich corn-fields rise to red and gold
From these brown lands, now stiff with Winter’s cold;
As from the storm-rack comes a perfect star!

O much-loved city!  I have wandered far
From the wave-circled islands of my home;
Have seen the gloomy mystery of the Dome
Rise slowly from the drear Campagna’s way,
Clothed in the royal purple of the day:
I from the city of the violet crown
Have watched the sun by Corinth’s hill go down,
And marked the ‘myriad laughter’ of the sea
From starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady;
Yet back to thee returns my perfect love,
As to its forest-nest the evening dove.

O poet’s city! one who scarce has seen
Some twenty summers cast their doublets green
For Autumn’s livery, would seek in vain
To wake his lyre to sing a louder strain,
Or tell thy days of glory;—poor indeed
Is the low murmur of the shepherd’s reed,
Where the loud clarion’s blast should shake the sky,
And flame across the heavens! and to try
Such lofty themes were folly:  yet I know
That never felt my heart a nobler glow
Than when I woke the silence of thy street
With clamorous trampling of my horse’s feet,
And saw the city which now I try to sing,
After long days of weary travelling.

VII.

Adieu, Ravenna! but a year ago,
I stood and watched the crimson sunset glow
From the lone chapel on thy marshy plain:
The sky was as a shield that caught the stain
Of blood and battle from the dying sun,
And in the west the circling clouds had spun
A royal robe, which some great God might wear,
While into ocean-seas of purple air
Sank the gold galley of the Lord of Light.

Yet here the gentle stillness of the night
Brings back the swelling tide of memory,
And wakes again my passionate love for thee:
Now is the Spring of Love, yet soon will come
On meadow and tree the Summer’s lordly bloom;
And soon the grass with brighter flowers will blow,
And send up lilies for some boy to mow.
Then before long the Summer’s conqueror,
Rich Autumn-time, the season’s usurer,
Will lend his hoarded gold to all the trees,
And see it scattered by the spendthrift breeze;
And after that the Winter cold and drear.
So runs the perfect cycle of the year.
And so from youth to manhood do we go,
And fall to weary days and locks of snow.
Love only knows no winter; never dies:
Nor cares for frowning storms or leaden skies
And mine for thee shall never pass away,
Though my weak lips may falter in my lay.

Adieu!  Adieu! yon silent evening star,
The night’s ambassador, doth gleam afar,
And bid the shepherd bring his flocks to fold.
Perchance before our inland seas of gold
Are garnered by the reapers into sheaves,
Perchance before I see the Autumn leaves,
I may behold thy city; and lay down
Low at thy feet the poet’s laurel crown.

Adieu!  Adieu! yon silver lamp, the moon,
Which turns our midnight into perfect noon,
Doth surely light thy towers, guarding well
Where Dante sleeps, where Byron loved to dwell.
IN SEARCH OF THE PRESENT

I begin with two words that all men have uttered since the dawn of humanity: thank you. The word gratitude has equivalents in every language and in each tongue the range of meanings is abundant. In the Romance languages this breadth spans the spiritual and the physical, from the divine grace conceded to men to save them from error and death, to the ****** grace of the dancing girl or the feline leaping through the undergrowth. Grace means pardon, forgiveness, favour, benefice, inspiration; it is a form of address, a pleasing style of speaking or painting, a gesture expressing politeness, and, in short, an act that reveals spiritual goodness. Grace is gratuitous; it is a gift. The person who receives it, the favoured one, is grateful for it; if he is not base, he expresses gratitude. That is what I am doing at this very moment with these weightless words. I hope my emotion compensates their weightlessness. If each of my words were a drop of water, you would see through them and glimpse what I feel: gratitude, acknowledgement. And also an indefinable mixture of fear, respect and surprise at finding myself here before you, in this place which is the home of both Swedish learning and world literature.

Languages are vast realities that transcend those political and historical entities we call nations. The European languages we speak in the Americas illustrate this. The special position of our literatures when compared to those of England, Spain, Portugal and France depends precisely on this fundamental fact: they are literatures written in transplanted tongues. Languages are born and grow from the native soil, nourished by a common history. The European languages were rooted out from their native soil and their own tradition, and then planted in an unknown and unnamed world: they took root in the new lands and, as they grew within the societies of America, they were transformed. They are the same plant yet also a different plant. Our literatures did not passively accept the changing fortunes of the transplanted languages: they participated in the process and even accelerated it. They very soon ceased to be mere transatlantic reflections: at times they have been the negation of the literatures of Europe; more often, they have been a reply.

In spite of these oscillations the link has never been broken. My classics are those of my language and I consider myself to be a descendant of Lope and Quevedo, as any Spanish writer would ... yet I am not a Spaniard. I think that most writers of Spanish America, as well as those from the United States, Brazil and Canada, would say the same as regards the English, Portuguese and French traditions. To understand more clearly the special position of writers in the Americas, we should think of the dialogue maintained by Japanese, Chinese or Arabic writers with the different literatures of Europe. It is a dialogue that cuts across multiple languages and civilizations. Our dialogue, on the other hand, takes place within the same language. We are Europeans yet we are not Europeans. What are we then? It is difficult to define what we are, but our works speak for us.

In the field of literature, the great novelty of the present century has been the appearance of the American literatures. The first to appear was that of the English-speaking part and then, in the second half of the 20th Century, that of Latin America in its two great branches: Spanish America and Brazil. Although they are very different, these three literatures have one common feature: the conflict, which is more ideological than literary, between the cosmopolitan and nativist tendencies, between Europeanism and Americanism. What is the legacy of this dispute? The polemics have disappeared; what remain are the works. Apart from this general resemblance, the differences between the three literatures are multiple and profound. One of them belongs more to history than to literature: the development of Anglo-American literature coincides with the rise of the United States as a world power whereas the rise of our literature coincides with the political and social misfortunes and upheavals of our nations. This proves once more the limitations of social and historical determinism: the decline of empires and social disturbances sometimes coincide with moments of artistic and literary splendour. Li-Po and Tu Fu witnessed the fall of the Tang dynasty; Velázquez painted for Felipe IV; Seneca and Lucan were contemporaries and also victims of Nero. Other differences are of a literary nature and apply more to particular works than to the character of each literature. But can we say that literatures have a character? Do they possess a set of shared features that distinguish them from other literatures? I doubt it. A literature is not defined by some fanciful, intangible character; it is a society of unique works united by relations of opposition and affinity.

The first basic difference between Latin-American and Anglo-American literature lies in the diversity of their origins. Both begin as projections of Europe. The projection of an island in the case of North America; that of a peninsula in our case. Two regions that are geographically, historically and culturally eccentric. The origins of North America are in England and the Reformation; ours are in Spain, Portugal and the Counter-Reformation. For the case of Spanish America I should briefly mention what distinguishes Spain from other European countries, giving it a particularly original historical identity. Spain is no less eccentric than England but its eccentricity is of a different kind. The eccentricity of the English is insular and is characterized by isolation: an eccentricity that excludes. Hispanic eccentricity is peninsular and consists of the coexistence of different civilizations and different pasts: an inclusive eccentricity. In what would later be Catholic Spain, the Visigoths professed the heresy of Arianism, and we could also speak about the centuries of ******* by Arabic civilization, the influence of Jewish thought, the Reconquest, and other characteristic features.

Hispanic eccentricity is reproduced and multiplied in America, especially in those countries such as Mexico and Peru, where ancient and splendid civilizations had existed. In Mexico, the Spaniards encountered history as well as geography. That history is still alive: it is a present rather than a past. The temples and gods of pre-Columbian Mexico are a pile of ruins, but the spirit that breathed life into that world has not disappeared; it speaks to us in the hermetic language of myth, legend, forms of social coexistence, popular art, customs. Being a Mexican writer means listening to the voice of that present, that presence. Listening to it, speaking with it, deciphering it: expressing it ... After this brief digression we may be able to perceive the peculiar relation that simultaneously binds us to and separates us from the European tradition.

This consciousness of being separate is a constant feature of our spiritual history. Separation is sometimes experienced as a wound that marks an internal division, an anguished awareness that invites self-examination; at other times it appears as a challenge, a spur that incites us to action, to go forth and encounter others and the outside world. It is true that the feeling of separation is universal and not peculiar to Spanish Americans. It is born at the very moment of our birth: as we are wrenched from the Whole we fall into an alien land. This experience becomes a wound that never heals. It is the unfathomable depth of every man; all our ventures and exploits, all our acts and dreams, are bridges designed to overcome the separation and reunite us with the world and our fellow-beings. Each man's life and the collective history of mankind can thus be seen as attempts to reconstruct the original situation. An unfinished and endless cure for our divided condition. But it is not my intention to provide yet another description of this feeling. I am simply stressing the fact that for us this existential condition expresses itself in historical terms. It thus becomes an awareness of our history. How and when does this feeling appear and how is it transformed into consciousness? The reply to this double-edged question can be given in the form of a theory or a personal testimony. I prefer the latter: there are many theories and none is entirely convincing.

The feeling of separation is bound up with the oldest and vaguest of my memories: the first cry, the first scare. Like every child I built emotional bridges in the imagination to link me to the world and to other people. I lived in a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, in an old dilapidated house that had a jungle-like garden and a great room full of books. First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours' patio. Books with pictures, especially history books, eagerly leafed through, supplied images of deserts and jungles, palaces and hovels, warriors and princesses, beggars and kings. We were shipwrecked with Sinbad and with Robinson, we fought with d'Artagnan, we took Valencia with the Cid. How I would have liked to stay forever on the Isle of Calypso! In summer the green branches of the fig tree would sway like the sails of a caravel or a pirate ship. High up on the mast, swept by the wind, I could make out islands and continents, lands that vanished as soon as they became tangible. The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present.

When was the spell broken? Gradually rather than suddenly. It is hard to accept being betrayed by a friend, deceived by the woman we love, or that the idea of freedom is the mask of a tyrant. What we call "finding out" is a slow and tricky process because we ourselves are the accomplices of our errors and deceptions. Nevertheless, I can remember fairly clearly an incident that was the first sign, although it was quickly forgotten. I must have been about six when one of my cousins who was a little older showed me a North American magazine with a photograph of soldiers marching along a huge avenue, probably in New York. "They've returned from the war" she said. This handful of words disturbed me, as if they foreshadowed the end of the world or the Second Coming of Christ. I vaguely knew that somewhere far away a war had ended a few years earlier and that the soldiers were marching to celebrate their victory. For me, that war had taken place in another time, not here and now. The photo refuted me. I felt literally dislodged from the present.

From that moment time began to fracture more and more. And there was a plurality of spaces. The experience repeated itself more and more frequently. Any piece of news, a harmless phrase, the headline in a newspaper: everything proved the outside world's existence and my own unreality. I felt that the world was splitting and that I did not inhabit the present. My present was disintegrating: real time was somewhere else. My time, the time of the garden, the fig tree, the games with friends, the drowsiness among the plants at three in the afternoon under the sun, a fig torn open (black and red like a live coal but one that is sweet and fresh): this was a fictitious time. In spite of what my senses told me, the time from over there, belonging to the others, was the real one, the time of the real present. I accepted the inevitable: I became an adult. That was how my expulsion from the present began.

It may seem paradoxical to say that we have been expelled from the present, but it is a feeling we have all had at some moment. Some of us experienced it first as a condemnation, later transformed into consciousness and action. The search for the present is neither the pursuit of an earthly paradise nor that of a timeless eternity: it is the search for a real reality. For us, as Spanish Americans, the real present was not in our own countries: it was the time lived by others, by the English, the French and the Germans. It was the time of New York, Paris, London. We had to go and look for it and bring it back home. These years were also the years of my discovery of literature. I began writing poems. I did not know what made me write them: I was moved by an inner need that is difficult to define. Only now have I understood that there was a secret relationship between what I have called my expulsion from the present and the writing of poetry. Poetry is in love with the instant and seeks to relive it in the poem, thus separating it from sequential time and turning it into a fixed present. But at that time I wrote without wondering why I was doing it. I was searching for the gateway to the present: I wanted to belong to my time and to my century. A little later this obsession became a fixed idea: I wanted to be a modern poet. My search for modernity had begun.

What is modernity? First of all it is an ambiguous term: there are as many types of modernity as there are societies. Each has its own. The word's meaning is uncertain and arbitrary, like the name of the period that precedes it, the Middle Ages. If we are modern when compared to medieval times, are we perhaps the Middle Ages of a future modernity? Is a name that changes with time a real name? Modernity is a word in search of its meaning. Is it an idea, a mirage or a moment of history? Are we the children of modernity or its creators? Nobody knows for sure. It doesn't matter much: we follow it, we pursue it. For me at that time modernity was fused with the present or rather produced it: the present was its last supreme flower. My case is neither unique nor exceptional: from the Symbolist period, all modern poets have chased after that magnetic and elusive figure that fascinates them. Baudelaire was the first. He was also the first to touch her and discover that she is nothing but time that crumbles in one's hands. I am not going to relate my adventures in pursuit of modernity: they are not very different from those of other 20th-Century poets. Modernity has been a universal passion. Since 1850 she has been our goddess and our demoness. In recent years, there has been an attempt to exorcise her and there has been much talk of "postmodernism". But what is postmodernism if not an even more modern modernity?

For us, as Latin Americans, the search for poetic modernity runs historically parallel to the repeated attempts to modernize our countries. This tendency begins at the end of the 18th Century and includes Spain herself. The United States was born into modernity and by 1830 was already, as de Tocqueville observed, the womb of the future; we were born at a moment when Spain and Portugal were moving away from modernity. This is why there was frequent talk of "Europeanizing" our countries: the modern was outside and had to be imported. In Mexican history this process begins just before the War of Independence. Later it became a great ideological and political debate that passionately divided Mexican society during the 19th Century. One event was to call into question not the legitimacy of the reform movement but the way in which it had been implemented: the Mexican Revolution. Unlike its 20th-Century counterparts, the Mexican Revolution was not really the expression of a vaguely utopian ideology but rather the explosion of a reality that had been historically and psychologically repressed. It was not the work of a group of ideologists intent on introducing principles derived from a political theory; it was a popular uprising that unmasked what was hidden. For this very reason it was more of a revelation than a revolution. Mexico was searching for the present outside only to find it within, buried but alive. The search for modernity led
Elan that lifts me above the clouds
into pure space, timeless, yea eternal
Breath transmuted into words
                Transmuted back to breath
        in one hundred two hundred years
nearly Immortal, Sappho's 26 centuries
of cadenced breathing -- beyond time, clocks, empires, bodies, cars,
chariots, rocket ships skyscrapers, Nation empires
brass walls, polished marble, Inca Artwork
of the mind -- but where's it come from?
Inspiration?  The muses drawing breath for you?  God?
Nah, don't believe it, you'll get entangled in Heaven or Hell --
Guilt power, that makes the heart beat wake all night
flooding mind with space, echoing through future cities, Megalopolis or
Cretan village, Zeus' birth cave Lassithi Plains -- Otsego County
        farmhouse, Kansas front porch?
Buddha's a help, promises ordinary mind no nirvana --
coffee, alcohol, *******, mushrooms, marijuana, laughing gas?
Nope, too heavy for this lightness lifts the brain into blue sky
at May dawn when birds start singing on East 12th street --
Where does it come from, where does it go forever?

                                                May 1996
High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth or Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:—
  “Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!—
For, since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen,
I give not Heaven for lost: from this descent
Celestial Virtues rising will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate!—
Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven,
Did first create your leader—next, free choice
With what besides in council or in fight
Hath been achieved of merit—yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe, unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer’s aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction: for none sure will claim in Hell
Precedence; none whose portion is so small
Of present pain that with ambitious mind
Will covet more! With this advantage, then,
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assured us; and by what best way,
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate. Who can advise may speak.”
  He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
Stood up—the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair.
His trust was with th’ Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse,
He recked not, and these words thereafter spake:—
  “My sentence is for open war. Of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need; not now.
For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest—
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend—sit lingering here,
Heaven’s fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his ryranny who reigns
By our delay? No! let us rather choose,
Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
O’er Heaven’s high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his Angels, and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult, and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe!
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our porper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat; descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? Th’ ascent is easy, then;
Th’ event is feared! Should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction, if there be in Hell
Fear to be worse destroyed! What can be worse
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? More destroyed than thus,
We should be quite abolished, and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged,
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential—happier far
Than miserable to have eternal being!—
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.”
  He ended frowning, and his look denounced
Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous
To less than gods. On th’ other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane.
A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed
For dignity composed, and high exploit.
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low—
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began:—
  “I should be much for open war, O Peers,
As not behind in hate, if what was urged
Main reason to persuade immediate war
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels and in what excels
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are filled
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable: oft on the bodering Deep
Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing
Scout far and wide into the realm of Night,
Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
With blackest insurrection to confound
Heaven’s purest light, yet our great Enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted, and th’ ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th’ Almighty Victor to spend all his rage;
And that must end us; that must be our cure—
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
Can give it, or will ever? How he can
Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
Belike through impotence or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger whom his anger saves
To punish endless? ‘Wherefore cease we, then?’
Say they who counsel war; ‘we are decreed,
Reserved, and destined to eternal woe;
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse?’ Is this, then, worst—
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What when we fled amain, pursued and struck
With Heaven’s afflicting thunder, and besought
The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then seemed
A refuge from those wounds. Or when we lay
Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse.
What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage,
And plunge us in the flames; or from above
Should intermitted vengeance arm again
His red right hand to plague us? What if all
Her stores were opened, and this firmament
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps,
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled,
Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey
Or racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved,
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
War, therefore, open or concealed, alike
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views all things at one view? He from Heaven’s height
All these our motions vain sees and derides,
Not more almighty to resist our might
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we, then, live thus vile—the race of Heaven
Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here
Chains and these torments? Better these than worse,
By my advice; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
The Victor’s will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust
That so ordains. This was at first resolved,
If we were wise, against so great a foe
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh when those who at the spear are bold
And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, and fear
What yet they know must follow—to endure
Exile, or igominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now
Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit
His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed,
Not mind us not offending, satisfied
With what is punished; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not feel;
Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed
In temper and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain,
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light;
Besides what hope the never-ending flight
Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
Worth waiting—since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.”
  Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason’s garb,
Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth,
Not peace; and after him thus Mammon spake:—
  “Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
We war, if war be best, or to regain
Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then
May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
The latter; for what place can be for us
Within Heaven’s bound, unless Heaven’s Lord supreme
We overpower? Suppose he should relent
And publish grace to all, on promise made
Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne
With warbled hyms, and to his Godhead sing
Forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits
Our envied sovereign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings? This must be our task
In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome
Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
By force impossible, by leave obtained
Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,
We can create, and in what place soe’er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven’s all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne, from whence deep thunders roar.
Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell!
As he our darkness, cannot we his light
Imitate when we please? This desert soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
Our torments also may, in length of time,
Become our elements, these piercing fires
As soft as now severe, our temper changed
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.”
  He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
Th’ assembly as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o’erwatched, whose bark by chance
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
After the tempest. Such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them; and no less desire
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.
Which when Beelzebub perceived—than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat—with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night
Or summer’s noontide air, while thus he spake:—
  “Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven,
Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called
Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
Inclines—here to continue, and build up here
A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream,
And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt
From Heaven’s high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne, but to remain
In strictest *******, though thus far removed,
Under th’ inevitable curb, reserved
His captive multitude. For he, to be sure,
In height or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part
By our revolt, but over Hell extend
His empire, and with iron sceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determined us and foiled with loss
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
With dangerous expedition to invade
Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprise? There is a place
(If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven
Err not)—another World, the happy seat
Of some new race, called Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favoured more
Of him who rules above; so was his will
Pronounced among the Gods, and by an oath
That shook Heaven’s whole circumference confirmed.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
Or substance, how endued, and what their power
And where their weakness: how attempted best,
By force of subtlety. Though Heaven be shut,
And Heaven’s high Arbitrator sit secure
In his own strength, this place may lie exposed,
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it: here, perhaps,
Some advantageous act may be achieved
By sudden onset—either with Hell-fire
To waste his whole creation, or possess
All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
****** them to our party, that their God
May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish his own works. This would surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling sons,
Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse
Their frail original, and faded bliss—
Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.” Thus beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel—first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed: for whence,
But
Procrastination?
What is that I've never heard of such a thing.
But maybe because I'm to busy procrastinating to hear it,
I am mike,
I am not a poet, a leader, a storyteller, or an academic,
I am a dreamer, a gamer, a man of many things,
I would rather let life pass me by and sit in my game,
Than to deal with the drama of reality.
It is not that I don't like reality,
It is that reality is too busy,
With school and work
Facebook and friends
Learning and imagining
Are they even one in the same
I love my games because it allows my mind to run wild
From building empires in Minecraft to taming creatures in Pokemon
Games are a way I can re envision my world
They allow kids to show their creative side something education removed long ago.
So I stand before you asking,
What is procrastination,
I'd rather play my game and imagine.
My life seems to pass by but in my one life span I have lived dozens of others.
O Sovereign power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks--all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
Many old rotten-timber'd boats there be
Upon thy vaporous *****, magnified
To goodly vessels; many a sail of pride,
And golden keel'd, is left unlaunch'd and dry.
But wherefore this? What care, though owl did fly
About the great Athenian admiral's mast?
What care, though striding Alexander past
The Indus with his Macedonian numbers?
Though old Ulysses tortured from his slumbers
The glutted Cyclops, what care?--Juliet leaning
Amid her window-flowers,--sighing,--weaning
Tenderly her fancy from its maiden snow,
Doth more avail than these: the silver flow
Of Hero's tears, the swoon of Imogen,
Fair Pastorella in the bandit's den,
Are things to brood on with more ardency
Than the death-day of empires. Fearfully
Must such conviction come upon his head,
Who, thus far, discontent, has dared to tread,
Without one muse's smile, or kind behest,
The path of love and poesy. But rest,
In chaffing restlessness, is yet more drear
Than to be crush'd, in striving to uprear
Love's standard on the battlements of song.
So once more days and nights aid me along,
Like legion'd soldiers.

                        Brain-sick shepherd-prince,
What promise hast thou faithful guarded since
The day of sacrifice? Or, have new sorrows
Come with the constant dawn upon thy morrows?
Alas! 'tis his old grief. For many days,
Has he been wandering in uncertain ways:
Through wilderness, and woods of mossed oaks;
Counting his woe-worn minutes, by the strokes
Of the lone woodcutter; and listening still,
Hour after hour, to each lush-leav'd rill.
Now he is sitting by a shady spring,
And elbow-deep with feverous *******
Stems the upbursting cold: a wild rose tree
Pavilions him in bloom, and he doth see
A bud which snares his fancy: lo! but now
He plucks it, dips its stalk in the water: how!
It swells, it buds, it flowers beneath his sight;
And, in the middle, there is softly pight
A golden butterfly; upon whose wings
There must be surely character'd strange things,
For with wide eye he wonders, and smiles oft.

  Lightly this little herald flew aloft,
Follow'd by glad Endymion's clasped hands:
Onward it flies. From languor's sullen bands
His limbs are loos'd, and eager, on he hies
Dazzled to trace it in the sunny skies.
It seem'd he flew, the way so easy was;
And like a new-born spirit did he pass
Through the green evening quiet in the sun,
O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun,
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreams
The summer time away. One track unseams
A wooded cleft, and, far away, the blue
Of ocean fades upon him; then, anew,
He sinks adown a solitary glen,
Where there was never sound of mortal men,
Saving, perhaps, some snow-light cadences
Melting to silence, when upon the breeze
Some holy bark let forth an anthem sweet,
To cheer itself to Delphi. Still his feet
Went swift beneath the merry-winged guide,
Until it reached a splashing fountain's side
That, near a cavern's mouth, for ever pour'd
Unto the temperate air: then high it soar'd,
And, downward, suddenly began to dip,
As if, athirst with so much toil, 'twould sip
The crystal spout-head: so it did, with touch
Most delicate, as though afraid to smutch
Even with mealy gold the waters clear.
But, at that very touch, to disappear
So fairy-quick, was strange! Bewildered,
Endymion sought around, and shook each bed
Of covert flowers in vain; and then he flung
Himself along the grass. What gentle tongue,
What whisperer disturb'd his gloomy rest?
It was a nymph uprisen to the breast
In the fountain's pebbly margin, and she stood
'**** lilies, like the youngest of the brood.
To him her dripping hand she softly kist,
And anxiously began to plait and twist
Her ringlets round her fingers, saying: "Youth!
Too long, alas, hast thou starv'd on the ruth,
The bitterness of love: too long indeed,
Seeing thou art so gentle. Could I ****
Thy soul of care, by heavens, I would offer
All the bright riches of my crystal coffer
To Amphitrite; all my clear-eyed fish,
Golden, or rainbow-sided, or purplish,
Vermilion-tail'd, or finn'd with silvery gauze;
Yea, or my veined pebble-floor, that draws
A ****** light to the deep; my grotto-sands
Tawny and gold, ooz'd slowly from far lands
By my diligent springs; my level lilies, shells,
My charming rod, my potent river spells;
Yes, every thing, even to the pearly cup
Meander gave me,--for I bubbled up
To fainting creatures in a desert wild.
But woe is me, I am but as a child
To gladden thee; and all I dare to say,
Is, that I pity thee; that on this day
I've been thy guide; that thou must wander far
In other regions, past the scanty bar
To mortal steps, before thou cans't be ta'en
From every wasting sigh, from every pain,
Into the gentle ***** of thy love.
Why it is thus, one knows in heaven above:
But, a poor Naiad, I guess not. Farewel!
I have a ditty for my hollow cell."

  Hereat, she vanished from Endymion's gaze,
Who brooded o'er the water in amaze:
The dashing fount pour'd on, and where its pool
Lay, half asleep, in grass and rushes cool,
Quick waterflies and gnats were sporting still,
And fish were dimpling, as if good nor ill
Had fallen out that hour. The wanderer,
Holding his forehead, to keep off the burr
Of smothering fancies, patiently sat down;
And, while beneath the evening's sleepy frown
Glow-worms began to trim their starry lamps,
Thus breath'd he to himself: "Whoso encamps
To take a fancied city of delight,
O what a wretch is he! and when 'tis his,
After long toil and travelling, to miss
The kernel of his hopes, how more than vile:
Yet, for him there's refreshment even in toil;
Another city doth he set about,
Free from the smallest pebble-bead of doubt
That he will seize on trickling honey-combs:
Alas, he finds them dry; and then he foams,
And onward to another city speeds.
But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination's struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are sill the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence, and to shew
How quiet death is. Where soil is men grow,
Whether to weeds or flowers; but for me,
There is no depth to strike in: I can see
Nought earthly worth my compassing; so stand
Upon a misty, jutting head of land--
Alone? No, no; and by the Orphean lute,
When mad Eurydice is listening to 't;
I'd rather stand upon this misty peak,
With not a thing to sigh for, or to seek,
But the soft shadow of my thrice-seen love,
Than be--I care not what. O meekest dove
Of heaven! O Cynthia, ten-times bright and fair!
From thy blue throne, now filling all the air,
Glance but one little beam of temper'd light
Into my *****, that the dreadful might
And tyranny of love be somewhat scar'd!
Yet do not so, sweet queen; one torment spar'd,
Would give a pang to jealous misery,
Worse than the torment's self: but rather tie
Large wings upon my shoulders, and point out
My love's far dwelling. Though the playful rout
Of Cupids shun thee, too divine art thou,
Too keen in beauty, for thy silver prow
Not to have dipp'd in love's most gentle stream.
O be propitious, nor severely deem
My madness impious; for, by all the stars
That tend thy bidding, I do think the bars
That kept my spirit in are burst--that I
Am sailing with thee through the dizzy sky!
How beautiful thou art! The world how deep!
How tremulous-dazzlingly the wheels sweep
Around their axle! Then these gleaming reins,
How lithe! When this thy chariot attains
Is airy goal, haply some bower veils
Those twilight eyes? Those eyes!--my spirit fails--
Dear goddess, help! or the wide-gaping air
Will gulph me--help!"--At this with madden'd stare,
And lifted hands, and trembling lips he stood;
Like old Deucalion mountain'd o'er the flood,
Or blind Orion hungry for the morn.
And, but from the deep cavern there was borne
A voice, he had been froze to senseless stone;
Nor sigh of his, nor plaint, nor passion'd moan
Had more been heard. Thus swell'd it forth: "Descend,
Young mountaineer! descend where alleys bend
Into the sparry hollows of the world!
Oft hast thou seen bolts of the thunder hurl'd
As from thy threshold, day by day hast been
A little lower than the chilly sheen
Of icy pinnacles, and dipp'dst thine arms
Into the deadening ether that still charms
Their marble being: now, as deep profound
As those are high, descend! He ne'er is crown'd
With immortality, who fears to follow
Where airy voices lead: so through the hollow,
The silent mysteries of earth, descend!"

  He heard but the last words, nor could contend
One moment in reflection: for he fled
Into the fearful deep, to hide his head
From the clear moon, the trees, and coming madness.

  'Twas far too strange, and wonderful for sadness;
Sharpening, by degrees, his appetite
To dive into the deepest. Dark, nor light,
The region; nor bright, nor sombre wholly,
But mingled up; a gleaming melancholy;
A dusky empire and its diadems;
One faint eternal eventide of gems.
Aye, millions sparkled on a vein of gold,
Along whose track the prince quick footsteps told,
With all its lines abrupt and angular:
Out-shooting sometimes, like a meteor-star,
Through a vast antre; then the metal woof,
Like Vulcan's rainbow, with some monstrous roof
Curves hugely: now, far in the deep abyss,
It seems an angry lightning, and doth hiss
Fancy into belief: anon it leads
Through winding passages, where sameness breeds
Vexing conceptions of some sudden change;
Whether to silver grots, or giant range
Of sapphire columns, or fantastic bridge
Athwart a flood of crystal. On a ridge
Now fareth he, that o'er the vast beneath
Towers like an ocean-cliff, and whence he seeth
A hundred waterfalls, whose voices come
But as the murmuring surge. Chilly and numb
His ***** grew, when first he, far away,
Descried an orbed diamond, set to fray
Old darkness from his throne: 'twas like the sun
Uprisen o'er chaos: and with such a stun
Came the amazement, that, absorb'd in it,
He saw not fiercer wonders--past the wit
Of any spirit to tell, but one of those
Who, when this planet's sphering time doth close,
Will be its high remembrancers: who they?
The mighty ones who have made eternal day
For Greece and England. While astonishment
With deep-drawn sighs was quieting, he went
Into a marble gallery, passing through
A mimic temple, so complete and true
In sacred custom, that he well nigh fear'd
To search it inwards, whence far off appear'd,
Through a long pillar'd vista, a fair shrine,
And, just beyond, on light tiptoe divine,
A quiver'd Dian. Stepping awfully,
The youth approach'd; oft turning his veil'd eye
Down sidelong aisles, and into niches old.
And when, more near against the marble cold
He had touch'd his forehead, he began to thread
All courts and passages, where silence dead
Rous'd by his whispering footsteps murmured faint:
And long he travers'd to and fro, to acquaint
Himself with every mystery, and awe;
Till, weary, he sat down before the maw
Of a wide outlet, fathomless and dim
To wild uncertainty and shadows grim.
There, when new wonders ceas'd to float before,
And thoughts of self came on, how crude and sore
The journey homeward to habitual self!
A mad-pursuing of the fog-born elf,
Whose flitting lantern, through rude nettle-briar,
Cheats us into a swamp, into a fire,
Into the ***** of a hated thing.

  What misery most drowningly doth sing
In lone Endymion's ear, now he has caught
The goal of consciousness? Ah, 'tis the thought,
The deadly feel of solitude: for lo!
He cannot see the heavens, nor the flow
Of rivers, nor hill-flowers running wild
In pink and purple chequer, nor, up-pil'd,
The cloudy rack slow journeying in the west,
Like herded elephants; nor felt, nor prest
Cool grass, nor tasted the fresh slumberous air;
But far from such companionship to wear
An unknown time, surcharg'd with grief, away,
Was now his lot. And must he patient stay,
Tracing fantastic figures with his spear?
"No!" exclaimed he, "why should I tarry here?"
No! loudly echoed times innumerable.
At which he straightway started, and 'gan tell
His paces back into the temple's chief;
Warming and glowing strong in the belief
Of help from Dian: so that when again
He caught her airy form, thus did he plain,
Moving more near the while. "O Haunter chaste
Of river sides, and woods, and heathy waste,
Where with thy silver bow and arrows keen
Art thou now forested? O woodland Queen,
What smoothest air thy smoother forehead woos?
Where dost thou listen to the wide halloos
Of thy disparted nymphs? Through what dark tree
Glimmers thy crescent? Wheresoe'er it be,
'Tis in the breath of heaven: thou dost taste
Freedom as none can taste it, nor dost waste
Thy loveliness in dismal elements;
But, finding in our green earth sweet contents,
There livest blissfully. Ah, if to thee
It feels Elysian, how rich to me,
An exil'd mortal, sounds its pleasant name!
Within my breast there lives a choking flame--
O let me cool it among the zephyr-boughs!
A homeward fever parches up my tongue--
O let me slake it at the running springs!
Upon my ear a noisy nothing rings--
O let me once more hear the linnet's note!
Before mine eyes thick films and shadows float--
O let me 'noint them with the heaven's light!
Dost thou now lave thy feet and ankles white?
O think how sweet to me the freshening sluice!
Dost thou now please thy thirst with berry-juice?
O think how this dry palate would rejoice!
If in soft slumber thou dost hear my voice,
Oh think how I should love a bed of flowers!--
Young goddess! let me see my native bowers!
Deliver me from this rapacious deep!"

  Thus ending loudly, as he would o'erleap
His destiny, alert he stood: but when
Obstinate silence came heavily again,
Feeling about for its old couch of space
And airy cradle, lowly bow'd his face
Desponding, o'er the marble floor's cold thrill.
But 'twas not long; for, sweeter than the rill
To its old channel, or a swollen tide
To margin sallows, were the leaves he spied,
And flowers, and wreaths, and ready myrtle crowns
Up heaping through the slab: refreshment drowns
Itself, and strives its own delights to hide--
Nor in one spot alone; the floral pride
In a long whispering birth enchanted grew
Before his footsteps; as when heav'd anew
Old ocean rolls a lengthened wave to the shore,
Down whose green back the short-liv'd foam, all ****,
Bursts gradual, with a wayward indolence.

  Increasing still in heart, and pleasant sense,
Upon his fairy journey on he hastes;
So anxious for the end, he scarcely wastes
One moment with his hand among the sweets:
Onward he goes--he stops--his ***** beats
As plainly in his ear, as the faint charm
Of which the throbs were born. This still alarm,
This sleepy music, forc'd him walk tiptoe:
For it came more softly than the east could blow
Arion's magic to the Atlantic isles;
Or than the west, made jealous by the smiles
Of thron'd Apollo, could breathe back the lyre
To seas Ionian and Tyrian.

  O did he ever live, that lonely man,
Who lov'd--and music slew not? 'Tis the pest
Of love, that fairest joys give most unrest;
That things of delicate and tenderest worth
Are swallow'd all, and made a seared dearth,
By one consuming flame: it doth immerse
And suffocate true blessings in a curse.
Half-happy, by comparison of bliss,
Is miserable. 'Twas even so with this
Dew-dropping melody, in the Carian's ear;
First heaven, then hell, and then forgotten clear,
Vanish'd in elemental passion.

  And down some swart abysm he had gone,
Had not a heavenly guide benignant led
To where thick myrt
A man, who never believed in Gods,
Refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the imperialist British Lords,
Challenged imperialist world empire with stubbornness,
Wished to build a peaceful superpower country, with farsightedness.

Through his reading, kept himself on evolution,
Sowed in the hearts of Indian youth, the seeds of revolution,
Raising and threatening administrative tones,
Stood fearful and could only break his bones.

From, soviet World misunderstood,
Revolution a product of blood & bullet,
He approached and transformed revolution,
A product of inspiring pen and booklet.

Never limited himself to fight for boundaries of administrative right,
Expanded himself in the jail to throw away human plight,
Fought a death-nearing battle to regain the human right,
To finally set all things for his jail mates completely right.

Pen is mightier than sword,
His life bore testimony to prove that record,
When others attempted for freedom movement to nurture,
He dreamt and worked for building his country a beautiful future.

Born an ordinary Sikh man,
Misinterpreted a lunatic gunman,

Lived a life of comrades,
Hated in every step, caste, religious and gender retrogrades,
Wanted to save his country from blood-******* renegades,
Decided to break all the youth-distorting barricades,
And put his life to a mortgaging death trade.

Lived a life of an unselfish tree,
Decided to give his life to witness the country free,
Evolved his life, a chapter of sacrifice,
Offered overprice to fight the imposed injustice & cowardice.


His physical life remained short-lived and temporary,
Lived for the country to set an example for ideal revolutionary,
Beaten by humanimal imperialists, black and blue,
Opened the youths towards fight for freedom, on a new avenue.

Imperialist empire remained pathetically cruel,
His thoughts & phenomenon inspired a never ending fuel,
For the youths, to sacrifice themselves for liberation of the soil,
Through revolutionary paths, filled with constant sufferings and toil.

The world personified, revolution is,
Red, blood, blood and blood,
He defied and responded, revolution is,
Think, evolve, unite, and change, by the act of read, read, read and read.

He proclaimed a desperate need,
To get ourselves away from disturbing ****,
Sowed the fire of revolutionary seed,
Thus stated to read, read and read.

Imperialist empires killed people like blood-******* vampires,
He fought and responded, with the shot of a demonstrative gunfire,
When ordinary humans aimed to save their family,
Every millisecond, lived a life, personifying whole country his family.

Like a wood that offers light, and burns itself in fire,
Gave freedom a ray of light, submitted himself happily into the death wire,
For revolution, turned the court his Centre of propaganda,
Responded the ruthless imperialist, a warning memoranda.

On the imperialist death rope, he was killed
The batons he passed for the youths of next generations,
His final dream for India, still unfulfilled,
On the presence of present blood-******* politicians,

A baby that never cries on starvation,
A child that never starves for education,
A youth who never roams around to get dignified occupation,
Let’s at least work and fight towards, fulfilling this mission.
This poem is about the Indian revolutionary named Bhagat Singh. He was a Sikh youth born in India. He is wrongly misinterpreted with bullets and blood. But his approach towards freedom, worthiness of human life and knowledge, shows him distinct from violent loving extremists. He was not a terrorist. He was the most non-violent person, who valued human life than everything. The bomb he threw never had any harmful chemicals, it was thrown on an empty place of assembly to get the world to hear him. He killed a police, who deliberately lathi-charged and killed people involved in a peaceful protest. He sacrificed his life for Indian freedom movement. He was the highly-read and the best intellectual reader during his life short-lived (1907-1931). At the age of 24, the then imperialist British executed him by hanging him to death. His vision and clarity for India and his predictions are happening today. His vision and thoughts still ignite youths of India when we think of him. In short, he is an icon of the Indian youth and revolutionary.
Juhlhaus Jan 2019
Wellspring of blood and gold
In flame and glory ever
Doest thou faithful rise
Cast off thy vapor shrouds
Radiance of ancient godhood undimmed

Magnified by singing ice
As prophesied in the late darkness thy
Hoped triumph heralded while
Bearers chained on metalled rails
Muttered protest under
Hoary breath of polar air

But lo! The brazen promise of thine
Image graven in beholder's eye
Rings hollow in the bitten ears
And the stung flesh
Feels thy boasted fire
Not at all

Above thee stands the city's goddess proud
So virile once thou smilest
Upon her white clad shoulder now
Ceres scorns thine impotence turns not
But fixes her steeled gaze
On the frozen north
Mythos of a -15˚F Chicago sunrise.
Kayleigh Redwine Nov 2010
Built against the sky,
lets watch them crumble
at our feet.

Emerge, with me,
from the wreckage.

And I'll carry the weight of your world.
© Kayleigh Redwine November 29th, 2010
i have a break at 12 o'clock
will you please come over
you don’t have to knock
i’ll leave the door open
it will be unlocked
a bouquet of flowers
i’ll have in stock
a vase and a candle
a knife and a blade
a face and a cigarette
its all about the way we explain
i mean rationalize away
do time-lines justify our decline into tyranny
send me back again to sublime infancy
retrofit the celibate instigator
lemniscate the elephant’s fingerprints
impress me with wit and charm
storm troopers unarmed
star-gazers, shadow-haters, sand-blasters, ice-skaters,
morning's lovers, fathers, daughters, shoulders and elbows
rub brows and crease foreheads
wrinkles in your timelines
define lines as destiny unwinds
reminds me of blinding light
the heights of old empires
sire warriors, stories as tall as soldiers
for real, heal the split between mind and body
kindly, lovingly, bump up against me
and kiss me again
i am music fused together with eternity
space and dust and rusted armpits
a hundred diamonds, drops of sweat
skin like leather, weatherproof, foolproof too
determine to use it all
for you are the muse of all
do as you need to
fuse it together lest it come apart again
return to heaven and mend the tear
split the hair or the atom
magic is a language
tragic is the cancerous neglect of syntax
emptiness is manic
gargantuan attacks of presence
defenseless, we are taught worthless ****
neglect it, but remember important words
stories, looms of drawings
forming in my mind’s eye
i cannot be bought or controlled by pirates
the best moments are private
you are not invited
so go home and create your own zone of entertainment
its necessary
your gentle fingers
blessing my soul
courage to roll with life’s blows
no need for stoics
or poets who deny reality’s arguments
slippery slopes
walking tight ropes
can you cope with all this mistletoe
restring your bow
dance in the snow as if everyone knows
you are crazy in love with the whole
motionless vision swift as an arrow
roofless rooms
prom queens flip you off and turn you on
sons and daughters, lions of the prairie
a child portable and small
respects the walls that you’ve made
they are not your cage but your shelter
self culture is affluent and not arrogant
sand mandalas tall as waterfalls
golden rainbows pour from the faucet in the sky
like mighty images
wisdom bridges the gaps in our imagination
i can’t wait to get this on the page
written in stone, reflecting thrones
made from the bones of pharaohs
consciousness narrows as you approach
are you a cockroach, coach or a student
strokes of wonder for different folks
cold call your own homes
do you prioritize lightning over thunder
words over rubber
sandwiches to clutter
are you interested in diamonds or other
precious gemstones
that flutter like butterflies when i utter
emeralds like butter
do you waste time arranging your clutter
stuttering utter nonsense
frequencies wasted, gentleness chased away
fantasies radioactive
magic lacks targets
darkens our fathers
keep chasing actions
satisfaction is attractive
your eyes are like fragments of rubies in the fire
i see beauty in desire, features in the sky
i look skyward and see higher
minds are wired to remain stagnant
stranded in a lack of entertainment
change this and make your own amazement
wonder over thunder, lick me down under
gone asunder like the burning acropolis
topple this bottomlessness
can't stop this, its impossible
i wonder do you make blunders
in underground mountains
we shout words like fountains shoot water
curtains topple over
and form a blanket over our consciousness
after our performances
swarms of crazy people leave the theater
shattered and too stunned to speak
to ****** to leak they keep walking down south
toward Plymouth Rock,
Mammoth Mountian or Rehoboth Beach
take stock of the situation and just move
first one out is rewarded
sordid and sorted like straw from the hay stacks
caskets of black iron casings
tastings of wine whose shelf-life is expired
past due cheese overripe and stinky
like mustard dusted with lightning
striking on time is all that we have
thinking that was a close call
we fall down and get up, remove the uppercuts
and lowercases from our mouths
doubt is a ***** word heard too often,
coughing from a coffin she offers me her hand
cold as ice cream, these nouns are deafening
love is lazy like a muffin
and hot like a dumpling
but a liaison with time cannot be rushed
i have lived long enough to learn this
a privilege to give birth to this moment
again and again vintage feathers
send me your sweaters
detest impostors who give robotic answers
i am in wonder at all this grammar
that i was unaware of
ignorant as mustard
and smooth like custard
in this blustery weather
i am glad i wore a sweater
and have an umbrella
to keep me dry and safe
i am in love walking toward the gate
and boarding that plane
i am your heart served on a plate
with a side of coleslaw, soul food for dinner
you are a winner and i am your hunger
a porcelain gravestone
a copper bathtub with claws
stored in your basement
storerooms cold as a skating rink
please don't think, unless its about me
let sentences drift away
while we chase arguments from yesterday's
armistice

Robert Ronnow Nov 2019
Empires and rivers, time and space, man and nature.
Yet nothing, nothing satisfies like clear sinuses and arteries.
The struggle to express and understand is seemingly futile.
Pope’s Iliad, Milton’s Paradise, Armand Schwerner’s Dante.

Chemotherapy, quatrains, everything rhymes with comedy.
Good luck saying anything useful. Solutions to the equations
Are called wave functions or orbitals. Armpits and genitals.
Three *****, two strikes, full count. First and goal. Global

Warning.
So far, a few pages into his tome, Easterbrook has one useful
Idea:  "In almost every ecological category, nature for millions of centuries has been generating worse problems than any created by people. U.S. factories, power plants and vehicles emit about 19 million tons per year of sulfur dioxide, the chief cause of acid rain. Yet in 1991, the Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines emitted an estimated 30 million tons of sulfur dioxide in just a few hours. Ongoing natural processes such as volcanic outgassing and ocean chemistry put about 100 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Nature has spent vast spans of time learning to cope with acid rain, greenhouse gases, climate change, deforestation, radiation, species loss, waste, and other problems we humans so quaintly believe ourselves hurling at the environment for the first time."
One of nature’s coping mechanisms is species extinction. As for the
      individual,

Being good or bad, rational or instinctual, violent or compassionate
Are survival strategies. The economist in you wonders
Why care about the future, the dead don’t live to see it.
Life is a river and the self is an empire. Read their poems.

Or any other mountain with a fiery *****.
Am I the only one here who is sexually aroused by certain landscapes,
      ridges like *****, gorgeous vaginas.
He wanted to get the world into his poem so he did. She wanted to know
      one person or place intimately
so she did. The substance of Easterbrook’s argument: what doesn’t **** the
      biome makes it stronger.

"The coveted Phantom, Bogle’s apparition of three unique varietals, combines lush berry and fierce spice into a wine of complex character. Vivid essence of black pepper, dark fruit and juniper haunts the nose, while brighter flavors of blackberries and blueberries glance off the palate. From the shadows, toasty cinnamon and nutmeg emerge, subtly embracing the deeply luscious and succulent fruit to create a full-bodied, ruby-rich wine captured in 1, 2 and 3 year old American oak barrels."

Being good is its own reward, but what’s good!
I can take you and you and you and you and win.
That tiny Buddha, intricately carved, among the hemlocks, near the
      stream cutting the gorge, a parallelogram of white birch bark for
      a prayer mat,
Is gone.

Did a selfish traveler or the original owner take him far?
Although he had reorganized the woods around him like Stevens’ jar
I find the woods remain organized and orderly without him.
I go home and the naming of things goes on.

"Each of the planet’s cultures is a unique answer to the question of what it means to be human. And together they make up our repertoire for dealing with the challenges that will confront our species in the millennia to come. Consider the achievements of the Polynesians. Ten centuries before Christ—at a time when European sailors, incapable of measuring longitude and fearful of the open ocean, hugged the shores of continents—the Polynesians set sail across the Pacific, a diaspora that would eventually bring them to every island from Hawaii to Rapa Nui, the Marquesas to New Zealand. They had no written word. They only knew where they were by remembering how they got there. Over the length of a long voyage the navigator had to remember every shift of wind, every change of current and speed, every impression from sea, sky and cloud. Even today Polynesian sailors, with whom I have voyaged, readily name 250 stars in the night sky. Their navigators can sense the presence of distant atolls of islands beyond the visible horizon by watching the reverberation of waves across the hull of their vessels, knowing that every island group has its own reflective pattern that can be read with the ease with which a forensic scientist reads a fingerprint. In the darkness they can discern five distinct ocean swells, distinguishing those caused by local weather disturbances from the deep currents that pulsate across the Pacific and can be followed as readily as a terrestrial explorer would follow a river to the sea."
Easterbrook, Gregg, A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism, Penguin Books, 1996.
--Davis, Wade, “Last of Their Kind: What Is Lost When Cultures Die?”,
Scientific American, September 2010.
Martin Narrod Feb 2015
Part I


the plateau. the truest of them all. coast line. night spells and even controlled by the dream of meeting again. the ribbon of darker than light in your crown. No region overlooked. Third picnic table to the drive at Half Moon Bay, meet me there, decant my speech there. the table by the restroom block. While the tide is in show me your oyster garden, 3:00p.m. at half-light here in the evilest torments that have been shed.---------------door locked.  The moors. Cow herds and lymph nodes, rancorous afternoon West light and bending roads, the cliffs, a sister, the need to jump. There is nothing as serious as this. There is nothing nor no one that could ever, or would ever on this side come between. Who needs sleep or jokes or snow or rivers or bombs or to turn or be a rat or a fly or ceiling fan or a gurney or a cadaver or piece of cloth or a bed spread or a couch or a game or the flint of a lighter or the bell of a dress; the bell of your dress, yes, perhaps. Having been crushed like orange cigarette light in a pool of Spanish tongues. I feel the heave, the pull; not a yawn but a wired, thread-like twist about my core. Up around the neck it makes the first cut, through the eyes out and into the nostrils down over the left arm, on the inside of the bicep, contorting my length, feigning sleep, and then cutting over my stomach, around and around multiples of times- pulled at the hips and under the groin, across each leg and in-between each nerve, capillary, artery, hair, dot, dimple, muscle, to the toes and in-between them. Wiry dream-like and nervous nightmarish, hellacious plateaus of leapers. Penguin heads and more penguin heads. Startling torment. The evilest of the vile mind. The dance of despair: if feet contorted and bound could move. The beach off Belmont. The hills and the reasons I stared. Caveat after caveat at the heads of letters, on the heads of crowns, and the wrists, and on the palms. Being pulled and signed, and moved away so greatly and so heavily at once in a moment, that even if it were a year or a set of many months it would always be a moment too taking away to be considered an expanse, and it would be too hellacious to be presumptuous. It could only be a shadow over my right shoulder as I write the letters over and again. One after another. Internally I ask if I would even grant a convo with Keats or Yeats or Plath or Hughes? Does mine come close? Does it matter the bellies reddish and cerise giving of pain? Does it have to have many names?


"This is the only Earth," I would say with the bouquet of lilies spread out on the table. Are lilies only for funerals, I would never make or risk or wish this metaphor, even play it like the drawn out notes of a melody unwritten and un-played: my black box and latched, corner of the room saxophone. Top-floor, end of the hall two-room never-ending story, I'm the left side of the bed Chicago and I see pink walls, bathrooms, the two masonite paintings, the Chanel books, the bookshelves, the white desk, the white dresser, you on the left side of the bed in such sentimental woe, **** carpet and tilted blinds, and still the moors and the whispering in the driver's seat in afternoon pasture. Sunset, sunrise, nighttime and bike room writing in other places, apartments, rooms where I inked out fingertips, blights, and moods; nothing ever being so bleak, so eerily woe-like or stoic. Nothing has ever made me so serious.

Put it on the rib, in a t-shirt. Make it a hand and guide it up a set of two skinny legs under a short-sheeted bed in small room and literary Belmont, address included. Trash cans set out morning and night, deck-readied cigarette smoking. Sliding glass door and kitchen fright. Low-lit living room white couch, kaleidoscope, and zoetrope. Spin me right round baby right round. I am my own revenge of toxic night. Attack the skin, the soul, the eyes, the mind, and the lids. The finger lids and their tips. Rot it out. Blearing wild and deafening blow after blow: left side of the bed the both of us, whilst stirs the intrepid hate and ousts each ******* tongue I can bellow and blow.

Last resort lake note in snow bank and my river speak and forest walk. Wrapped in blocks and boxes, Christmas packaging and giant over-sized red ribbons and bows. Shall I mention the bassinet, the stroller, the yard, several rings of gold and silver, several necklaces of black and thread? I draw dagger from box, jagged ended and paper-wrapped in white and amber: lit in candle light and black room shadow-kept and sleeping partisan unforgettable forever. Do I mention Hawaii, my mother dying, invisible ligatures and the unveiling of the sweat and horror? Villainous and frightening, the breath as a bleat or heart-beat and matchstick stirring slightly every friends' woe and tantrum of their spirit.

Lobster-legged, waiting, sifting through the sea shore at the sea line, the bright tyrannosaurs in mahogany, in maple, and in twine over throw rose meadow over-looks, honey-brimming and warehouse built terrariums in the underbelly of the ravine, twist and turn: road bending, hollowing, in and out and in and out, forever, the everlasting and too fastidious driving towards; and it's but what .2 miles? I sign my name but I'll never get out. I am mocked and musing at tortoise speed. Headless while improvising. Purring at any example of continue or extremity or coolness of mind, meddling, or temptation. I rock, bellowing. Talk, sending shivers up my spine. I'm cramped, and one thousand fore-words and after words that split like a million large chunks of spit, grime, and *****; **** and more ****. I might even be standing now. I could be a candle, in England, a kingdom, in Palo Alto, a rook in St. Petersburg. Mottled by giants or sleepless nights, I could be the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, a heated marble flower or the figure dying to be carved out. I'm veering off highways, I'm belittling myself: this heathen of the unforgettable, the bog man and bow-tied vagrant of dross falsification and dross despair. I am at the sea shore, tide-righted and tongue-tide, bilingual, and multi-inhibited by sweat, spit, quaffs of sea salt, lake water, and the like. Rotten wergild ridden- stitched of a poor man's ringworm and his tattered top hat and knee-holed trousers. I'm at the sea shore, with the cucumbers dying, the rain coming in sideways, the drifts and the sandbars twisting and turning. I'm at the sea shore with the light house bruise-bending the sweet ships of victory out backwards into the backwaters of a mislead moonlight; guitars playing, beeps disappearing, pianos swept like black coffees on green walled night clubs, arenose and eroding, grainy and distraught, bleeding and well, just bleeding.






I'm at the sea shore, the coastline calling. I've got rocks in my pockets, ******* and two lines left in the letter. I’m at the sea shore, my mouth is a ghost. I've seen nothing but darkness. I'm at the seashore, second picnic table, bench facing the squat and gobble, the tin roof and riled weir near the roadside. .2 and I'm still here with my bouquet wading and waiting. I'm at the sea shore and there's nobody here. My inches are growing shorter by the second, cold, whet by the sunset, its moon men, their heavy claws and bi-laws overthrowing and throwing me out. The thorns stick. The tyrannosaurs scream. I'm at the sea shore, plateau, left bedside to write three more letters. Sign my name and there's nobody here.

I'm at the sea shore: here are my lips, my palms (both of them facing up), here are my legs (twine and all), my torso, and my head shooting sideways. I'm at the seashore and this is my grave, this is my purposeful calotype, my hide and go seek, my show and tell, my forever. .2 and forever and never ending. I was just one dream away come and keep me. I'm at the sea shore come and see me and seam me. I'm without nothing, the sky has drifted, the sea is leaving, my seat is a matchbox and I'm all wound up. The snow settling, the ice box and its glory taken for granted. I'm at the sea shore and there's nobody here. The room with its white sets of furniture, the lilies, the Chanel, the masonite paintings, the bed, your ribbon of darker on light, the throw rug **** carpet, pink walled sister's room, and the couch at the top of the stairs. I'm at the sea shore, my windows opened wide, my skin thrown with threat, rhinoceri, reddish bruises bent of cerise staled sunsets. I'm at the sea shore and there's nobody here. I'm at the plateau and there isn't a single ship. There are the rocks below and I'm counting. My caveats all implored and my goodbyes written. I'm in my bed and the sleep never set in. I'm name dropping God and there's nobody there. I'm in a chair with my hands on a keyboard, listening to Danish throb-rock, horse-riding into candle light on a wicked wedding of wild words and teary-eyed gazes and gazers. Bent by the rocking and the torment, the wild and the weird, the horror and everything horrifying. There is this shadow looking over my shoulder. I'm all alone but I feel like you're here.



Part II




I wake up in Panama. The axe there. Sleeping on the floors in the guest bedroom, the floor of the garden shed, the choir closet, the rut of dirt at the end of the flower bed; just a towel, grayish-blue, alone, lawnmower at my side, and sky blue setting all around. I was a family man. No I just taste bits of dirt watching a quiet and contrary feeling of cool limestone wrap over and about my arms and my legs. Lungs battered by snapping tongues, and ancient conversations; I think it was the Malaysian Express. Mom quieted. Sister quieted. Father wept. And is still weeping. Never have I heard such horrifying and un-kindly words.-----------------------It's going to take giant steel cavernous explorations of the nose, brain cell after brain cell quartered, giant ******* quaffs of alcohol, harboring false lanterns and even worse chemicals. Inhalations and more inhalations. I'm going to need to leap, flight, drop into bodies of waters from air planes and swallow capsules of psychotropics, sedatives beyond recalcitrance. I'm requiring shock treatments and shock values. Periodic elements and galvanized steel drums. Malevolence and more malevolence. Forest walks, and why am I still in Panama. I don't want to talk, to sleep, to dream, to play stale-mating games of chess, checkers, Monopoly, or anything Risk involving. I can't sleep, eat, treaty or retreat. I'm wickeded by temptations of grandeur and threats of anomaly, widening only in proverb and swept only by opposing endeavors. Horrified, enveloped, pictured and persuaded by the evilest of haunts, spirits, and match head weeping women. I can't even open my mouth without hearing voices anymore. The colors are beginning to be enormous and I still can't swim. I couldn't drown with my ears open if I kept my nose dry and my mouth full of a plane ticket and first class beanstalk to elysian fields. It's pervasive and I'm purveyed. It's unquantifiable. It's the epitomizing and the epitome. I have my epaulets set for turbulent battles though I still can't fend off night. Speak and I might remember. Hear and it's second rite. Sea attacks, oceans roaring, lakes swallowing me whole. Grand bodies of waters and faces and arms appendages, crowns and more crowns and more crowns and more crowns and more crowns and I'm still shaking, and I'm still just a button. And I still can't sleep. And I'm still waiting.

It is night. The moon ripening, peeling back his face. Writhing. Seamed by the beauty of the nocturne, his ways made by sun, sky, and stars. Rolled and rampant. Moved across the plateau of the air, and its even and coolly majestic wanton shades of twilight. It heads off mountains, is swept as the plains of beauty, their faces in wild and feral growths. Bent and bolded, indelible and facing off Roman Empires too gladly well in inked and whet tips of bolder hands to soothe them forth.-----------Here in their grand and grandiose furnaces of the heart, whipped tails and tall fables fettered and tarnished in gold’s and lime. Here with their mothers' doting. Here with their Jimi Hendrix and poor poetry and stand-up downtrodden wergild and retardation. I don't give a ****. I could weep for the ***** if they even had hair half as fine as my own. I am real now. Limited by nothing. Served by no worship or warship. My flotilla serves tostadas at full-price. So now we have a game going.-----------------------------------------------------------­------------------------  My cowlick is not Sinatra's and it certainly doesn't beat women. As a matter of factotum and of writ and bylaw. I'm running down words more quickly than the stanza's of Longfellow. I'm moving subtexts like Eliot. I'm rampant and gaining speed. Methamphetamine and five star meats. Alfalfa and pea tendrils. Loves and the lovers I fall over and apart on. Heroes and my fortune over told and ever telling. Moving in arc light and keeping a warm glow.

the fish line caves. the shimmy and the shake. Bluegrass music and big wafting bell tones. snakes and the river, hands on the heads, through the hair; I look straight at the Pacific. I hate plastic flowers, those inanimate stems and machine-processed flesh tones. Waltzing the state divide. I am hooked on the intrepid doom of startling ego. I let it rake into my spine. It's hooves are heavy and singe and bind like manacles all over me. My first, my last, my favorite lover. I'm stalemating in the bathtub. Harnessing Crystal Lite and making rose gardens out of CD inserts and leaf covers. I'm fascinated by magic and gods. Guns and hunters. Thieving and mold, and laundry, and stereotypes, and great stereos, and boom-boxes, and the hi-fi nightlife of Chicago, roasting on a pith and meaty flame, built like a horror story five feet tall and laced with ruggedness and small needles. My skin is a chromium orchid and the grizzly subtext of a Nick Cave tune. I've allowed myself to be over-amplified, to mistake in falsetto and vice versa. To writhe on the heavy metallic reverberations of an altercated palpitation. The heart is the lonely hunted. First the waterproof matchsticks, then the water, the bowie knife, crass grasses and hard-necked pitch-hitters and phony friends; for doing lunch in the park on a frozen pond, I play like I invented blonde and really none of my **** even smells like gold.--------------------- There are the tales of false worship. I heard a street vendor sell a story about Ovid that was worse than local politics. As far as intermittent and esoteric histories go I'm the king of the present, second stage act in the shadow of the sideshow. Tonight I'm greeting the characters with Vaseline. For their love of music and their love of philosophy. For their twilight choirs and their skinny women who wear black antler masks and PVC and polyurethane body suits standing in inner-city gardens chanting. For their chanting. The pacific. For the fish line caves. For the buzzing and the kazoos. For the alfalfa and the three fathers of blue, red, and yellow. For the state of the nation. But still mostly working for the state of equality, more than a room for one’s own.-------------------------------------------------------------­------"Rice milk for all of you." " Kensington and whittled spirits."
(Doppelganger enters stage left)MAN: Prism state, flash of the golden arc. Beastly flowers and teeming woodlands. Heir to the throes and heir to the throng.----------------------------------------------------------­--------------- The sheep meadow press in the house of affection. The terns on my hem or the hide in my beak; all across the steel girder and whipping ******* the windows facing out. The mystery gaze that seers the diplopic eye. Still its opening shunned. I put a cage over it and carry it like a child through Haight-Ashbury. At times I hint that I'm bored, but there is no letting of blood or rattle of hope. When you live with a risk you begin at times to identify with the routes. Above the regional converse, the two on two or the two on four. At times for reasons of sadness but usually its just exhaustion. At times before the come and go gets to you, but usually that is wrong and they get to you first. Lathering up in a small cerulean piece of sky at the end turnabout of a dirt road
Serious Abandon Mar 2015
Ivory empires evaporate
Iron oxidized depression
Its cold blooded calculus
All for one, one for oppression
Anarchy by Gucci, fabulous

The decision is order
The collision is reason
The choice is yours
In the mindf&%$ season

What is law? He said upon the dais
We are raw, for who dares to try us?
These sympathies for psychos
Have gotten a little contagious
They took mental Illness
Went and made it famous

I'd rather break bread with Judas
Then compromise my clarity
Because this last supper is ruthless
Where good men are murdered for sincerity.
Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme—
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
Unearthly pride hath revelled in—
I have no time to dote or dream:
You call it hope—that fire of fire!
It is but agony of desire:
If I can hope—O God! I can—
Its fount is holier—more divine—
I would not call thee fool, old man,
But such is not a gift of thine.

Know thou the secret of a spirit
Bowed from its wild pride into shame
O yearning heart! I did inherit
Thy withering portion with the fame,
The searing glory which hath shone
Amid the Jewels of my throne,
Halo of Hell! and with a pain
Not Hell shall make me fear again—
O craving heart, for the lost flowers
And sunshine of my summer hours!
The undying voice of that dead time,
With its interminable chime,
Rings, in the spirit of a spell,
Upon thy emptiness—a knell.

I have not always been as now:
The fevered diadem on my brow
I claimed and won usurpingly—
Hath not the same fierce heirdom given
Rome to the Caesar—this to me?
The heritage of a kingly mind,
And a proud spirit which hath striven
Triumphantly with human kind.
On mountain soil I first drew life:
The mists of the Taglay have shed
Nightly their dews upon my head,
And, I believe, the winged strife
And tumult of the headlong air
Have nestled in my very hair.

So late from Heaven—that dew—it fell
(’Mid dreams of an unholy night)
Upon me with the touch of Hell,
While the red flashing of the light
From clouds that hung, like banners, o’er,
Appeared to my half-closing eye
The pageantry of monarchy;
And the deep trumpet-thunder’s roar
Came hurriedly upon me, telling
Of human battle, where my voice,
My own voice, silly child!—was swelling
(O! how my spirit would rejoice,
And leap within me at the cry)
The battle-cry of Victory!

The rain came down upon my head
Unsheltered—and the heavy wind
Rendered me mad and deaf and blind.
It was but man, I thought, who shed
Laurels upon me: and the rush—
The torrent of the chilly air
Gurgled within my ear the crush
Of empires—with the captive’s prayer—
The hum of suitors—and the tone
Of flattery ’round a sovereign’s throne.

My passions, from that hapless hour,
Usurped a tyranny which men
Have deemed since I have reached to power,
My innate nature—be it so:
But, father, there lived one who, then,
Then—in my boyhood—when their fire
Burned with a still intenser glow
(For passion must, with youth, expire)
E’en then who knew this iron heart
In woman’s weakness had a part.

I have no words—alas!—to tell
The loveliness of loving well!
Nor would I now attempt to trace
The more than beauty of a face
Whose lineaments, upon my mind,
Are—shadows on th’ unstable wind:
Thus I remember having dwelt
Some page of early lore upon,
With loitering eye, till I have felt
The letters—with their meaning—melt
To fantasies—with none.

O, she was worthy of all love!
Love as in infancy was mine—
’Twas such as angel minds above
Might envy; her young heart the shrine
On which my every hope and thought
Were incense—then a goodly gift,
For they were childish and upright—
Pure—as her young example taught:
Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
Trust to the fire within, for light?

We grew in age—and love—together—
Roaming the forest, and the wild;
My breast her shield in wintry weather—
And, when the friendly sunshine smiled.
And she would mark the opening skies,
I saw no Heaven—but in her eyes.
Young Love’s first lesson is——the heart:
For ’mid that sunshine, and those smiles,
When, from our little cares apart,
And laughing at her girlish wiles,
I’d throw me on her throbbing breast,
And pour my spirit out in tears—
There was no need to speak the rest—
No need to quiet any fears
Of her—who asked no reason why,
But turned on me her quiet eye!

Yet more than worthy of the love
My spirit struggled with, and strove
When, on the mountain peak, alone,
Ambition lent it a new tone—
I had no being—but in thee:
The world, and all it did contain
In the earth—the air—the sea—
Its joy—its little lot of pain
That was new pleasure—the ideal,
Dim, vanities of dreams by night—
And dimmer nothings which were real—
(Shadows—and a more shadowy light!)
Parted upon their misty wings,
And, so, confusedly, became
Thine image and—a name—a name!
Two separate—yet most intimate things.

I was ambitious—have you known
The passion, father? You have not:
A cottager, I marked a throne
Of half the world as all my own,
And murmured at such lowly lot—
But, just like any other dream,
Upon the vapor of the dew
My own had past, did not the beam
Of beauty which did while it thro’
The minute—the hour—the day—oppress
My mind with double loveliness.

We walked together on the crown
Of a high mountain which looked down
Afar from its proud natural towers
Of rock and forest, on the hills—
The dwindled hills! begirt with bowers
And shouting with a thousand rills.

I spoke to her of power and pride,
But mystically—in such guise
That she might deem it nought beside
The moment’s converse; in her eyes
I read, perhaps too carelessly—
A mingled feeling with my own—
The flush on her bright cheek, to me
Seemed to become a queenly throne
Too well that I should let it be
Light in the wilderness alone.

I wrapped myself in grandeur then,
And donned a visionary crown—
Yet it was not that Fantasy
Had thrown her mantle over me—
But that, among the rabble—men,
Lion ambition is chained down—
And crouches to a keeper’s hand—
Not so in deserts where the grand—
The wild—the terrible conspire
With their own breath to fan his fire.

Look ’round thee now on Samarcand!—
Is she not queen of Earth? her pride
Above all cities? in her hand
Their destinies? in all beside
Of glory which the world hath known
Stands she not nobly and alone?
Falling—her veriest stepping-stone
Shall form the pedestal of a throne—
And who her sovereign? Timour—he
Whom the astonished people saw
Striding o’er empires haughtily
A diademed outlaw!

O, human love! thou spirit given,
On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!
Which fall’st into the soul like rain
Upon the Siroc-withered plain,
And, failing in thy power to bless,
But leav’st the heart a wilderness!
Idea! which bindest life around
With music of so strange a sound
And beauty of so wild a birth—
Farewell! for I have won the Earth.

When Hope, the eagle that towered, could see
No cliff beyond him in the sky,
His pinions were bent droopingly—
And homeward turned his softened eye.
’Twas sunset: When the sun will part
There comes a sullenness of heart
To him who still would look upon
The glory of the summer sun.
That soul will hate the ev’ning mist
So often lovely, and will list
To the sound of the coming darkness (known
To those whose spirits hearken) as one
Who, in a dream of night, would fly,
But cannot, from a danger nigh.

What tho’ the moon—tho’ the white moon
Shed all the splendor of her noon,
Her smile is chilly—and her beam,
In that time of dreariness, will seem
(So like you gather in your breath)
A portrait taken after death.
And boyhood is a summer sun
Whose waning is the dreariest one—
For all we live to know is known,
And all we seek to keep hath flown—
Let life, then, as the day-flower, fall
With the noon-day beauty—which is all.
I reached my home—my home no more—
For all had flown who made it so.
I passed from out its mossy door,
And, tho’ my tread was soft and low,
A voice came from the threshold stone
Of one whom I had earlier known—
O, I defy thee, Hell, to show
On beds of fire that burn below,
An humbler heart—a deeper woe.

Father, I firmly do believe—
I know—for Death who comes for me
From regions of the blest afar,
Where there is nothing to deceive,
Hath left his iron gate ajar.
And rays of truth you cannot see
Are flashing thro’ Eternity——
I do believe that Eblis hath
A snare in every human path—
Else how, when in the holy grove
I wandered of the idol, Love,—
Who daily scents his snowy wings
With incense of burnt-offerings
From the most unpolluted things,
Whose pleasant bowers are yet so riven
Above with trellised rays from Heaven
No mote may shun—no tiniest fly—
The light’ning of his eagle eye—
How was it that Ambition crept,
Unseen, amid the revels there,
Till growing bold, he laughed and leapt
In the tangles of Love’s very hair!
hooray say the roses, today is blamesday
and we are red as blood.

hooray say the roses, today is Wednesday
and we bloom wher soldiers fell
and lovers too,
and the snake at the word.

hooray say the roses, darkness comes
all at once, like lights gone out,
the sun leaves dark continents
and rows of stone.

hooray say the roses, cannons and spires,
birds, bees, bombers, today is Friday
the hand holding a medal out the window,
a moth going by, half a mile an hour,
hooray hooray
hooray say the roses
we have empires on our stems,
the sun moves the mouth:
hooray hooray hooray
and that is why you like us.
Michael Briefs Nov 2017
It seemed so much had been lost.  

So much had slipped through
A grasping hand,
A yearning heart,
A desperate mind
As mine.

The dull march of days present
Was shadowed by the
Gloom of regrets and
Shrieked by a shrill wind at lonely,
Bitter hours.  
What was mine? What was ours?
Gone for good and all?

My love, it seemed, was only
Ever a dark dream.
In my swelling and stinging agony,
Love was
As a locked door
And my heart was a bloodied fist
Beating against it.  
A wraith-like specter of doubt clung to me
With oppressive raiment,
Scrapping over exposed skin
Like course, mortifying fabric.  

Then, from out of a pristine past,
A voice  
Called out to me.  
The herald of an angel
Rung clear and glad as winter bells,
Celebrant!  
The dark narcissus of mortality was
Driven off!
The burial cloak was split;
The stone was rolled back!  

A hope newly found
Surrounds and soars above me,
As a deep, azure ribbon of
Stretching, unending sky!

I am imbued with cheering thoughts
Of our days gone by!
Glories recalled in a moment relived;
Revelries and song lifted with voices
And hearts, stout and full!

Together,
With my beautiful Eurydician queen;
Returned, she was,
From an underworld of time.
We coax and stir
The memories of first passions,
Innocent, powerful and pure.
We are now bending
The arc of our history,
Rending the precious pearl of affection
From the murky domain of
A love denied.  
Renewed and viewed through  
Prismic fractures of sadness
And through the sharp focus
Of blue eyes, in rapt recognition,
Surprised!  

Today is reborn,
Lived again and again,
With each pulse of the clock,
Each beat of my heart.  
The blood within
Is purged of that familiar poison.  

All is potent and refreshed:
You, your face, your voice, your touch, your scent,
Your vibration pours to and through me, once again!
Oh, true friend,
Tender lover,
Gently knocking at my door.
You return from distant lands
Remote and misty,
Bringing light and love
To my lonely shore.
I approach from my realm,
Far removed.  
Age and ages have chiseled
The shape of my soul.
In part, it is smoothed;
Refined with wisdom, empathy, and clarity.
Also, though,
It is,
In part,
Broken, jagged, and cracked,
As the forgotten sculptures
Of ancient empires,
Renowned
And doomed.

Yet I realize, all at once,
That I am not forgotten.  
I am not doomed
To shadow.
I breathe,
I seek,
I still have hope and
Words to tell!
And I still have my love for you!
My life is now freed from that
Sad spell.  

This breath,
This stony soul
(Sculpted by the Artist of Pain)
And this trammeled heart
Trembles in desire of
Your beauty,
Your touch and
Your presence --
Your calming presence,
Bringing levity,
Reassurance
And familiar stories of
Hopeful remembrance.  
From love recalled,
Comes your unexpected
Embrace and
Sweet sign of friendship.

That time of distress has come and
Gone and we turn to discover that
Our tender connection remains,
True and undefeated!
It rises with the earliest song
Of still sleepy birds,
Lilting on the cool air of the morn.  

This uplifting emotion
Again flows within me,
As an angel granting absolution,
Touching me in a place
As deep as first love.  

Welcome!
The Triumph of Wit Over Suffering

Head alone shows you in the prodigious act
Of digesting what centuries alone digest:
The mammoth, lumbering statuary of sorrow,
Indissoluble enough to riddle the guts
Of a whale with holes and holes, and bleed him white
Into salt seas.  Hercules had a simple time,
Rinsing those stables:  a baby's tears would do it.
But who'd volunteer to gulp the Laocoon,
The Dying Gaul and those innumerable pietas
Festering on the dim walls of Europe's chapels,
Museums and sepulchers?  You.
                               You
Who borrowed feathers for your feet, not lead,
Not nails, and a mirror to keep the snaky head
In safe perspective, could outface the gorgon-grimace
Of human agony:  a look to numb
Limbs:  not a basilisk-blink, nor a double whammy,
But all the accumulated last grunts, groans,
Cries and heroic couplets concluding the million
Enacted tragedies on these blood-soaked boards,
And every private twinge a hissing asp
To petrify your eyes, and every village
Catastrophe a writhing length of cobra,
And the decline of empires the thick coil of a vast
Anacnoda.
          Imagine:  the world
****** to a foetus head, ravined, seamed
With suffering from conception upwards, and there
You have it in hand.  Grit in the eye or a sore
Thumb can make anyone wince, but the whole globe
Expressive of grief turns gods, like kings, to rocks.
Those rocks, cleft and worn, themselves then grow
Ponderous and extend despair on earth's
Dark face.
           So might rigor mortis come to stiffen
All creation, were it not for a bigger belly
Still than swallows joy.
                         You enter now,
Armed with feathers to tickle as well as fly,
And a fun-house mirror that turns the tragic muse
To the beheaded head of a sullen doll, one braid,
A bedraggled snake, hanging limp as the absurd mouth
Hangs in its lugubious pout.  Where are
The classic limbs of stubborn Antigone?
The red, royal robes of Phedre?  The tear-dazzled
Sorrows of Malfi's gentle duchess?
                                   Gone
In the deep convulsion gripping your face, muscles
And sinews bunched, victorious, as the cosmic
Laugh does away with the unstitching, plaguey wounds
Of an eternal sufferer.
                         To you
Perseus, the palm, and may you poise
And repoise until time stop, the celestial balance
Which weighs our madness with our sanity.
Pearson Bolt Nov 2017
i want my poems to have teeth.  
i want my words to cut,
to maim, to bleed.
with verses, i will raze
empires. with stanzas,
i will turn thrones to dust.
with nothing but a bit
of silver on my tongue,
i will take the life of god.

i’ll ply that same *****
like honey, taste the sweet
nothings dripping
between knocking knees.
quake and quiver for me,
let me slip, furtive
as nightshade
to sate your curiosity.

feel the weight of veracity
in these fingers patiently
transcribing forgotten melodies,
compressing ivory keys
to sing of all that was lost
and what was gained
from the process.
An ode to words given form.
Chase Gagnon Jan 2015
I lost a friend last night
because my poems are too dark.
She said they scare her,
and make her cry.
She said she can feel me slipping
with each verse,
and that she'd enjoy them
if they were written by a stranger
she never loved.

She said she feels her heart going out to me
but she had to pull it back
because she needs to keep it
for herself,
so she can see though her own issues.

No one ever stays
because once they see me naked
of my walls
they stare into my sheltered world
and see things that would make even the Earth
cringe.

It's too late to destroy it,
because my thoughts have evolved
into a race of beings
far more powerful than myself.
They'll be the death of me,
but their empires will stand
long after I'm gone, before my time.

But every once and a while
I can hear one or two of them praying
to me,
begging for me to bring peace to this world inside my head
that I have no control over.
They don't realize
that I'm not a god,
and that their whole existence is nothing
but the product of years of abuse
from a universe they cant comprehend,
that I can't comprehend.

So I sit nailed to the couch, suffering for their sins
while pointlessly checking my phone
for a text from that friend that says
“I'm sorry”
I

What new element before us unborn in nature? Is there
        a new thing under the Sun?
At last inquisitive Whitman a modern epic, detonative,
        Scientific theme
First penned unmindful by Doctor Seaborg with poison-
        ous hand, named for Death's planet through the
        sea beyond Uranus
whose chthonic ore fathers this magma-teared Lord of
        Hades, Sire of avenging Furies, billionaire Hell-
        King worshipped once
with black sheep throats cut, priests's face averted from
        underground mysteries in single temple at Eleusis,
Spring-green Persephone nuptialed to his inevitable
        Shade, Demeter mother of asphodel weeping dew,
her daughter stored in salty caverns under white snow,
        black hail, grey winter rain or Polar ice, immemor-
        able seasons before
Fish flew in Heaven, before a Ram died by the starry
        bush, before the Bull stamped sky and earth
or Twins inscribed their memories in clay or Crab'd
        flood
washed memory from the skull, or Lion sniffed the
        lilac breeze in Eden--
Before the Great Year began turning its twelve signs,
        ere constellations wheeled for twenty-four thousand
        sunny years
slowly round their axis in Sagittarius, one hundred
        sixty-seven thousand times returning to this night

Radioactive Nemesis were you there at the beginning
        black dumb tongueless unsmelling blast of Disil-
        lusion?
I manifest your Baptismal Word after four billion years
I guess your birthday in Earthling Night, I salute your
        dreadful presence last majestic as the Gods,
Sabaot, Jehova, Astapheus, Adonaeus, Elohim, Iao,
        Ialdabaoth, Aeon from Aeon born ignorant in an
        Abyss of Light,
Sophia's reflections glittering thoughtful galaxies, whirl-
        pools of starspume silver-thin as hairs of Einstein!
Father Whitman I celebrate a matter that renders Self
        oblivion!
Grand Subject that annihilates inky hands & pages'
        prayers, old orators' inspired Immortalities,
I begin your chant, openmouthed exhaling into spacious
        sky over silent mills at Hanford, Savannah River,
        Rocky Flats, Pantex, Burlington, Albuquerque
I yell thru Washington, South Carolina, Colorado,
        Texas, Iowa, New Mexico,
Where nuclear reactors creat a new Thing under the
        Sun, where Rockwell war-plants fabricate this death
        stuff trigger in nitrogen baths,
Hanger-Silas Mason assembles the terrified weapon
        secret by ten thousands, & where Manzano Moun-
        tain boasts to store
its dreadful decay through two hundred forty millenia
        while our Galaxy spirals around its nebulous core.
I enter your secret places with my mind, I speak with
        your presence, I roar your Lion Roar with mortal
        mouth.
One microgram inspired to one lung, ten pounds of
        heavy metal dust adrift slow motion over grey
        Alps
the breadth of the planet, how long before your radiance
        speeds blight and death to sentient beings?
Enter my body or not I carol my spirit inside you,
        Unnaproachable Weight,
O heavy heavy Element awakened I vocalize your con-
        sciousness to six worlds
I chant your absolute Vanity.  Yeah monster of Anger
        birthed in fear O most
Ignorant matter ever created unnatural to Earth! Delusion
        of metal empires!
Destroyer of lying Scientists! Devourer of covetous
        Generals, Incinerator of Armies & Melter of Wars!
Judgement of judgements, Divine Wind over vengeful
        nations, Molester of Presidents, Death-Scandal of
        Capital politics! Ah civilizations stupidly indus-
        trious!
Canker-Hex on multitudes learned or illiterate! Manu-
        factured Spectre of human reason! O solidified
        imago of practicioner in Black Arts
I dare your reality, I challenge your very being! I
        publish your cause and effect!
I turn the wheel of Mind on your three hundred tons!
        Your name enters mankind's ear! I embody your
        ultimate powers!
My oratory advances on your vaunted Mystery! This
        breath dispels your braggart fears! I sing your
        form at last
behind your concrete & iron walls inside your fortress
        of rubber & translucent silicon shields in filtered
        cabinets and baths of lathe oil,
My voice resounds through robot glove boxes & ignot
        cans and echoes in electric vaults inert of atmo-
        sphere,
I enter with spirit out loud into your fuel rod drums
        underground on soundless thrones and beds of
        lead
O density! This weightless anthem trumpets transcendent
        through hidden chambers and breaks through
        iron doors into the Infernal Room!
Over your dreadful vibration this measured harmony        
        floats audible, these jubilant tones are honey and
        milk and wine-sweet water
Poured on the stone black floor, these syllables are
        barley groats I scatter on the Reactor's core,
I call your name with hollow vowels, I psalm your Fate
        close by, my breath near deathless ever at your
        side
to Spell your destiny, I set this verse prophetic on your
        mausoleum walls to seal you up Eternally with
        Diamond Truth!  O doomed Plutonium.

                        II

The Bar surveys Plutonian history from midnight
        lit with Mercury Vapor streetlamps till in dawn's
        early light
he contemplates a tranquil politic spaced out between
        Nations' thought-forms proliferating bureaucratic
& horrific arm'd, Satanic industries projected sudden
        with Five Hundred Billion Dollar Strength
around the world same time this text is set in Boulder,
        Colorado before front range of Rocky Mountains
twelve miles north of Rocky Flats Nuclear Facility in
        United States of North America, Western Hemi-
        sphere
of planet Earth six months and fourteen days around
        our Solar System in a Spiral Galaxy
the local year after Dominion of the last God nineteen
        hundred seventy eight
Completed as yellow hazed dawn clouds brighten East,
        Denver city white below
Blue sky transparent rising empty deep & spacious to a
        morning star high over the balcony
above some autos sat with wheels to curb downhill
        from Flatiron's jagged pine ridge,
sunlit mountain meadows sloped to rust-red sandstone
        cliffs above brick townhouse roofs
as sparrows waked whistling through Marine Street's
        summer green leafed trees.

                        III
                        
This ode to you O Poets and Orators to come, you
        father Whitman as I join your side, you Congress
        and American people,
you present meditators, spiritual friends & teachers,
        you O Master of the Diamond Arts,
Take this wheel of syllables in hand, these vowels and
        consonants to breath's end
take this inhalation of black poison to your heart, breath
        out this blessing from your breast on our creation
forests cities oceans deserts rocky flats and mountains
        in the Ten Directions pacify with exhalation,
enrich this Plutonian Ode to explode its empty thunder
        through earthen thought-worlds
Magnetize this howl with heartless compassion, destroy
        this mountain of Plutonium with ordinary mind
        and body speech,
thus empower this Mind-guard spirit gone out, gone
        out, gone beyond, gone beyond me, Wake space,
        so Ah!
        
                                        July 14, 1978
I don't look back now
I don't reflect on the loss
just forward I do strive
as the last that never dies

All the pride is just a memory
the last of empire is me
and I hold two card in my hand
the five and king of spades

It's not an easy road I travel
and sometimes it not cool
an emotional wreak in flight
as my empires fall

I am the darkness between the stars
the wasteland of eternity
and I travel still
as all empires fall

By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris
mark john junor Jul 2013
the day done
she drifts in with the tide
washes up on my shore with
the tattered remains
of her girlhoods smile
in a keepsake box in the
pocket of her long grey coat
she speaks her thoughts but they are
tangled like seaweed
worn and worn like driftwood
she tells me her intents
and the lost sailor aspects of her soul
and her words linger on the air
like kestrels in the breaking of a storm
wheeling high above
wheeling high above
and the tears flow quietly
each one burning slowly into
my heart
I turn out and set sail
into the inky sea
blind to the trail
but rather than face her downfall
I attach myself to the darkness with a passion
of the task of finding my handmadien
of scorned empire
and saving her from herself
and all her internal wars
she was a shy young woman
in the years on denvers river road
a shatterproof demo for the better living
to be found just the other side of that
infamouse greener grass
that keeping up gets you in the end
a byproduct of the heart attack they give you
at no extra charge
standing naked feeling all kinds of uncomfortable
they question everything except your sanity
they are sure that's the one thing you've lost
I get her home at last
only to find she is nearly only
a chocolate bunny that's been chewed on
and her words telling me she must leave
are just forebodings of nightmares she gets
about Easter egg hunts
and viper roughness of being eaten alive
I'm a Easter bunny...I thought I was a rubber duckie!!!! LOL. :-)

— The End —