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

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

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

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

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


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

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

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

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
This is far from a
car S-p-a--C-y
Oh! My? Crossover traveler
The Phyton
Top of the rank
collision-course
New job space
planning tech magic cursor

Magical Podcast*

Do we have space
Sci-Fi-Hi Meeting
Googling creating playing
Cheating Overexaggerating
And faking our
(dead)lines

Not meeting our deadlines
What is the right time?
Spacewalking on the yellow brick
the road you are my sunshine*
"Million light years away from being rich"?

     Lucy in the Sky
       LSD-Little space devil
No/space for Jack the shinning
of diamonds, this isn't Oz
Emerald City or spin-off

Climb the ladder space objects clutter
Posh-Rich Witch is which
The last epidemic standup comic

Crawling having a ball Spalding

That Spiderwomen kvetch
Wolftie face switched
Fox lies moms moon pies
The collision of the moon
Space monkey baboon
The equation or burning
Sun people in devastation

Magic God

What time holds the
Mass control Einstein the professor
The brain exploding stars
Study hall those equations

In Princeton New Jersey
Those tiny particles lost in space
This corporation division
*
Space Between_

*Hard paper scissors and
Mr. Rock

It's time to money pound
The Big Ben clock
"Do we act like the only
one on this planet"                  
The Singularity
The multiplicity
The burning sun
*
War of the Military
Hot fun "Twin City"
Medieval twin planets

She's brace-space and he's
Well known physic
energy flowing one
step beyond collision of '
     Two Gods"

Magic space-lotus love of "Venus_
Pond

The Mall of America Star Spangle Banner
Next International flight became a winner

Plants and animals
The primal magic
Catching the
planets there both
emerging
The submerging eye
Space-out engaging

The civilization nightmare
On the cusp right here
Martian stripe and stars
Wipeout species of mars
Gravitatious collide of lovers
Confused about earthlings
More siblings another planet colliding

Like a space odyssey ground control to
      "Major Tom"
Fe fi fun on space run
Our Earth Mondadori
Spicy pleasure taste for
Chicken Tandoori
Magical dish
Make a wish

Magic hands believing

Metagalactic space and time
Holy God realistic
Osprey someone is the prey
In the movie magical classic
Breakfast at Tiffanys
Holiday mind dressed up window
"Out of our comfort zone
eating to the end twilight zone widow"

The extra enchanted evening
For the Moms only
Our heads over space
heels hit the ceiling

Eggs Benedict, the salt wasn't kosher
Artsy Audrey Hepburn don't push her

Celestial Ocean Space Steven Universe
The Christmas madness sale
Poison Ivy Pointsetta what
a vendetta
Interstellar meeting her
new race feeling out of place
Adulation like a prosecution
Space collide anytime
can explode

Two worlds become tragic
Space station not a game
A haunting catastrophic
Collision Titanic ship

Magically got more modified
Needing a space program the
spy to identify  

Dragonfly to Madame Butterfly
Space of magic crime-space
All spots, not Dalmatian
Space wings set up for Superman
Magic fan rising adrenaline
Monster cookies for Madeline

Fire and Ice Global warming
wildfires now the collision
On another planet warning
Miracle blessing of magic
Someone before or after
just to touch them

We cannot stop this craziness
The outburst goes pop the weasel

Magic place portal
Something in the way
to crumble like a baby
firstborn rocking her cradle

The curiosity space philosophy
Like breed of cats,
Licking tongue envelope
The cats eye Egyptian
Terrified space milk the tabby
Meeting my space hubby

Microscopic became two dots .-.
Space became a new buried plot
Is this all I got Twitter
Home run ball and
New York Dodgers
Brooklyn bat *******

So compelled to the computer
Designed the Rover robot lover
Magical Elton John
wedding
space planner
Across the Universe
John Lennon
Bennie and the Jets
Like a science
Teacher's pets

Eyes spaced out the magic place within**
So sacred magic hat Rabbit
Mountain bear Airspace Hobbit
Roll over Beethoven
The dog bone playing space I tunes

The spaceship magic
fingers piano
Plays one enchanted evening
Let me see the beautiful
new awakening
When Robin sings
Her magical wand
Lights up the world
of hands magical awaits

Remember "A Poem" can be magic
Collison in Space or Good earth how do we collide into one another planet some fire exposed in our words can we change the way we feel we collide again but what happens when our planets collide
Danny Valdez Dec 2011
I’d get a call over the walkie-talkie, write down what parts were needed, find them in the parts’ warehouse tent, load ’em up, and deliver them to the job site. It was pretty easygoing. In between orders I’d just sit in the air-conditioned truck, listening to Howard Stern and napping here and there. When I could. After a month, they hired another guy to be my partner. He was a computer programming geek, married with kids, and he had these stupid cartoon tattoos all over his arms. Japanese anime **** and Hanna-Barbara characters. The guy really got on my nerves, one of those know-it-all nerds.
Our boss was the biggest Native I’d ever seen. Looked like a Navajo Andre the Giant, only he had a big, black, handlebar mustache. Which as surprising, because, I was under the impression Navajo’s couldn’t grow ****** hair. He stood at nearly 6’6” with long skinny legs, a barrel chest covered in silver and turquoise jewelry. When he got angry, his eyes went wild, like fire raging out of control. Like the time I got the flatbed truck stuck on an embankment and the back axle snapped off. “******* JUNIOR!” he shouted. My old man was one of the foremen there, so everyone just called me Junior. Oh yes, my boss, Darren, was a scary guy to say the least. So me and my delivery partner were making a run to the jobsite one day, the radio blaring “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, just getting into the fast final part of the song. The good part. Right in the middle of the guitar solo, my partner changed the station to Nickleback, of all things. I quickly switched it back to the Skynyrd.
“What’s wrong with you? Don’t change it in the middle of “Free Bird,” I said.
My partner rolled his eyes and switched it back to Nicklecrap.
“Come on, get with the times, man. This is the new ****.”
“Yeah, **** is right.”
I switched it back AGAIN, but the song was ending.
“You made me miss the song, ya’ ******’ *****.’
“Why don’t ya’ just cry about it then?”
“*******.”
We delivered the parts and parked the truck back inside the parts’ warehouse tent. With no calls coming in over the radio, we cranked the a/c and dozed off to Howard Stern talking about an “**** ring toss” game they were going to play. I woke up an hour later to Darren’s angry voice coming in over the radio. “Where the **** are you guys? *******, we got parts that gotta go out. I’m headed to the tent …”
I looked over to my partner, snoring away in the driver’s seat. For a second, I contemplated waking him up. Then I remembered the Lynard Skynyrd/Nickleback incident, and I left him sleeping in the truck. I walked out of the tent, to the Port-John to take a squirt. When I returned to the tent, Darren was staring at my partner, who was still asleep in the truck. Darren’s eyes were big and crazy; he was furious. He turned to me.
“What the ****, Junior?”
“I’ve been trying to get him up, but he just won’t budge. I’m having to do all this work myself!”
“******* …” Darren said, with a heavy sigh, before pounding on the driver’s side window.
“Andy! Wake the **** up, *******! Junior’s carrying all the weight here!”
Andy did wake up. He glared at me, and I smiled back with a ****-eating grin.
You don’t ever interrupt The Free Bird. I don't care what your name is.
Pearl smoke Sep 2014
iUsed To Be A Dope Dealer .
**** Turned On Me, Now im The Dope Feind.
Mary Jane Used To Be My Main its
Insane, Now iGot Methamphetamine
iN My Veins.
& iDont Give A ****** **** iLove
Them Stronger Drugs
iDont Take Em To Avoid Problems.
iCan Solve Them.
iDo iT For The High & Them
Dialated Eyes.
Can You See That iM Krazie
****** Up Mentality Since The Age
Of 13.
iGet Twisted So My Life Can Look Unrealistic iGot That Sick Sober High
My Times Quickly Passing By.
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.



And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
www.youtube.com/
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.


Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.



Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
                                                        
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Humanoid.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
Ah the persimmon, a word from an extinct language of the Powatan people of the tidewater Virginia, spoken until the mid 18th C when its Blackfoot Indian speakers switched to English. It was putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, then persimmon, a fruit. Like the tomato, it is a ‘true berry’.
 
Here in this postcard we have a painting of four kaki: the Japanese persimmon. Of these four fruit, one is nearly ripe; three are yet to ripen. They have been picked three days and shelter under crinkled leaves, still stalked. Now, the surface on which these astringent, tangy fruit rest, isn’t it wondrous in its blue and mottled green? It is veined, a ceramic surface perhaps? The blue-green mottled, veined surface catches reflected light; the shadows are delicate but intense.
 
You told me that it troubled you to read my stories because so often they stepped between reality and fantasy, truth and playful invention. When you said this I meant to say (but we changed the subject): I write this way to confront what I know to be true but cannot present verbatim. I have to make into a fiction my remembered observations, those intense emotions of the moment. They are too precious not to save, and like the persimmon benefit from laying out in the sun to dry: to be eaten raw; digested to rightly control my ch’i, and perhaps your ch’i too.
 
So today a story about four kaki, heart-shaped hachiya, and hidden therein those most private feelings, messages of love and passion, what can be seen, what is unseen, thoughts and un-thoughts, mysteries and evasions.
 
                                                                            ----
 
 
Professor Minoru retired last year and now visits his university for the occasional show of his former colleagues and their occasionally-talented students. He spends his days in his suburban house with its tiny non-descript garden: a dog run, a yard no less. No precious garden. It is also somewhere (to his neighbours’ disgust) to hang wet clothes. It is just grass surrounded by a high fence. He walks there briefly in the early morning before making tea and climbing the stairs to his studio.
 
The studio runs the whole length of his house. When his wife Kinako left him he obliterated any presence of her, left his downtown studio, and converted three rooms upstairs into one big space. This is where Mosuku, his beautiful Akita, sleeps, coming downstairs only to eat and defecate in the small garden. Minoru and Mosuku go out twice each day: to midday Mass at the university chaplaincy; to the park in the early evening to meet his few friends walking their dogs. Otherwise he is solitary except for three former students who call ‘to keep an eye on the old man’.
 
He works every day. He has always done this, every day. Even in the busiest times of the academic year, he rose at 5.0am to draw, a new sheet of mitsumatagami placed the night before on his worktable ready. Ready for the first mark.
 
Imagine. He has climbed the stairs, tea in his left hand, sits immediately in front of this ivory-coloured paper, places the steaming cup to his far left, takes a charcoal stick, and  . . . the first mark, the mark from the world of dreams, memories, regrets, anxieties, whatever the night has stored in his right hand appears, progresses, forms an image, a sketch, as minutes pass his movement is always persistence, no reflection or studied consideration, his sketch is purposeful and wholly his own. He has long since learnt to empty his hand of artifice, of all memory.
 
When Kinako left he destroyed every trace of her, and of his past too. So powerful was his intent to forget, he found he had to ask the way to Shinjuko station, to his studio in the university. He called in a cleaning company to remove everything not in two boxes in the kitchen (of new clothes, his essential documents, 5 books, a plant, Mosuko’s feeding bowl). They were told (and paid handsomely) to clean with vigour. Then the builders and decorators moved in. He changed his phone number and let it be known (to his dog walker friends) that he had decided from now on to use an old family name, Sawato. He would be Sawato. And he was.
 
His wife, and she was still that legally, had found a lover. Kinako was a student of Professor Minoru, nearly thirty years younger, and a fragile beauty. She adored ‘her professor’, ‘her distinguished husband’, but one day at an opening (at Kinosho Kikaku – Gallery 156) she met an American artist, Fern Sophie Citron, and that, as they say in Japan, was that. She went back to Fern’s studio, where this rather plump middle-aged woman took photographs of Kinako relentlessly in costume after costume, and then without any costume, on the floor, in the bath, against a wall, never her whole body, and always in complete silence. Two days later she sent a friend to collect her belongings and to deliver a postcard to her husband. It was his painting of four persimmon. Persimmon (1985) 54 by 36 cm, mineral pigment on paper.
 
‘Hiroshi’, she wrote in red biro, ‘I am someone else now it is best you do not know. Please forgive’.
 
Sawato’s bedroom is on the ground floor now. There is a mat that is rolled away each morning. On the floor there are five books leaning against each other in a table-top self-standing shelf. The Rule of St Benedict (in Latin), The I-Ching (in Chinese), The Odes of Confucius, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (10th C folk tale) and a manual of Go, the Shogi Zushiki. Placed on a low table there is a laptop computer connected to the Internet, and beside the computer his father’s Go board (of dark persimmon wood), its counters pebbles from the beach below his family’s home. Each game played on the Internet he transcribes to his physical board.
 
He ascribes his mental agility, his calm and perseverance in his studio practice, to his nightly games of Go in hyperspace. He is an acknowledged master. His games studied assiduously, worldwide.
 
For 8 months in 1989 he studied the persimmon as still-life. He had colleagues send him examples of the fruit from distant lands. The American Persimmon from Virginia, the Black Persimmon or Black Sapote from Mexico (its fruit has green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe), the Mabolo or Velvet-apple native to Philippines - a bright red fruit when ripe, sometimes known as the Korean Mango, and more and more. His studio looked like a vegetable store, persimmons everywhere. He studied the way the colours of their skins changed every day. He experimented with different surfaces on which to place these tannin-rich fruits. He loved to touch their skins, and at night he would touch Kinako, his fingers rich from the embrace of fifty persimmon fruits, and she . . . she had never known such gentleness, such strength, such desire. It was as though he painted her with his body, his long fingers tracing the shape of the fruit, his tongue exploring each crevice of her long, slim, fruit-rich body. She had never been loved so passionately, so completely. At her desk in the University library special collection, where she worked as a researcher for a fine art academic journal, she would dream of the night past and anticipate the night to come, when, always on her pillow a different persimmon, she would fall to ****** and beyond.
 
Minoru drew and painted, printed and photographed more persimmons than he could keep track of. After six months he picked seven paintings, and a collection of 12 drawings. The rest he burnt. When he exhibited these treasures, Persimmon (1989) Mineral pigment on paper 54, by 36 cm was immediately acquired by Tokyo National Museum. It became a favourite reproduction, a national treasure. He kept seeing it on the walls of houses in magazines, cheap reproductions in department stores, even on a TV commercial. Eventually he dismissed it, totally, from his ever-observant, ever-scanning eyes. So when Kinako sent him the postcard he looked at it with wonder and later wrote this poem in his flowing hand using the waka style:
 
 
*Ah, the persimmon
Lotus fruit of the Gods
 
Heartwood of a weaver’s shuttle,
The archer’s bow, the timpanist sticks,
 
I take a knife to your ripe skin.
Reveal or not the severity of my winter years.
Alyssa May 2017
Dear Ex-Best Friend,
Remember all the times we spent together,
everyday started with meeting before classes started because that was the only
time we could talk until lunch,
remember all the times we laughed so hard we cried?
Do you remember all the times we had to hold one another in times of the need
because we thought all we had was each other?
Yeah.. Me too.
We spent all the time in the world texting and calling each other.
Things changed a little since I got a boyfriend,
but I never replaced you.
You always had a special place in my heart, and I think you always knew that.
We drifted apart, like two boats at sea.
You switched back to the school you came from,
and it felt like my life had just sunk.
Suddenly I was all alone in the hallways,
Coming in to school was like hell,
Seeing the spot we used to stand in,
Occupied by another set of best friends,
Or maybe two high school sweethearts- Making out like there's no one around.
It was so lonely without you.
You seemed happier where you were though, and at that time, that was all that mattered to me.
I walked the hallways with a sad, sorrowful look.
Teachers frequently asked if I was sick, or if I needed to lay down.
Suddenly I was that one kid that everyone wanted to pick and beat on. (Again.)
I was incredibly lonely at school, I couldn't even sit with anyone at lunch because I was so hated by so many people for reasons I didn't even know.
Come upon my junior year I got a month and a half into the school year before
I switched to the school that you went to.
I was reunited with my best friend,
Life seemed so good.
I was with my boyfriend, and my bestfriend.
It felt like nothing could stop me from gaining happiness.

You began going through boyfriends,
They would come,

and they would go.

I was put second to all of them.
There were days I was so depressed I didn't function correctly,
and all we would talk about is what you and your boyfriend did the previous night.
I was so happy that you were happy,

but I think I forgot the definition of "Happiness."
Everyday was full of being ignored and having guys' push past me so they could hug you while I sat in the sideline just waiting there, tears filling in my eyes because I realized that I wasn't significant to my best friend any more.
I couldn't help but wonder what I did wrong.
I got tired of feeling this way,
I grew up, and realized that highschool isn't meant for gaining the love and affection of people.
I proceeded to end the friendship because it wasn't making me happy anymore.
I understand that a true friend stays there through everything but in no way, shape, or form did I deserve to be kicked to the curb like a diseased puppy.

It hurt, It hurt like a *****.


But ultimately , I'm gonna be okay in the end.

And I hope she ends up okay, too.
But, just be okay without me.
not really a poem but eh.
ju Sep 2011
Keys. Shoved through the letterbox
before I got up-
in an envelope with a note:
Could I (please) feed the cat…
Gone away? Good for her!
Car on the drive. Took a taxi. I think.
To the airport? Didn’t say.
******* with rain-
still, had best leave my shoes on the step just the same.
Obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene-
that’s why he left.
Who, in their right mind, puts cream-coloured carpet in a…?
Door. Not locked. Nearly fell through it.
Strange. She forgot?
Kitchen. Freezer’s empty, switched off.
No cereal . No tins.
Utility room. Spotlessly clean-
twelve! two-kilogram bags of Go-Cat Complete.
Planning to be gone quite a while. I think.
Playroom. Packed up. Kids staying with Nan.
She wants to redecorate before they come home?
Great. A fresh start. I think.
Bedroom. Suitcase on the wardrobe.
Bought a new one? Smaller. Lighter perhaps.
Makes sense. After all- she is travelling alone. I think.
Bathroom. Pristine. Almost empty.
Almost. Macleans and a toothbrush,
in a glass on the sill.
I didn’t think about that.
Until now.
S.R Devaste Mar 2010
i've switched my dreams with reality

now during the day i dance with flying carp
and eat green tea ice-cream cake from the ceiling
and memorize the curves from your face and wait, wait
for a kiss that will never come.

now at night I'm late to class and trying to eat food with chopsticks
and speaking half-wit japanese and going to the doctors
and picking out drapes for my windows and posters for my wall
in the night i'm lucky enough not to remember your face at all.
Aaron LaLux Jul 2016
America’s Got Presidents


Lights camera action,
who’s up next,
politician,
or dumbsh!t pundit?

Oh I see,
everybody’s an expert,
man these candidates have switched sides so many times,
watching them flip-flop this much makes my neck hurt!

Candidate’s wearing make-up,
if you ask me it’s all a cover-up,
blemishes on their records,
when’s enough actually enough,

on stages,
synthetic sages make up stories,
while the police keep stuffing us into cages,
and the politicians keep talking about reclaiming America’s lost glory.

America’s lost glory what glory,
the one about us bombing innocents or the one about slaves,
well if that’s the glory then it’s not lost,
because the US still bombs innocents and pays most people a slave wage.

It’s fckn depressing,
these pop-star presidents,
jockeying for position,
just for a chance at a White House residence.

On a stage,
it’s a sad charade,
all these bad actors,
pointing fingers trying to shift the blame,

laaaaaame!

All they do is talk different when in front of a mic,
but behind closed doors they all act the same,
different costumes different connotations maybe,
but really there’s no significant difference because there’s no significant change.

It’s an act a sham a show,
pop star presidents hip hop rock and roll,
Barack stars sing about change without any evidence,
if you ask me they’ve all gotta go,

and this election year is no better,
if anything it’s worse,
you’ve got Hillary Clinton AKA Barack Light,
and of course running is another Bush,
then there’s Donald Trump,
who’s legitimately probably the Anti-Christ,
he’s a racist sexist selfish sociopathic narcissist,
he doesn’t want to debate anything he just wants to fight.

But what about Bernie Sanders,
people ask, “Are you feeling the Bern?”,
I mean the guy’s a 74 year old career politician socialist,
he’s gonna try and take half of everything I earn.

Sure,
I’d vote for him I guess,
outta desperation only,
because maybe it’d take someone that extreme to get us outta this mess,
but honestly he’s a bumble bee,
poking at the hornet’s nest,
I’d bet if he becomes a real threat to the one Corporate Establishent want’s to elect,
that the speech where he accepts ends with one of his last breaths.

Yup.

America the beautiful,
when’d you become such a bully,
you used to be my best friend,
but now you act like you don’t even know me,
you’re blood lust is revolting,
why’s your answer to everything violence,
and how can you say you speak for the people,
when most of the people are so fed up they just shut up and stay silent,

and even if we do get out and vote,
these days our votes aren’t even counted what gives,
what you think it’s just a coincidence,
that almost every state Hilary won was accused of being rigged?

I feel sick.

This political pile of tricks politics seems like a pile of ****t,
and the media’s forcing it down our throat,
I mean really what are we supposed to do,
when those that feel outcasted can’t even get the system to count their cast votes.

So I take notes.

And I write.

I write,
all of this with typing hands and a shaking head,
because I want a leader I can truly trust and believe in,
instead of some actor that can’t be trusted no matter what they’ve said.

Red,
state,
blue,
state,
red,
fish,
blue,
fish,

I’m not a Jew,
I’m only half so I’m Jew-ish,
and I’m not trying to be rude,
or to sound too prudish,
it’s just,
the history of half my people,
is filled with those that want to ***** us,
so the bait and switch poli-tricks these politicians politic,
well they’re Grand Old Party is nothing new to us.

Who to trust,
who to trust,
we’re tired of feeling like Lewinsky,
giving oral to the Oval Office and getting nothing back but fckt.

Fck.

When is enough enough,
no is supposed to mean no,
but we get it no **** on the ****** tube,
***; Slave & Master we’re all Lady Liberty’s ******* so on with the show!

Lights camera action,
who’s up next,
politician,
or dumbsh!t pundit?

Oh I see,
everybody’s an expert,
man these candidates have switched sides so many times,
watching them flip-flop this much makes my neck hurt.

Candidate’s wearing make-up,
if you ask me it’s all a cover-up,
blemishes on their records,
when’s enough actually enough?

∆ Aaron La Lux ∆

Volume 1
The H Trilogy:
The City of Angels
Just published on 7/7/16.
Somehow it was #1 worldwide today.
If you could take a moment to check it out,
and even write a review it'd be most appreciated.
All profits go to a charity that prevents child abuse and ****** assault.
So not only are you getting an epic book of poetry,
but you're also supporting a good cause.
Thank you SO much!

https://www.amazon.com/Trilogy-City-Angels-Aaron-Lux/dp/1535054328
I'm a bit frustrated.....
My mind has switched off
without giving me
any notice at all,

I find myself staring
into thin air,
I've blended into the wall.

My thoughts are blank,
I'm lacking motivation,
my inspiration is bleak,

I'm lethargic and dull,
I'm feeling very, very weak.

I'm not myself,
or maybe I am,

I'm beyond confused,
my soul is tired;
exhausted is what I am!

I want to cry,
but I 'm too tired,

I want to scream,
I'm frustrated;
I feel like
I need to be rewired.

I'm on edge,
my knees are shaking,

Sweaty palms,
my heart is breaking!

I'm never going to get
my **** together,

I've been trying
for what feels like
forever!

As tired as I am,
I know I'll never give in,

I'm too determined to quit,
even though I know
I'll never win.

My mind has switched off,
I can't figure anything out,

I'm full of emptiness,
I'm going through
an emotional drought.

I want to cry,
but I know my tears
are all in vain,

I'm mentally exhausted,
I feel a terrible sensation,
a mental strain;
a relentless
invisible internal pain.

By Lady R.F. (C) 2017
Mercury Chap Apr 2015
It was a lovely afternoon
When I felt dizzy and soon
Started to feel as if my chair's moving
I looked up at the pendant hanging
Freely and also dancing
Back and forth
It wasn't just me who was moved
It was the earth and the whole building hoofed
Back and forth
One slip of plate
And it moved the whole earth.

It was mild
I hoped it won't go wild
Calling for my loved ones
I ran to the ground
People hustling, steps making a panic sound
From the eighth floor I felt it stopped
But as if it read my mind, earth again rocked
More than I've ever felt before
We all hustled downstairs in case it got wilder more
Old people, children running,
Mothers, scared, panicked, scooting.

Down the building everyone waited
Till the earth slowy bated
And stopped in a sudden motion
We were glad it wasn't that strong
Back to home, we all scurried
Switched on our televisions in a hurry.

Though the earth was soft on us
There were places where everything was crushed,
Homes, offices, families destroyed
Everything because of simple but strong
Back and forth
What is happening in the world?
Is it the human being which the earth loaths?
Can we call it natural destrustion or human destruction? Does the earth want to vanish us? Does it loath us? Are we the reason for all this destruction?
grace Jul 2013
I was shy, my crooked-teeth, glowing front didn't fool anybody.
I was the type of awkward that made people run.
You were a typewriter: an electric storm sewing letters together,
ornate, pretending your weaving was something
that could ever be taught.
You wrote about all my wrongs.
Asked me to meet your mother.
Told me my drinks were too sweet, you were surprised I had ever
been drunk I wrote something cliche,
like how no sugar could ever match up to your coffee stained tongue,
to me you were so sweet.
I never liked poetry that rhymed.
I wanted to be someone without talking to other people,
hoped everyone would read me like a trans-Atlantic love letter,
understand every back street tragedy,
I am still learning that nobody
could ever memorise me like a paragraph. I am a closed museum.
I am breathing.
Once, I was a bundle, placed on my mother's chest.
She told me when I was born I didn't even cry,
just looked at the world like I'd been here before,
already figured her out. Carefree breathing.
She said she'd never seen anything so small
but so alive.
Sometimes I wonder if I've grown down.
I cry too much.
When I was eight my mother told me it was because I have sensitive skin..
I think about why we don't remember birth,
there are more traumatic things that happen than becoming alive.
My mother carried me nine months,
I wish I knew her reaction when she realised she was having a baby alone,
when I was six weeks old she flew us 8981 miles from my birthplace of Perth
to her childhood, a suburban, three bedroom house.
She bought a return ticket. Eighteen years on she still carries that
yellowed british airways paper around with her in her purse.
They left her job open for years.
I stopped asking if she missed the heat.
I stopped asking about half of my heritage,
I say the most convincing thing when people ask now,
I don't think I mind.
I haven't cried for months.
I grew up where the city begun to fall in love with the countryside
there was nature pulling itself out of the concrete,
like ignoring love hurts could make it any more feasible.
There was a girl, she never used to knock on my unlocked fire door,
just walked straight in every time, like she was a wildfire,
made me feel triumphant inside,
I wonder even now if that is how plant shoots feel when they break through the earth
praying upwards to the sun,
like she isn't a pin-*****,
do you think the sun knows how relevant she is,
just like some of us can't grasp how irrelevant we all are?
Have you ever thought about how many things are in existence that we can't see?
The distances can only be measured in time,
time is just a concept. We are more than numbers.
But nothing was built for us.
I wonder
if when my mother held her recycled baby against her reusable chest
if she realised that
either of us could have ever come to this.
grace beadle 2013
Ankit J Chheda Nov 2012
On Monday I started to write a song,
The afternoon spent lazing around,
Memories of the Sunday night,
Like a hangover hanging around,
I close my eyes for a moment,

As I always feel the day slipping away,
Before I know it Tuesday is on,
I start to put down words,
But the end won’t come to my mind,

And I know the day is slipping away
For Wednesday has come now,
I feel the wakening of the doer inside of me,
I sit down with my pen and paper,
With the t.v. switched on besides me,

Oh I know the day has slipped away,
Now at the centre of the week I’m on Thursday,
I start for one last time,
But I know I won’t finish for the next 2 days,

And I wrote dad a dum da beep pada,
And I’m not surprised for the day has slipped away,
And I begin my weekend on the Friday,
Hanging around my incomplete song,
Just 5 words on the paper,
My head is spinning around,

And floating through time I’m onto the next one,
Its Saturday night I’m partying hard,
Not hard enough for my song undone is weighing me down,
I’m not sure what I’m gonna do about it,
So I try not to think just loose myself in the sound

As I dance to Sunday morning I,
I sleep from sun up to sun down,
Sunday night I’m roaming around,
I know tomorrow’s a new day,
I’m gonna finish that song,

Monday morning, I’m writing a song,
The afternoon spent lazing around,
Memories of the Sunday night,
Like a hangover hanging around,
I close my eyes for a moment,
My life’s slipped past when my eyes were shut,
Now I’ve forgotten what I was writing about,
Back to the start I don’t have another chance,
I curse life, for when I stopped it kept moving on.
Procrastination, the demon in me.
Dr. F. Wilhem discovered it by accident you see?
   The first man downloaded was no longer man.
He suffered dearly until the plug was pulled,
    and we started over again; with biologists.
Geneticists, Embryonticians, TransEugenecists,
    all celebrated the new fast-growing body.
No more deaths at old age expiry, on battlefields.
    for a price all would live eternally; eternity here.

It did not work. The bodies worked, the software recorded
    but the people were insanely bi-polar. Insane in fact.
Until we switched the torso and genetics in tandem.
   then somehow the surviving person retained all memories!
They were in fact; themselves! Just in a different gendered body?
   Unfortunately for everyone this was a major psychological shock.
Unexplainable, sure, evolution took four billion years so...
    ...more time, more time, more experimentation is all we need.

Wilhelm changed it all.
When he added the shock,
added the <human> response,
turning the machines into
Humans.

They are truly A.I.
...verily human in fact.
Animal-ish, peaceful
then angry, terrible or
violent.

Artificially Intelligent;
Humans.



"What good is it to change a person,
              ...merely into someone else?"
-Al Abd Azaz


To see beneath the surface,
and know the ocean tydes.

To see beneath the surface,
and know the ocean tydes.

To see beneath the surface,
and know the ocean tydes.

Harriet Cleve Jun 2019
'Where is he now?'

'Room 35'

'His age?'

'Twenty 29'

'Has he spilled any brain fluid from the eye sockets?"

'He has not yet been placed on the neural cell divider'

'We were instructed to wait upon your arrival'

The two men faced one another. Equal in stature and authority.
Both were ghastly in their features. Sunken eyes that contained the
weary load of a harrowing existence. Intelligent though ravaged eyes that penetrated into the deepest recesses of the psyches of those quarantined in room 35.

Berdensharder walked past Halden.

Will you induce the full cerebral breakdown? said Halden

'I have not yet decided'

'Let me see him first.

Room 35 was secured and access permitted to Berdensharder.

He walked in and breathed the formaldehyde humidity.
His nasal passages recoiled in revulsion at the pungent sting of miserable brain fluid filters in suspension.

Facing him was the sample. A young man with a look of terror in his eyes.

He had been placed in a cranial clamp and was rigid in an upright steel frame. Electrodes hung like tentacles from a deformed squid.
Clouds of medicated bacteria floated in a transparent tube connected to the frame. The tubes had not yet been put in place.

'Your name?' said Berdensharder

'The young man was clamped by the wrists and ankles; naked and ashamed of his fear. His forehead was scarred and an incision led into his prefrontal cortex.

'Radsler Duriyima' came the reply

The voice was broken and clung to a false hope of salvation.
He had awoken in room 35 and had no knowledge of his previous weeks or months. His brain struggled to function.

'Your name! Berdensharder screamed is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed freely down Duriyima's face.

'No. My name is Radsler Duriyima'

This was the only lucid thought in his mind. He was sure of it. His life depended on this name.
Instinct was heightened as he said it again.

'Radsler Duriyima!'


Berdensharder switched on the cranium synaptic fluid uptake. He set it for distillation level four. This was normal and a precautionary first step in the cerebral breakdown initiation.

Duriyima's body convulsed and a screen in the room displayed his thought process and an image appeared on a screen.

The synaptic  responder projected the dulled translucent pictures of a face in a mirror. It was Duriyima's and he was shaving in an apartment. A grainy distorted vision interspersed with the sounds of a woman screaming. A gun blasted and then grey dull plastered walls rushing by. More screams. More walls. Blood splashed. Then black.

Suddenly Duriyima's eyes opened and Berdensharder sprayed a saline solution on the eyeballs which kept the eyelids from closing.
He took a surgical precision scalpel handed to him by Halden.
Slowly he slit the eyeball and removed a trace of fluid. Inserting a tube into the eye, his hand was a precision instrument and he gently placed it deeper into the back passage of Duriyima's eye.


Duriyima wanted to scream but was prohibited by a mouth gag soaked in a medicated solution.

His body shook the entire time in rapid convulsions. Only his head remained unmoved.

Tears flowed freely the entire time and the tear duct of the severed eye was gradually made redundant by Berdensharder.

Stepping back from his helpless sample Berdensharder looked upon the apparatus. He removed the gag.

'Now Mr Gunther Strausse!
'Your name!'

'Duriyima wanted to respond but only an animal like sound emitted from his throat.

A scream so horrific it would unnerve the servants of Satan

Halden looked at Berdensharder.

'Well, are you going to induce the full cerebral breakdown?'

'No. We will first get this sample to state his name.
'When Gunther  Strausse is ready to state his name then I shall do so'



Duriyima looked at the pair of them. What was going on?
Where was he? What did they want? His mind couldn't function.

The door of room 35 was closed and he was alone

One thought began to emerge. His name he now felt was Gunther Strausse.


He could not be sure. His thoughts ebbed into insanity.

Berdensharder would induce the full cerebral overload the following day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Duriyima succumbed to massive shock, severe trauma, and paranoia.

He remained plugged into the filtration system for two hours in a semi conscious state. His brain ebbed with seismic brain wave cycles that sheared the integral subconscious of his existence.

One name repeatedly came to his mind, 'Gunther Strausse'
He tried to make sense of all that had happened as the fragility of his sanity took its toll. The face of Berdensharder took on a form in his thoughts. He felt nauseous and violently ill. His eye ached with an unbearable pain; his vision horribly strained and blurred.
The sound of a gunshot deafened his ears. His forehead was an explosion of activity and excruciating pain. Tears flowed from one of his eyes and this confused him. He sobbed and in a gibberish howl begged for deliverance.

He had this stomach churning sense he was in Hell and the torments he had endured were God's retribution.

He found his voice then.

'Sweet Jesus!' he screamed

'Not this! Not this!

'Son of God! Forgive! Forgive!

He begged till his bowels emptied and the stench of anonymity
reeked from his flesh.

Duriyima was very much still a part of the living; in a ghoulish grotesque quarter of a savage place reserved for aggressive science.

His screams and outbursts of terror had triggered an audio camera.

Berdensharder looked at the desperate features of Duriyima.

'No! Gunther Strausse' he said to himself.

'There is no God here'. 'Not for you nor any of us'

'God, Gunther Strausse, you will find has never heard of you'
'Not here'

'For you, only I control your emotions'
'I determine your quality of life'

'Yes! You will find out that betrayal is rewarded with surrealism!'

'I am your God!, Gunther Strausse'

Reaching his hand to a calibrated dial he adjusted the volume of the sound chamber to it's maximum decibel rating.

Duriyima's screams were relayed back to him and his ears bled with the intensity of the sound.

His mind collapsed in the wall of sound as his heart pulsed in rapid sickening beat patterns and it overtook the sound of his own screams.

'Yes!', Gunther Strausse, scream!  It will help you to realise it is all you have left.

Duriyima's body convulsed like a lightning rod for terror.
His brain burst with demented anguish and he collapsed into a nauseating nightmare.

Even in this state, Berdensharder followed him and the labyrinth
of Duriyima's mind became a battle ground for sanity.

Berdensharder's hand reached for the distillation filter system.
He employed the backwash switch and watched as the fluid of Duriyima's brain was circulated into the three micron carbon elements.

Halden looked on and met Berdensharder's eyes.

'It will be of no use' he said

'His mind can not cope with insurgent cells'

'He will never state he is Gunther Strausse'

A third figure looked on as Duriyima's face erupted in an explosion of hideous expressions.

'We shall see' said Gunther Strausse
'We shall see'

Room 35 crashed into an uncanny silence for three minutes'

Then a cacophany of sound hit Duriyims's ears

'Gunther Strausse' it wailed

'You are Gunther Strausse'

The cells in Duriyima's brain formed new synaptic networks forging in clusters around his prefrontal cortex.

Brain fluid started weeping from his sockets.

It was beginning to happen. His memories were being replaced.
His mind reborn. It was excruciating and still the wall of sound echoed and resounded in room 35

Gunther Strausse


Gunther Strausse

Gunther Strausse

Duriyima's eyes stared into an abyss of madness.

His tethered hands could not reach out to touch the face of sanity.
Deep inside his pysche he knew his ordeal was just beginning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You took note of the cry for salvation?' Halden said to Berdensharder


'Of course, it is natural in the sample. The Amygdala reflex'

'He still retains a sense of deliverance. His amygdala is primitive and
primed for a search; a Saviour who will redeem him'

'There is no scapegoat here he will find. No burning bush.
No Good News from Christ'

'Still it is a sign of deep resistance' replied Halden

'It is a trivial issue and will be resolved'

'We will remove this superstition and replace it.

'He will question his sense of identity'

'He will becomre as Gunther Strausse and he will witness his own transformation.'

'Has the synopial fluid vat been prepared?

'Yes'

'I will inject his neo-cortex with an anti-aneurism sedation'

'He will beg for death soon but it will be denied'

'Nor shall he fully recover from the full cerebral breakdown'

'We are taking it to level six distillation tonight'

'Has the cryogenic vat been prepared for the body'

'Yes'

Duriyima will soon pray to be Gunther Strausse but prayer will abandon his faculties'

'He will endure and witness the five hour transcendence of terror'

Halden and Berdenschrader looked at one another knowingly.

'Has there been any further visuals  from the synaptic cells of Duriyima'

'Yes, a woman's face made a lucid and highly resonated image on the cerebral scanner last night'

'Only high resolution visuals are deemed important due to the high emotional energy associated with them'


' She has been identified?

'Even now she is being prepared for Room 35'

'Good, good. This will please Gunther Strausse'

'Now, let us immerse Duriyima into his new reality'

Halden and Berdensharder dressed into the rubber robes and secured the brain aprons in place.

Entering Room 35 they looked at the sample. He was under a deep induced coma. Berdensharder took a scalpel to his forehead.
A vacuum switch was enabled and a surgical cutting tool prepared to remove Duriyima's brain for temporary relocation.

Halden and Berdensharder looked at the clock on the clean-room walls. They had a five hour window to take Duriyima into a purged state of cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hald­un rolled his sleeve up as Berdensharder prepared injection 19 and prepared to administer the dose.

'You have no need to worry Halden'

'It is routine now at this stage especially for you'

'This will be your seventh full cerebral surveillance of a sample'

'I have brought you back every time'

'You are safe with me. Your brain, your body will be unscathed'

'I hear a citation of merit will soon be yours'

'Gunther Strausse will award it to you personally'

'You are a loyal servant Halden, I will see you in five hours'

Halden looked at Berdensharder. Each man had suffered in their own way since 'the shutdown' took place.
Only their intelligence and guile had ensured their survival.

'Yes, Berdensharder, I know it. You will bring me back.

Then Halden passed into an induced coma.

The rig was in place and Berdensharder lifted Haldens skull like a door on a hinge. The titantium bolts were embedded deep into his skull. Delicately and with great precision twenty five electrodes were inserted into Haldens brain.

Berdensharder switched the spinal column reverse chamber.
A two way valve tripped the automatic pulmonary Gemini blood cell network. Haldens body remained in live peaceful repose.

The clock ticked in time with his heart and his brain was placed into the electrolytic vat.

In the same way and with the same urgency and diligence the brain of Radsler Duriyima was placed along side Haldens.

Level six distillation was in progress. Berdensharder now set about
the procedure which would take Duriyima to the verge of a mental breakdown.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In room 35 a young woman aged twenty four stared back at her tormentor.

Her hands and feet were restrained in an upright frame.

A cranial brace secured and held her head rigid.

On the screen facing her was an image of Berdensharder

'Your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky's mind was confused. She had no recollection of the last hours or days. Her mind struggled to function.

Only her name surfaced to her mind. The only lucid thought she had. Her name was Hannah Prestovsky. She knew her life depended on this name.

'My name', she stuttered, 'is Hannah Prestovsky'

'No! Your name is Gunther Strausse!

Tears flowed down her face. She was naked and ashamed of her fear.

'No, she said. My name is Hannah Prestovsky!"

She sobbed and emptied her bowls as the stench of terror rose from her body.

'I am a diplomat!' she cried

'I demand immunity! In the name of God who are you?'

'Silence settled broken finally by the image on the screen.
The voice of Berdensharder boomed from the speaker.

' No, you are no longer represented by any government authority'

'God is no longer here to deliver you into his protection'

' Now, your name?'

Hannah Prestovsky screamed till her lungs exploded with exhaustion.
In an area of this room sealed from her screams, the brain of Radsler Duriyima was about to undergo full cerebral surveillance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
­Duriyima's brain lay pulsating in the neural vat. The electrodes in his brain were connected to those in the brain of Halden.
Berdensharder was engaged in the system flowpath direction.
When he tripped the one -way valves it was essential Halden's brain fluid flowed into Duriyima's.

In this 'full wash surveillance' Halden's consciousness would merge with Duriyima's. If the process was successful then those thoughts held in the synaptic network of Duriyima's would be an open book to Halden. His brain would retain all that was contained within Duriyima's. It was unprecedented technology and had not yet failed.
Each time on relocation of Halden's brain, he was able to give a full account of the life of the sample. It was as if he was the sample.

Every fear, every concern or hope was disclosed to Halden.
No one else in the facility was capable of undergoing a surveillance of this nature. Others had tried it but in all cases both the sample and the invasive consciousness died within minutes.

Halden and Berdensharder were the only team to ever secure consistent trials to unheard of 'five hour' deep cerebral surveillance
and succeed in securing the neural data of the sample. Their method became known as the 'five hour transcendence of terror'.

Berdensharder looked at Halden. His admiration for his associate was deep and he envied him his courage. He was ruthless of course but he had an air of dignity about him. Berdensharder thought too that Halden would escape one day. If that ever happened he shuddered to think of the repercussions.

All these thoughts were fleeting and the flashing instruments alerted him to his first function. He would light up the prefrontal cortex of Duriyima first.

He looked at the calibration settings on the visual imaging screen.
Then  he stared at the live body of Duriyima. The body was an empty vessel although every spinal output was connected to the remote brain of Duriyima. Audio and visual scanners would enable Duriyima to witness his own detachment.

This was the reason for anti-aneurysm injections into the new-cortex of the sample. It always freaked them out.

The worst was the brains response to it's isolation from the body.
The 'language to vocal' response was recorded and displayed to a digital readout. The voice was an algorithm. The screams became white noise.

When the sample recovered from the shock it was then the voice became an artificial sound emanating from the instrumentation panel.

Before Halden could immerse into Duriyima an interrogation was initiated.

Berdensharder turned on the system to awaken Duriyima.
Slowly Duriyima responded. His body responded in simultaneous response to his brain.

He could see the set up on the screen. It dawned on him that he had become an abomination.

Then he went into a full mental breakdown that created a white noise explosion that lasted for ten hideous minute.

'Yes! Scream. It is all you have left. Shortly your mind will open its gates to Halden'.

'Gunther Strausse will be planted in your brain'

'You will soon need your Saviour'

Duriyima knew it then. He must be in Hell. It could not be real.

None of this could be happening.

He didn't know what to do so he screamed.

The scream of the demented.

A smile traced the face of Berdensharder.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Berdensharder waited till the white noise finally stabilised.
He knew the sample was in deep pyschological  trauma.
This was a natural part of the procedure.
Duriyima's brain waves alternated between gamma and alpha rhythms.

A voice suddenly emanated from the speaker. It was monotone and the pitch was low. The sample was ready to communicate.

'Am I in purgatory?'

Berdensharder did not respond. He reached forward and opened an anthrax aerosol.

Reaching into the vat he opened a microscopic funnel into Duriyima's occipital lobe. He squeezed the aerosol which contained enough anthrax to poison a minuscule area of the brain. It went black immediately and the whole brain seemed to shrink in a futile sense of survival.

The white noise monitor went into a frenzy of sound.
It lasted for fifteen minutes. Duriyima was in agony.

When the noise subsided the brain was lifted from the vat.
Berdensharder removed the black tissue for sample analysis.

He watched the screen as he cauterised the area.
Duriyima's body was writhing in intensified terror.
He knew the whole procedure was witnessed by Duriyima as though he were a third party.

The body was in convulsions; at times seemed as though it might break free of it's restraints.

'No, Gunther Strausse, you are going nowhere'
'Now let us listen to some classical music shall we?'

A beautiful piano concerto filled  the air and the vibrations settled into the brain vat. Berdensharder looked at Halden's face as a smile broke out on his features.

This pleased him to see his associate receive some pleasure.
The music always worked. The brain always responded.
He looked then to Duriyima's face. It was contorted in a ghoulish grimace. Even so, the brain wave activity settled to level fifteen.

The body slumped now and the eyes were catatonic.
Berdensharder needed to leave the sample undisturbed for fifteen minutes. If it went into cerbral flatline then he would administer sedative eighty four. This always brought the sample back from the corridors of death.

From experience he expected the sample's next words would be 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

This had to be the way. The brain needed to survive. This was the name it must give. It must give it in no uncertain terms.

It feared the anthrax. The unknown. It feared the interference of nature. It must be placed back in its body. It must co-operate.
It must state 'my name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was patient. Thirty minutes passed and once again the white noise subsided.

The brain was in active mode once again. The samples vital statistics were stable.

The music was discontinued.

'Now, Gunther Strausse, what is your name?'

The sound monitor responded in a hesitant slow manner.

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

'Did you not tell me your name was Radsler Duriyima?' Berdensharder replied

'My name is Gunther Strausse'

Berdensharder was in full control and raised the terror level.

'No! Your name is Radsler Duriyima!'

'You have never heard of Gunther Strausse'

The White noise from the sound monitor went catastrophic.
Duriyima's brain screamed in agony. Had it not been for the anti-aneurysm injected previously it would have phyically exploded.
The body went into convulsions.

'Who are you?' screamed Duriyima

'Who are you?!'

Berdensharder smiled and replied 'It is who you will be that is the question'

'It is who you shall be!'

It was time now to open the non-return valve and allow Halden to enter the consciousness of Duriyima.

The White noise on the screen indicated that Duriyima was on the verge of the full cerebral breakdown'

'Soon it will be over' said Berdersharder and reached to turn on the valve. Halden would now perform the full wash surveillance.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~­

It was always a beautiful experience. Halden felt as if he were reborn and the world was an unexplored discovery. Here in the neural ocean of Duriyima's synaptic network of young cells he immersed himself deep in the private psyche of another human.
He searched the entire brain map of Duriyima and came to know that neural landscape as though it were his own.

Duriyima resisted of course and became aware of the invasion.
His screams were a peak of White noise on the visual audio scanner.

Berdensharder watched carefully. Halden would soon know every thought and experience that Duriyima ever possessed.
He cared not for the fate of Duriyima once they were finished with the sample. All that mattered was the complete subjugation of a private mind. The private would become public. This forced confession would become the norm. It was exhilarating to be a part of the destruction of the individual. Halden had shown remarkable courage and took great personal risk to achieve this break through in mind control. He had shown it was possible to inhabit another's brain. Once this was done it was a step away from world *******.
Those who control the mind control the future. The secrets of enemy States would be unlocked. One had only to capture the intelligentsia and key figures in an administration. Their minds would be ransacked. Berdensharder turned suddenly as footsteps unexpectedly approached.

It was Dr. Xuaguang Lee from sector 84.
Behind him was a young woman holding a syringe to his throat.

'What the hell is going on!' screamed Berdensharder

'Hannah Prestovsky was sick to the pit of her stomach at the sight she beheld.

'You are going to release Radsler Duriyima' she said venomously

Dr. Lee looked on with rising terror in his eyes.

'She is holding a lethal dose of injection 19!'  he screamed

'Do you think I give a **** about him?!' said Berdersharder

Shoving Dr. Lee away from her she ran to the neural vat.

Holding the syringe above the brain of Halden she lunged it into his brain stem.

'You fool!' Berdensharder screamed

'The body of  Halden went into cardiac arrest.

Halden was now locked into the consciousness of Duriyima.

There was no way back for him. He could now only survive if Duriyima survived.

Seeing her chance at the shock she had given to Berdensharder she siezed the anthrax spray and a chemical solution from the neural vat.

'I swear to God if you don't bring Duriyima back then he will die my way!'

Berdensharder's mind raced. He had to save Duriyima if he was to save Halden. He knew Duriyima and Halden were one now.
Could he do it? What would the result be? Gunther Strausse would ****** him if he did not bring them back.



'Step away from from the neural vat! he shouted

'If you have any thought for Radsler Duriyima then let me work!'

Dr. XuGuang made to run for the door and was shot instantly by Berdensharder.

Hannah screamed as the blood sprayed her face.

'No ! Berdensharder' she screamed

'You will give me that gun or it all ends here!
'She gestured to the neural vat and prepared to dose it with a chemical mix.

Berdensharder looked at her and knew she would do it.
He passed her the gun.
'Now! Let me work!' 'Every minute is vital!'

Hannah Prestovsky was sickened by this filthy abbatoir.
'Where the hell are we ? She thought

Berdensharder turned the one way valve and shut down the pulmonary system for Halden. He needed to work fast and get Duriyima's brain back into its body.

A surge of excitement ran through his veins.
Would Halden be able to communicate from his new mind.
Could Halden dominate Duriyima's brain.
'Step back from the neural vat! Please!

Hannah held the gun and watched the horrible spectacle before her.
People say I haven't played all of my cards yet
But actually i ran out of decks
They tell me to empty my sleeves from all of the tricks
But the only thing I've got are these lyrics
I bought a gun to **** the person who hurts me the most
But then i realized that will end up shooting myself
i fcked up a lot and I've done the worst
I need to get my **** straight and my brains of the shelf
I've been a selfish and an egoistic *******
Went on the fast lane and switched of them hazards
'Cause everyone around me is moving to fast
While I'm still in my place looking at my past
My life ain't a waste no it ain't a mistake
That's your life c
nt you ain't got what it takes
Hank Roberts Nov 2012
She's my little Philly girl,
Cambodian shirts and hindu
sings. Purple nail polish and summer
hats. I can hear her voice when
rain falls on new shingles.
The way she squeezed my hand
the morning after; my heart and
brain switched spots while
standing in some parking lot.
Autumn Shayse May 2017
it is difficult, being a sponge,
I feel as though I can hear
everyone else
hear what they're going through,
having so much and yet so little
patience with it all

I know time is precious and pain can take so much of it

it is tricky, staying switched on
not thinking incessantly about the feelings you may be hurting
not pausing for the boy whose heart you squished
not taking stock of what the girl has ahead to overcome
not wasting breathe when there is such a limited stock and people
are dying and you
you
have to stay
switched on

it is difficult, yes
being a sponge,
for everything is soaking in,
condensing
and space is running
out
in your fragile mind.
Marshall Gass Jun 2014
The sound was switched off
to my  imagination
but you sauntered in that cascade silk of light
with sure steps,touching this,
tousling your hair, touching that
resplendent. Seductive in the setting.

You knew I was watching the sun dance
through the shadows
causing your smile
and mischief to glow brighter.

It was when you leaned over the balcony
my pulse raced with fear
and my heart stopped racing anymore.

Its only when you switched the sound back on
did I realise
your heart was also beating
between 'the agony and the ecstasy'
of the distance between us.

I take a  step forward.

© Marshall Gass. All rights reserved, 3 days ago
The **** kids gaol



Once upon a time there was this kid named Brian Mandler who was 14 years

Of age and was sort of obsessed with figuring out a way to catch and reform

Really dangerous criminals.   When he explained how he’ll do it to his family,

They told him that they don’t want to hear it and they all leave the room and

Brian went to his room and got onto his computer and started to track

Down some dangerous criminals and as well as that he will watch Australia’s

Most wanted and unsolved mysteries to make sure he is up to date with the

Goings on and when he catches them he will give them a pill which puts

Them to sleep and it makes them dream that they are on TV and Brian

Can watch it to keep him informed on their goings on.

When he saw the first criminal who was named David Perton Brown who

Was a real evil child snatcher who loves to pray on vonerable kids who

Haven’t got good lives as well as robbing them  and leaving them to die

and then he’ll do about 180 on the freeway trying to **** families

On their way to their holiday destination and quite often he succeeded but

This time Brian got onto his computer and said that he wants to get David

And put him on a early morning childrens show called the Saturday Morning

Cartoon hour where he’ll meet people left, right and centre and most of those

People will be children and he’ll have guests who will give him heaps for the

Crimes that he did and also he’ll have a visit from the police every 4 Saturdays

To really check up on him but he had to make the kids unaware by posing to

Make sure that kid’s say no to drugs and lifts with strangers and that meant

That the host could try something outside.

As well as that Brian put him on a nightly music show because some of his

Victims are now teenagers who like music and Brian made him the sort of

Host that will constantly goof up a lot.  The program was called The Talent

Quest and he’ll be teamed up with 2 police officers who are making sure there

Is no funny stuff going on.

Brian planned to keep him in his little gaol for a long time till he starts to settle

Down a bit.

The next criminal is Joshua Tartwright who is a vicious modern day pirate who

Takes adults over 40 and holds them captive in his little boat and he has been

Doing this for about 12 years and Brian got onto his computer and told it

That he wants Joshua to on the pirates of the Carribean TV series and keep him there till he realises that he is no match for those pirates

And he doesn’t feel like kidnapping them anymore but this was hard to get him

To take the drug and Brian had to get to rough police officers to hold him down

And then force feed him till he his knocked completely out and then his life as

A television star started.   Joshua was excited about being on a pirate show and

He wanted to email all his friends but he was stuck in another world and also

He was the one the pirates wouldn’t leave alone and he felt weird and wanted

The drug to wear off but we all know that when it wears off it’s dinner time.

As he started the pirate show it was hard for him to be his own man because he

Was kidnapped straight away it was hard for him to understand what this

Dream meant and was trying to tell Brian that he wants his blood.

Brian jumped on the computer and said how about we keep him captive there

For 2 hours and then it would be dinner time and h’ll enjoy that.

Meanwhile Brian wasn’t scared one little bit and watched the television to

Catch another criminal and it was Mark Dellar who tried to make John the

Baptist (the religious fellow) look evil by coming into the Christian church and

Preaching that John the Baptist was evil and every thing that he did

John the Baptist was telling him to do it and the Christians were very

Upset and screamed so loudly as Mark stole money from everyone in

There and Brian got onto his computer and said that he wants to put

Mark in his gaol and make him a religious guru to be put onto Television

At 5 am every weekday morning as well as listen to good people’s

Prayer requests and he must help them as well.   The first request was a

Man who is terminally ill and there is no way he will get out of it and

This man yelled at him in the prayer request that he sent and Mark

Tried to tell him that he has nothing to worry about because God

Is on your side and Brian got onto his computer and made the walls

Cave in and knocked Mark out and the man just ran away saying

We won the first battle and Mark woke up and he had a cup of coffee

And a biscuit waiting for him and he was relieved but there were more

Strange cases in his dream and Brian is there to reform him.

Brian thought it was a good job he gave him as a Television preacher helping people get better than making people feel Worse which what he was doing..

Brian watched more of Australia’s most wanted and saw a group of

Violent and dangerous armed robbers who were knocking over 7

Eleven stores and rich people’s houses as well as stopping the

Families from going out and having fun and Brian had his little

Plan to get them in his little gaol.     He wanted to play them at their

Own game by pretending he was a rich powerful man because

He had more dangerous things than any robber like his booster

Shot in which Brian wanted then to be cops in televisions cop

Drama ‘cop department” in which they deal with dangerous criminals

Like them each day and Brian thought that they will reform if they

Knew the kind of trauma they were putting their victims through and Brian

Keeps them there forever if they don’t reform even if it eventually kills

Them so the crooks can’t escape because Brian is too powerful for

Any of them.

Brian sat their laughing at the armed robbers playing cops and at

One moment they were locked in a security vault which had a

Bomb in it which is set to explode in 20 minutes and Brian went

On the computer and said let the bomb go off and then they will

Be put back in their beds and we will have lunch for them before

We torture them some more and then Brian sat down and said

What a job well done but there are still heaps of dangerous criminals

He needs to catch yet

Brian turned on America’s most wanted and there was the Texan ******

Who preys upon women in their 20s by luring them into his panel van

And keeping them ******* in his back shed till they are killed and Brian

Said that he wants to catch the Texan ****** and start him on stint on

General hospital where he will play a young woman who is the target

Of a never ending ****.

The police took the drug off Brian and went straight to the Texan rapists

House to give him the drug and at first he wondered why he needed to

Take these drugs because he wasn’t mental he said and there is nothing

Wrong with him and he refused to take them and tried to escape and

Then Brian got onto his computer to make him too slow to get away and

Brian was happy to get him onto General hospital and make the old ladies

Very happy.

When he first fell asleep there was a ****** at the end of his bed and wanted

To get within his sheets and really let him have it and the Texan ****** was

Screaming so loud stuff like” Let me go I’m a man not a woman but this

****** just heard the innocent lady scream and there was no way that he

Was to escape and Brian was laughing like crazy at the Texan rapists bad ordeal

And went onto the computer and said I want him to be attacked every day

To understand what it was like for his victims and they started to employ

People to play the rapists straight away and Brian was happy to see that this

Plan of his is working very well.

Brian was the envy of all his friends but noone apart from his best friend

Thomas knew about it because of the closeness of their friendship,

Brian’s secret was safe with him.

Brian and Thomas went to the park to have a drink under the tree

Together and talked about their lives and Brian isn’t aloud to talk about

His gaol life just in case anyone was around and at the moment noone

Could suspect anything.

After Brian had a break he watched more of Australia’s most wanted and

Saw there was a man wanted for bank fraud who is on the run in Brisbane

And Brian wanted to track him down and give him the drug that puts

Him in his little gaol where Brian will put him on as victim of fraud who

Was on Brian’s fake edition of 60 minutes until he realises that what

He did is wrong and that he will never do it again and when the police

Arrived at his house to give him Brian’s magical reforming drug he put

Up a fight and started to flee away on foot down the street that he lives

In with some police following him and others contacting Brian to use his

Powers to make him slower and catch him and give the drug to him and

Put the fraud man who doesn’t tell people his name into his little gaol and

When they did Brian was so happy of all the crooks he caught without

A worry in the world , Brian watched the episode of 60 minutes and

Really enjoyed him suffering because of all the people he made suffer

He needs a taste of his own medicine.

They asked him what is it like to be a victim of fraud and do you think you will

Ever see that kind of money again and he told them that he wants the money he

Stole so he could go to the Bahamas and cruise around looking for chicks and

Brian went straight to the computer and said keep ribbing him because it’s fun to

Make this guy suffer because what he did was terrible so rib something fierce.

Brian watched this music show and He was happy that the young people who were at the music festival were

Really letting him have it and this really entertained Brian a lot and

Then he switched it over to the Talent quest where our criminal was being

Told he was talentless and was upset with the whole outcome of it all, he

Threatened to jump off the top building and be dead forever and Brian

Went onto the computer and said that there is no way that he will die if he

Jumps off the roof to the ground, in fact he will just wake up and a guard will

Be there to keep an eye on him and now he was aware of the fact that noone

Could escape from Brian’s little gaol.

The Saturday morning cartoon show went very well with the child snatcher

Being teased by 2 11 year old girls and one 7 year old boy  and he nearly lost it and Brian was so happy that they were teasing him.  Then he told the kids that

He will **** them all and Brian went onto the computer and said don’t try any

Funny stuff because there is no escape for you now fella,and then he put

one of the cartoons which was our modern day pirate who was being tortured by Blackbeard and Brian was happy because this man needed to know why he is

in this little gaol of Brian’s, and then he went onto his computer and said to

Blackbeard too never let him get free because what he was doing to these

Adults was a very bad thing and then he went back to his chair and laughed at

Blackbeard the pirate torturing this modern day pirate like a lamb to the

Slaughter.

Blackbeard also made to walk the plank and Threatened to cut his head off

Agreed that it could be fun to see him suffer.   Like what it was like for him

In the end of his life and the pirate said “please don’t **** me please don’t ****

Me I am a modern pirate and in days to come pirates have a lot of vegeance

Than in these times” and Brian went to the computer and told them to

Chop his head off once and then keep trying to do it so he could suffer

And that would be heaps of fun Brian thought.

Brian turned it over to general hospital where his Texan ****** was screaming

In the back boot of a car and noone could hear him except for Brian who was

Watching him and he got up and wrote on the computer “He wants them to

Feed his body to the sharks at 11.59 am so he could be ready for lunch.

He switched the TV over to the cop show where our armed robbers thought they are in the perfect job because there were no crimes around so they just sat down

And relaxed and Brian wasn’t happy and went to this computer and told

Everybody to put on a few situations to make them really suffer like they

Did to the police on Earth and then suddenly there was a call on the 000

Saying there was a mother and her 13 year old son locked in their panic

Room while the robbers were having a field day robbing the place

and the cops went straight there only to find out that this was their first

test, because when the reached them the crooks turned on them and

left the mother and 13 year old son in the panic room and Brian went

to his computer and said I want these so-called policeman to try to save the

mother and son instead of trying to **** the police and if they don’t they will

flunk the test.  So one of the policemen went into the house and tried to

save the mother and son while the other two were having a gunfight and the

policeman who was in the house saving the victims couldn’t get the door

opened and screamed for his mates to help him but they were too busy

having a gunfight in the front lawn with the neighbours scared for each others

safety, and Brian went to his computer and said give these ****** gunfighters

a wake up pill because they don’t seem to realise what is really important

here and that is saving the victims and not killing the cops like cowboys

and Indians you ****** fools.

While all the caught prisoners eating their meals Brian watched Australia’s most

Wanted to try to catch some more crooks and they told him about the

Charnwood child snatcher who lived in “as the name suggests” Charnwood

And he took street kids off the streets and he would tell them that he has the

Perfect home for them and as a matter of fact he would tie the kids up

And when they die of starvation or dehydration he would take them out

To the cow paddock and let the cows pick at them and When Brian heard

The details he got straight up to his computer and said that he wants to

Put the Charnwood child snatcher on a new show called Sugary who is

A very witty and smart seal who is befriended by this 8 year old boy who

Is the Charnwood child snatcher because Brian wanted to teach him

Not to destroy the family’s lives, like he did when he kidnapped their

Children from them.

Brian sat down and watched the first episode and they had this evil

Genous who wanted to take the seal and sell him for seal meat and

The boy was so determined to stop this crook he would stay out and

Guard Sugary all night and hours and hours went by and noone turned

Up and the boy was determined not to leave because Sugary was his

Favourite pet.

When the crooks got there the boy jumped up and said” If you want

Sugary you have to take me as well” and the men said “Whatever”

And shoved the kid in a bag with the attempt the **** him and then

**** Sugary soon after and Brian got up to his computer, don’t let them

Be killed, just keep him ******* till the end when the parents come to save

Them and make sure that sugary is safe as well.

Then Brian sat down and saw The father rescue the boy and Sugary from

This evil genious and the evil genious said I will get you next time boy

Next time heh heh heh and then you won’t escape from that.

The Charnwood child snatcher woke up and found himself locked in a room

And he looked outside and a lady has a cup of coffee for him and he took

The coffee and thanked the lady and sat down until it was time to take his

Reforming pill.

Brian was happy because the Charnwood child snatcher was forced to learn

The perfect family bond between parents and children.

About 5 hours later than that Brian sat down and watched the 6 o clock news

And they informed everybody with Christmas approaching there was man

Who escaped from prison who is a good santa claus impersonator and every

Christmas he would go to Santa School and pass the test and then he’ll be

Assigned to working in one of the shopping malls and that doesn’t sound

Like such a crime and Brian was thinking this is a happy story until he heard

The next bit where he will get the kids to put their name and address so he

Knows where to go on Christmas eve and then he studies when the kids

Will be alone in the house and comes to their homes
Keegan Oct 2014
“i haven’t seen her in years,”
said the hospital bed,
“though i’ve seen many others,
who sobbed violently like her,
who sunk into me like a young, rusting anchor.
who could not get comfortable in one position or
one mindset or
one truth.
i have felt them dig in their heels
and try to ache and and fight and
scream, just quietly enough not to wake their roommate.”

“i remember their shapes,”
said the hospital bed,
“how their voices rose slowly like a far-off ambulance siren,
how their faces fell when they remembered the emergency
was right here.
i have been kicked, punched,
clung to, held on to,
as if gravity switched suddenly and they feared
yet another aspect of the universe was against them.
i’ve seen ***** sheets and i’ve seen clean ones. i’ve
seen boys with tattoos on their faces and
razor marks on their arms. i’ve seen pain.
i’ve seen girls who wouldn’t turn off the lights,
girls who couldn’t turn off the lights,
girls who had turned a light off once and never wanted
to do anything else. i’ve seen pain.

i’ve felt love before
more often than the lovers thought they loved,
more strongly than the fighters thought
they could fight.
in shaky hands folding down blankets
more carefully than they have all week
in heads that flop ungracefully onto
pillows, securely,
fulfilled.
in the slow turn of a hospital bracelet
around a pale wrist,
in large, golden brown hands,
inspected through tear-blurred eyes,
through scratched glasses,
picked up off the floor after discovering
force won’t carry a ring of thin plastic
as far as you thought.

i hear change in whispers,
good night, good luck,
in hushed acceptance, in ‘yes,
i really am here’. in
screams that send nurses in panic only to find
you were laughing. in numbers,
in ‘five hundred milligrams,’
in ‘three gained pounds’, in
‘one more day’.

i hear shock, i hear fear,
in echoes of parents’ voices,
‘why here? why now?’
i have heard and seen and felt all of them.

but she,”
continued the hospital bed,
“hasn’t been in here in a while.
i haven’t heard her whisper
to her roommate about what she did
‘that night’, i haven’t seen her
sneak away from her pile of pajamas
as if she didn’t just hide something there,
i haven’t heard her empathize
with a pencil sharpener.

it’s been so long,
it’s hard to imagine,”
said the hospital bed,
‘i hardly remember  her'.
if only the hospital bed knew
that she could hardly remember
herself from then either,
if only it knew she hadn't stopped
fighting once she left
if only it knew
how she felt when they said
she only needed to go to therapy
every other week.
it felt like progress,
and it felt like hope,
and no one better than
a hospital bed
could understand that.
no this is not a true story what haha um
Drake Taylor May 2014
Be good to yourself!
So says the neon sign
Hanging above the pizza shop.
For some reason it means
Something
To me.
I'm not sure what,
Or why.
But it is to me what the green light was to gatsby.
Or sweaters were to Cosby.
I loved that sign
Even after it switched off for the last time.
I saw a neon sign, and it meant something to me.
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2018
disclaimer: unedited rambling and overly long and frankly, Scarlet, don't give a **** anymore...

Thus spake and quested
another, younger poet to me,
a far better one than I,
but obligations thus provided,
are serious business,
to those who understand
poetic responsibilities, and
under his own Rules of Order,
an answer,
though long in coming, AR,
must be provided.

Well well well
all is not well,
the faucets offers choices....
chrome hot
chrome cold

there is no such thing as
lukewarm truth in
clear waters that
run run,
yet never
run stilled,
birthed at turned-on conception,
to drain death removal,
another daily poetic miracle,
unappreciated by most,
overly consumed by their
own passage on this Earth

peddler wayfarer,
passing through with truth
poem pots and rattling pans
(nowadays, mostly panned),
a historic factoid,
and not what Amazon delivers...
truth is a genetically modified
bitcoin currency, misunderstood,
prone to sometimes useful,
but never ever, to stick or stain,
for I got excuses and who gives a ****,
yesterday is forgotten instantly

The coldest truths,
the confirmation of same
by mirrored image text sent,
(immediacy a necessity,
for though poor, it is 'real')
the twitter that methodically
A-lists your major crimes
B-lists your petty,
hope-you-didn't miss my
exposé of latest misdemeanors

the hot truths,
only whispered,
merely mint hinted
in a hot cuppa,
the heat itself
a cover up,
for what you do not
wish me to plainly speak
or plainly sell,
is accursed truths,
won't sell, even if free

Can't write about moon and June,
alabaster is a fine word,
but white suits me fine,
don't know the diff
tween dragon flys and lullabies

The way I write is
just the way I think, believe,
from my eyes to paper
there is no misdirection,
just silent labor conception

Poor poor real truth
is out of favor these days,
because there is nothing
no one won't cease or hesitate
to expose himself,
flaunt the anguish,
copy other's jive,
but that is real,
but it is not truth

Had a bad day,
You need to know about it
Right away!

Though I meander and excuse,
there is one state of truth,
I need yet to annotate

Too oft when tapped turned on,
it is rusty water and rusted truths
expelled and this, my stuff, my days,
not in vogue, or a top seller

I love the color rust,
overused in my poems,
but compulsion is not a
conditional, but a must

This then is the form
they spill in these,
my final days here

You might think that rust implies
lack of use,
a non-caring
for his voice,
his well practiced instrument

Au contrarie, amigo!

My rust is from overuse,
my eyes don't see
what the popular want nor
could I provide it
even if
it was demanded,
which it is not....

Rusted but unvarnished,
undisguised by fancy words
or silent cries, what you read
is what you get
until I find
a more "authentic" voice,
one that satisfies the world
not just me...he sneers....

Feel for me in the summer breeze,
from whence my best stuff
has always been plucked
sent on its way, to you,
in self-same wind,
to kiss your cheeks,
slap you alert

I used to write
on both feet
upstanding,
then Hillel was asked for
the whole truth
while standing
on just one leg

His reply:
"Love they neighbor as you love thyself"

So I switched
and now compose,
in quiet ignorance,
a wrong footed poet,
left only with his what's left,
and to put his left foot truths
first, forward and foremost,
is what he got, and
what I got, you'll get....

But a cautionary note,
drinking riposte rustys,
bad for the body,
but kindly
for your mental
wealth,
if your have the
only other element
most needed,
in your pocket posses,

courage
Rambling, unedited, and yet fresh so off to the presses..and at 4:21am,
I frankly, Scarlet, don't give a **** anymore...
gone \’gôn also ‘gan\

adjective
no longer existing: no longer at a place; departed or lost.

When asked about my favorite memory, I can recall nothing. All that comes into mind is a blur of what has once been, of what things were, right before everything ceased to exist. I remember the shadow of your smile, the echo of your voice, and the silhouette of your embrace. It was the simplest of things, and also the insignificant ones at that, that seems to be tattooed on my mind. Nothing can quite compare to the feel of your lips pressed against mine, to the touch of your hands igniting my body. When it comes to you, all else fades into the background: my fears of commitment, of being not enough.

However, none of it matters now, anyway. Not when all is lost; not when everything is all a little too late. So if one would ask why I do not consider these fragments of memories as my favorite, the answer is quite simple. A favorite memory should be something that could bring you rapture in reminiscing. How could nostalgias centered with you become my favorite if all they do is haunt me of a love lost and another round of “what could have been”?
Once in every dream my brain could come up with, amidst the constant troubling of my nightmares to sleep, I get visions of us holding hand in hand with everyone right there to see. I dream of you singing me to sleep, enveloping me in your warmth all through the night. But this wistful thinking burns all hopes like how a piece of the sun could burn like a coin in my hand. No more, darling, we could not go back to the way it was, no more.

Like a missing piece in a puzzle, I know it is more than a mystery, an enigma, why I vanished suddenly. Are you even still waiting for me? Are you still there pining for my return? If yes, then good for me that I have someone like you. If no, then just know that I completely understand. But whatever the answer may be, I know you deserve an answer. The lies I reasoned with for leaving are not entirely tell-tales. But I did lie, by omission, of denying you the truth of why I wanted out.

As I write this letter to you, I want you to think of me with the sun’s rays illuminating my dark locks. Envision me in a meadow by the hill, with the sun setting behind my back, the pen in my hand with you as the subject of my afternoon daydream. But in this reverie, I do not think of how it feels to be loved by you again neither how it soothes my insides to hear your voice once more. Instead, in this contemplation, I gather all the courage to make myself vulnerable to someone, to entrust a portion of my soul to the hands of another.

I remember how you once asked me, “Will you stay with me no matter what?” You took my lack of answer as an affirmation and kissed me on the forehead instead as we looked at the stars lighting up the night sky. There was a lot of everything that I would have wanted to say but nothing came out of my mouth through every attempt. I wanted to tell you that I could not, that no matter how much I would have wanted that to happen, it would be more than unfair to you if I stayed. No, if you stayed with me.

Do you remember how I told you how my grandfather switched up names of his own daughters? Do you remember the story of how my aunt mistook her past lover to be her husband? You see, love, a year or two from now, I might become them. I have been diagnosed with a terminal memory loss, the Alzheimer’s disease as they would call it, and only time then could dictate the deadline of every single memory I have.

Leaving, as they say, was always a coward’s way out. But is not it dauntless how I braved living without my lifeline, living my life without you? I did not mean to be selfish, dear, but cannot you see how I am being selfless in letting you go? To set you free of me is to protect you from anymore hurt that this condition of mine would bring you. The knowledge of me leaving you for an unknown reason is a more tolerable pain than the reality of me forgetting you in the long run.

“Where were you then?” I was at the far distance looking at you exist without me in the picture. “Who else was there?” No one but your silhouette haunting me every minute. “Saying what?” That it was a mistake to abandon you.

Mourn no more for our lost love, dear. Mourn no more for the longing of what we once had and the regrets of what we could have had. As my every memory of you slowly wanes, always remember how hard I held on to them, the hardest that my brain could ever allow. Sometimes it is bliss to pretend that memory loss happens since the brain gives way for the heart to store the collection of moments we have, that my mind flushes you out to store you inside the core of my body.
But most of all, darling, the pain of leaving is endurable than the unbearable pain of seeing you suffer all because of me, than the inevitable pain of taking one glimpse on the masked agony on your face every single time I would ask “Who are you?” It would hurt to look at your beautiful face with me unable to know even just your name. You see, love, to be gone from your life is far more tolerable than to exist day by day with you in my life slowly vanishing into dust. Always, for always it would only be you. Even after all of my memories plummet into the hollow chasm and they are all gone, gone, just gone.


(k.p.)
Disclaimer: This literary work in prose written in a first-person point of view is penned as a reply to Pablo Neruda’s poem entitled Clenched Soul.
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
.the English pronounce the Cornish town's name as: nookie... the **** is it, a Green Day album name, or a Limp Bizkit song? perhaps i'm too French in my pronunciation... quail... eggs... quay... qua-a... if i were Welsh i'd write you the name like so... newyddquaa... but no... but no, has to be nookie... like buggering a ******* chimp... quail eggs... see how language becomes mutated? nothing is apparently, certainly, stable... always the permutation of a flux... i must have ingested a little of the French concept of: je ne sais quoi when learning English... come one... nouveaucarrière: new quarry... nouveauquai... nookie?! seriously?! Q, Q... Quail eggs... quay... new... quay... maybe the usage of hyphenating words into compounds needs to be revised in the english sprechen... ******* mutation... nookie... ****** ******, + a ******* wookie, walking carpet ride worth the name Chew-a-Buck-back-up! i'd settle for: new-key... some sort of variant of a maritime honing device for locating ships sending distress signals during storms... but... no... but hey... it's authentically Welsh territory... Cornwall is, after all... a pre modern extension of Wales... nookie this: shotgun my *** while is spew rhetoric concerning the health benefits of applying feces instead of ****** cream for the benefits of: no one.

over 20 years spent living on these isles,
and i never made the connection -
Welsh nationalism could only work
if you included Cornwall -
   given that Cornish is very much:
a southern dialect of Çymru -

    i guess... i'm not sure...
    let's put it to the etymological filter...
beginning with primary words:

black
           du   (Cornish)
      du   (Çymru)

    red
       rudh (Cornish)
      coch (Çymru)

    white
          gwydn (Cornish)
gwyn (Çymru)
      
        i guess that's how etymology works,
a shared origins story...
etymology is best
  examined with primary words,
basic nouns / adjectives...

that was the adjective test...
now for the noun test:

sun
          howl (Cornish)
  haul (Çymru)
      
  moon
   loor (Cornish)
    lloer (Çymru)...

    sky
               ebron (Cornish)
   awyr (Çymru) -
   ah...
      now we see what becomes from
etymological deviation...
the sky has to have more
inherent connotations
of a religiosity as the resting place
of sort...

i'm sure that sea, earth, water,
and fire, are very much akin
or mountain...
but i could be wrong...

sea
    mor (Cornish)
  môr (Çymru)
        
earth
    dor (Cornish)
   ddaear (Çymru)

   water
         dowr (Cornish)
      *dŵr
(Çymru)

fire
          tan (Cornish)
    tân (Çymru)

mountain
   menedh (Cornish)
         mynydd (Çymru) -

ah... well then...
that explains the separatist movement
of Cornwall akin
to the Spanish Basque or
the Catalonia...

  white cross on a black flag...
they're ******* Welsh down
in Cornwall!
   i was eating a Welsh pasty
all along!
           oh... i see...
  
  that's why they're separatists
down there...
but there's one word that's
crucial in all of this,
given the emblem is
on the Welsh flag...

  dragon...
**** me!
       there's an etymological source
for the word in English...
and, it comes from?
Cornish!

   draig (Çymru)
  dragon... in ******* Cornish!
**** me...

what's... snake?
   serpont (Cornish)
    neidr (Çymru)...

   there are similarities though...
blatant ones...
which explains the separatist
sentiment of the Cornish people...
they are like
the Hindu corp
of the Urdu speaking Welsh...
high Welsh and low Welsh...

nice to know...
thank god i didn't make the brash
etymological decision to
find the long lost cousins
of a shared source
akin to "abstract" words,
like...

        gallos-power-gallu...

****!

          g­od?
       DUW | WUD

well... god is a universal word,
and it matches...
  duw is god in Cornish,
and in Çymru...
   as it is also Allah on Malta...
funny as the fact that Malta
and it's Knights Hospitaller
cross of St. John of
                                 1567.

20 ******* years on these isles -
and only now i realize
why the Cornish are separatists...
they're Welsh...
   in disguise,
under the guise of a tourist
hot spot that's "nookie":
                       i.e. Newquay...

come to think of it...
    even though i'm living in England...
i interacted more with
the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots...
than i have with the English...
    i'm starting to think that...
if i don't make my way to
Yorkshire...
  or Newcastle...
then i lived in a country...
where the supposed countrymen
of said name... never existed!
ha!

well, in english you'd never really know
that Cornwall was once part of Wales,
given that Wales, isn't in the name
Cornwall: but that's in English...

in Polonaise?
        well... Wales / Walia (that double-u
  or rather, the double-v,
   since... erm: ωμέγα?)
         ergo?
      Cornwall / Kornwalia...
      probably the most beautiful part of
England you can begin to imagine...

aside...
   the current debate over "the pond" in
h'america... tuition fees, student debt...
as much as the h'americans love to gloat
and boast this that and the other...

i'm looking at myself...
    i went to university, studied chemistry,
and history...
   3rd year? 12 hours per week in
the laboratories...
three tiers of chemistry:
a.  physical - i hated physical chemistry,
it's so un-chemical...
   too much physics / mathematical
*******, so obviously i was weak at it...
b. inorganic chemistry...
    something that mingles with
   geology / metallurgy...
   eh... so so... it was o.k. and finally
c. organic chemistry...
   my strongest route, my faustian dream...
and so much like cooking,
so much so that... well: heston blumenthal...
maybe that's why i love cooking
so much, since it reminds me of
organic chemistry...
   anyways, i digress...
      back when i studied...
  and labour was in power with their:
education, education, education mantra?
that's what was still great
                  about britain...
the last stand as it were,
   ****, i still remember tha handing over
of hong kong...
    fee, per year? 1,250 quid...
                      that's it...
student loan, 3,000 quid per year...
   i actually did manage to live
             on the 3,000 with enough money
spare to do weekend away trips to paris,
stockholm, barcelona etc. - and god:
how i loved to travel alone,
bumping into strangers in hostels...
and the best part?
    i don't have to repay my loan until
i earn over 15,000 quid per year...
and since i'm not earning that...
                  the loan will be annuled after
30 years...
   mind you... a really **** year to go
to university and become a british citizen...
since... in scotland... e.u. citizens didn't
pay tuition fees!
      hence the massive surge of the polans
circa 2005...
                                 so: america, **** yeah!

but on a night like this,
esp. in the evening prior to the night itself,
there's that surge in electricity in the air...
you're walking to the supermarket
and the most mediocre magic happens...
sonny rollins' blues in your ears
you pass a street lamp and it gets switched
on by the grid...

                   it's only special because
your're listening to jazz and when you listen
to jazz and promenade...
you might as well be as content as if
walking a yorkshire terrier...
    
   while on the way back, instead of your
usual beer... you buy yourself...
a rowntrees ice lolly...
    and you eat that... smirking, feeling
                                                 like a badass.

p.s. the best thing i received from
the university wasn't even the degree...
a chance to play squash, mountain climbing
(glen coe was a beau)...
         a t-shirt...
since, once i left: a self-teaching discipline.
ryn Aug 2014
Earlier today, painting was the activity that we had planned
I have a support teacher who would always lend a hand
She had left the class to get the paint all mixed
While I stayed behind to get the toys and props all fixed
She came back and bore bowls of red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Lunchtime I visited a store and neatly displayed on low shelves
Arranged so immaculately as if magically done by elves
Were cases upon cases stitched together with only zips
They almost instantly bent a smile to my lips
Their colours shone brilliant red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Passed by a shop selling accessories and apparel
Merchandise dangled on wall hooks and some in a jumble
On the adjacent wall something caught my eye
Carried all the neat little tote bags one could ever buy
One peeking from a corner was red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Walked by a building, so modern-looking and new
Down on one side almost obscured from view
Were these horizontal rows of dancing neon lights
Stopped for a minute just to soak in the sights
Then I realised that they flickered red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Waited for the bus to get home at my usual bus stop
Whilst waiting, I shifted and from my bag something did drop
Bent over and picked my coin pouch that had fallen out
Looked up only to see another commuter lingering about
On his pack was a sticker which boasted red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Bus was packed, found a seat in the back row
Sat myself down, I peered briefly out the window
Engine under me, I scanned around to those who were seated
Observed the floor beneath my shoes as it vibrated
My pair of Adidas, oh my, they're red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Got home, put my bag down and sank into the sofa
Switched on the telly, on was the Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa"
Surfed through the channels, caught a real estate commercial
Promoting prime land in a country not anywhere regional
Splashed on the screen, a flag - red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

End of the day, it is best that I hit the sack
Allow some rest for my poor aggravated back
But not till I complete the words you're currently reading
I'm thinking, dreaming and furiously typing
How do I end this? Hmm...red, white and blue?
I'm thinking and dreaming...and wishing I'm with you.
Austin Bauer Jun 2016
"You did the right thing,"
God said to me on
The Day of Final Judgement,
"You switched the roll
Of toilet paper when
No one was looking."
How this **** fable instructs
And mocks! Here's the parody of that moral mousetrap
Set in the proverbs stitched on samplers
Approving chased girls who get them to a tree
And put on bark's nun-black

Habit which deflects
All amorous arrows. For to sheathe the ****** shape
In a scabbard of wood baffles pursuers,
Whether goat-thighed or god-haloed. Ever since that first Daphne
Switched her incomparable back

For a bay-tree hide, respect's
Twined to her hard limbs like ivy: the puritan lip
Cries: 'Celebrate Syrinx whose demurs
Won her the frog-colored skin, pale pith and watery
Bed of a reed. Look:

Pine-needle armor protects
Pitys from Pan's assault! And though age drop
Their leafy crowns, their fame soars,
Eclipsing Eva, Cleo and Helen of Troy:
For which of those would speak

For a fashion that constricts
White bodies in a wooden girdle, root to top
Unfaced, unformed, the ******-flowers
Shrouded to suckle darkness? Only they
Who keep cool and holy make

A sanctum to attract
Green virgins, consecrating limb and lip
To chastity's service: like prophets, like preachers,
They descant on the serene and seraphic beauty
Of virgins for virginity's sake.'

Be certain some such pact's
Been struck to keep all glory in the grip
Of ugly spinsters and barren sirs
As you etch on the inner window of your eye
This ****** on her rack:

She, ripe and unplucked, 's
Lain splayed too long in the tortuous boughs: overripe
Now, dour-faced, her fingers
Stiff as twigs, her body woodenly
Askew, she'll ache and wake

Though doomsday bud. Neglect's
Given her lips that lemon-tasting droop:
Untongued, all beauty's bright juice sours.
Tree-twist will ape this gross anatomy
Till irony's bough break.
Chrysta Ashlock Feb 2013
My Perfect Stranger,

I have a proposal of sorts; I want to start writing a story, in which you are my partner in crime. The crime being – living without one another. Not being sure to know if we’ll ever be apart of one another’s lives again.
Scratch that – the crime, the crime would be a lie because in truth I want to begin a story to where you are my partner in crime, yes; but you’d be my partner in crime for life. We’d commit no crimes, speak no lies, confess all truths with the bluntest honesty that could spring forth from our hearts. Enjoy every possible moment spent together, for they have become few and far apart.
This is not just a start of any typical story, but it will be the start of our story. The real story – It can’t be written, it can’t be spoken by anyone other then you and I. We’re the only ones who know how our story begins, though we’ll never truly know how it’ll end. This is a second chance, if not the first chance.

“A kiss is what tells the beginning to every story… It’s up to you where that story will lead.” –me.

The past may be the past, but we lived in that past, and the past that once was will become recognized, if it has not already. It will not be viewed harshly as it should be. Every possible thing that occurs in life does so for a reason which only fate, or as some people come to say destiny, can tell. We live to forgive and forget, though nothing is truly forgotten. We are here to make mistakes then to learn from those mistakes; if one was to never make a mistake then they’re not truly living a life well lived.

“Welcome the future with open arms; embrace it like an old friend. Learn to forgive and forget the painful memories; keep your tears at bay; have faith in yourself and others. And mostly, remember that love and trust will always be your guiding light into the darkness.” –me.

“Everything happens for a reason; don’t underestimate those reasons… You live to forgive and forget and to move along with the life you’re leading. Therefore, with that said, don’t waste time with melodrama or pity arguments. Don’t put up with people who attempt to drag you down with them. Because I can guarantee that those people; the ones who try to play you like a cheesy board game are never worth a single breath escaping your lips. Those are the ones who will never find happiness, true happiness, bliss, No, they’ll forever be lonely. Keep moving forward, look onto brighter horizons. Love the ones you hold close to your heart. Cherish your children. Lead your own life, not someone else’s, nor let any other being lead yours. Smile. Kiss. Love. Trust. Be honest with yourself and with others. It’s all worth it in the end.” –me.

Maybe our largest mistake together was making stupid decisions when we met. We made the choice to fall in love, to date, to live together and try to be happy all within a mere week of meeting. In doing so, hearts wound up broken; smashed into stardust. Trust was ripped away and friends were lost.
This time, this time will be different. I, in this beginning, will tell you of me. I will tell you everything which has occurred throughout my life, it may be the past, but my past tells a lot of who I was which has made me, well, me. I will be bluntly honest with you. I will answer every question you could possibly fathom to ask me. It’s just, I don’t know where to begin…

“The past will never cease to constantly be snipping at your heels with every step you take; it’ll always be there to remind you who you are and what paths you’ve chosen to lead you to where you are. Don’t break promises, don’t break hearts, because it’s happened before; your sometimes overwhelming past can come toppling down on you at any given moment; so be careful. There’s no one who wants to slip, fall face first, losing all consciousness into what once was.” –me.

“People change… I’ve seen friendships fall apart and relationships destroyed. It happens. Truth hurts. People lie. People cheat. Everyone destroys someone else in some way, it’s an ever going cycle of life. Live your life. Even when something unexpected comes alone, enjoy it, love it. It’s all worth it in the end. I can promise you that.” –me.

“Not everyone can read me like a story book or a torn out page of your favorite fairy tale. There’s more to me then just that. My life, better yet, my story is more complicated then most may think.
I used to be the girl that you would see walking alone down the street at night, cigarette in hand, bag in the other, all the while letting the world completely pass me by. I was the girl with the electric green nail polish and nearly enough eyeliner on my eyes to last most girls the entire year. Though all I am to most is just another pretty face.
There’s always new lives forming, coming alive, seeing this rundown movie for the very first time. Then there are also lives ending, running away from a failing life. Praying that the next world is better then the one they left in their very wake.”
–me.

Let’s begin like this; I am complicated, spontaneous, gullible, unnaturally trusting of others and a big ball of confusion at times. I care too much for others, even when they’ve chewed me up, spit me out and kicked me around in the dirt, I still care. I hand out second chances like a stranger hands children candy from his van. One would assume I would have learned my lesson of doing such nonsense, but nonetheless I continue to forgive too easily. My heart throbs when I am upset and feels as if it is going to burst wide open so all of the world can see. I have the unfortunate tendency to bottle up how I feel because my thoughts process too quickly and I become speechless because the words I am trying to speak just refuse to form into speech.

“Trust; it’s a highly important factor in ones life. I have very little for those I have met here, all except for one in which I trust completely with my life, my heart, my child… Yes, I may be very trusting, but that trust only lasts until you’ve broken it… Everyone of you thus far, besides that one person has broken my trust. So therefore those of you who broke my trust can go **** yourselves and relinquish yourselves from my life; it’ll be much better without you. And you know exactly who I’m referring to.” –me.

I fall in love too easily and too quickly; as you have first handily witnessed. I do intend for that to change, which, with my most recent excuse of a relationship I came to realize that it has changed. I never fell in love with him, I never had a true attachment, just annoyance. There is no excuse to why the relationship was even formed to begin with, let alone why it lasted more then a few short days. That relationship is over now, and that relationship will never get a second chance like others have.
I have changed; I’m no longer the person I once was. I still care and I still love, but I’m no longer the me I used to be. After our first run around, something switched off, or maybe even on inside me. I don’t fight, I may argue my point but it has no intentions to cause any harm. I began to communicate my feelings more, even though it seems to do no good.
I believe that everyone deserves to be happy, and I look for the good in everyone, that’s why I constantly push and try so hard, to bring out the better and happier person in those I am trying to help. And it seems to be the people I end up dating are those I subconsciously am looking to help; I am drawn to those who are in dire need of change without ever realizing so. It’s like a test I’m giving, and so far everyone has failed. I feel as if I’m here to help others, to make their lives better even though sometimes it may not seem like I’m trying to help at all; but I really am.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

I have had many bad run-ins in this short life I have lived thus far. I became pregnant at seventeen and I was far from ready to have a child of my own; I was still a child who needed to experience more of life before bringing another life into this cruel world. In result my child was removed from my care because I fell into the hands of disastrous acts. I met the wrong people whom only drug me down farther along with them. I fought and I fought to get her back in my arms, and after a year I finally did. Though now, I look at her and I feel as if she belongs to someone else. I don’t have the bond which I should have with my daughter and no matter what I try it just won’t spark. This is a terrible confession, but it is of the truth. I catch myself more and more looking at my baby and asking myself if this is really real. Asking myself where has time gone? I missed so much of her growing up that it’s tearing me to pieces now, years later. Nothing seems to be real anymore. I need that bond between me and my child more then I need anything else, because she is my shining light in this world.

“I can’t find reality; my reality has just become a non-stop ride through hell and back. Send someone to shine a light as bright as a shooting star so I can find my way back to what my reality should be realistically.” –me.

I, myself am indeed an open book, mostly unwritten. All you ever need to do is ask me questions… Tell me of yourself – open up to me completely; because if you can tell me everything and if you can tell me everything that has been hidden, I can do the same. Be adventurous with me, be spontaneous; do things you never thought you would fathom of doing. Live with an open mind to the future; because our future could be blindingly beautiful, and then again it could also be terribly tragic. Though we will never know until we try; that’s how life works, as you’re well aware.

Though I am afraid that the beginning is coming to a slow halt; so I am asking this of you – please consider being my partner in crime, to help me continue writing our story, our fairytale. It may be the most adventurous challenge we’ll ever come across in our lifetime.
I do hope I provided a well spoken beginning, telling of some, let’s say “important” points of me and my past. Just remember, I want to find what once was lost; I want it to be found properly from both parties involved. Maybe we’ll be some of the lucky ones who’ll, one day find true blissfulness; just maybe.


Your Perfect Stranger
this is also NOT a poem... this is a letter I never sent to my "perfect stranger", my ex, the true love of my life even though I never sent it to him.
written: 7.07.12
Shayla V Sep 2011
All dimples and curls and pigeon toes when sitting,
purple; and gold dangles
light-skinned girl, dark-skinned girl
depending on the translation
hips swivel to the left, ******* that follow
in commanding black bras
and matching lacy *******.
Rolling backwards into handstands for most *******,
else on the loveseat
whipping love back and forth between the swell
beneath the shorts
and beneath the outer layers,
the lip gloss smiles and masquerades
beneath the veins and bone and guts:
there's a naked, quivering heater
switched on all year long
its dainty wiring peeking out,
the head of the cord puckered.
[08-12-11]
Edward Coles Apr 2017
Be kind to yourself.
You have come so far.
Each emotion you feel tattooed
to your skin
the seasons wash away like chalk.

Be kind to yourself.
You are braver than you thought.
No longer scared of what lies
beneath your bed
but what awaits when you wake up.

Be kind to yourself.
You are worthy of love.
Only you give permission
for forked tongues
to leave passing words as lasting scars.

Only you can adopt old failures
and stack them as obstacles
upon each new path.
You cannot dictate what will be
only – who you are.

Be kind to yourself.
You are doing enough.
You cannot always be switched on.
Sometimes you have to lay down
and breathe –

it is not greed.
If you are always exhausted
you cannot help anybody.

Be kind to yourself.
You did not grow
from a single cell
born from a dying star
in order to feel so small.

You did not close the door
on friends when you expected
more from them.
Why beat yourself up
for who you were before?

Be kind to yourself.
A faltering dancer who gets up
again and again
draws the loudest applause
at the curtain call.

A person who spent half their life
at war with themselves
knows the value of peace,
the feat of getting out the house;
the measure of good mental health.

Be kind to yourself.
You have come so far.
They say ten thousand hours
is the time it takes
to master an art.

You spent so much longer than that
learning the patterns of your heart.
You can pull at those common threads
that keep you together
even when you are falling apart.

Be kind to yourself.
You are stronger than you thought.
Like Leonard says,
“there’s a crack of light in everything. “
You do not have to be perfect.

You do not have to live in the dark.
Be kind to yourself.
Make sure you get to the end.
Do not worry
how you stumbled at the start.
C
Britt Nichole Jan 2015
How tired we are
Always taking hot salt baths,
thinking that they'll heal our gaping wounds.
Then we cry because we hurt like hell and are naive enough to ask the faucet why it would do such a thing. It wasn't even the faucet.
How is it that we don't ever feel clean unless we are burning?
Our minds are saturated in switched blame but I'm also saturated in my own hot air.
Let's hum.
Stand naked in puddles of rain water and ask God why you've caught cold feet, why you're running away from feeling something.
Don't **** the passion, just watch it live sadly and then die. You die, not the passion. Someone else will catch it and since it's awfully contagious they'll give it to someone else too. Passion Plague.
I'm nifty with words.
Be nifty with hands.
Bend me over and fold me in until you're inhaling sticky sweat and loose hairs.
I have penny slots and other slots that are empty waiting. You've got the parts so you know what they are waiting for.
I do too, but I'll be ***** to make you ***** if I have to.
Pop off can tops and keep them between your front teeth as I dance around the empty ashtray in our hotel room. The sheets are cold like your rain water feet and thin like self restraint, but I'll still tease.
Let's make sin worth burying and call it the Boogie Monster anyway.
Nigel Obiya Apr 2013
PLANET NAIROBI (When the sun goes down)
Nur…
They were on the verge of losing this battle… it was only a matter of time, and he knew that. Through the window, he saw them advance, with a fierce swiftness that would have put anyone opposed to them at unease. Trembling uncontrollably, he reached for his weapon and held it firmly, ready to martyr himself for his family’s honour and legacy if need be. For they were not, and never would be known as a family of cowards, they were royalty... and he would rather go down fighting than cowering, that was the bottom line. But he knew that his sword, as well forged as it was, would be no match for Rath and his five hundred man strong battalion. So, biting his lower lip he waited for the pounding footsteps to reach the top of the stairs where he stood, the one solitary guardian to the throne. Martyrdom was his destiny.
“Let he that stands between Rath and the throne fall like the city walls!” Rath’s dominant voice bellowed as it got closer, too close for comfort.
He braced himself.
Suddenly, the doors burst open. And Nur... Prince Nur, finally got to come face to face with the scourge that had terrorised the lands of the sea for so long. A man of whom he had heard about from stories as a child growing up. A man that had haunted his dreams for as long as he could remember. Nur realised that he had always been afraid of Rath, long before this moment, how was he supposed to fight this man when he was clearly at a disadvantage? For it was common knowledge that to go into battle afraid, was to go into battle prepared to lose.
Rath was a gigantic figure, and exuded the air of one who was accustomed to crushing his opponents and hadn’t experienced defeat in a while... if not ever. This man stood at almost eight feet tall, with rock hard muscles that seemed to pile on top of more muscle, threatening to tear through his dark skin. His long locks of unkempt hair fell over a face that could only be described as menacing. He had a permanent scowl that was complimented by his black, soulless eyes. And as they stared each other down, Nur couldn’t ignore the presence of sheer evil he saw in those eyes, a shiver of dread ran down his spine. He raised his blade.
“A child?” Rath barked, “A petulant child? Is that what this Kingdom’s defences have come down to? An infant?” He waved a dismissive hand at Nur.
“A prince!” Nur responded defiantly, raising his blade even higher and more confidently. This man may have been the epitome of terror, but Nur would be ****** if he was going to be talked down to in this manner, this was his palace.
“A prince huh? Prince Nur I presume? Your father was a brave man, I respected him. Even if I met his acquaintance only for a couple of minutes, before I slaughtered him. But I do respect a king that fights alongside his men, as opposed to other cowards I’ve had the pleasure of killing that had barricaded themselves in their chambers and let others fight their battles for them. King Thur was a rare breed... but a dead one all the same.” He laughed remorselessly as he said this. “And soon you will get to join your warrior father foolish one.”
Nur lost all sense of fear. Infuriated, his nostrils flared as he swung the blade with all the ferocity he could muster, slicing deep into Rath’s right forearm. Time slowed to syrup as he saw his adversary’s blood stain the sword, but realising that it wasn’t a fatal strike, he turned around swiftly, switching his stance just in time to see Rath’s massive blade come down on his head. Then there was a deathly silence.
The afterlife was nothing like he had pictured. It smelt of... he couldn’t quite place that peculiar smell. It wasn’t pleasant, but neither was it unpleasant, just unfamiliar. Then he turned around and saw her. He deduced that she was probably the source of the smell. He noticed that smoke came out of her nostrils and mouth every few seconds after lifting a sticklike object to her lips. Nur mused at how wrong the high priest in their kingdom had been when he spoke about the place in the sun... the afterlife. It wasn’t anything like he had described.
But wait a minute! He realised that the sun was still above him, in the sky. He could see it. He could feel it on his skin. So WHERE WAS HE? He felt dizzy, unable to comprehend. Only a minute ago he was in the royal palace, facing certain death. And now he was... he didn’t know where he was, or even what he was. Was he dead? Transcended? Was this just his soul? If so, then how come he still had his senses? All these questions raced through his mind at the same time. He turned toward the lady, who seemed unaware of his presence. She was tall and very light skinned compared to him and her hair was tied in ponytail at the back of her head. He couldn’t make sense of her attire though, she seemed to wear a lot of clothing, garment over garment that covered her arms and legs. She was also extremely beautiful and had a slim womanly body most warriors would **** for, he noted, and felt himself flush. He tried to see what she was squinting so intently at and concluded that she was just staring into space as she drew, he realised now, on the tiny stick and blew out more smoke. That was when he noticed how high up they were, this palace stood almost five times as high as theirs. It was overwhelming to say the least.  He got up and walked over to her, deciding to leave his blade behind so as not to come off as a threat.
“Greetings?” He said politely. She jumped as if she had just seen a ghost, dropping the stick she was holding. He had clearly startled her, so he took a step back lifting his hands in the air to signify that he meant her no harm. She breathed rapidly and began to speak just as rapidly in a foreign tongue. Nur couldn’t understand what she was saying, but the hostility in her tone and her demeanour was hard to miss. He took another step back, ready to defend himself from an attack if need be. He had heard tales of an island with warrior women who could match, and beat, even the strongest male adversary in combat. He decided to tread cautiously.


Nasim...
Nasim Naikuni was beyond peeved. Who was this ******?  He had scared her half to death and almost made her fall off the roof, not to mention burn her favourite grey, three thousand shilling trouser suite when she dropped the cigarette. And what annoyed her even more was that he didn’t seem to register how ******* she was. He just stood there with a blank expression on his face, like a schoolboy waiting for his mistake to be explained to him. Nasim couldn’t stand slow people, they got under her skin. She was yelling at the top of her lungs, which was taxing to say the least, seeing as she had been smoking just seconds ago.
“Are you slow?” She shouted, tapping at her temple repeatedly. “What makes you think you can sneak up on me like that you fool? You almost killed me. Do you realise that?” Then she stopped and studied him, out of breath. She noticed that he seemed unable to understand English and so she switched to Swahili, “Nini mbaya na wewe?” What’s wrong with you? Still there was no response.
She gave him a once over. He dressed strangely. His large, golden brown pants that fluttered in the wind seemed to have been made from an expensive material, though it was like no material she’d laid eyes on before. It bordered somewhere between silk and suede. His shirt was also made of a similar material, but leather brown in colour, matching his leather boots that were laced and reached just under the knee. He stood an inch or two shorter than she did, but she guessed that was probably because she was in heels. He had long hair that seemed to fall halfway down his back in one long braid. He looked almost exotic as he tried to communicate, but she couldn’t place the language or his ethnicity, for his skin-tone was chocolate brown but his hair looked almost like an Asian’s, dark and straight. He spoke in a tongue she had never heard before. There was also something really classy about this boy, whom she guessed to be around eighteen years of age or so. It was like looking at a darker, more pampered version of Sinbad the sailor.
Nasim relaxed a little and decided to give the fellow a chance to introduce himself, in whatever way he intended to do so. He seemed to pick up on this and started explaining something to her, making a couple of gestures, and at some point she thought she saw him mimic a fight, and then  point to the sky. Nasim still didn’t know what he was talking about, but felt a semblance of communication begin to take form. He directed her attention to another part of the roof, probably where he had approached her from. And she saw the blade! With catlike agility she swung her purse at him, the blow caught him square on the jaw with a thud! The bottle of perfume she religiously carried around in it serving a different purpose on this day. He hadn’t seen it coming and so had no chance of stopping it. He staggered backwards as she made a run for it toward the staircase but felt a hand grab her ankle causing her to tumble onto the hot cement floor. At that moment her heart sank, for she knew that she was done for.


Nur...
Nur was perplexed, he didn’t know what he’d done to deserve the assault. The lady had seemed to be calming down, but all of a sudden she had lunged at him with a weapon he had first assumed to be a bag. Though, she didn’t strike with the strength that a warrior would have, and also had made an attempt to flee. This told him two things. One, she wasn’t accustomed to combat... and two, she had attacked more out of fear than strife. Which meant that she posed no immediate threat to him. Also, she was the only person he had met so far and his only hope of figuring out where he was. He couldn’t afford to lose her, not just yet, so he decided to try something he was ashamed he hadn’t thought of sooner. Nur spoke into her head.
‘I mean you no harm.’  He said, and waited. No response. He tried again, concentrating harder this time. ‘Can you hear me? I mean you no harm’
‘LET ME GOOO!’  Her thoughts screamed.
He could understand her, they had made a connection. Progress...

One year later. Nasim...
“Good afternoon people? You’re hangin’ out with me Nasim Naikuni on your favourite show Voices, where you can throw any question you have regarding life... and living it, at me and the voices in my head will answer them for you... yeah, you heard right, the voices in my head. I’ll be takin’ your calls for the next hour. Let’s begin shall we?” Nasim spoke into the microphone just before a voice-over added...
“NASIM NAIKUNI, THE ONLY RADIO PRESENTER THAT’S LITERALLY GONE BONKERS!” And then was followed by some rock music. ‘So what?... I’m still a rock star... ’ Pink’s lyrics belted out as Nasim removed her headphones to take a breather before she talked to her first caller. A breather... and also to have a bit of a chat with the voice in her head. She walked out of the studio into a corridor where she was out of sight, and concentrated, her eyes crinkling from the effort.
‘Hey, are you there?’
‘Uh huh.’ The prince replied.
‘Okay, we’re on in roughly three minutes. Make me look good babes’
‘Don’t I always?’
‘True dat. What are you doing?’
‘Breakfast.’
‘It’s one in the afternoon... ’
‘This is not my planet, therefore I’m not obliged to follow its rules. I can have a one o’clock breakfast if I want to.’
‘Brunch.’
‘What?’
‘Brunch, what your having would be brunch. Breakfast... aaand lunch?’
‘You see? You get all high and mighty on me about this and you even have a name for it? If it is so wrong to have breakfast at this time, then why would your people give the meal a name? I’m just saying.’ Nur said mockingly.
‘I give up’ She replied with a sigh.
‘Nas... Nas?’
Silence.
She walked back into the studio.
“Caller... you’re on air. Shoot.” Nasim said softly, leaning into the microphone.
“Hey Nasim, lovely job you’re doing by the way.”
“Why thank you dear, but I don’t deserve all the credit you know?”
“Yeah I know... you and the voices in your head... ha-ha! Anyway my name is George, and I’m kinda’ in a predicament at the moment. You see, I have a wife and a family... two kids, but I kinda’ got into this relationship outta’... obligation as opposed to real love...”
“Obligation?”
“Yes. I met my wife five years ago in uni’ and we dated. But looking back, I only got into the relationship because I felt I’d led her on and she loved me soo much, I just couldn’t disappoint her. So I got stuck in a phony relationship, at least on my part. Next thing I know, we are pregnant and... It’s been we ever since.”
“So you want to what? Get out of your marriage?”
“I want to be with the person I truly love...”
“Hooo... **! Scoreboard! Now we have lift off. And how long have you known this person that you truly love George?” She said this with a tinge of amusement in her voice.
“Six years... and we’ve been going out for the past two.” He sounded ashamed.
‘He sounds ashamed.’ She heard Nur say observationally.
‘No kidding.’ She retorted.
(In the past year or so, Nasim and Nur had come to an understanding somewhat. After she had struck him with her purse and the little scuffle they’d had on the rooftop, and after convincing herself that she wasn’t going crazy... or that the cigarette she had been smoking wasn’t laced with marijuana or some other hallucinogen, she finally gave in and listened to the voice speaking to her in her thoughts.
‘Please, just give me a chance to explain. I need your help lady!’ He sounded desperate.
She felt sorry for him, but still suspected she could be going nuts.
He continued. ‘I don’t know where I am. My father is dead and I don’t know where I am or how I arrived here, and you’re the only one that can help me right now...’
Nasim, touched now, replied. “How am I supposed to do that? And how are you doing this telepathy thing? Are you really doing this?” She shook her head violently, like a wet dog trying to dry itself, “I’m very confused right now.”
He looked even more confused. ‘Talk to me in my head, I think it is the only way we can communicate with each other.’
She didn’t know how to.
‘It’s simple, concentrate.’ He said reassuringly.
She tried. Still nothing.
‘I could hear you a moment ago, I don’t understand. Let’s try this slowly, repeat after me... Nur.’ He told her.
She heard him, and was thinking what?
He repeated, ‘Nur.’
She tried thinking the word he’d asked her to repeat as hard as she could but he didn’t seem to be getting anything. She decided that the cigarette must have been laced with something. Here she was, on the roof top of her work building trying to master telepathy, with a stranger who just happened to own a sword. This had to be a dream, a nightmare.
‘I must be high.’
‘Yes! Yes! You’re high!’ She heard the excited reply.
‘What?’
‘You did it!’ Nur said happily, ‘you figured it out. And yes, I was also meaning to ask you about how high we are.’
She had done it. Nasim could hear him and answer back, she felt oddly proud of this accomplishment. Then she asked puzzled. ‘High? You get high?’
‘I am high.’ Came the naive reply.
‘Oh...’
‘Why are we so high up? The palaces on our island are half the size of yours, are you that many in your palace that you need to build it so tall?’
Then she understood. And laughed... ‘Who are you? And how did you get here?’
‘My name is Nur... Prince Nur... how I got here? That’s what I’m trying to find out.’ He was being honest.
And thus begun an adventurous relationship between the two. Nasim took him to her apartment that day, passing curious and disapproving looks all the way. The most difficult part being trying to explain to her boss why she was coming from the roof in the company of someone who dressed like a ******, as he put it. She made up something. And he gave her one of those I’ll accept your story just because... looks. Nasim found that hilarious. But she was glad she had asked Nur to leave the sword behind to be recovered later. That would have been a tad difficult to explain. They got to her apartment block and were met by more disapproving looks from a group of nosey old women, the type that love to mind everyone else’s business but their own, as they walked to the lift. And when they got into apartment F6 on the second floor, she introduced Nu
Planet Nairobi… wrote this a couple of months ago, it was turned down by one publisher and awaiting other publisher’s feedback. However, it’s been a minute so I decided to share it with my peoples… if you like my work, this one will get you going… it may have it’s flaws, but hey… I never said I’m perfect, I’m just a writer.
Stuart Lee May 2013
My dad's look, the look
he gives me when I say or do
something particularly dumb,
usually when helping him work
on the car, and I hand him the wrong wrench.

His steel-blue eyes fix on me and
try to penetrate the fog within me,
searching for the place that will
confirm the obvious:

I must have been switched at birth.
Aarya Oct 2015
The morning after I killed myself, I woke up.
I splashed myself with cold water, and walked over to my dollhouse kitchen to make a cup of hot green tea in my favorite green ceramic mug. I cut myself avocados, laid them across my toast, and sprinkled it with pepper. My brother was still asleep, his covers crumpled under half his body and a leg hanging off the edge. He was dreaming of his favorite thing about the previous day, and that made me smile, as I tucked him back under the protection of his blanket.

The morning after I killed myself, I fell in love.
Not once, but many times. Not with one person, but with multiple. I fell in love with my mom and the way she looked like the happiest woman in the world when she laughed at us, and how from sitting behind her in the car it looked as if she was always smiling because her cheekbones were so high. I fell in love with the way she wiped her eyes with the top of her wrist, as the steam and aroma from the hot food she cooked, floated upwards. I fell in love with my dad and the way he walked through the backyard, moving his hands around as he played out important discussions in his head. I fell in love with my brother and the way he tried to talk to us about CNN news at over the dinner table every night. I fell in love with the way he would impatiently say my name as his eyes lit up, wanting to tell me something that excited him, or that he found funny. I fell in love with a little girl I caught dancing with her sister outside 85, on the way back from my math class. I fell in love with the curly-haired boy in my English class my freshman year, who sheepishly told me he switched back and forth from British and American accents from time to time, because it was just something that was a part of him. I fell in love with my best friend and the way she got so passionate about the importance of history and what she learned from her AP history class, over a Skype call after midnight. I fell in love with everyone I ever met, and saw them as entire galaxies, complex and burning bright yet simple at the same time. Because people are beautiful. People are beautiful.

The morning after I killed myself, I recognized kindness.
I recognized it when there were more than one million words in the English language to choose from, but every time, my neighbors chose the kindest ones. I recognized it in the mother I saw sitting outside the café on a bench, running her elegant fingers through her teenage daughter’s hair, who was telling her about her worries. I recognized it when a homeless lady gave another homeless man all the money she had made that day, simply because he had a daughter to feed. I found kindness in my friend when she ran to the Starbucks across the street to comfort a woman she did not know who was crying after her autistic son had a tantrum.

The morning after I killed myself, I took a walk.
I sauntered along the street, and I saw the bright green leaves of the sugar gum trees, that in a few months would turn gold and orange. The birds were chirping their warbling melodies, and the cool air was feeding my lungs. The sun was still rising, and the sky had a little bit of orange in one corner, and a little bit of pink in another. I sat down on the bleachers of my school, and waited for the sunrise to unfold.

The morning after I killed myself, I held my beautiful grandma’s hands.
I felt how small and cold they were, but what warmth they still preserved as her fingers tightly held mine. My fingers grazed the top of fists, the bumpy veins giving them a delicate texture. I saw the four golden bangles she had never taken off of her left wrist, and I wondered how many dishes those hands had washed, how many clothes they had folded, and how many meals they had made.

The morning after I killed myself, I watched a live symphony.
I sat dazed, in view of the wine-red instruments in front of me, from the contented mold of my chair. I listened to the beautiful wavelengths of sound being produced right in front of me, the music creating my sanctuary. The conductor created the loudest expression of music on stage, despite making no sound. His arms waved as wildly as the sea, but was no less graceful than an ebbing tide. I looked at the depth of the basses, the elegance of the cellos, the poise of the violins, and the dignity of the viola. The fingers of the cellists slid up and down, the strings undulating with every phrase. A pulse was beating within my own veins, and as long the piece lasted, I was the music.

The morning after I killed myself, I looked in the mirror.
I saw my almond-shaped eyes, and how my eyelashes outlined them perfectly. I saw the vertebrae of my spine, and how they looked like a line of marbles, across my back. I saw the curls on the top of my head that I’d hated when I was younger, because they stuck out as if I had my own atmosphere around my head. I saw my knuckles, and how they separated into mountains and valleys. I saw the beauty mark on my left ankle, and the dimple that formed when I smiled. I looked in the mirror, and I finally fell in love with what I saw.

The morning after I killed myself, I tried to get back.
I tried to talk sense into a girl who had made a horrible mistake. I told her about the avocados, and the valleys and mountains that appeared every time she crumpled her fists. I told her about how beautiful her mom was when she laughed, and how warm it felt to hold her grandma’s hands. I told her about how her brother said he always dreamt about his favorite thing about the previous day, and how her friends had so much kindness in them. I told her about the green leaves scattered over the ground, and the pink parts of sunsets. I told her about the orchestra where she would find peace, and the shy boy who switched accents.

May your tea be just the right temperature when you take a sip, and may you happen to glance through the window just when the rays of light are falling perfectly. May you lock eyes with someone just as they send you a warm smile, and may you turn on the radio just as your favorite song starts. May you love the ink pen you pick up, as it glides across paper smoothly, and may you pick up a novel to read that changes your thoughts on something important.
Inspired by Meggie Royer's "The Morning After I Killed Myself"

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