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      These spiritual window-shoppers,
      who idly ask, 'How much is that?' Oh, I'm just looking.
      They handle a hundred items and put them down,
      shadows with no capital.

       What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.
      But these walk into a shop,
      and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
      in that shop.

       Where did you go? "Nowhere."
      What did you have to eat? "Nothing much."

       Even if you don't know what you want,
      buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

       Start a huge, foolish project,
      like Noah.

       It makes absolutely no difference
      what people think of you.
Bob B Nov 2016
At five a.m. the doors swing open.
The throng of shoppers lined up at the store
Pushes and shoves and jabs and elbows
Its aggressive way through the wide-open door.
 
Once inside, the crowd scatters
This way, that way, in chaotic motion.
The store clerks gasp, feeling like islands
Surrounded by a raging ocean.
 
"Oh, no you don’t!" one woman shouts
At another woman clutching a box
Containing the last flat-screen TV.
"Hands off; it's mine!" the other one squawks.
 
A mad tug-o'-war ensues
As the two women grapple to claim what's theirs.
An onlooker who is knocked down in the skirmish
Shrieks, "What a sorry state of affairs!"
 
Everywhere you look, items are flying.
The store resembles the scene of a battle,
OR, perhaps, a giant herd
Of loud, thundering, angry cattle.
 
A man stops to pick up a bottle
Of perfume that he dropped--a gift for his wife--
And is trampled by the surge of shoppers.
The poor guy nearly loses his life.
 
One bold shopper with her canister of pepper spray
Threatens to douse the belligerent crowd
Until she is tackled by security guards
And is escorted away, cursing out loud.
 
Announcements blare from the loudspeakers:
"Shoppers' special on aisle three."
Suddenly, the rivers of shoppers change course
As the curious hope to get something free.
 
In the background, Christmas carols playing
The hopeful messages of joy and peace
Are drowned out by the ear-piercing din
That sounds like the honking of thousands of geese.
 
"I want my mommy," a whiny child cries.
"What do you want for Christmas: a dolly?"
Asks Santa, losing his last bit of patience
And doing his best to try to act jolly.
 
The chaos never ceases to wane
As the shoppers vie for the best shopping deals.
One man rushing to grab the last smart phone
Slips and falls head over heels
 
And slides into an obese grandma,
Sending her sprawling into some shelves
Of decorations, which all go flying.
The injured lie covered with reindeer and elves.
 
Interminable lines at the registers await
The exhausted shoppers. You get closer; hurrah!
The woman in front of you then needs a price check!
No, that can't be! That's the last straw!
 
Another day of Black Friday madness.
Would that it could be over! But no.
You've barely started; that's store number one.
You have four more stores to go!

- by Bob B
Staff Sgt. Joseph D'Augustine
a proud Jersey son
whom Thou hast blessed
laid in St. Luke’s ground
for his heavenly rest
April 4, 2012

1.

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

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

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

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

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

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


2.

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

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

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

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

3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.

motorcycle escort
northbound lane clear
rolling homeward
Waldwick was near

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


7.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.

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

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

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

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

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


10.

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

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

as loss arrives
surely grief grows
turn away not
wisdom knows

in resignation
love lay dead
diligent intention
banishes dread

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

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

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

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

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

11.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The priest finishes
his graveside
commendation
of Joey D

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles Ives
The Unanswered Question

Oakland
11/10/13
jbm
Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers..
You know them
You've seen them
I hope you aren't one of them...

I don't drink
Not anymore
For my entertainment
I go to the store
I go out after dinner
That's when the show will start
I go and watch the people
Who shop at Wal-Mart

Cowboy boots, a tutu, and yoga pants with "***"
with a muscle shirt and top hat
worn by a man named REX
a pair of pants just hanging
a pair of crocs and leather vest
with "she loves me for my money"
emblazoned on the chest

These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes

I don't go clubbing
There's no fun in that
Late night trips to Wal-Mart
That, is where it's at

A woman dressed in plastic
a man all painted blue
and how many people have you seen
that look like escapees from the zoo


These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes



Underpants, and stockings
garters and blue jeans
size 50 denim jumpers
Stretched like skinny jeans

Men wearing high heels
Women wearing...well
Use your imaginations
From a distance you can't tell

These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
In their finest shopping clothes
These are the people
Yes, you know the people
We've all seen the people
At Wal-Mart, so it goes



Body parts free to see
******* and legs and butts
And people with their little dogs
The ugly, squeaky mutts

We know them
and we watch them
Take their photos
Yes....we do.
dress right when you go shopping
Or we may take one of you!!!
Rob Urban Jun 2012
Lost in the dim
streets of the
Marunouchi district
I describe
this wounded city in an
  unending internal
monologue as I follow
the signs to Tokyo Station and
descend into the
underground passages
  of the metro,
seeking life and anything bright
in this half-lit, humid midnight.

I find the train finally
to Shibuya, the Piccadilly
and Times Square of Japan,
and even there the lights
are dimmer and the neon
  that does remain
  is all the more garish by
contrast.
I cross the street
near a sign that says
  "Baby Dolls" in English
over a business that turns
out to be a pet
  shop, of all things.

Like
the Japanese, I sometimes feel I live
in reduced circumstances, forced to proceed with caution:
A poorly chosen
adjective, a
mangled metaphor
could so easily trigger the
tsunami that
    sweeps away the containment
             facilities that
                   protect us
                        from ourselves
                                                            and others.
  
The next night at dinner, the sweltering room
     suddenly rocks and
        conversation stops
                  as the building sways and the
candles flicker.

'Felt like a 4, maybe a 5,'
says one of my tablemates,
a friend from years ago
in the States.

'At least a five-and-a-half,'
says another, gesturing
at the still-moving shadows
on the wall. And I think
     of other sweaty, dimly lit rooms,
      bodies in slow, restrained motion,       all
          in a moment that falls
                         between
                                     tremors.

         Then the swaying stops and we return
to our dinner. The shock, or aftershock,
isn't mentioned again,
though we do return, repeatedly, to the
big one,
         and the tidal wave that
                           swept so much away.

En route to the monsoon
I go east to come west,
   clouds gathering slowly
     in the vicinity of my chest.

Next day in Shanghai, the sun's glare reflects
  off skyscrapers,
and the streets teem
with determined shoppers
and sightseers
wielding credit cards and iPhone cameras, clad
in T-shirts with English words and phrases.
I fall
          in step
             beside a young woman on
                 the outdoor escalator whose
shirt, white on black,
reads, 'I am very, very happy.' I smile
and then notice, coming
down the other side,
another woman
wearing
        exactly the same
       message, only
                        in neon pink. So many
                                  very,
                                          very
                                                 happy people!
Yet the ATMs sometimes dispense
counterfeit 100 yuan notes and
elsewhere in the realm
      police fire on
      protestors seeking
                more than consumer goods,
while officials fret
about American credit
and the security of their investments, and
     the government executes mayors for taking
                       bribes from real estate developers.
    
    A drizzle greets me in Hong Kong,
a tablecloth of fog draped over the peaks
   that turns into a rain shower.
I find my way to work after many twists and turns
through shopping malls and building lobbies and endless
turning halls of luxury retail.
               At dinner I have a century egg and think
of Chinese mothers
urging their children,
'Eat! Eat your green, gooey treat.
On the street afterwards, a
near-naked girl grabs my arm,
pulls me toward a doorway marked by a 'Live Girls’
sign. 'No kidding,’ I think as I pull myself carefully
free, and cross the street.

On the flight to Bombay, I doze
   under a sweaty airline blanket, and
       dream that I am already there and the rains
         have come in earnest as I sit with the presumably
           semi-fictional Didier of Shantaram in the real but as-yet-unseen
            Leopold's Café, drinking Kingfishers,
              and he is telling me,  confidentially,
                     exactly where to find what I’ve lost as I wake
with the screech and grip of wheels on runway.
            

     Next day on the street outside the real Leopold's,
bullet holes preserved in the walls from the last terrorist attack,
I am trailed through the Colaba district
by a mother and children,  'Please sir, buy us milk, sir, buy us some rice,
I will show you the store.'
    A man approaches, offering a drum,
                        another a large balloon (What would I do with that?)
A shoeshine guy offers
                                           to shine my sneakers, then shares
the story of his arrival and struggle in Bombay.
     And I buy
             the milk and the rice and some
                      small cakes and in a second
                          the crowd of children swells
                               into the street
               and I sense
                     the danger of the crazy traffic to the crowd
                         that I have created, and I
think, what do I do?
           I flee, get into a taxi and head
                             to the Gateway of India, feeling
                                                                                  that I have failed a test.

                                       My last night in Mumbai, the rains come, flooding
     streets and drenching pavement dwellers and washing
the humid filth from the air. When it ends
           after two hours, the air is cool and fresh
                                  and I take a stroll at midnight
          in the street outside my hotel and enter the slum
   from which each morning I have watched
the residents emerge,  perfectly coiffed. I buy
some trinkets at a tiny stand and talk briefly
      with a boy who approaches, curious about a foreigner out for a walk.

A couple of days after that, in
the foothills of the Himalayas,  monks' robes flutter
on a clothesline like scarlet prayer flags behind the
Dalai Lama's temple.
I trek to 11,000 feet along a
narrow rocky path through thick
monsoon mist,
   stopping every 10 steps
to
   catch
        my  breath,
              testing each rock before placing my weight.
Sometimes
    the surface is slick and I nearly fall,
sometimes
    the stones
        themselves shift. I learn slowly, like some
             newborn foal, or just another
                clumsy city boy,
                   that in certain terrains the
       smallest misstep
                            can end with a slide
                                             into the abyss.
                  At the peak there's a chai shop that sells drinks and cigarettes
                                of all things and I order a coffee and noodles for lunch.
While I eat,
      perched on a rock in a silence that is both ex- and
      in-ternal,
the clouds in front of me slowly part to reveal
a glacier that takes up three-quarters of the sky, craggy and white and
beautiful. I snap a few shots,
quickly,
before the cloud curtain closes
again,
obscuring the mountain.
                                                
                                     --Rob Urban: Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Dharamshala
                                        7/13/11-7/30/11
Bouazizi’s heavy eyelids parted as the Muezzin recited the final call for the first Adhan of the day.

“As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm”
Prayer is better than sleep

Rising from the torment of another restless night, Bouazizi wiped the sleep from his droopy eyes as his feet touched the cold stone floor.

Throughout the frigid night, the devilish jinn did their work, eagerly jabbing away at Bouazizi with pointed sticks, tormenting his troubled conscience with the worry of his nagging indebtedness. All night the face of the man Bouazizi owed money to haunted him. Bouazizi could see the man’s greasy lips and brown teeth jawing away, inches from his face. He imagined chubby caffeine stained fingers reaching toward him to grab some dinars from Bouazizi’s money box.

Bouazizi turned all night like he was sleeping on a board of spikes. His prayers for a restful night again went unanswered. The pall of a blue fatigue would shadow Bouazizi for most of the day.

Bouazizi’s weariness was compounded by a gnawing hunger. By force of habit, he grudgingly opened the food cupboard with the foreknowledge that it was almost bare. Bouazizi’s premonition proved correct as he surveyed a meager handful of chickpeas, some eggs and a few sparse loaves. It was just enough to feed his dependant family; younger brothers and sisters, cousins and a terminally disabled uncle. That left nothing for Bouazizi but a quick jab to his empty gut. He would start this day without breakfast.

Bouazizi made a living as a street vendor. He hustles to survive. Bouazizi’s father died in a construction accident in Libya when he was three. Since the age of 10, Bouazizi had pushed a cart through the streets of Sidi Bouzid; selling fruit at the public market just a few blocks from the home that he has lived in for almost his entire life.

At 27 years of age, Bouazizi has wrestled the beast of deprivation since his birth. To date, he has bravely fought it to a standstill; but day after day the multi-headed hydra of life has snapped at him. He has squarely met the eyes of the beast with fortitude and resolve; but the sharp fangs of a hardscrabble life has sunken deep into Bouazizi’s spleen. The unjust rules of society are powerful claws that slash away at his flesh, bleeding him dry: while the spiked tendrils of poverty wrap Bouazizi’s neck, seeking to strangle him.

Bouazizi is a workingman hero; a skilled warrior in the fight for daily bread. He is accustomed to living a life of scarcity. His daily deliverance is the grace of another day of labor and the blessed wages of subsistence.

Though Allah has blessed this man with fortitude the acuteness of terminal want and the constant struggle to survive has its limits for any man; even for strong champions like Bouazizi.

This morning as Bouazizi washed he peered into a mirror, closely examining new wrinkles on his stubble strewn face. He fingered his deep black curls dashed with growing streaks of gray. He studied them through the gaze of heavy bloodshot eyes. He looked upward as if to implore Allah to salve the bruises of daily life.

Bouazizi braced himself with the splash of a cold water slap to his face. He wiped his cheeks clean with the tail of his shirt. He dipped his toothbrush into a box of baking powder and scoured an aching back molar in need of a root canal. Bouazizi should see a dentist but it is a luxury he cannot afford so he packed an aspirin on top of the infected tooth. The dissolving aspirin invaded his mouth coating his tongue with a bitter effervescence.

Bouazizi liked the taste and was grateful for the expectation of a dulled pain. He smiled into the mirror to check his chipped front tooth while pinching a cigarette **** from an ashtray. The roach had one hit left in it. He lit it with a long hard drag that consumed a good part of the filter. Bouazizi’s first smoke of the day was more filter then tobacco but it shocked his lungs into the coughing flow of another day.

Bouazizi put on his jacket, slipped into his knockoff NB sneakers and reached for a green apple on a nearby table. He took a big bite and began to chew away the pain of his toothache.

Bouazizi stepped into the street to catch the sun rising over the rooftops. He believed that seeing the sunrise was a good omen that augured well for that day’s business. A sunbeam braking over a far distant wall bathed Bouazizi in a golden light and illumined the alley where he parked his cart holding his remaining stock of week old apples. He lifted the handles and backed his cart out into the street being extra mindful of the cracks in the cobblestone road. Bouazizi sprained his ankle a week ago and it was still tender. Bouazizi had to be careful not to aggravate it with a careless step. Having successfully navigated his cart into the road, Bouazizi made a skillful U Turn and headed up the street limping toward the market.

A winter chill gripped Bouazizi prompting him to zip his jacket up to his neck. The zipper pinched his Adam’s Apple and a few droplets of blood stained his green corduroy jacket. Though it was cold, Bouazizi sensed that spring would arrive early this year triggering a replay of a recurring daydream. Bouazizi imagined himself behind the wheel of a new van on his way to the market. Fresh air and sunshine pouring through the open windows with the cargo space overflowing with fresh vegetables and fruits.

It was a lifelong ambition of Bouazizi to own a van. He dreamed of buying a six cylinder Dodge Caravan. It would be painted red and he would call it The Red Flame. The Red Flame would be fast and powerful and sport chrome spinners. The Red Flame would be filled with music from a Blaupunkt sound system with kick *** speakers. Power windows, air conditioning, leather seats, a moonroof and plenty of space in the back for his produce would complete Bouazizi’s ride.

The Red Flame would be the vehicle Bouazizi required to expand his business beyond the market square. Bouazizi would sell his produce out of the back of the van, moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. No longer would he have to wait for customers to come to his stand in the market. Bouazizi would go to his customers. Bouazizi and the Red Flame would be known in all the neighborhoods throughout the district. Bouazizi shook his head and smiled thinking about all the girls who would like to take rides in the Red Flame. Bouazizi and his Red Flame would be a sight to be noticed and a force to be reckoned with.

“EEEEEYOWWW” a Mercedes horn angrily honked; jarring Bouazizi from the reverie of his daydream. A guy whipping around the corner like a silver streak stuck his head out the window blasting with music yelling, “Hey Mnayek, watch where you push that *******.”

The music faded as the Mercedes roared away. “Barra nikk okhtek” Bouazizi yelled, raising his ******* in the direction of the vanished car. “The big guys in the fancy cars think the road belongs to them”, Bouazizi mumbled to himself.

The insult ****** Bouazizi off, but he was accustomed to them and as he limped along pushing his cart he distracted himself with the amusement of the ascending sun chasing the fleeting shadows of the night, sending them scurrying down narrow alleyways.

Bouazizi imaged himself a character from his favorite movie. He was a giant Transformer, chasing the black shadows of evil away from the city into the desert. After battling evil and conquering the bad guys, he would transform himself back into the regular Bouazizi; selling his produce to the people as he patrolled the highways of Tunisia in the Red Flame, the music blasting out the windows, the chrome spinners flashing in the sunlight. Bouazizi would remain vigilant, always ready to transform the Red Flame to fight the evil doers.

The bumps and potholes in the road jostled Bouazizi’s load of apples. A few fell out of the wooden baskets and were rolling around in the open spaces of the cart. Bouazizi didn’t want to risk bruising them. Damaged merchandise can’t be sold so he was careful to secure his goods and arrange his cart to appeal to women customers. He made sure to display his prized electronic scale in the corner of the cart for all to see.

Bouazizi had a reputation as a fair and generous dealer who always gave good value to his customers. Bouazizi was also known for his kindness. He would give apples to hungry children and families who could not pay. Bouazizi knew the pain of hunger and it brought him great satisfaction to be able to alleviate it in others.

As a man who valued fairness, Bouazizi was particularly proud of his electronic scale. Bouazizi was certain the new measuring device assured all customers that Bouazizi sold just and correct portions. The electronic scale was Bouazizi’s shining lamp. He trusted it. He hung it from the corner post of his cart like it was the beacon of a lighthouse guiding shoppers through the treachery of an unscrupulous market. It would attract all customers who valued fairness to the safe harbor of Bouazizi’s cart.

The electronic scale is Bouazizi’s assurance to his customers that the weights and measures of electronic calculation layed beyond any cloud of doubt. It is a fair, impartial and objective arbiter for any dispute.

Bouazizi believed that the fairness of his scale would distinguish his stand from other produce vendors. Though its purchase put Bouazizi into deep debt, the scale was a source of pride for Bouazizi who believed that it would help his profits to increase and help him to achieve his goal of buying the Red Flame.

As Bouazizi pushed his cart toward the market, he mulled his plan over in his mind for the millionth time. He wasn't great in math but he was able to calculate his financial situation with a degree of precision. His estimations triggered worries that his growing debt to money lenders may be difficult to payoff.

Indebtedness pressed down on Bouazizi’s chest like a mounting pile of stones. It was the source of an ever present fear coercing Bouazizi to live in a constant state of anxiety. His business needed to grow for Bouazizi to get a measure of relief and ultimately prosper from all his hard work. Bouazizi was driven by urgency.

The morning roil of the street was coming alive. Bouazizi quickened his step to secure a good location for his cart at the market. Car horns, the spewing diesel from clunking trucks, the flatulent roar of accelerating buses mixed with the laughs and shrieks of children heading to school composed the rising crescendo of the city square.

As he pushed through the market, Bouazizi inhaled the aromatic eddies of roasting coffee floating on the air. It was a pleasantry Bouazizi looked forward to each morning. The delicious wafts of coffee mingling with the crisp aroma of baking bread instigated a growl from Bouazizi’s empty stomach. He needed to get something to eat. After he got money from his first sale he would by a coffee and some fried dough.

Activity in the market was vigorous, punctuated by the usual arguments of petty territorial disputes between vendors. The disagreements were always amicably resolved, burned away in rising billows of roasting meats and vegetables, the exchange of cigarettes and the plumes of tobacco smoke rising as emanations of peace.

Bouazizi skillfully maneuvered his cart through the market commotion. He slid into his usual space between Aaban and Aameen. His good friend Aaban sold candles, incense, oils and sometimes his wife would make cakes to sell. Aameen was the markets most notorious jokester. He sold hardware and just about anything else he could get his hands on.

Aaban was already burning a few sticks of jasmine incense. It helped to attract customers. The aroma defined the immediate space with the pleasant bouquet of a spring garden. Bouazizi liked the smell and appreciated the increased traffic it brought to his apple cart.

“Hey Basboosa#, do you have any cigarettes?“, Aameen asked as he pulled out a lighter. Bouazizi shook the tip of a Kent from an almost empty pack. Aameen grabbed the cigarette with his lips.

“That's three cartons of Kents you owe me, you cheap *******.” Bouazizi answered half jokingly. Aameen mumbled a laugh through a grin tightly gripping the **** as he exhaled smoke from his nose like a fire breathing dragon. Bouazizi also took out a cigarette for himself.

“Aameem, give me a light”, Bouazizi asked.

Aameen tossed him the lighter.

“Keep it Basboosa. I got others.” Aameen smiled as he showed off a newly opened box of disposable lighters to sell on his stand.

“Made in China, Basboosa. They make everything cheap and colorful. I can make some money with these.”

Bouazizi lit his next to last cigarette. He inhaled deeply. The smoke chased away the cool air in Bouazizi’s lungs with a shot of a hot nicotine rush.

“Merci Aameen” Bouazizi answered. He put the lighter into the almost empty cigarette pack and put it into his hip pocket. The lighter would protect his last cigarette from being crushed.

The laughter and shouts of the bazaar, the harangue of radio voices shouting anxious verses of Imam’s exhorting the masses to submit and the piecing ramble of nondescript AM music flinging piercing unintelligible static surrounded Bouazizi and his cart as he waited for his first customers of the day.

Bouazizi sensed a nervous commotion rise along the line of vendors. A crowd of tourists and locals milling about parted as if to avoid a slithering asp making its way through their midst. The hoots of vendors and the cackle of the crowd made its way to Bouazizi’s knowing ear. He knew what was coming. It was nothing more then another shakedown by city officials acting as bagmen for petty municipal bureaucrats. They claim to be checking vendor licences but they’re just making the rounds collecting protection money from the vendors. Pocketing bribes and payoffs is the municipal authorities idea of good government. They are skilled at using the power of their office to extort tribute from the working poor.

Bouazizi made the mistake of making eye contact with Madame Hamdi. As the municipal authority in charge of vendors and taxis Madame Hamdi held sway over the lives of the street vendors. She relished the power she had over the men who make a meager living selling goods in the square; and this morning she was moving through the market like a bloodhound hot on the trail of an escaped convict. Two burly henchmen lead the way before her. Bouazizi knew Madame Hamdi’s hounds were coming for him.

Bouazizi knew he was ******. Having just made a payment to his money lender, Bouazizi had no extra dinars to grease the palm of Madame Hamdi. He grabbed the handle bars of his cart to make an escape; but Madame Hamdi cut him off and got right into into Bouazizi’s face.

“Ah little Basboosa where are you going? she asked with the tone of playful contempt.

“I suppose you still have no license to sell, ah Basboosa?” Madame Hamdi questioned with the air of a soulless inquisitor.

“You know Madame Hamdi, cart vendors do not need a license.” Bouazizi feebly protested, not daring to look into her eyes.

“Basboosa, you know we can overlook your violations with a small fine for your laxity” a dismissive Madame Hamdi offered.

Bouazizi’s sense of guilt would not permit him to lift his eyes. His head remained bowed. Bouazizi stood convicted of being one of the impoverished.

“I have no spare dinars to offer Madame Hamdi, My pockets are empty, full of holes. My money falls into everyone’s palm but my own. I’m sorry Madame Hamdi. I’ll take my cart home”. He lifted the handlebars in an attempt to escape. One of Madame Hamdi’s henchmen stepped in front of his cart while the other pushed Bouazizi away from it.

“Either you pay me a vendor tax for a license or I will confiscate your goods Basboosa”, Madame Hamdi warned as she lifted Bouazizi’s scale off its hook.

“This will be the first to go”, she said grinning as she examined the scale. “We’ll just keep this.”
Like a mother lion protecting a defenseless cub from the snapping jaws of a pack of ravenous hyenas, Bouazizi lunged to retrieve his prized scale from the clutches of Madame Hamdi. Reaching for it, he touched the scale with his fingertips just as Madame Hamdi delivered a vicious slap to Bouazizi’s cheek. It halted him like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

A henchman overturned Bouazizi’s cart, scatter
Three years ago today Muhammad Bouazizi set himself on fire igniting the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia sparking the Arab Spring Uprisings of 2011.
Logan Robertson Aug 2018
Stuffed seals.
Sits shelf,
soaking sunshine,
standing sentry,
soliciting smiles.
Shoppers smitten,
strike smiles,
spending silver.
Storied seals,
send shoppers shrilling.
Somewhere,
seamstresses
stitch supplementary shipments,
shaking store,
sustaining sales.
Sales staff splendidly stock shelf.
Seamlessly.
Such salvation, seals seeks.
Successfully, seashells.

Logan Robertson

8/1/2018
Betty Ponder Nov 2013
Retailers hope to net profits with the overlapping of holiday seasons.
Thanksgiving is yet to be history; but, out comes the Christmas trimmings.
No big surprise seeing holiday reminders arriving and filling mail box,
comes with pre-season, this early blitz of commercials on tv now the net.

Early arrival of holiday brings bell ringers standing between shopper's exit,
a failure to repeat and repeat donations, brings looks of extreme displeasure.
Each and every time you enter or exit discount, drug, and many retail stores,
shoppers face not only bell ringers; but, 365 days donate at register requests.

Most can't equal billion dollar give aways by Bill and Melinda Gates' circle.
Most work extremely hard and donate but also choose to live on budgets.
I donate and have nothing against charities; but, how much should one give?
Retailers, putting shoppers on the spot, asking for donations upon check out?

Never a pinch penny when it comes to sharing when there's an "actual" need,
generosity is always a personal choice, I let guilt not be my companion in giving.
Multiple donations to canister's of amnesiac holiday bell ringers? Wont happen!
Nothing against legit charities; but, giving until you're broke, you "will" be needy.
T Jones Aug 2014
Not a poem but in protest of flagging truth about racism in Traverse City, Michigan


Traverse City, Michigan: Racism is still alive and well in our area.

We weren't always welcoming
Cross burning's (City of Traverse City, MI)
I'm born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan and still living in the same neighborhood where I grew up. I can remember when blacks were not welcome in most parts of town and the one or two around were military visitors.

We had two known cross burning incidents. One back in the late 80's or early 90's the other was around 1924, ******* groups like Ku Klux **** was behind both cross burning incidents. I found old articles on the earlier one but someone is trying hard to white wash history of Traverse City by hiding evidence of the most resent one. Ones like me who were there remember those dark days like it was yesterday. It don't bode well for tourism or the Cherry Festival if there's a record of racism in our city.

Copy pasting one two different retelling of story reported by our sometimes biased Record Eagle articles regarding the first and and will continue to dig for the other one.

January 31, 2009
KKK was active in early '20s

The 1924 bombings and cross burnings in downtown Traverse City were not the first **** activity in northern Michigan.

The Record-Eagle reported flaming crosses in the Mancelona area on Aug. 1, 1923, a full year before. Six weeks later, Traverse City commissioners refused the **** permission to hold a Sept. 17 open-air meeting at the corner of Front and Cass.

About 300 people showed up anyway and marched to a vacant lot west of Front and Union after the unidentified property owner gave permission, carefully noting that it "did not commit him to any relationship with the organization," the newspaper said.

The Record-Eagle also passed on information from an identified **** source in its Sept. 17 report:

Two, maybe three organizers had worked for weeks in Traverse City. About 150 Traverse City men from "among the leading citizens" had joined. An open-air ritual with the traditional fiery cross burning on a hillside would be held "sometime but not yet" in or near Traverse City, and it would be "merely a part of the **** ceremonies and have no special significance."

People who expected to see hooded men in white robes performing rites at the Sept. 17 rally were bound to be disappointed, the paper said. A new state law banned wearing masks in public. It also would be difficult to tell how many in the audience were KKK members because "every person who has signed the Ku Klux card has pledged to keep his membership an absolute secret."


Traverse City, Michigan wasn't always welcoming to people of color.


Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 1, 2009
Ku Klux **** terrorizes TC in 1924

KKK cross burnings, explosions rock city

By LORAINE ANDERSON
Black History Month has special significance, since it begins fewer than two weeks after the nation's historic inauguration of its first black president, Barack Obama.

But there are parts of that history that Traverse City, like the rest of the nation, would rather forget. The city never had a large black population, but it did not escape a visit from the Ku Klux **** during a frightening night of downtown explosions and cross burnings on Aug. 9, 1924.

Traverse City has never seen anything like that night of terror. Buildings shook. Store windows cracked and shattered. Houses as far away as 16th Street quaked, the Record-Eagle reported.

And though outside agitators were blamed, some local people may have been involved.

It started about 8 p.m. after three explosions went off across the river from the Lyric Theatre, where the State is today.

The crowd at the Lyric all but stampeded toward the door as women and children screamed. Panicked shoppers spilled out of downtown stores. City police phones jangled with alarm.

A large cross burned on the north side of the Boardman River near Cass Street. About 50 smaller burning crosses appeared almost simultaneously at the centers of intersections across the city. Each was crudely nailed together and swathed in oil-soaked rags. Sparks flew when several cars struck them. A city fire truck raced through town to douse flames.

Then, a "touring car" with four men, robed and hooded, though not masked, slowly trolled down Front Street carrying a sign surrounded by red flares blazing three letters: KKK.

Copies of the Ku Klux **** newspaper, "The Fiery Cross," later were found downtown, and police determined that at least two cars were involved in planting and lighting the crosses.

**** leaders called the explosions and flaming crosses a recruiting gimmick, but it was more than that. The 1920s was a reactionary time in the United States. The **** had risen again, starting in 1915, widening its anti-black focus to Jews, Catholics and immigrants, particularly those from southeastern Europe. Its membership was strongest in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

The ****'s most powerful year was 1924, when it reached an all-time high of 5 million members nationwide and virtually controlled the government of Indiana. Its most popular slogan was "100 percent pure American."

The **** had a solid base of support in Michigan. The **** fielded two candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1924 and a ****-backed candidate was elected mayor of Flint. A write-in **** candidate even made a strong showing in a Detroit mayoral race.

In June 1924, 1,000 men joined the KKK in an Oakland County cross burning attended by about 8,000 people. Traverse City's demonstration took place just two months later. But who was really behind it?

"There is some doubt among the authorities as to whether the offenses were actually committed by local people or men from outside. They believe that local people were associated in the affair," the Record-Eagle reported.

An unidentified spokesman for the local **** denied responsibility, speculating that it was the work of **** enemies or rogue Klansmen. He told the Record-Eagle that the **** repudiated terror tactics and burning of "unwatched crosses."

Two weeks after the bombing, city police obtained felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants accusing Ku Klux **** organizer Basil Carleton of Richmond, Ind., of setting off explosives. Indiana police arrested him on Aug. 29.

Witnesses testified in two trials in December and January that Carleton had purchased 25 pounds of dynamite, fuses and three caps from Hannah & Lay Mercantile Co. about two hours before the explosions. A Park Place Hotel clerk said he saw Carleton hurrying away from the direction of the explosions about 10 minutes later. Two **** members testified that Carleton was not at the scene.

Yet he was never convicted. Juries acquitted him in both cases because the prosecutor could not prove to their satisfaction that he was at the scene of the explosion or that he personally set off the dynamite.

The bomber escaped justice. But the good news was that in Traverse City, no night of terror like that happened again.

It was this event that sparked the cross burning in Traverse City. We had only one black family in our city, when Betty Ponder and her family left Traverse City for the first time due to no one wanting to rent to them, population of blacks in our predominately white city drop to zero.


******* Movement Targets Northern Michigan

by Robert Downes

National Alliance advocates the creation of "two Americas"

Traverse City, Mich., noted primarily for its beaches, tourists and cherry pie values, appears to be erupting as a national battleground of opinion over the ******* movement, with forces on both sides of the issue coming out of the woodwork to vent their outrage over racial issues.
On Thursday, June 5, residents along stretches of Washington and Front streets in town came home to find a slick package of information from the National Alliance hanging from their doorknobs. An outgrowth of the American **** Party, the National Alliance is a ******* group which advocates the creation of "two Americas," one of which would be "White Space only with no Jews or blacks." The Alliance, advocates genocidal practices if need be to achieve its goals, and plans to distribute 1,000 information packets in Northern Michigan.

Protest organized to oppose July "NordicFest"
The incident arose only a day after more than 150 people from throughout Northern Michigan gathered at a "Hate-Free TC" meeting to oppose the NordicFest, a skinhead rock festival sponsored by the Ku Klux ****, to be held at a secret location 20 miles south of town, July 3-6.
The NordicFest is being advertised on the Internet and will feature at least six skinhead bands featured on Stormfront Records and Resistance Records -- both of which are purveyors of neo-**** hate music. It will also reportedly feature speakers from the Ku Klux **** and Aryan Nations.

Thus far, the NordicFest's location has been a closely-kept secret by David Neumann of Bloodbond Enterprizes, the concert organizer and a former director of the Michigan Knights of the Ku Klux ****. Neumann has told local media that 300 tickets have been sold for the concert -- about half the number he expects to sell. Reportedly, concertgoers will be provided with maps to the secret location at a checkpoint.

Bands expected to play at the NordicFest include Intimidation One, Aggravated Assault, Blue Eyed Devils, Max Resist and the Hooligans, and No Alibi.

Local churches offering seminars on the ******* movement and the importance of diversity
GATHERING STORM

Journalists have made inquiries on the NordicFest from as far away as London, New York and Colorado as a result of the Northern Express story circulating on the Internet. A segment for National Public Radio is expected to take the issue nationwide, possibly focusing the world's attention on Traverse City on the eve of the National Cherry Festival -- an event which draws more than half a million visitors, many of them from ethnic minorities.
"We're creating a rainbow ribbon that we hope everyone will wear in rejection of skinheads and the ****," said Rabbi Stacey Fine of Hate-Free TC. "We hope to have hundreds of ribbons during the time the **** is here, available from downtown merchants."

Fine says the group also hopes to march in the National Cherry Royale Parade with a three-by-eight-foot banner covered with thousands of signatures in a show of support for racial and cultural diversity. Thus far, Cherry Festival officials say they have received no applications from Hate-Free T.C., but will consider the request if approached.

Dottie Kye of Hate-Free TC says the group doesn't plan to try stopping the NordicFest despite their opposition ot the concert. "We're ignoring it," Kye says. "We celebrate anyone's right to organize and free speech. But our thing is unity and celebrating diversity." In addition to several church seminars on the ******* movement and the importance of diversity, Hate-Free TC is organizing a three-day "Unity Festival" which will feature dozens of musicians, artists, poets, actors and peace activists at the Traverse City Opera House, July 3-6.

Concert organizers Tim Hall and Tom Emmott say that more than 40 musical acts will send a pro-diversity message to area teens, with performers including Willie Kye, Alright Already, John Greilick, Samantha Moore, the Motor Town Juke Boys, Bentley Filmore, the Sisters Grimm, and Lack of Afro, among many others. A concert with Fishbone is planned for later in the month.

"Even if the NordicFest doesn't happen, something positive is going to come of it because it gets people thinking about the prevention of violence"
THE TEEN CONNECTION

The Unity Fest counter-concert is seen as a vital tool in fighting the influence of the ******* movement on teens in the area. After the initial story broke, the buzz in local high schools was that the NordicFest would be offering free beer to minors. Although that notion is clearly erroneous, a small number of teens in the area still cling to the idea and have also been attracted by the rebellious nature of the skinhead rock scene.
Tim Hall believes that his Unity Fest concert will help turn that tide. The three-day concert will be located in the heart of Traverse City in the old City Opera House, with easy access for the hundreds of teens who hang out downtown, often with little to do. "Our message is going to be one that values racial and cultural diversity," Hall said. "And we've had a great response so far. We had to put a lid on the performers when we reached 40 acts, because everyone wants to play at this event."

The Unity Fest will also coincide with the Annual Reggie Box Memorial Blues Blast, which was created five years ago to bring the heritage of black music to Northern Michigan for the overwhelmingly white Cherry Festival. This year's Blues Blast will feature John Mayall, Marcia Ball and the Bihlman Bros. in a free concert downtown on July 6. The concert will also feature a strong message promoting diversity.

The law enforcement view Traverse City Police Chief Ralph Soffredine says members of the law enforcement community, including the State Police and sheriffs from Grand Traverse and Wexford counties, are taking a wait-and-see approach as to whether the NordicFest will even be held.

"People ask what we would do if the skinheads wanted to march, and it's our position that they have the same rights under the First Amendment as anyone as long as they're obeying the law," Soffredine said. "It's a neutral situation for us. We just want to maintain the peace."

He added that skinheads coming to Traverse City would be treated "no different than if longhairs come into town, or square dancers. We'd certainly observe them and respond if there's trouble."

The chief noted that a similar event occurred in the Buckley area several years ago when several motorcycle gangs gathered for a rally. While the event was monitored by local police agencies, few people in the area knew that it occurred.

"Even if the NordicFest doesn't happen, something positive is going to come of it because it gets people thinking about the prevention of violence, which has become a serious problem in our community and our schools," he concluded. "The unfortunate thing is that it sometimes takes a ******* or a racial issue for people to get active."

"Sheriff Barr implies that people who have the courage to confront them will be put in jail."
ANGER FROM ACTIVISTS

Not everyone is happy with the neutral attitude of law enforcement. Judy Lowenzahn of Traverse City thinks that local police agencies should get tough on the **** concert, which has no legally-required bond or liquor license.
"These hateful groups are using skinhead music to recruit soldiers for their facist movement," Lowenzahn said. "If they are allowed to hold this event, in violation of local, state and federal laws and in violation of common decency, we will be capitve audience to their deranged homophobic, anti-semitic, racist, sexist ideology. Those who protest this message, along with those who are their scapegoats will be targets for hate crimes."

Lowenzahn upbraided Grand Traverse County Sheriff Barr after he made comments in a local paper that "I'd just as soon personally let them have their little event and be on their way." Barr added that if there was a confrontation between the skinheads and protestors, "there's going to be someone in jail."

"Does Sheriff Barr suggest that people of color and others who don't fit the aryan model hide inside their homes for the holiday weekend?" Lowenzhan responded. "Rather than offer a plan to protect the community from the violence that grows whenever white supremecists do outreach, Sheriff Barr implies that people who have the courage to confront them will be put in jail."

Northern Michigan targeted because of the predominantly white population
KLUELESS

Up to now, the vast majority of Northern Michigan residents have been klueless on the **** and the ******* movement. Many, for instance, had no idea that there even was a Ku Klux **** operating in the region until Neumann revealed that there are about 60 members operating mostly as "a fraternal organization" between ******* and the Mackinac Bridge.
Similarly, the existence and agenda of the National Alliance is all-ne
Martyn Thompson Aug 2011
i - Introduction:
ii - Lismore Park
iii - The Road to Maidenhead
iv - Town Square
v - Contradiction, contraband
vi - Saturday Afternoon
vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)
viii - The Show
ix - The ringmaster
x - The Fracas
xi - An incident at Upton Park
xii - No ball games
xiii - New found…
xiv - Nearly done
xv - Another time…

i - Introduction:

Come friendly bombs you’ve still to hit
The place whose name means quagmire
The town, the place that’s left bereft
Of soul, of spiritual fire.
But hurry, hurry, please be fast
For the crack dealer plies his trade
With slight of hand and cunning
A ghetto he’ll have made

The peroxide perms have now all grown
And muster outside shops
To wait for the be-suited sales rep
With his rocks and his alco-pops
They’ve all spawned offspring of their own
Fifteen-year-old cradle pushers
Who sold their souls in return for hope
To thirty year old cradle snatchers

Come friendly bombs it’s plain to see
The vacant, empty faces
The lifeless eyes, the pallid skin
The love that leaves no traces
The love that lasts a knee trembling minute
Outside Harry’s and Sluffs
A love that smells of emptiness
O they cannot get enough

Come with me, look over there
To the sculpture in the mall
The stainless tree with it’s stainless birds
And stainless birdsong call
A bird sings and the town all stops
To see from where this sound will show
A bitter disappointment when learned
It was played on the radio

Community service on the airwaves
To draw the crowd together
A song played, a one hit wonder
Reminds us nothing is forever
The sterile radio station plays on
Opiates to which we should yield
And bare our souls and be grateful for
The song of Bedingfield

ii - Lismore Park

The sight of a child playing in the street
Is one of day’s gone bye
But Lismore Park sees them out in droves
Stealing cars and getting high
The twelve year old sent out to play
Whilst mother takes a knap
But really she’s having it away
For a fiver and a brown wrap

The party at the house next door
That never seems to stop
The men all come and go and paw
Girls in this knocking shop
But halt weary traveller, stop!
Come sit and rest your back
The bench awaits you on the green
And the deluded maniac

The man who knows what’s wrong with you
And how to make it better
As long as he keeps his soul filled up
With cheap White Lightening cider
Six large cans for a five-pound note
From the corner shop near the school
An offer really not to be missed
And to make the drunkards drool

A songbird sits on the climbing frame
And sings his cheerful tales
A tune too much for our dear lush
The maniac exhales
The songbird sings and fills the air
With a loving string of notes
That reminds the sitters on the bench
There may still be a hope

A radio plays ‘that’ song again
Should you dare to forget the rhythm
The bird has flown away now
Fed up with this hypnotism
The airwaves are now filled with dross
Thanks to the flat opposite the green
The weary traveller moves on
“Better days has this place seen”

iii - The Road to Maidenhead

O friendly bombs do try to miss
The sweet blossom, the fragrant smell
The flowers, the green grass of the parks
The havens in this hell
Be careful around the Jubilee River
With it’s wildlife and sculpted hills
For a walk in this very man-made place
Will surely heal your ills

But spare no mercy for the superstores
That pollute and destroy our thoughts
“If it’s not on the shelf, we haven’t got it…”
The familiar assistants’ retort
Take no prisoners with the office blocks
That lay empty year after year
For they clutter up the atmosphere
And have no value here

O friendly bombs, o friendly bombs
The cabbages are all grown
They read the Sun and sing along
To the radio’s dreaded drone
Whilst in their vans they speed on by
Jumping all the lights
To price a job – a small brick wall
Based on a thousand nights

The car showrooms… the car dealers
Stack ‘em high and sell them cheap
Chop-chop salesman, soften ‘em up
The rewards are there to reap
Finance, part exchange or cash
Anyhow you like
“No sir, not me sir…
…I’d prefer to use my bike”

The bustle of the weekend crowds
The steamy traffic queues
Stare too hard at that red car
And suffer the abuse
Overtake the blue one now
And make him toot his horn
See him raise his voice in anger
To satisfy his scorn

iv - Town Square

Saturday morning, seven o’clock
The town begins to wake
A pair of sleeping winos
Dream about their fate
They plan their morning sermon
But who will really care
For what they say means nothing
Less than their icy stare

The busker and the balloon man
Wait to take their turns
To entertain and irritate
And suffer being spurned
By a thousand shady shoppers
Who’ve heard it all before
And probably given hard earned cash
To make them play some more

The trickster and the barra’ boys
Set up all their stalls
Selling mobile phone covers
And fake branded hold-alls
Adorn your phone with logos
Hankies for a pound
“Yes sir, we’re here on Sundays…
…(Providing there’s no police around)”

Grab a baked potato and sit
And watch the folk go by
Some will have you in hysterics
Some will make you cry
The man on his double-glazing stand
In his suit and in his tie
The perspiration on his head
Watch him wilt and fry

The songbird settles on the wall
And sings to our delight
A merry sonnet that will inspire
Dreams we’ll have that night
The wino shouts his sermon now
The bird has paused his song
This post-war sprawling Hooverville
Muddles slowly along

v - Contradiction, contraband

On the steps of the library he screams aloud
Through a mist of smuggled gin
“You’re all fools, the lot of you is ****
I’ve not committed sin…”
“It’s not my fault I’m a lush… a drunk
I don’t choose to live this life”
“You’re all wrong in carrying on
It’s you what’s caused my strife”

In his wretched form he abuses the world
Pooh-poohing this and that
A skunk telling the world it stinks
The polemic polecat
“Society has robbed me of everything
And left me less than whole”
“The only day that’s good is Thursday
When the postman brings me dole”

On Friday he meets his dealer
To fuel his pickled mind
The man with the van on Saturday
With the spirit and the wine
By Monday, he’s all skint and broke
The weekend has passed him by
He takes his place on the library steps
We shake our heads and sigh…

Every week the same routine
The same routine again
Like clockwork his life ticks on by
The suffering and the pain
But he tells us it’s all our fault
We’re the ones not right
But it’s very easy for him to say
The man who’s so contrite

The children watch him puzzled
It’s more than they can bear
“It’s very rude…” their mothers say
“To stand like that and stare”
But what, do they expect their young
To ignore this fool a mumbling?
For they will see it for what it is
A stormy weather warning

vi - Saturday Afternoon

I sit on a wall in Slough with friends
Sharing the Dutch export
Watching and laughing at the world
And it’s variety of sorts
A happy bond that we all share
The joy of simple things
Come friendly bombs and gather round
Watch us while we sing

The friendly bombs you call upon
Are they straight off the shelf?
It’s my belief, my firm belief
The bomb is in yourself
Ticking slowly by and by
Just waiting for the code
To trigger you and trip the switch
To make the bomb explode

We watch the people from where we sit
The hellholes they’ve all made
They don’t live they just exist on
The edge of a razor blade
Stop! Step back and take a look
It’s not too late to change
And become what you really want to be
An icon of your age

Over now to Langley Park
To sit and bathe in the sun
O friendly bombs please wait a while
Until this day is done
But what will tomorrow bring my friends?
And will it come too late?
Something that may save us all
The bombs may have to wait

A sedate sleepy Saturday
Away from all the crowds
Share a joke, a ****, a smoke
And laugh together loud
The sun warms our sombre souls
As on our backs we lie
Staring as the clouds roll by
United under the sky

vii - The Circus Comes to Town (Sunday)

Halt now, wait awhile please
Stop the counting down
Today the air is charged with joy
The circus comes to town
Must have arrived last night we think
Under cover of dark
And settled down and pitched it’s tents
In the grounds of Upton Park

The queue to purchase tickets
Trails far along the road
No. 53 offers cups of tea
From outside her abode
The crowds are mum, they say not a word
As they wait their turns to go
Inside the circus big-top tent
And sit and watch the show

We settle down and take our seats
With an ice-cream and a coke
But wait, where are the circus clowns?
Is this some kind of joke?
A wall of mirrors fades into view
And puts us in a spin
Reflecting all the bright lights
The colours and the din

The ringmaster enters, cracks his whip
And hands out little slips
“Everyone’s a winner” was
On every body’s lips
The clowns they all appear now
With a modicum of fuss
Hold on just a minute now!
The clowns we see are us

A spotlight points up to the gods
At the top of the trapeze
A giant money spider glides
Down with greatest ease
He touches each and everyone
All paralysed with fear
And hands out ten pound notes to all
Then promptly disappears

viii – The show

A strongman strolls out slowly with
A length of iron bar
A leopard spotted leotard and
Moustache sealed with tar
He looks around the big top with
A menace and a sneer
Surveying all the audience
He seeks a volunteer

The white van man he raised his hand
The tattoo on his arm
Said this man must not be crossed
To do so would mean harm
The strongman bent the iron bar
Across the van man’s back
Then invited him to strike him down
An unprovoked attack

The van man clenched his hand and hit
And hurt his mighty fist
A statue of the strong man shattered
Turning into mist
The van man stood and stared in fear
The mist it gathered round
And carried out our hero driver
He hardly made a sound

No-one clapped we all just stared
Our faces ghostly white
The strongman re-appeared and looked for
A second stooge that night
No-one raised a hand in fact
No-one said a thing
The strongman shrugged and vanished…
Empty was the ring

A knife thrower was the next to appear
And seek the help of one
With nerves of solid steel and courage
Secondly to none
Down came a fallen woman
Who said she had no fear
A knife was thrown and pierced her skin
Her right large ear-ringed ear

ix – The ringmaster

A second knife it struck her chest
She didn’t seem to weep
She didn’t seem to be in pain
Although the knife was deep
A third knife struck her arm and then
A fourth it struck her head
The knives that should be missing her
Were hitting her instead

Horrified the crowd looked on
Without a fuss or row
The woman now all full of blades
Politely took her bow
She then went back and took her seat
And never said a word
Not another word she said
And not a word she heard

A magician was the next to charm
And thrill us with his tricks
He pulled a rabbit from his hat
Then sat it on some bricks
He then threw watches at this beast
That grew to a great size
The rabbit caught them all and juggled
Them to our surprise

But here’s the rub when we all looked
At places on our wrists
No watches were there to be seen
A cunning little twist
The magician cracked a whip and put
The rabbit in a stew
Which vanished there before our eyes
Vanished out of view

The magician he announced that he
Alone did have this plan
To mystify and amaze us all
With his clever hand
Indeed he was the ringmaster
That owned this circus troupe
That terrified and petrified
Our frightened little group

x – The Fracas

A swarm of bees engulf us now
And cover us with honey
The ringmaster cracks his whip again
The bees all turn to money
Then suddenly the fight begins
As we grab this flying stash
Filling up our purses now
With the hard-grabbed cash

The ringmaster, a clever man
Calms us with his sigh
“There’s plenty here for everyone
…And more than meets the eye”
Suddenly a flock of doves fly
Sweetly through the air
They then attack the baying crowds
Pulling at their hair

Then with a deafening bang, a crack
A flash of burning light
We all cascade towards the floor
The circus out of sight
Confused we all stare around
Thinking it absurd
This bizarre spectacle should vanish
Gone without a word

I look from face to face to face
Whatever could this mean?
We all are laughing nervously
How stupid have we been?
We talk about the day’s events
We talk and talk some more
A voice booms from out the sky
“I’ve opened up the door”

“I’ve brought you all together now
To pander to your greed
To watch you take from fellow man
Deny him what he needs”
I reach in to my pocket
For the money I did place
It reads “Admission: 1 adult
To The Human Race”

xi – An incident at Upton Park

That week the local paper ran
An exclusive full-page ad
“Faland’s Travelling Circus Troupe”
“The most fun ever had”
But no review was there to read
To tell of our event
The strange encounter with this circus
To which we all went

The following Sunday we meet up
In groups of three or four
Since that incident in Upton Park
The spectacle we can’t ignore
No-one knows quite what it means
I don’t think that we’ll ever
Understand all that happened here
That brought us all together

Perhaps there is a deeper message
Given on that day
Faland may be telling us
That we have lost our way
He simply used us all as tools
To illustrate our folly
That had now become too serious
A risk to things so jolly

Every week now we all gather on
This hallowed piece of land
And this is very odd because
Nobody makes the plan
The idea comes to all of us
A self-ignited spark
And draws each of us in turn
To meet in Upton Park

We picnicked then we all played games
Then talked about the rain
We toasted our new friendships
And vowed to meet again
The bombs, the bombs they’ve all slowed down
Compassion saved the day
This newfound love we now all have
Must surely pave the way

xii - No ball games

The joy did not take long to spread
Across our grimy frowns
And bring a little sunshine
To lighten up this town
Happiness is upon us now
The whole of Slough-kind
Depending on how you look at it
And on your state of mind

The lush upon the library steps
The wino on the bench
The Publican and Landlord
The ***** serving *****
They all wear smiles and laugh a lot
And speak of wondrous things
A songbird perches on the fence
And merrily she sings

The children, o the children
How they sing and dance
Always being friendly
In any circumstance
They have no care for politics
You’ll see it in their face
They want to play with everyone
Who’s in the human race

Meanwhile back in Upton Park
The townsfolk meet again
But there’s no talk of horror
Or suffering and pain
Instead though how a monument
Should be erected in our names
And pulling down the signs
That read ‘No Ball Games’

The bombs have all stopped ticking now
And line up by the wall
And every now and then they clang
Just to remind us all
If we get too complacent
And don’t respect our friends
We’re marking down the seconds
To our bitter end

xiii – New found…

We shared our food and shared our tales
Life stories we all told
They made us laugh they made us cry
Left us warm and cold
The suffering we did speak of
Helped us understand
How fellowman and woman kind
Dwelt in other lands

We laughed at tales of folly
And stories of the past
Stories that we are in awe of
Stories that will last
For another thousand years or more
And travel on the wind
A gentle breeze that talks to us
Thrilling to the end

Gathering momentum
Our stories travel far
Picked up and told by new folk
Under glowing stars
They bring warmth and humanity
Softened by the rain
They travel back to each of us
To be re-told again

Who’d have thought this loving joy
This beacon in the dark
Would begin upon the grass
Of hallowed Upton Park
The greed has gone or mostly so
Now happiness is here
We’ve seen the light and now must spread
Our messages of cheer

Looking back it hardly seems
We could have been that way
Not caring if each other lived
To see another day
This new found near Utopia
Must spread across the land
And we must stand to offer all
Our warm and guiding hand

xiv – Nearly done

The story is now almost told
Of how a strange event
Saved us from our selfish selves
A message heaven sent
With cunning tricks and sleight of hand
The error of our ways
Was written up in greasepaint
Shining through the haze

A strange di
I wrote this in about 2004 - loads of literary influences in this poem. It speaks for itself really. Having read through it, I think I ought to revise / review and re-write some of it, but this is the original.... yay!!
The Wicca Man Sep 2012
I wrote a poem on a bus
but to hear it you must
climb to the top
of the bouncing metal stairs.
  
Slither snake-like
past the rail
and sit
on the rainbow nylon bench.
  
I'll be there
at the top of the bus,
reciting my rhyme,
written as we ride along,
past shops and houses
with musty nets
and peeling paint
on dingy doors.
  
There's the old woman who
lives in a house no bigger than a shoe box
who had so many children she didn't know what to do!
But they've all grown and flown now and she's all alone
with no-one to talk to but herself.
  
Look at that kid: grimy smile and mischievous eyes,
skateboard-scuffed knees,
darting out from the roadside.
Screech!
As we stop and angry words.
The kid glances back and tosses a vee
leaving just his smile behind.
  
The bus lurches on
at a snail's pace and stops at a stop
for a giggle-girl-gang
to chatter up the stairs
with a clatter of feet and voices:  
weekends and boyfriends,
music and laughter.

The bus trundles and sways
past shops all shuttered,
old folks gathered by doorways
talking about people
dead and forgotten ...
except by them.
  
Into the town now:
a river of road-rage
as our bus ambles onward
toward car-parks and markets
and rat-racing shoppers
  
And stops by a brown pigeon-stained temple
of public philanthropy,
a gift from a long-dead civic leader
and now proud home
to dogeared tomes of PC persuasion.
  
Our bus, like some Trojan horse,
disgorges its riders
who spatter and scatter
like rays of dawn light
to shop till they drop.
  
So, just me and you seated
atop the steel stairway
and you say to me sharply,
“So where's your poem then?”
I look at you strangely:
“It's happened around you,” I tell you quite curtly.
I write this some years ago and just recently rediscovered it. It's a very different style from my more recent work but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless ... Your comments appreciated.
Michael Hoffman Oct 2013
My friend at Wal-Mart
let me into  the inventory warehouse
where they keep the products
people kept returning
and I found them –
the Quantum Binoculars
beautifully handcrafted
with seamless joinings
glove-soft leather grips
polished to a glisten
with a big red switch at the top.

Switch it left to Bourgeois View
and you see the world
as most people do
through lenses of logic and contradiction
happy and/or sad
right and wrong
young or old
rich and/or poor
but there isn’t enough room
in the field of view
to hold all this conflict
and when you look through it too long
everything goes fuzzy gray
and your eyes start to cross
and you get the headache of the century.
which is why
everybody who used Bourgeois View
wanted a refund for the binoculars
regretting their purchase
terrible product they would say
never having bothered to flip the switch.

Flip right to Quantum View
and your headache disappears
as every person, place and thing
pulsates with vibrant rainbow color
brightening, shading, winking
expanding and contracting rhythmically
in a hypnotic dance
and nobody has to purchase or sell
and the mountainous toy robot displays
and the Special Today Only neon signs
and the shoppers and greeters morph
and the milieu turns glorious.

Then you see
a tiny point of intense blue light
in the center of each object
and it grows and starts to spin
and the next thing you know
you’re being pulled into the viewfinder
first by your eyes
then your cheeks and forehead
and you think uh-oh,
what’s going on here
and you’re reluctant
to let the eyepiece
**** you in any farther
but then you hear angelic music
and the blue lights
crack open like supernovas
revealing the infinite molecular structure
inside everything you see
electrons and neutrinos spinning
atoms racing across the panorama
and you realize
you absolutely must
take this wonderful machine home.

Imagine the quantum universe
hiding inside Wal-Mart’s inventory chaos
calm and rhythmic
instead of razory and cacophonous
soft shapes with vibrating edges
scenes arising and passing away
and you watch entranced
mindful and equanimous
as the view transports you
past the electric sliding glass doors
into the auditory memory
of your mother’s soft lullaby
and the innocent tenderness
of your first kiss
and the smell of the grass
on the last day of school
before summer vacation
and images of big silver trout in clear water
and Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed and Rumi
drinking lattes
in the Wal-Mart coffee shot
and they see you
and wave you over
to come sit down and chat.

So you ask your friend
how much for the binoculars
and he says
you really don’t want them
because if you take them home
you’ll like it so much in there
that one day you’ll let them
**** you all the way in
and you won’t come out
in fact
we don’t know
how many people
are already in there
but Wal-Mart optical department shoppers
have been disappearing for months
and nobody can find them
and you ask
if he takes American Express.
K Balachandran Nov 2014
Shoals of salmon on an upstream rush,
a frenzy propelled by an instinctual wish,
the milling evening crowd does siege the street,
one'd think it is a riot, all hopes to be sane is already lost.

Not soldiers on march, they are,  but within each
rages a war, not exactly knowing what they want to search,
this street has it all, hence all blindly flow along the stream
greedy green eyes hunt, splurge, conquer,vent steam.

Look for the labels, brand is sacrosanct,the only pointer
once the libels are spotted, in to the brain enter, the deal is done
smile, be contended, evade every other thought,
why waste time on value judgement,pointers assure delight.

Salmon on the stream never look for happiness,
a clock work motion that culminates in nature's prompt.
nowhere in this broad street you'd find a shop that sells-
happiness; but all search for it, without even aware.Fail.
judy smith Nov 2015
NEW DELHI, INDIA: Rifling through sweaters in India’s first Gap store in a glitzy New Delhi mall, 21-year-old Ridhi Goel says her grandmother doesn’t mind how she dresses, as long as it’s not too revealing.

“She’s fine with me wearing Western clothes like a shirt but not jeans and a crop top,” said the journalism student, her grey leggings contrasting sharply with her mother’s colourful kurta.

Taking a stand for big brands

“All my family wears Indian clothes, but I find them too uncomfortable. I think maybe there is a generational divide.”

Most women in India still wear traditional dress such as saris or shalwar kameez — but the picture is changing, and on city streets, dazzling silks mingle with logoed T-shirts and jeans.

Young people’s appetite for Western clothes has led a fresh flurry of foreign brands to open up in India in the past few months, including US chain Gap and Sweden’s H&M.;

Others are expanding fast, including popular Spanish retailer Zara and British high-street staple Marks & Spencer, which in October opened its 50th shop in India, its biggest market outside the UK.

Fashion design outlets sealed for non-payment of taxes

Urbanisation, a growing middle class, rising disposable incomes and one of the youngest populations in the world make India hard to ignore.

“The time has come for Western wear to have exponential growth,” J. Suresh, the managing director of textile group Arvind Lifestyle Brands, Gap’s partner in India, told AFP.

“If you look at any girl born after 1990 she will be wearing Western wear. That is the generation coming into college, getting their first job,” he said. ”They will be completely clad in Western wear.”

While globally women are the biggest shoppers, in India men’s clothing dominates with 42 percent of the $38 billion market in 2014, according to consultancy Technopak.

Lucrative trade: Designers approach PRA in wake of fashion crackdown

Shoppers are also younger — the average customer targeted by Gap in its US stores is 35, but their Indian counterpart is five to 10 years younger, Suresh said.

Gap had a head start in India thanks to Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, whose ubiquitous orange hoodie in 1990s hit Kuch Kuch Hota Hai handed the brand a ready-made following.

But it is young Indian women, increasingly affluent and joining the workforce in expanding numbers, who are driving change, with data showing sales of womenswear growing faster than men’s.

And while Western clothes currently make up only about a quarter of Indian womenswear, their sales are outpacing traditional dress sales.

Experimental exhibition: Emerging artists explore unique mediums

A Marks & Spencer spokesperson cited its Indigo denim range and lingerie as two of its best-performing lines in India, with more than 300,000 bras sold in 2014-15.

“As an increasing number of women move into white collar and blue-collar roles, they are also adopting Western attire,” Devangshu Dutta, chief executive of Third Eyesight, a retail consultancy in Delhi, told AFP.

read more:www.marieaustralia.com/black-formal-dresses

www.marieaustralia.com/white-formal-dresses
How long will our bewildered heirs
marooned in possessions not theirs
puzzle at disposing of these three
cunning feignings of hard candy in glass-
the striped little pillowlike mock-sweets,
the flared end-twists as of transparent paper?

No clue will be attached, no trace
of the sunny day of their purchase,
at a glittering shop a few doors
up from Harry's Bar, a disappointing place
for all its testaments from Hemingway.
The Grand Canal was also aglitter
while the lesser canals lay in the shade
like snakes, flicking wet tongues
and gliding to green rendezvous.

The immaculate salesgirl, in her aloof
Italian succulence, sized us up,
a middle-aged American couple,
as unserious shoppers who,
still half jet-lagged, would cling to their lire
in the face of any enchanted vase
or ethereal wineglass that might shatter
in the luggage going home.

Yet we wanted something, something small ....
This? No ... How much is ten thousand? Dizzy,
at last we decided. She wrapped
the three glass candies, the cheapest
items in the shop, with a showy care
worthy of crown jewels-tissue,
tape, and tissue again sprang up
beneath her blood-red fingernails,
plus a jack-in-the-box-shaped paper bag
adorned with harlequin lozenges, sad
though she surely was, on her feet waiting
all day for a wild rich Arab, a compulsive Japanese.
Grazie, signor ... grazie, signora ... ciao.

Nor will our thing-weary heirs decipher
the little repair, the reattached triangle
of glass from the paper-imitating end-twist,
its mending a labor of love in the cellar,
by winter light, by the man of the house,
mixing transparent epoxy and rigging
a clever small clamp as if to keep
intact the time that we, alive,
had spent in the feathery bed
at the Europa e Regina.
JJ Hutton Dec 2012
Bradley, don't climb, the boy's mother says as she pries him off the bronze left shoulder of Sam Walton. She dusts the boy's coat. *Wait here a second. She begins digging in her purse. Her grey, sweatpants'd husband holds a point-n-shoot digital camera. The wind is inconveniencing him. The fog is inconveniencing him. Sorry, sweetie. I'm looking for a tissue. Every word his wife says shatters like glass.  He's been on the road too long. Of all the places, why make a pilgrim's stop at Kingfisher, Oklahoma?

It's the 7th of December. A day FDR said would live in infamy. It's also my birthday (thanks for setting the stage, Roosevelt). And here I am. Making my own pilgrim's stop at a subpar statue marking the birthplace of Mr. Sam Walton with no one for company but a green thermos and these tourists.

While his mother is distracted, the boy tears at yellowed grass. He pretends to feed the blades to Sam Walton's open-mouthed and unexplained canine. The husband sighs.

Ah! I found them, the mother reassures. Grimacing, as though shards of her words have lodged in the far corners of his brain, the husband asks,

Are we ready?

Not bad. The tiny bubbles from the champagne firecracker on my tongue as I lower the green thermos. Reminders of spilt coffee dot its sides like the little, overlooked  coastal islands of New England. Reaching? I know. But I'm learning to take notice of things, Sam. Patience.

I got into town before the liquor store opened. I vultured behind steering column. After a glance, a longhaired shopkeep with an oak cask belly shook his head in disdain for my entire generation. Turned the key. Flipped the sign from closed to open. Not to appear eager, I waited for a commercial break on the radio. I walked through. A bell chimed. Thirsty, son? the shopkeep asked.

I always am at the sound of a bell, I responded.

Let me get this off real quick, the mother says to Sam Walton as she wipes dry, white bird **** off a deep-cut wrinkle in his bronze forehead. Can't take a picture with you looking like that. The mother turns around. Offers an unsteady, white flag smile to her husband. Looks down at her boy. Bradley, stop playing with the grass. I mean it. Drop it. Stand by Mommy. We're going to take a picture.

Why?

Whiskey modge podged with ***** with wine with gin. Champagne. Champagne. Confused? lines joyously sparked from the edges of the shopkeep's eyes and lightning'd down his cheeks. Making him seem pleasant for the first time. Proud, even. I've organized the drinks by country of origin. Notice the flags?

What does France's flag look like?

France is over here. Looking for a wine? Perhaps a rich cognac? He led me down a densely packed aisle. Little ratings cards jutted out underneath each bottle.

Champagne, actually.

I see. I see. Is something ending or something beginning?

Both.

The boy places his hand on the dog's head. Pretends to ruffle its frozen fur.

Ready?

Ready.

Click. A flash goes off. Automatic.

Now can we leave? the boys pleads.

Why are you being so antsy?

It's just another stupid statue. I'm tired of this stupid trip. I just want to go home.

Today's my birthday. I lowered the champagne as I poured it into the green thermos. I kept watch for shoppers and cart crewmen in the parking lot. No one seemed to notice the transfer. The shopkeep ended up selling me an American bubbly. Silent Girl. I liked the artwork. A large-breasted woman with puckered lips stared down the sights of a .44 pointed directly at the drinker. Black and white. Refreshing to see someone so up-front.

The mother opened one of the rear doors on the family's Tahoe. No, you don't get a toy. Brats don't get toys. Brats get quiet time. She slammed the door.

Just you and me, Sam. A drink. Sorry, I didn't bring another cup. I lean in close. Trace the wrinkles of his forehead, where the sculptor stuck his knife deep. As I do, my own wrinkles become more apparent.

You know I heard a minister talking about you a week ago. I remove my hand from Sam's face. Take another drink. Apparently, your last words are his claim to fame. He said your nurse divulged them to him. You should see him. Each church he visits, he opens with, 'Anyone know what Sam Walton's last words were?' He doesn't ease into it or anything.

'Sam Walton's last words were actually, I blew it.' Can you believe that? 'I blew it.' Don't worry, Sam. I didn't buy it. That answer is for the customer. Not for truth. People love to think at the end of your successful trajectory, you'd just Solomon out. Fizzle. 'Vanity! Vanity!' I'd like to think there you lied in your hospital bed. In your private room. 7th Floor. Curtains open. Blue sky free of blackbirds. Your family around you. And your mouth tasting like metal. Like blood. The gears of your existence grinding to an end. And I bet you hated everyone in that room. Your wife wiping spittle off your mouth with a red handkerchief. You pushing her arthritic claws away. I bet one of your grandkids was at the end of the bed. His hair unwashed for two days. Uncombed for six months. A tall cow suckling your success. And I bet that clumsy hair was blocking the television. You told him to move.

When he moved, something horrendous was on. A soap opera. Something frustratingly ironic. General Hospital. Hit the red button. Called in the nurse. And your last words, 'Change the channel.' She put it on a Cowboys game. You watched Aikman throw an interception. Closed your eyelids. Changed the channel.

It's the 7th of December, Sam. It's my birthday. A milestone, Sam. So, there's cause for change. I told you the same ambition in you coursed through me. That I too, had sat in the back booth of diners alone -- conspiring. And while you're eternal bronze, while you're family photos, I'm mortal to a fault. But allowed to change my mind. I don't want to be ambitious, Sam. That's what I came to say. I'm not coming back to wail at this wall. Legacy, you taught me, is not in my hands. Even if I make a helluva go at it on this sphere, I run the risk of getting turned into half a statue with an idiot dog sidekick. You can dam a river, but ultimately rivers don't give a ****. They flow where they please.

That's the end. The beginning is that I can go anywhere from here. That's worth celebrating. I tilt the green thermos and let champagne run down Sam Walton's still face. This river runs onward. Without fear of legacy, of memory. I'm going to love, Sam. I'm going to love fully. Onward. While you stay put. A stupid statue.

Sam Walton is silent. Quiet time.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Supermarket celebration
shoppers are cytoplasm searching
for cellulose, muscle, photosynthesis.

Oils, petrochemical and vegetable
love: faith and trust
for instance, the Food and Drug Administration.

In America, the custom is
to avoid meeting the other shoppers' eyes. We graze
like cows or wander as zombies to the oldies played over the aisles.

I've always liked it here.
Cornucopia, yes. Also
a place to be alone and depressed, or cool off.

Water and bone
and the known ingredients. Neurons
for remembering, calculating, touching stuff.

I have a favorite bagger
who has the smile of a lover,
wouldn't rather be elsewhere.

Like glamour stars in bikinis
(but unlike tomatoes and bananas)
cashiers and clerks are admired from afar.

Joe says What's not to like? Ice cream, yogurt,
profit, tofu.
To eat your fill is a blasphemy against God.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
ryn Jun 2015
I have observed brightly lit stores...
window displays welcome
with wide open arms.
Kaleidoscope of colours,
dancing to catchy music...
adding on to the allure and charm.

Droves of shoppers have identified this
as their slice of heaven.
Flagging retail therapy
and finding their
pocket of Eden.

I have observed some laying down.
Relaxing...
unwinding...
On patches of grass.
They stare at the sky
with much adoration,
as wispy clouds float on by.

These skygazers have chosen this
to be their little slice of heaven.
With the ground on their backs,
grass between their toes
and azure as their witness...
this is their pocket of Eden.

I have observed a couple of lovebirds,
seated at a café...
immersed deeply in conversation.
In their own private universe,
their own little bubble.
Employing hugs and frequent pecks as punctuation.

There's nowhere else they'd rather be.
From their eyes I know,
they've found their unique slice of heaven.
In each other
they've found their pocket of Eden.

I have observed myself...
I thought myself to be lost
for the longest time.
Seeking a place
for the voice in my head
that only spoke in rhyme.

All is not lost when
I finally found that place.
My little slice of heaven.
For almost a year ago today
I decided on Hello Poetry
as my pocket of Eden.
Thank you all for your kindness and support.
Much love,
ryn
judy smith Nov 2016
While Walmart and Best Buy attract Black Friday shoppers nationwide, Fayetteville’s local businesses offer unique deals throughout the week on boutique clothing, gift-worthy items, outdoor accessories and Razorback apparel.

Southern Trend

Sale rack prices will range $5-15, and customers whose total reaches $50 or more will receive a free tote bag. Southern Trend clothing company offers Razorback apparel for men and women and other casual clothing that depicts Southern living. Their headquarters and closest retail location is at 614 W. Sycamore St.

The Mustache Goods & Wears

Saturday following Thanksgiving, The Mustache Goods & Wears will participate in Small Business Day with special deals throughout the store. The Mustache sells gift and novelty items and clothing, striving “to carry products you don’t normally find in Northwest Arkansas,” according to their website. The store is located on the Downtown Square at 15 S. Block Ave.

Lauren James

All regularly-priced items will be 25 percent off, and planners will be given to customers with a purchase of $65 or more. The Lauren James brand includes fashionable dresses, a line of women’s collegiate clothing, and other clothing and accessories with a Southern flare. One of three corporate locations in the country, the Fayetteville Lauren James shop is located just off campus at 623 W. Dickson St.

Houndstooth Clothing Company

Now until Thanksgiving day, all long sleeve and short sleeve tops are buy two, get one free with Black Friday deals to follow. The brand includes Razorback apparel and other casual clothing with outdoorsy designs. Houndstooth Clothing Company began in Fayetteville and now sells merchandise online and in stores across the state. The closest location to campus is just off the Downtown Square at 29 N. Block Ave.

Pack Rat Outdoor Center

Pack Rat Outdoor Center will sell featured Black Friday merchandise from The North Face brand. Saturday, Nov. 26, shoppers may enjoy food and drink at Customer Appreciation Day. Pack Rat sells clothing and accessories fit for an active and outdoor lifestyle, with products such as hammocks and hiking boots sold at their 209 West Sunbridge store.

Riffraff

All merchandise, except nine specially marked-down items, will be priced 30 percent off the original price tag during Black Friday, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Just off the Downtown Square at 19 S. Block Ave., Riffraff boutique sells women’s clothes fit for everyday life to holiday parties, as well as gift and novelty items.

Campus Bookstore

The Campus Bookstore sells new and used textbooks, school supplies, Razorback gear and clothing. The store is located just outside of campus at 624 W. Dickson St.

Alumni Hall

Alumni Hall, located at 3417 N. College Ave., sells various brands of Razorback apparel as well as Razorback accessories and gifts.

Maude

Established in 2007 in Fayetteville, the racks of Maude boutique feature women’s clothing from sweaters to skirts with shoes and accessories also for sale. Maude in Fayetteville is located at 706 N. College Ave.

Savoir-Faire

A boutique local to Fayetteville at 1 E. Center St., Savoir-Faire offers casual and dressy clothing and accessories, including holiday fashions sold online and in-store.

Gatsby’s Boutique

Boasting a ‘20s fashion influence, Gatsby’s Boutique sells clothes and accessories at their shop located at 609 W. Dickson St.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney | www.marieaustralia.com/one-shoulder-formal-dresses
Tori Jurdanus Dec 2012
This.

This is decorating my living room, and only my living room,
With every available piece of holiday cheer.
This is sitting by the fireside, drinking apple cider and listening to the woman who can recite Twas the Night Before Christmas by heart.
This is shortbread cookies.
You may ask if you can have one.
You may, but not the one who looks like a man.
His legs have been broken and icinged back on. He is special. .
This is not enough wrapping paper.
Too much wrapping paper.
My dad will never learn how to use wrapping paper.
This is managing not to fight with my sisters on the darkest days in winter.
This.
This is skating on black ice in winter boots,
Using icicles as lollipops,
This is mittens, hat, scarf, forgotten on the snow man.
This is the fort you couldn't knock over,
This is making lists.
Breaking lists.
Writing and rewriting.
This is advent calenders.
This is candycane addictions.
This is pleasant smiles from the grumpiest holiday shoppers.
This is the  reason I love Christmas time more than Christmas day.
And this,
This is not a miracle.
This is a tradition that is older than I am.
This is the family I can always count on.
This, is home.
anastasiad Nov 2016
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The development of a electronic authorization that is certainly in the ascendant. Digital license safeguards procedures are becoming an increasing number of built into the world wide web know-how, cloud-computing in addition to SaaS strategy it isn't just easier to work with along with cope with software package digital situation and also accomplish, but will also according to present day environment friendly low-carbon advancement notion, possesses changed the shield of encryption hair Distinctive the software program encrypted sheild industry developments. The greater well-known organizations in the world, 'microsoft', Sun microsystems, Autodesk, SIEMENS, Adobe as well as other software package will be digital consent safety method.

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1 every day companies commonly deemed security encrypted sheild hair electronic agreement.

There are no longer just about any accessible digital license goods exorbitant, the price tag on foreign automated acceptance.

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Hence, this encryption software package marketplace developments electronics, marketing, and details engineering. Down below, most people look at, through the software file encryption system distinct for you to elaborate program encrypted sheild establishment and also progression trend of this marketplace.

Primary, the program shield of encryption technique

As mentioned earlier, it shield of encryption technologies are divided into encrypted sheild hardware-based plus software-based file encryption.

A hardware-based encryption

Hardware-based file encryption encryption locks, many material, including layer fundamentals for vulnerable data, acceptance paperwork, made to order methods, and so on. could be trapped in a dongle.

Your security fastener interface style is divided directly into 2 kinds of parallel dock plus Flash harbour. The particular concurrent harbour would be the early on technique variety, because propagation inconvenient plus struggle together with the laser printer, and already has got much less employ. Almost all coders use are generally Flash user interface dongle.

Encryption hair on the two kinds of Computer kind, a microcontroller to get Cpu and another using a clever unit card processor for the reason that Pc the microcontroller appliance per se very easily trouble area or perhaps duplicate, so a lot more high-end security a lock utilizing a wise card processor Pc, to forestall computer hardware fracture. But a growing number of intelligent greeting card dongle split, primary, because processor chip is a bit more and a lot more sophisticated investigative methods along with resources; sensible greeting card method being composed to your chip manufacturing area to make within this program application could problem; file encryption hair of the exact same brand name the particular Cpu method is the identical, merely diverse builders facts along with critical, in the event that these types of data files are passed out and about, you can easily replicate.

Dongle carries a certain a higher level safety toughness, nonetheless in addition there are many drawbacks:

One) apply at the standard one-time constant permit, are unable to aid your results on the tryout release along with on-demand buy

A pair of) the use of hardware creation, scheduling details, installment in addition to routine maintenance charges

Three or more) is not realized the issue regarding Internet-based electronic enhancements, pursuing in addition to administration

Some) As soon as chipped, is usually ripped large quantities, it is hard to treat

A couple software-based shield of encryption

Software-based shield of encryption, electric endorsement, and certain as well separated into two types of registration plate along with permission file:

Enrollment rule is additionally referred to as the sequential range or perhaps permission rule, received by way of modification in the the software customer computer systems plus software program information and facts, the available hardware and software information, like: Computer successive number, BIOS serialized quantity, cards amount, disk drive sequential variety, computer title, and many others. . Completely transform algorithm employed your custom algorithm criteria or even normal layer algorithm formula. Customer and also first utilisation of the software package installing course of action, you might want to type in the enrollment value to make sure. Immediately after certification, software program may be used usually. The actual technique contains the advantage of your in order to register signal defense isn't hard to implement, the downside is usually that stability will not be large, struggle to achieve complicated consent needs.

Licence report and the subscription value for you to bind a similar computer hardware as well as software information, a subscription value time-span limits by using each hardware and software facts, a permission data file will use various hardware and software details. Additionally, the actual certificate file can contain details, so you're able to get the difficult authorization requirements, and might also retailer a number of end user information and facts. The typical certificate submit method to utilize the non-public major on the asymmetric protocol to help signal the permission record, as you move the general public key's baked into software program code. Uneven layer as well as decryption course of action, in which you crucial agreement hosting server is out there, it is not easy to break into throughout the study associated with acceptance docs.

What's so great about the particular digital agreement security does not require supplemental hardware, and as a consequence does not need to deploy the driver plus buyer components, electrical hardware issue. The disadvantage on the electric licenses safeguards method is just not networked people really need to manually remove your computer details, after which manually transfer subscription codes or even licenses, may not be convenient to use. On top of that, the actual domestic automated endorsement several of the designers with the products, which also limits a popularization and also campaign with electronic permission safeguard technological know-how.

Minute, it layer sector growth standing

A person. Security a lock

The main unusual dongle professional SafeNet, Inc. in the country as well as Australia Wibu.

Security tresses provider deep Supposrr que Luoke as well as Feitian. Both businesses due to the discount prices, the first one to create your intelligent minute card encryption tresses nearby well to be able to undertake a clear market place in the nation.

Only two. Digital acceptance

International business certified products and solutions to give electronic Flexera Application and also SafeNet which often, Flexera Applications are devoted to the realm of electronic digital agreement, this product's simplicity of use plus usefulness are accomplishing far better, though the expense of the item can also be very good.

A residential electric permission merchandise firm this China Biteansuo (BitAnswer), Shenzhen-use the actual (Euse) Safengine Corporation.

There are few companies will acquire his or her electrical consent plan, although the developers to cultivate their own programs normally are present the subsequent inquiries:

One) enhancing non-professionals, there are several loopholes inside stability

Two) is tough to obtain variable accreditation manage, management and mathematical functions very simple or virtually no

Several) could be introduced as a way to address the fast issue of short-term method, create far more than predicted in the future as a consequence of protection, stability along with scalability difficulties ongoing to pay

Four) are unable to fulfill market variations brought about by the revolutionary demands about software accreditation product

Application file encryption market developments

The program shield of encryption field developments is actually carefully involving the increase tendency with the software program business. Together with the interest in cloud computing and also Software, service of software package products and solutions will be alter in the way of the circle along with foundation. Used by the vast majority of software package builders, SaaS solutions will not solely save a great deal of hardware and software pay for and also servicing charges, you can also get requirement, although reducing the using chance, driving foundation providers to help continually develop solutions in addition to boost services for you to sustain shoppers.

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Might forecast not able to consumer electronics accredited merchandise should have the subsequent principal features:

Good authorized managing podium: made available from third-party protection skilled software package programmers, in accordance with the Web's one-stop software package security and also permission operations foundation, without the need to install and sustain, affordable, easy-to-use.

Two Adaptable Licence: support the agreement of the purchaser software program as well as the cloud-computing model standard software package permission; approved press occasion, how many sensible web template modules; accepted so that you can hole the computer hardware and software data, encrypted sheild hair, and also using a user name and also private data verification way for consent.

Easy and warm and friendly buyer experience: in line with the World wide web, everywhere entry; Users could self serve buffet pay for, stimulate rrmprove the application, you can purchase their own software program to keep up-to-date with info; software program builders might discover more about application account activation details in addition to individual facts is usually synergies because of the individuals this company in order to complete the design of software licenses, implementation, supervision in addition to upkeep operate.

Five. Clouds licensing type: This is the cloud computing model of software program certification. Traditional software is natural purchaser rendering, permission can also be a purchaser. Whilst cloud computing could be the movement, though the transition difficult for common application will be a wonderful way for the certain amount of cloud-computing transformation. This definite realization regarding strategies, a common software program sanctioned shift in the buyer towards the cloud on the acceptance server, to make sure that small adjustments towards the software package, nevertheless, you can easily instantaneously have fun with the benefits associated with cloud-computing: higher security energy requirement to order foriegn safe-keeping .


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this Christmas the shoppers
are all buying up
due to the economy
having a slight pick up

stores are finding it hard
to service demand
as shoppers have a few
spare dollars in hand

healthier trade is happening
all over the place
smiles can be seen on
many a store owner's face

toys and barbeques
are selling like hotcakes
so too socks teddy bears
and garden rakes

this Yule Tide Season
is very much improved
as there is a lot of merchandize
getting moved

last year the economy
was in a down kind of rend
and people couldn't afford
to spend spend spend
Mateuš Conrad Jul 2018
/             conversation over a bbq dinner
being given the information
over a new M.I. movie..
i really think tom cruise
should have won an oscar for -
        born on the 4th of july...
without bias,
   but given the oscar award for
the grunting and heaving,
and minimal dialogue / monologue
of leonardo's the revenant?
the world is a cul de sac...
  and what remains of it...
is a shitshow worth, of a congested street
with nothing but, paupers /
            window-shoppers to be lined up;
mannequins coming alive
     and taking to disco dancing
the hell out of having donned
       a boney m afro;
                 drunk, squinty eyed...
   looking around, surmising my
                    thought with...            huh?!
it's a good thing i'm this good at
drinking, never having dropped acid.
Fiona Guest Jun 2011
Hot today
Road-crossing slow
Couples snail-walk
Love on show

Buses queued
Shoppers bagged
Cars throb-beat
Traffic drag

Mid-road-island
Man is lost
Tiny dog
Seeks lamppost

Time getaway
Stop revolve
Go home vicar
Mystery solved
She shuts her eyes, an image comes
An image comes unbidden,
Pictures play inside her mind
Of things she's long kept hidden.
He shuts his eyes, no image comes
No visions plague his mind,
If our third eye true exists
Then his third eye is blind.

Memories haunt him  every night
They swamp him in her bed,
This movie runs twice nightly in
The cinema of him head.
No memories haunt his sleep at night
No conscience ****** his sleep,
Any thoughts of shame or guilt
He's long since buried deep.
˜
Her fears are always lurking
By day they dog her stride,
The only thing that gets her through
A dwindling sense of pride.
A cheery laughing joker
A smile e'er in place,
Before this day is over
He'll wear a different face.

With weary step and tired mind
She walks a busy street,
Across a press of shoppers
His and her eyes meet.
Each one knows the other
She falls at last to grief,
Her innocence was stolen
Before her stands the thief.

A friend puts arms around her
Takes her home to weep,
A sobbing revelation of
The terrors of her sleep.
Guilt at last has found him
His very soul is smote,
Shame bites deep within him
Its bile burns his throat.

This night will be quite different
Two roles will be reversed,
Talk and tears will cleanse her
Remorse will leave him cursed.
˜
She shuts her eyes, no image comes
For once she's free of fears,
Tonight her sleep is peaceful
The first in six long years.
He shuts his eyes, an image comes
An image comes unbidden,
Guilt invades his sleeping mind
No more to be kept hidden.
Snehith Kumbla May 2016
ahoy,
all of you,
shoppers,
loafers,
lechers,
ladies...

could you please
tie your handkerchiefs
and dupattas*
together
and all of it
to the end
of a stone
and fling it to
this open window

?
?
?

so that I
can climb
down
and flee

What?
Louder!

Yes,
I could have
just asked
the boss
but escape
makes it
so much
more alive

You
See

I
need
such
kicks
from
time
to
time
dupatta* - a traditional long cloth draped over the salwar kameez worn by Indian women..
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2016
now i know why i might engage with writing obscene
poems, chauvinism included, but still there
is no burning excuse in my mind with the way
western society actively desires censorship of certain
words, i already attributed censoring obscene
words as worse than what this tactic precipitates into:
the apathetic spread of *******, and violence
in general... it crosses my mind that sparring with violent
language cushions people from violet action...
to utilise violent language with that: pardon my French
attitude does more good than evil on the users...
how many road rage incidents could have been avoided
if people were unable to watch their tongue:
somehow we're making language sterile, by actively
pursuing this sort of censorship: which is not even
remotely politically related / motivated, we're bringing
an anaemic status quo in how fluidly we speak -
we desire to not hear the sometimes funny and the sometimes
awful... but we choose to see the god-fearing horrific...
ask any blind-man about music and he'd say:
well, i can dance to it in a nucleus position, centrally
gravitational pull - but ask the deaf man about
what he has to say when seeing **** written to counter
obscenity, as in cartoon-like: f&%£! it's just plain silly,
pocket-sized expression of psychotic behaviours,
rummaging through them i find only one source of inspiration:
the fact that we're in this blind-man's garden of innocence,
somehow dressed in the camouflage of censorship such
a tiny problem, that it does indeed require 23 mattresses
for the princess to not feel the frozen *** agitating her...
this sort of censorship in its application is under
a false sense of purpose, it really doesn't change people's
behaviour for the better, it doesn't pacify them, in does
the reverse: it infuriates, it makes violence more potent...
i'm still trying to figure out why such words
will make our perceptions saintly... unless of course
that's the reason behind them, as way of invoking an
anaesthetic placebo, a placebo that's actually active rather
than passive - presuming the anaesthetic placebo gives
way to an aesthetic active apathy-inducing ingredient...
meaning we can't bare to hear swear words, but we can
gladly watch 20 hours of 20 : 1 ****... censoring **** ****
**** **** will not escape Newtonian physics...
given our current scenario, Newtonian physics is far
more important than Einstein's relativity, i'd hate to be
in denial about cause & effect... as began with Socrates,
i too abhor moral relativism... of course Newton got
the gravity bit wrong, but i like the simpler version...
plus... there was no Romance with Einstein...
no apple, no tree, no Voltaire... meaning we don't necessarily
write history collectively, with all of us starting from
the big bang or the view from the Galapagos islands...
we don't... we continue writing history not from a
collective consciousness genesis... or from the collective
unconscious genesis - that's Jung with his archetypes
(devil, god, wise man, mother, father etc.) rather than
dreams (Freud) - we can chose were to write the future...
it's not so much ignorance as arm-chair intellectualism,
it's not about the safety of understanding something,
but the comfort of choosing to understand something...
which is pretty much to my excuse for my previous poems...
Heidegger... and that concept of Dasein -
i never bothered to understand it to the point of
reacting subjectively to it, by that i mean an interest
in writing about it, an interpolation of the subject with
alternative variations... i objectified it, i also countered it
when objectifying the concept turned out to be an
everyday object, shortening my quest.
the counter? hiersein, i.e. being here, here denoting a
solipsistic classification of awareness with / in the world -
which is basically me in my room, admiring my library,
my record collection, my torn sneakers, everything that
is classified exclusive to what dasein evolves into
when all its grammatical weaving only express a verb,
i.e. concern... so i thought, given this what can hiersein
(being here / nonchalance) actually show me as
my lack of interest in: "changing the world".
it became obvious yesterday, i had a hard time when i
didn't read the day's copy of the times (more on this later),
instead i had to suffice with construction site media,
you might have heard of this newspaper: the daily star,
at 20 pence a pop, you will see what £1.20 makes to
your psyche... but that's basically it, i objectified Heidegger's
concept and made it into an everyday object, in this
case and as the only case available: a newspaper -
and the trick is? well, with a newspaper like daily star
you don't actually experience dasein - it's completely
missing in this style of media, and that's worrying given
my barbaric poetry of yesterday... it's missing, not there,
such object-for-object chirality is what gives birth to
hiersein (being here); but today i returned to my usual
media diet, a flicked through the times and the natural
balance of personal objects and a fresh impersonal object
coexisted - the newspaper is truly the most adequate
compounded expression of Heidegger's dasein -
which i attribute to the constant need to emphasise an
empathy with others... empathising is a neutral form
of sympathising, since sympathy is sourced in shared
experiences: **** victims (e.g.) - therefore empathy is
something that in the ontological structuring of dasein,
which opposes the ontological structuring of hiersein,
which is structured by apathy; there is nothing else for
me to write, apart from the compendium proof
of the disparity of sources, i.e. headlines and subheadings:

- prior compendium -

i will never understand the point of autobiographies,
the majority of autobiographies are written
on a p.s. basis, after the facts / actions,
never immediately, concerning ideas /
solidified thoughts, thoughts condensed into idea
that allow thinking / cognitive narration to
continue regardless with what's being achieved...
i haven't anything autobiographical dissimilar
with something biographical...
Plato wrote that wonderful biography like
Shakespearean theatre, but i guess his critics felt
the claustrophobic tug & pull of mermaids...
still the problem ascends heights unparalleled -
even with ghost writers doing the leg-work...
cheap-buggers never learned to write, let alone read,
and here they are writing biographies...
ah, **** it... they're only sketches... whether biographic
or autobiographic... they're still mere sketches...
if this was the art world the revenue would come
posthumously, when it comes to literacy
nothing really distinguishes poets from
those prescribing pedestrian signs...
the Olympians can moan at the vacant stadium...
that there's a hierarchy in sports,
with the favoured monochrome idealisation
of where the bunny money is in the whirlpool
of the rabbit hole investment: football, volleyball...
but the literary events are the same...
people love to lie that they read the bestseller to
its full extent... but treat books like chairs and tables...
inertia prone half finished, sat on for 2 weeks of
the entire year... the Olympians are very much
like poets, and i care to distance myself from either
demand for more interest being invoked...
i like esoteric sports, i like esoteric writing...
but that's how it stand: poets are Olympians where
novelists are footballers, who retire at 30 and
then think about what to do with their wages
that are 10x higher than the everyday labourer...
start a restaurant, buy a strip of houses in Liverpool
like Michael Owen? good guess, here's to exploiting
youth disgracefully... that's what they're getting,
and these are the dilemma points to consider...
they're the equivalent gladiators of our time,
Rome was just a sleeper before it awoke once more...
but i'll never understand why these
people decided to exploit literature for gain...
all these academics with their pristine purity of discovery
are pacified when dictating print,
what poet, has a chance in hell, to appear gladly
excavated from Plato's cave of television?
about none.
i too was focusing on 20th century literature,
before 21st literature came about...
and i thought, oh god: they're really going to create
a totalitarian democracy, every artist will be
strip-searched for adding cinnamon and chilli to their
writing to bounce away from conformist
sober and sane extraction of alter wordings...
this 21st scene will become polarised...
we'll have the extinction of One Direction over a joint,
while the Rolling Stones drank a keg of whiskey
and pulled off a show... we'll have moralisation
of the fans to subdue the artists, which will mean
no artist will ably create a zeitgeist to rebel... everyone
will suddenly experience a weird sort of communism...
the worst kind... it will mean having
all the mental freedoms without the ability to
economise a coup... basically an inertia, an immediate
fatality... we can't economise a coup...
which boils down to why so many autobiographies
aren't really biographic, but rather consolidating,
by the meaning: autobiographic i intended to relate
the everyday... the most secretive account of life:
the everyday... this is stressing Proust,
even though i preferred Joyce over Proust i keep
the everyday the prime ideal: the only detail,
so that an autobiography can make sense,
automation of writing, like breathing or sneezing...
not some monetary-spinning device 20 years after
the facts... 20 years later you're pretty much writing
fiction... i am all for the biosphere of expanding
Alveoli... but when did you ever read an autobiography
that mentioned the taste of weak coffee
from the Friday of 20th of August 2016? never;
you read autobiographies
like you read self-help books...  waiting for
all that experience regurgitating motivational talk
about reaching a plateau of comparative success...
i can understand autobiographies written by the elders,
i understand biographies written about people
posthumously - but the tragedy is, given the spinning
wheel of money? we're getting "auto" biographies
written toward their 3rd volume renditions of
people aged 30... let alone 40... so much for
western society having the upper hand on political matters...
just saying: sort your own **** before trying
to sort other people's problems...
i could understand if these autobiographies were written
as described: automaton solo... but they're not...
before the compendium it's this everlasting presence
of a desired body of power being depicted:
prior the monopoly of knowledge, there was a monopoly
of literacy... given that 99% of us are literate, it
actually doesn't mean a third donkey's *******
whether we can read, or write, we got shelved in controlling
this once priestly vanity, we got taught bureaucracy alongside...
but the monopoly of literacy is way past us,
we're being convened in the ability to monopolise knowledge,
(oh please, don't let the paranoia seep in,
remember yourself when reading me, once in a while,
i don't drag you to phantasmagorical heights, even if i could,
i'd prefer you being agile in learning how to be bored
than letting your repel the same boredom i too share,
well... but **** me if you want to be the next Lenin) -
and the easiest way to monopolise knowledge? the media...
you basically need a lot of facts, and an evolved version
of dialectics, dialectics being the prime enemy of democracy
(it's not an alternative political model like despotism as
we are held to believe, it's actually dialectics,
suppressing other forms of collectivisation is the one
sure method of suppressing the attempt at dialectics
(individualism) - by making people overly opinionated,
ergo: the inability to engage with opinions, blind-alleys
throughout all plausible attempts to do so) -
so once you have enough facts to fiddle with the Rubik's cube
of juxtaposition, you end up with the ultra-scientific
form of dialectics... the matter of opinion in relation
to truth without a relative uniformity that prescribes
the status quo stasis is a debate about how accurate
we all are: i.e., is that true to the closest centimetre,
or the closest millimetre? it's a bit like watching a Zeno
paradox:
                 10.1                           and 10.01
      which one's tortoise and which is Achilles?
well, you know; ah ****! the compendium of the two
newspapers which got me slightly depressed...

- the compendium -

a. daily star

- B. BRO SAM'S SECRET 'NERVOUS BREAKDOWN'
- Laura & Jason's baby joy
- Robbie (Williams) £1.6M a night!
- BREXIT BOOST ON JOB FRONT
- ANGE DAD BACKS TRUMP
- JR'S wife Linda set to Holly
- Edd's no Beverly Hills flop
(Lana among cow *******)
- LAURA: OUR TINY TROTTS WILL BE WORLD-BEATERS
- FURY AT BAD LOSERS' SLURS
- 'Jealous sis' jibes
- MAKE YOUR KID AN OLYMPICS ACE
- Peaty: I want to be a rapper
- TV girl really ill
- **** SAM, 'ON THE BRINK OF BREAKDOWN'
- COSTA ***** HELL
- CAGING ANJEM WILL INSPIRE NEW JIHADIS
- POG'S LOADED AGENT BUYS CAPONE'S LAIR
- I'll make Kylie a pop star
- JEZ DOESN'T KNOW ANT FROM HIS DEC
- GUILTY OF DEMONIC SAVAGERY
- Great British Rake In
- Britain is *******
- BAYWATCH U.K.
- Va Va Vroom
- JUST JANE: My lover snubs plea to get wed
- HART: I'LL DECIDE WHEN TO GO.

b. the times

- Boy victim becomes a symbol of Assad's war
- US Olympics swimmers invented robbery tale, say Rio police
- Make us sell healthy food, supermarkets implore May (P.M.)
- Lost weekend of the lying best man
- fears over free speech delay law to silence hate preacher
- Met's 'commuter cops' live in France
- Husbands happiest when they earn half as much as wives
- Socialists plot to drive Britain left
- Fake human sacrifice filmed at European high altar of physics
- Officers investigated over ex-footballer's Taser death
- Number of pupils taking languages at record low
   (Mandarin @ 2,849 - % decrease of 8.1,
    alarmingly religious studies 27,032 up by 4.9%
    and psychology of status 59,469 up by 4.3%....
    meaning the mad will soon be diagnosing the sane
   as mad, just because the curriculum said so)
- Top grades add up to 100% at the school for maths prodigies
- Deprived sixth formers thrive on competition
- European students rush to get into British universities
- DVLA earns £10m selling driver's details
- Mystery over Kenyan death of aristocrat
- Journalist who voted twice reported to police for
  'fraud'
- Tomato tax threatens European trade war
- Love story of the Pantomime
- Homeless conmen fleeced widow, 81
- Brownlee brothers at the Olympics...
- Hopeful shoppers give sales a lift after Brexit vote
- MoD guard could be stood down despite terrot threat
- Owners spit mansion after failing to sell
- The job with international appeal: saving our hedgehogs
- Finch warns unborn chicks if weather gets warm
- Migrant violence rises after decline in policing around Jungle
- Longest road tunnel promises a relaxing ride under Pennines
- Mothers step up to drive Tube trains through night
(rowdy teens ageing exponentially on a Saturday night
when not getting a lift, ******...)
-MP's deal with bookmaker to be investigated
- Ebola nurse 'hid high temperature'
- Shoesmith's ex-huspand kept child *******
- Morpurgo war tale springs into life
- Supergran fights off teenage muggers
- IVF is more successful for white women
OPINION SECTION
- Great political fiction is good for democracy
- the BBC is leaving its audiences in the dark
- airline food? just pass me the gin and tonic
- Modern Olympics began on the fields of Rugby
/ greasy polls, holding firm, tongue tied,
  call for compulsory targets to tackle obesity,
second in line, mindfulness course, cost of planning,
puffins v. ship rats.... and all future letters to the editor /
- Moscow presses Turkey for access to US airbases
- Hundreds killed each month in Assad's jails
- Putin bans celebration of defeated KGB coup
(another James Bond movie on the cards,
i'm assured, and with a moral carte blanche) -
Hollande clams Carla Bruni spied concerning his
use of diapers...
- Euthanasia tourists flock Belgian A & E from France,
  where a revival of ****** made people dress shark-fin
  sharp on the catwalk...
- Mosquito pesticide linkage application = intersex /
   East German women
- Haiti cholera linked to Nepalese **** and ***** via
  the
anastasiad Dec 2016
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Maggie evans Apr 2019
Plastic plates bowls and cups
loaded on recycling trucks.
You've had your party thrown it away,
Less to wash up at the end of the day.
But few fall out they blow in winds,
Escape the grasp of the recycling bin.
Not all bags are renewable plastic,
Less strong now not so fantastic.
So write a note for a new tote,
Handles far stronger less likely broke.

It's not our problem it's goods we buy,
There wrapped and packaged to the shoppers eye.
But when the seas are less serene
Choked on plastics and polystyrene.
Death tolls rise numbers of sea life plummet,
Dont ya think its time we do summit?
To a turtle or whale a tasty dish,
To dine upon the jellyfish.
Not a bag for life that passes by,
That binds them to starvation before they die.

So the seas bob in colour of plastic pollution.
Times running out what to be a solution?
Its high time we started a clean up revolution!
To use less packaging to educate all.
Before the tides continue to rise and we loose them all.

The ice caps are melting at an alarming rate,
How long before for all it's too late.
Eco systems absorb UV,
cool the world for nature to be.
Polar life need ice to remain,
In cooler climates to sustain.
But as they melt and tides continue to rise,
Am losing hope for their demise.

Leave the jungles and forrests for self restoration,
Less fossil fuels and deforestation.
The trees keep falling from constant felling,
With palm oil growing; plantations swelling.
Our orange ancestors the orangutan,
Has been their homes since the jungles began.
To break life cycles whole eco systems,
It's time to change the world with our wit and wisdom.

Else what do we leave to the future generations,
Man on earth just viral abominations.
Just a glimpse at climate change, it's high time we change our habits not their habitats!
It is my sincere pleasure to inform you of the return of the Robins to Hill Country .... Stately , regal birds they are , with a dark gray coat and a breastplate of burnt orange ... Telling tall tales of their Winter quarters ,
blessing my backyard by the veritable hundreds ..
Dining voraciously on earthworms and grasshoppers , sifting through the
grass like diligent window shoppers .. Singing sweet melodies and carrying on conversations , 'tis a great blessing indeed to have them home from vacation ...
Copyright January 28 , 2016 by Randolph L Wilson * All Rights Reserved
Olivia Kent Dec 2015
The sky is hanging black as coal.
As ebony descends it's startling rain.
The wind that started as a minor breeze.
Let all remaining leaves fly free.
What leaves are left be chameleons.
Changelings in the heavy light,
Between the light as darkness falls.
In the city the wind dared bite back.
Screaming banshee like.
Short in sweater freezing back.
Marching on the autobus.
A store full of students are fussing and cussing.
Moaning and groaning as they hang in the queue.
Upon the bus the minions storm.
Saturday shopping.
Weekend norm.
(c)LIVVI
AprilDawn Nov 2014
My heart scans
for a familiar face
through throngs
of strangers
as they scatter
pell mell
around me
eager shoppers
casing brightly lit
  sale stuffed store fronts
while seduced
by the siren song of fresh coffee  
coupled  with
sticky sweet  cinnamon buns
suddenly
the bitter fact
swallows  me
whole again
you no longer reside
anywhere
outside
of  my dreams
In the weeks , months  and even the first year  after my husband's brutal death in 2002  , the occasional mall  visit  would turn into bleak despair  every time . I automatically  scanned faces  looking for him, until I remembered suddenly  that he was dead.   I felt like I was on an island  of  heartbreak in the middle of a crowded  mall. Life rushed past me during those times  , and I felt   like a total outcast, nothing in common with  everyday life anymore.
Nigel Morgan Dec 2012
There's a passage in a story by John Buchan where a minor character explains how a good mystery story is created: take at least three random subjects or events and connect them together. Here goes.
 
A toothbrush
Covent Garden
Wildflowers*
 
Interesting to let the mind float free and subjects appear unbidden, thought Marcus. The moon had risen and out at sea its reflections caressed the swelling waves. Calm the night after such a day of being about.
 
Gregory had phoned him, early. Marcus had been lying in bed. Sylvia had just returned from the bathroom and had folded herself into his arms. Their collective feet had conversed amicably as early morning feet do. She was still tingling a little from the passion they had shared, stretching herself languorously like a cat coming into the warm after a cold night out.
 
'Marcus,' said Gregory, 'it's today.' And that was all. The line went dead, but that was all he needed to know.
 
He extricated himself from Sylvia who was intent either on sleep or further love-making. She was incorrigible, but so so desirable.
 
I'll just take a toothbrush he thought as he swiftly shaved. He picked a new pink one still in its packet and put it in his bag with the papers, a map, his camera . . .
 
He thought about Ripley as he steered the car onto the motorway. That character fascinated him and he wondered if its inventor Patricia Highsmith had ever known such a man; a nice good-looking man, but selfish and nasty. Marcus wondered if he was selfish and nasty. He reckoned he was.
 
When he reached Covent Garden, parking illegally in Jermine street, he wasted no time in walking directly to Turino's. There, amongst the tourists and the out of town shoppers was Greg.
 
'I have this little package for you. Don't open it until you reach Southwold. Park in front of the Lion Hotel. Do nothing until she appears, which she will do after her lunch with the doctor. Then follow her. We think she'll go to Ben's. If she does we want the pictures . . . and as explicit as possible. Leave the package.'
 
It's at least two and a half hours to this village on the Suffolk coast. Until Ipswich he scarcely regarded the early summer colours, the plaintive skies, fields stretching to woods, the occasional grandeur of parkland.
 
He stopped for coffee at a services and called Sylvia.
 
'Hi Sylvia it's me.'
'Where are you? I was hoping we'd spend the morning together.'
'Well Greg called . . . I'm on my way to the seaside.'
'Oh . . . no time for Sylvia today?'
'Not today'
'Tonight?'
'if all goes to plan'
' You journalists, you're all the same . .'
 
But he wasn't. He was different. He didn't just write, he could investigate, uncover things, hack into mobile phones, get the compromising images.
 
Yes, she was going to Ben's . North, on the Norwich road. No hesitation. She drove fast. He had to have his wits about him. When she turned off the main road to the mill he carried on, then doubled back and two miles further on parked within sight of the building.
 
Her red car was there the courtyard. He decided on getting in from the garden so left the road for an adjoining field. Waist high in a profusion of grasses and wildflowers Marcus made his way painstakingly towards a collection of outbuildings, the indoor swimming pool, garages, an office.
 
The pictures were good. Both of them, together. The architect and the broker. Lovers, conspirators, thieves. They deserved everything coming to them.
 
He had entered the mill briefly. There were voices upstairs, a little laughter and then silence. He left the package on the kitchen table propped up against a vase.
 
They'd been following her movements for months after he'd taken his suspicions to Fred. Yes, he'd been so lucky. A wine bar conversation, an aggrieved employee, a few leaked documents and it all came together. And now this . . . the ****** stuff the paper loved.
 
He decided not to go back to Sylvia tonight but walk by the sea, let the gentle whoosh of water on the pebbled strand sooth his ruffled conscience. He had done his job. There would be other intrusions. Investigations, revelations. Mr Nice but nasty like The Talented Mr Ripley, he thought.
Hunter Traver Jan 2015
Crap-tastic manufacturers thicken molasses,
While the turkey workers burn by the boss shoppers.
Consumers pay your bills and spit out your will,
After they chew up the crews and disrespect the efforts turned black.
Good intentions don't exist and content is what they expect.
So take pride that your worth dies when your work is defined by the consumers ability to think they're always right.
And remember that reason takes a slumber when consumers choose the seasons of the year they want to see.
I hate my job

— The End —