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Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
for Jennie in gratitude*

For days afterwards he was preoccupied by what he’d collected into himself from the gallery viewing. He could say it was just painting, but there was a variety of media present in the many surrounding images and artefacts. Certainly there were all kinds of objects: found and gathered, captured and brought into a frame, some filling transparent boxes on a window ledge or simply hung frameless on the wall; sand, fixed foam, paper sea-water stained, a beaten sheet of aluminium; a significant stone standing on a mantelpiece, strange warped pieces of metal with no clue to what they were or had been, a sketchbook with brooding pencilled drawings made fast and thick, filling the page, colour like an echo, and yes, paintings.
 
Three paintings had surprised him; they did not seem to fit until (and this was sometime later) their form and content, their working, had very gradually begun to make a sort of sense.  Possible interpretations – though tenuous – surreptitiously intervened. There were words scrawled across each canvas summoning the viewer into emotional space, a space where suggestions of marks and colour floated on a white surface. These scrawled words were like writing in seaside sand with a finger: the following bird and hiraeth. He couldn’t remember the third exactly. He had a feeling about it – a date or description. But he had forgotten. And this following bird? One of Coleridge’s birds of the Ancient Mariner perhaps? Hiraeth he knew was a difficult Welsh word similar to saudade. It meant variously longing, sometimes passionate (was longing ever not passionate?), a home-sickness, the physical pain of nostalgia. It was said that a well-loved location in conjunction with a point in time could cause such feelings. This small exhibition seemed full of longing, full of something beyond the place and the time and the variousness of colour and texture, of elements captured, collected and represented. And as the distance in time and memory from his experience of the show in a small provincial gallery increased, so did his own thoughts of and about the nature of longing become more acute.
 
He knew he was fortunate to have had the special experience of being alone with ‘the work’ just prior to the gallery opening. His partner was also showing and he had accompanied her as a friendly presence, someone to talk to when the throng of viewers might deplete. But he knew he was surplus to requirements as she’d also brought along a girlfriend making a short film on this emerging, soon to be successful artist. So he’d wandered into the adjoining spaces and without expectation had come upon this very different show: just the title Four Tides to guide him in and around the small white space in which the art work had been distributed. Even the striking miniature catalogue, solely photographs, no text, did little to betray the hand and eye that had brought together what was being shown. Beyond the artist’s name there were only faint traces – a phone number and an email address, no voluminous self-congratulatory CV, no list of previous exhibitions, awards or academic provenance. A light blue bicycle figured in some of her catalogue photographs and on her contact card. One photo in particular had caught the artist very distant, cycling along the curve of a beach. It was this photo that helped him to identify the location – because for twenty years he had passed across this meeting of land and water on a railway journey. This place she had chosen for the coming and going of four tides he had viewed from a train window. The aspect down the estuary guarded by mountains had been a highpoint of a six-hour journey he had once taken several times a year, occasionally and gratefully with his children for whom crossing the long, low wooden bridge across the estuary remained into their teens an adventure, always something telling.
 
He found himself wishing this work into a studio setting, the artist’s studio. It seemed too stark placed on white walls, above the stripped pine floor and the punctuation of reflective glass of two windows facing onto a wet street. Yes, a studio would be good because the pictures, the paintings, the assemblages might relate to what daily surrounded the artist and thus describe her. He had thought at first he was looking at the work of a young woman, perhaps mid-thirties at most. The self-curation was not wholly assured: it held a temporary nature. It was as if she hadn’t finished with the subject and or done with its experience. It was either on-going and promised more, or represented a stage she would put aside (but with love and affection) on her journey as an artist. She wouldn’t milk it for more than it was. And it was full of longing.
 
There was a heaviness, a weight, an inconclusiveness, an echo of reverence about what had been brought together ‘to show’. Had he thought about these aspects more closely, he would not have been so surprised to discovered the artist was closer to his own age, in her fifties. She in turn had been surprised by his attention, by his carefully written comment in her guest book. She seemed pleased to talk intimately and openly, to tell her story of the work. She didn’t need to do this because it was there in the room to be read. It was apparent; it was not oblique or difficult, but caught the viewer in a questioning loop. Was this estuary location somehow at the core of her longing-centred self?  She had admitted that, working in her home or studio, she would find herself facing westward and into the distance both in place and time?
 
On the following day he made time to write, to look through this artist’s window on a creative engagement with a place he was familiar. The experience of viewing her work had affected him. He was not sure yet whether it was the representation of the place or the artist’s engagement with it. In writing about it he might find out. It seemed so deeply personal. It was perhaps better not to know but to imagine. So he imagined her making the journey, possibly by train, finding a place to stay the night – a cheerful B & B - and cycling early in the morning across the long bridge to her previously chosen spot on the estuary: to catch the first of the tides. He already understood from his own experience how an artist can enter trance-like into an environment, absorb its particularness, respond to the uncertainty of its weather, feel surrounded by its elements and textures, and most of all be governed by the continuous and ever-complex play of light.
 
He knew all about longing for a place. For nearly twenty years a similar longing had grown and all but consumed him: his cottage on a mountain overlooking the sea. It had become a place where he had regularly faced up to his created and invented thoughts, his soon-to-be-music and more recently possible poetry and prose. He had done so in silence and solitude.
 
But now he was experiencing a different longing, a longing born from an intensity of love for a young woman, an intensity that circled him about. Her physical self had become a rich landscape to explore and celebrate in gaze, and stroke and caress. It seemed extraordinary that a single person could hold to herself such a habitat of wonder, a rich geography of desire to know and understand. For so many years his longing was bound to the memory of walking cliff paths and empty beaches, the hypnotic viewing of seascaped horizons and the persistent chaos of the sea and wild weather. But gradually this longing for a coming together of land, sea and sky had migrated to settle on a woman who graced his daily, hourly thoughts; who was able to touch and caress him as rain and wind and sun can act upon the body in ever-changing ways. So when he was apart from her it was with such a longing that he found himself weighed down, filled brimfull.
 
In writing, in attempting to consider longing as a something the creative spirit might address, he felt profoundly grateful to the artist on the light blue bicycle whose her observations and invention had kept open a door he felt was closing on him. She had faced her own longing by bringing it into form, and through form into colour and texture, and then into a very particular play: an arrangement of objects and images for the mind to engage with – or not. He dared to feel an affinity with this artist because, like his own work, it did not seem wholly confident. It contained flaws of a most subtle kind, flaws that lent it a conviction and strength that he warmed to. It had not been massaged into correctness. The images and the textures, the directness of it, flowed through him back and forward just like the tides she had come far to observe on just a single day. He remembered then, when looking closely at the unprotected pieces on the walls, how his hand had moved to just touch its surfaces in exactly the way he would bring his fingers close to the body of the woman he loved so much, adored beyond any poetry, and longed for with all his heart and mind.
Jacobo Raymundo Apr 2013
viewer discretion is advised. The following program has graphic images that may not be suitable for all audiences

The television stains my eyes
I can barely see myself in the mirror
While steady reporters shed not one tear
Don't you see the dead behind you?
Don't you feel the pain of their families
While you just "tell the story"?

27 dead, most of which young children, in a school shooting

The sickness creeps into my bones
Its impact rattles my spine
Debilitating me, confining me to a stupor
Why? Why?
Why end such bright futures and presents?
Do you not see the damage that you've done?
Do you not feel the blood pouring from
Your own body? Do you?

back to you, overpaid talking man*

A three minute blurb
That's it
Hundreds of people have been forever changed
Millions more afraid
And all you can do is harass them
Beg for interviews
While they still are in disbelief?
But beyond that
You show it over and over and over
All with the political lean
Of your respective stations
Could you not stop for once
And let mourners mourn?
Nat Lipstadt Aug 2018
the angel amongst us

~for Alexander, master splasher~

flexibility is important when poetry writing in a warm tub and a long day ahead is scheduled; so willingly accept the autocorrect
for I am both an experienced poet and bath soaker and
believer in wondrous mystery and unexpected fumbles
that lead to to miracle touchdowns

~•~

the two mathematicians examine the angle, measure the degree of difference at intersection and bless it with an identity,
calling it by its name,
perhaps obtuse, perhaps right, perhaps both

two sets of eyes examine the angle,
study its ****** expression

the old man says:
see the angle on the clock formed by the big handle on the twelve and the little hand on the eight?

this is angle of eight o’clock:
time to stop the splashing and start the get-readying
for we have miles to go before the ocean can say hello!

little angel says angle no go
and slashes the water with both
hands to establish the firmness of his views
and change Einstein’s time from present to future

the angle depends on the perspective of the viewer

the old poet comprehends leaving a warm tub is a regretful thing

but he measures the degree of difference at this
intersection
of time and bath and blesses it with an identity

“time to go”

the angle of my angel is now 2 pointed arms, pointed straight up,
at the twelve o'clock,

as he stands up in fevered protest,
my arms sweep his little legs to
a point at eight o’clock,
angel, commenting on his swift flight
disputes the grandfathers physics

"no go now,
now go later^"

though the angle is unchanged
the perspective of time and space
(and traffic),
yet differs

one sees an angle,
the angel sees time
eternally folding in on itself


that is the angle amongst us
^Surprising as it may be to most non-scientists and even to some scientists, Albert Einstein concluded in his later years that the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously. In 1952, in his book Relativity, in discussing Minkowski's Space World interpretation of his theory of relativity, Einstein writes:

Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
There was a moment when he knew he had to make a decision.

He had left London that February evening on the ****** Velo Train to the South West. As the two hour journey got underway darkness had descended quickly; it was soon only his reflected face he could see in the window. He’d been rehearsing most of the afternoon so it was only now he could take out the manuscript book, its pages full of working notes on the piece he was to play the following afternoon. His I-Mind implant could have stored these but he chose to circumvent this thought-transcribing technology; there was still the physical trace on the cream-coloured paper with his mother’s propelling pencil that forever conjured up his journey from the teenage composer to the jazz musician he now was. This thought surrounded him with a certain warmth on this Friday evening train full of those returning to their country homes and distant families.

It was a difficulty he had sensed from the moment he perceived a distant gap in the flow of information streaming onto the mind page

At the outset the Mind Notation project had seemed harmless, playful in fact. He allowed himself to enter into the early experiments because he knew and trusted the research team. He got paid handsomely for his time, and later for his performance work.  It was a valuable complement to his ill-paid day-to-day work as a jazz pianist constantly touring the clubs, making occasional festival appearances with is quintet, hawking his recordings around small labels, and always ‘being available’. Mind Notation was something quite outside that traditional scene. In short periods it would have a relentless intensity about it, but it was hard to dismiss because he soon realised he had been hard-wired to different persona. Over a period of several years he was now dealing with four separate I-Mind folders, four distinct musical identities.

Tomorrow he would pull out the latest manifestation of a composer whose creative mind he had known for 10 years, playing the experimental edge of his music whilst still at college. There had been others since, but J was different, and so consistent. J never interfered; there were never decisive interventions, only an explicit confidence in his ability to interpret J’s music. There had been occasional discussion, but always loose; over coffee, a walk to a restaurant; never in the lab or at rehearsals.

In performance (and particularly when J was present) J’s own mind-thought was so rich, so wide-ranging it could have been drug-induced. Every musical inference was surrounded by such intensity and power he had had to learn to ride on it as he imagined a surfer would ride on a powerful wave. She was always there - embedded in everything J seemed to think about, everything J projected. He wondered how J could live with what seemed to him to be an obsession. Perhaps this was love, and so what he played was love like a wilderness river flowing endlessly across the mind-page.

J seemed careful when he was with her. J tried hard not to let his attentiveness, this gaze of love, allow others to enter the public folders of his I-Mind space (so full of images of her and the sounds of her light, entrancing voice). But he knew, he knew when he glanced at them together in darkened concert halls, her hand on J’s left arm stroking, gently stroking, that J’s most brilliant and affecting music flowed from this source.

He could feel the pattern of his breathing change, he shifted himself in his chair, the keyboard swam under his gaze, he was playing fast and light, playing arpeggios like falling water, a waterfall of notes, cascades of extended tonalities falling into the darkness beyond his left hand, but there it was, in twenty seconds he would have to*

It had begun quite accidentally with a lab experiment. J had for some years been researching the telematics of composing and performing by encapsulating the physical musical score onto a computer screen. The ‘moist media’ of telematics offered the performer different views of a composition, and not just the end result but the journey taken to obtain that result. From there to an interest in neuroscience had been a small step. J persuaded him to visit the lab to experience playing a duet with his own brain waves.

Wearing a sensor cap he had allowed his brainwaves to be transmitted through a BCMI to a synthesiser – as he played the piano. After a few hours he realised he could control the resultant sounds. In fact, he could control them very well. He had played with computer interaction before, but there was always a preparatory stage, hours of designing and programming, then the inevitable critical feedback of the recording or glitch in performance. He soon realised he had no patience for it and so relied on a programmer, a sonic artist as assistant, as collaborator when circumstances required it.

When J’s colleagues developed an ‘app’ for the I-Mind it meant he could receive J’s instant thoughts, but thoughts translated into virtual ‘active’ music notation, a notation that flowed across the screen of his inner eye. It was astonishing; more astonishing because J didn’t have to be physically there for it to happen: he could record I-Mind files of his thought compositions.

The reference pre-score at the top of the mind page was gradually enlarging to a point where pitches were just visible and this gap, a gap with no stave, a gap of silence, a gap with no action, a gap with repeat signs was probably 30 seconds away

In the early days (was it really just 10 years ago?) the music was delivered to him embedded in a network of experiences, locations, spiritual and philosophical ideas. J had found ways to extend the idea of the notated score to allow the performer to explore the very thoughts and techniques that made each piece – usually complete hidden from the performer. He would assemble groups of miniatures lasting no more than a couple of minutes each, each miniature carrying, as J had once told him, ‘one thought and one thought only’.  But this description only referred to the musical material because each piece was loaded with a web of associations. From the outset the music employed scales and tonalities so far away from the conventions of jazz that when he played and then extended the pieces it seemed like he was visiting a different universe; though surprisingly he had little trouble working these new and different patterns of pitches into his fingers. It was uncanny the ‘fit’.

Along with the music there was always rich, often startling images she conjured up for J’s compositions. At the beginning of their association J initiated these. He had been long been seeking ways to integrate the visual image with musical discourse. After toying with the idea of devising his own images for music he conceived the notion of computer animation of textile layers. J had discovered and then encouraged the work and vision of a young woman on the brink of what was to become recognised as a major talent. When he could he supported her artistically, revelling in the keenness of her observation of the natural world and her ability to complement what J conceived. He became her lover and she his muse; he remodelled his life and his work around her, her life and her work.

When performing the most complex of music it always seemed to him that the relative time of music and the clock time of reality met in strange conjunctions of stasis. Quite suddenly clock time became suspended and musical time enveloped reality. He found he could be thinking something quite differently from what he was playing.

Further projects followed, and as they did he realised a change had begun to occur in J’s creative rationale. He seemed to adopt different personae. Outwardly he was J. Inside his musical thought he began to invent other composers, musical avatars, complete minds with different musical and personal histories that he imagined making new work.

J had manipulated him into working on a new project that had appeared to be by a composer completely unknown to him. L was Canadian, a composer who had conceived a score that adhered to the DOGME movie production manifesto, but translated into music. The composition, the visuals, the text, the technological environment and the performance had to be conceived in realtime and in one location. A live performance meant a live ‘making’, and this meant he became involved in all aspects of the production. It became a popular and celebrated festival event with each production captured in its entirety and presented in multi-dimensional strands on the web. The viewer / listener became an editor able to move between the simultaneous creative activity, weaving his or her own ‘cut’ like some art house computer game. L never appeared in person at these ‘remakings’, but via a computer link. It was only after half a dozen performances that the thought entered his mind that L was possibly not a 24-year-old woman from Toronto complete with a lively Facebook persona.

Then, with the I-Mind, he woke up to the fact that J had already prepared musical scenarios that could take immediate advantage of this technology. A BBC Promenade Concert commission for a work for piano and orchestra provided an opportunity. J somehow persuaded Tom Service the Proms supremo to programme this new work as a collaborative composition by a team created specially for the premiere. J hid inside this team and devised a fresh persona. He also hid his new I-Mind technology from public view. The orchestra was to be self-directed but featured section leaders who, as established colleagues of J’s had already experienced his work and, sworn to secrecy, agreed to the I-Mind implant.

After the premiere there were rumours about how the extraordinary synchronicities in the play of musical sections had been achieved and there was much critical debate. J immediately withdrew the score to the BBC’s consternation. A minion in the contracts department had a most uncomfortable meeting with Mr Service and the Controller of Radio 3.

With the end of this phrase he would hit the gap  . . . what was he to do? Simply lift his hands from the keyboard? Wait for some sign from the I-Mind system to intervene? His audience might applaud thinking the piece finished? Would the immersive visuals with its  18.1 Surround Sound continue on the five screens or simply disappear?

His hands left the keyboard. The screens went white except for the two repeats signs in red facing one another. Then in the blank bar letter-by-letter this short text appeared . . .


Here Silence gathers
thoughts of you

Letters shall never
spell your grace

No melody could
describe your face

No rhythm dance
the way you move

Only Silence can
express my love

ever yours ever
yours ever yours



He then realised what the date was . . . and slowly let his hands fall to his lap.
Nigel Morgan Dec 2013
A Tale for the Mid-Winter Season after the Mural by Carl Larrson

On the shortest day I wake before our maids from the surrounding farms have converged on Sundborn. Greta lives with us so she will be asleep in that deep slumber only girls of her age seem to own. Her tiny room has barely more than a bed and a chest for her clothes. There is my first painting of her on the wall, little more a sketch, but she was entranced, at seeing herself so. To the household she is a maid who looks after me and my studio,  though she is a literate, intelligent girl, city-bred from Gamla Stan but from a poor home, a widowed mother, her late father a drunkard.  These were my roots, my beginning, exactly. But her eyes already see a world beyond Sundborn. She covets postcards from my distant friends: in Paris, London, Jean in South America, and will arrange them on my writing desk, sometimes take them to her room at night to dream in the candlelight. I think this summer I shall paint her, at my desk, reading my cards, or perhaps writing her own. The window will be open and a morning breeze will make the flowers on the desk tremble.

Karin sleeps too, a desperate sleep born of too much work and thought and interruption. These days before Christmas put a strain on her usually calm disposition. The responsibilities of our home, our life, the constant visitors, they weigh upon her, and dispel her private time. Time in her studio seems impossible. I often catch her poised to disappear from a family coming-together. She is here, and then gone, as if by magic. With the older children home from their distant schools, and Suzanne arrived from England just yesterday morning, they all cannot do without lengthy conferences. They know better than disturb me. Why do you think there is a window set into my studio door? So, if I am at my easel there should be no knock to disturb. There is another reason, but that is between Karin and I.

This was once a summer-only house, but over the years we have made it our whole-year home. There was much attention given to making it snug and warm. My architect replaced all the windows and all the doors and there is this straw insulation between the walls. Now, as I open the curtains around my bed, I can see my breath float out into the cool air. When, later, I descend to my studio, the stove, damped down against the night, when opened and raddled will soon warm the space. I shall draw back the heavy drapes and open the wooden shutters onto the dark land outside. Only then I will stand before my current painting: *Brita and the Sleigh
.

Current!? I have been working on this painting intermittently for five years, and Brita is no longer the Brita of this picture, though I remember her then as yesterday. It is a picture of a winter journey for a six-year-old, only that journey is just across the yard to the washhouse. Snow, frost, birds gathered in the leafless trees, a sun dog in the sky, Brita pushing her empty sledge, wearing fur boots, Lisbeth’s old coat, and that black knitted hat made by old Anna. It is the nearest I have come to suggesting the outer landscape of this place. I bring it out every year at this time so I can check the light and the shadows against what I see now, not what I remember seeing then. But there will be a more pressing concern for me today, this shortest day.

Since my first thoughts for the final mural in my cycle for the Nationalmuseum I have always put this day aside, whatever I might be doing, wherever I may be. I pull out my first sketches, that book of imaginary tableaux filled in a day and a night in my tiny garden studio in Grez, thinking of home, of snow, the mid-winter, feeling the extraordinary power and shake of Adam of Bremen’s description of 10th C pre-Christian Uppsala, written to describe how barbaric and immoral were the practices and religion of the pagans, to defend the fragile position of the Christian church in Sweden at the time. But as I gaze at these rough beginnings made during those strange winter days in my rooms at the Hotel Chevilon, I feel myself that twenty-five year old discovering my artistic vision, abandoning oils for the flow and smudge of watercolour, and then, of course, Karin. We were part of the Swedish colony at Grez-sur-Loing. Karin lived with the ladies in Pension Laurent, but was every minute beside me until we found our own place, to be alone and be together, in a cupboard of a house by the river, in Marlotte.

Everyone who painted en-plein-air, writers, composers, they all flocked to Grez just south of Fontainebleau, to visit, sometimes to stay. I recall Strindberg writing to Karin after his first visit: It was as if there were no pronounced shadows, no hard lines, the air with its violet complexion is almost always misty; and I painting constantly, and against the style and medium of the time. How the French scoffed at my watercolours, but my work sold immediately in Stockholm. . . and Karin, tall, slim, Karin, my muse, my lover, my model, her boy-like figure lying naked (but for a hat) in the long grass outside my studio. We learned each other there, the technique of bodies in intimate closeness, the way of no words, the sharing of silent thoughts, together on those soft, damp winter days when our thoughts were of home, of Karin’s childhood home at Sundborn. I had no childhood thoughts I wanted to return to, but Karin, yes. That is why we are here now.

In Grez-sur-Loing, on a sullen December day, mist lying on the river, our garden dead to winter, we received a visitor, a Swedish writer and journalist travelling with a very young Italian, Mariano Fortuny, a painter living in Paris, and his mentor the Spaniard Egusquiza. There was a woman too who Karin took away, a Parisienne seamstress I think, Fortuny’s lover. Bayreuth and Wagner, Wagner, Wagner was all they could talk about. Of course Sweden has its own Nordic Mythology I ventured. But where is it? What is it? they cried, and there was laughter and more mulled wine, and then talk again of Wagner.

When the party left I realized there was something deep in my soul that had been woken by talk of the grandeur and scale of Wagner’s cocktail of German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. For a day and night I sketched relentlessly, ransacking my memory for those old tales, drawing strong men and stalwart, flaxen-haired women in Nordic dress and ornament. But as a new day presented itself I closed my sketch book and let the matter drop until, years later, in a Stockholm bookshop I chanced upon a volume in Latin by Adam of Bremen, his Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum, the most famous source to pagan ritual practice in Sweden. That cold winter afternoon in Grez returned to me and I felt, as I had then, something stir within me, something missing from my comfortable world of images of home and farm, family and the country life.

Back in Sundborn this little volume printed in the 18th C lay on my desk like a question mark without a sentence. My Latin was only sufficient to get a gist, but the gist was enough. Here was the story of the palace of Uppsala, the great centre of the pre-Christian pagan cults that brought us Odin and Freyr. I sought out our village priest Dag Sandahl, a good Lutheran but who regularly tagged Latin in his sermons. Yes, he knew the book, and from his study bookshelf brought down an even earlier copy than my own. And there and then we sat down together and read. After an hour I was impatient to be back in my studio and draw, draw these extraordinary images this text brought to life unbidden in my imagination. But I did not leave until I had persuaded Pastor Sandahl to agree to translate the Uppsala section of the Adam of Bremen’s book, and just before Christmas that year, on the day before the Shortest Day, he delivered his translation to my studio. He would not stay, but said I should read the passages about King Domalde and his sacrifice at the Winter Solstice. And so, on the day of the Winter Solstice, I did.

This people have a widely renowned sanctuary called Uppsala.

By this temple is a very large tree with extending branches. It is always green, both in winter and in summer. No one knows what kind of tree this is. There is also a spring there, where the heathens usually perform their sacrificial rites. They throw a live human being into the spring. If he does not resurface, the wishes of the people will come true.

The Temple is girdled by a chain of gold that hangs above the roof of the building and shines from afar, so that people may see it from a distance when they approach there. The sanctuary itself is situated on a plain, surrounded by mountains, so that the form a theatre.

It is not far from the town of Sigtuna. This sanctuary is completely covered with golden ornaments. There, people worship the carved idols of three gods: Thor, the most powerful of them, has his throne in the middle of the hall, on either side of him, Odin and Freyr have their seats. They have these functions: “Thor,” they say, “rules the air, he rules thunder and lightning, wind and rain, good weather and harvests. The other, Odin, he who rages, he rules the war and give courage to people in their battle against enemies. The third is Freyr, he offers to mortals lust and peace and happiness.” And his image they make with a very large phallus. Odin they present armed, the way we usually present Mars, while Thor with the scepter seems to resemble Jupiter. As gods they also worship some that have earlier been human. They give them immortality for the sake of their great deeds, as we may read in Vita sancti Ansgarii that they did with King Eirik.

For all these gods have particular persons who are to bring forward the sacrificial gifts of the people. If plague and famine threatens, they offer to the image of Thor, if the matter is about war, they offer to Odin, but if a wedding is to be celebrated, they offer to Freyr. And every ninth year in Uppsala a great religious ceremony is held that is common to people from all parts of Sweden.”
Snorri also relates how human sacrifice began in Uppsala, with the sacrifice of a king.

Domalde took the heritage after his father Visbur, and ruled over the land. As in his time there was great famine and distress, the Swedes made great offerings of sacrifice at Upsal. The first autumn they sacrificed oxen, but the succeeding season was not improved thereby. The following autumn they sacrificed men, but the succeeding year was rather worse. The third autumn, when the offer of sacrifices should begin, a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsal; and now the chiefs held consultations with each other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account of their king Domalde, and they resolved to offer him for good seasons, and to assault and **** him, and sprinkle the stall of the gods with his blood. And they did so.


There it was, at the end of Adam of Bremen’s description of Uppsala, this description of King Domalde upon which my mural would be based. It is not difficult to imagine, or rather the event itself can be richly embroidered, as I have over the years made my painting so. Karin and I have the books of William Morris on our shelves and I see little difference between his fixation on the legends of the Arthur and the Grail. We are on the cusp here between the pagan and the Christian.  What was Christ’s Crucifixion but a self sacrifice: as God in man he could have saved himself but chose to die for Redemption’s sake. His blood was not scattered to the fields as was Domalde’s, but his body and blood remains a continuing symbol in our right of Communion.

I unroll the latest watercolour cartoon of my mural. It is almost the length of this studio. Later I will ask Greta to collect the other easels we have in the house and barn and then I shall view it properly. But for now, as it unrolls, my drama of the Winter Solstice comes alive. It begins on from the right with body of warriors, bronze shields and helmets, long shafted spears, all set against the side of Uppsala Temple and more distant frost-hoared trees. Then we see the King himself, standing on a sled hauled by temple slaves. He is naked as he removes the furs in which he has travelled, a circuit of the temple to display himself to his starving people. In the centre, back to the viewer, a priest-like figure in a red cloak, a dagger held for us to see behind his back. Facing him, in druidic white, a high priest holds above his head a gold pagan monstrance. To his left there are white cloaked players of long, straight horns, blue cloaked players of the curled horns, and guiding the shaft of the sled a grizzled shaman dressed in the skins and furs of animals. The final quarter of my one- day-to-be-a-mural unfolds to show the women of temple and palace writhing in gestures of grief and hysteria whilst their queen kneels prostate on the ground, her head to the earth, her ladies ***** behind her. Above them all stands the forever-green tree whose origin no one knows.

Greta has entered the studio in her practiced, silent way carrying coffee and rolls from the kitchen. She has seen Midvinterblot many times, but I sense her gaze of fascination, yet again, at the figure of the naked king. She remembers the model, the sailor who came to stay at Kartbacken three summers ago. He was like the harpooner Queequeg in Moby ****. A tattooed man who was to be seen swimming in Toftan Lake and walking bare-chested in our woods. A tall, well-muscled, almost silent man, whom I patiently courted to be my model for King Dolmade. I have a book of sketches of him striding purposefully through the trees, the tattooed lines on his shoulders and chest like deep cuts into his body. This striding figure I hid from the children for some time, but from Greta that was impossible. She whispered to me once that when she could not have my substantial chest against her she would imagine the sailor’s, imagine touching and following his tattooed lines. This way, she said, helped her have respite from those stirrings she would so often feel for me. My painting, she knew, had stirred her fellow maids Clara and Solveig. Surely you know this, she had said, in her resolute and direct city manner. I have to remember she is the age of my eldest, who too must hold such thoughts and feelings. Karin dislikes my sailor king and wishes I would not hide the face of his distraught queen.

Today the sunrise is at 9.0, just a half hour away, and it will set before 3.0pm. So, after this coffee I will put on my boots and fur coat, be well scarfed and hatted (as my son Pontus would say) and walk out onto my estate. I will walk east across the fields towards Spardasvvägen. The sky is already waiting for the sun, but waits without colour, hardly even a tinge of red one might expect.

I have given Greta her orders to collect every easel she can find so we can take Midvinterblot off the floor and see it in all its vivid colour and form. In February I shall begin again to persuade the Nationalmuseum to accept this work. We have a moratorium just now. I will not accept their reasoning that there is no historical premise for such a subject, that such a scene has no place in a public gallery. A suggestion has been made that the Historiska museet might house it. But I shall not think of this today.

Karin is here, her face at the studio window beckons entry. My Darling, yes, it is midwinter’s day and I am dressing to greet the solstice. I will dress, she says, to see Edgar who will be here in half an hour to discuss my designs for this new furniture. We will be lunching at noon. Know you are welcome. Suzanne is talking constantly of England, England, and of course Oxford, this place of dreaming spires and good looking boys. We touch hands and kiss. I sense the perfume of sleep, of her bed.

Outside I must walk quickly to be quite alone, quite apart from the house, in the fields, alone. It is on its way: this light that will bathe the snowed-over land and will be my promise of the year’s turn towards new life.

As I walk the drama of Midvinterblot unfolds in a confusion of noise, the weeping of women, the physical exertions of the temple slaves, the priests’ incantations, the riot of horns, and then suddenly, as I stand in this frozen field, there is silence. The sun rises. It stagge
To see images of the world of Sundborn and Carl Larrson (including Mitvinterblot) see http://www.clg.se/encarl.aspx
Smoke Scribe Mar 2018
all poems write themselves, following plans that are drawn only
as the poem goes along, neither leading or following, but
carrying the writer along as first violin, a VIP passenger,
the first viewer, a consultant but not a conductor

a poem is written based on what has happened
a poem is written based on what was hoped to happen
a poem was written based on what could never happen
but is so well imagined that it is more real than if it happened


I willingly tell you I will not tell you which is what, for there is no difference between them for the writer, the first passenger,
though undeniably fully aware of the quality of the ware
that is proffered, plottered or just perchanced

perhaps you are thinking, but of course,
this is the way,
the way of all of us,
the way it has and will be and no
disclaimer needed for no believable claims are made

perhaps
for the weave is oft tight, tight as near-truth, and so well imagined, it wraps the first passenger in a cloak of skin
that actually feels, though cloaks cannot feel,
but belief is easily eased

there are no lines or lies in my writings
there are no definitions and
perception is only your truth


Therefore,
my poems are splats and drips.
you make them into paintings that hang
in your own private museum
but authenticated by me as
first viewer,

3/13/18
1:09am
Nigel Morgan May 2016
Poor stone. You’ve wrapped it, hidden its serene and uncomplicated self. I can no longer feel its smoothness, its emptiness embodied in touch. You have brought it in from the beautiful silence of its solitary state and covered it around: a net, a bag, a coverlet, a coating of thread through which we can only see something of itself.

There is a consistency here: in this doing, a reflective doing as much as conscious making. You’ve moved from the mending of damaged acorns, splintered leaves, forlorn detritus gathered off the sea strand to making tiny homes, shelters, enclosures, that sometimes have no perceivable openings; so some stones are wholly netted, completely wound and threaded around so there is no escape. But some, it needs to be said, are like the lasts of the cobbler, there to provide a form to hold the stone shoe firm, in place, and around which the woven thread in your hand can ply and knit . . . and then it is sometimes cast away, this last of stone, having only provided a stone shape; so only its shape-memory persists for the viewer. And when touched - this garment, this cloak of thread is pliable, and moves with the fingers’ touch and press.

I should like to capture this stone in the process of its enclosing; what seems to be from a viewer’s stance a not wholly planned journey with the needle - around and about, in and out and under. So I imagine a stop-motion sequence of photographs, beginning with the lonely undressed stone in your hand. As time lapses we watch the intricate play of your hand, your deft fingers, that particular pinching and holding to place the thread here and here and here, the pulling through, the special holding in place while one thread knits together with another thread by going underneath and up and along, and all the time the hand turning, the fingers dancing in the hand.

Then will come moments of rest where the stone moves from the hand to a still surface. It regains its shadow - and rests. The hand moves away and we are left with the silent stone, the journey of its dressing interrupted by life’s necessities. The maker’s hand moves to other tasks; the preparation of food, the writing of notes, the tapping of virtual symbols on the mobile phone (now there’s a surface that shares with the stone a hardness and smoothness – once we held stones for comfort in the pocket – now we stroke the mobile to remind us that we’re safe in the dark street, not ever alone, connected to our thousands of followers, admirers, friends, our loved ones, and that repository of what is and where to go, and the whole world of music and photographs - of woven stones).

Let’s go back to this stop-motion. To lift the stone from its precious private place, usually alone (no other stones around), index finger and thumb come together to lift our stone from its shadow – a shadow that disappears, magically, into the surrounding light. Oh surely no more, the stone cries in its shadowless voice. No more of this twisting turning, upside downing, the sense of the stone recalling a time beyond time when in a storm-laden sea one dark winter’s night it, and countless companions, were lifted from the sea bed and rolled round, around, round, and swept, afloat in a turmoil of waves that break and break and break until finally onto the sloping beach - where the stone is left – alone, motionless – at rest - to dry in the morning sun.

Gradually the movement in her fingers becomes slower, even sporadic. She is looking at this stone with her grey-blue eyes, intently. There are pauses; moments of reflection where our stone is set down and viewed, picked up again and moved into a different light (its shadow returns momentarily, fitfully, knowing perhaps any stasis is only temporary). The camera keeps clicking; stop, a 300th of second motion, stop for a second. Already there are thousands of images collected in the camera’s silicon memory chip.

And so movement gradually becomes stillness. The light changes. The camera’s incessant stop-motion ceases. The stone is placed on a white surface for a final photo-call – a single click. Once naked; now clothed. There is no longer the possibility of return to its original stoniness. It becomes an ‘object’ to place on a surface for wonder and admiration – not the stone of course but its clothing, its covering, its embodied shape in thread, perhaps that thread soaked in mud that in itself holds a distance memory of water, even water that has moved from sea to the coastal strip, the estuary, the river’s bank.

Later, after being wrapped in tissue paper, perhaps boxed, and moved into a total darkness, the stone is brought again into the light. It finds itself placed among other stones, stones and shells, rusty objects even, and laid out variously on a pristine white surface. Its stoniness is now shadowed with words: a description, a title, its ‘found’ location, a date of finding – a date of making. That this stone, once beached, and picked from the sand, from amongst so many other stones, and thought unique and carrying potential as a last, a shoe-maker’s frame, a steady 3-dimensional surface for wrapping, now becomes something more that a solitary stone. It has been given a new life, a life of an object imbued with the thread of a maker’s curious mind; that in so threading has come to know this stone so intimately, and with so much love and care that its clothing, whilst having no pre-formed pattern, becomes something in its maker’s eyes that seems  - meaningful, poetic, ‘right’?

Through this stone-weaving with thread, this stone-covering and describing in thread, you have made a poem of the nature of stoniness. Your fingers now know this stone, and perhaps, if we can in our imagination follow that partly accidental / partly planned journey, we can read your poem – of touch, of turning, of minute viewing, of so careful observation of every millimetre of its surface. Yes, perhaps that’s it, what this is all about . . . only our stone has had its wonderful serenity and solitariness, its smoothness and surface taken from us. It will no longer lie in the pocket to comfort the hand. It will no longer lie on the desk to be a tangible remembrance of a place and time, treasured.

                                                       ------

‘And now I remember a poem, portraying a stone, a pebble placed in a child’s hand, picked up on a pebble ridge. A pebble to place in the pocket where we finger it until it becomes warm. Its shape and certain¬ty is firm and sure. It consoles us. And, as we change and decay, it remains lodged with us: *a thing that contains nothing save the mystery of life.’
This prose poem is inspired by the stone weaving of the artist Alice Fox http://www.alicefox.co.uk
Nigel Morgan Apr 2013
As he walked through the maze of streets from the tube station he wondered just how long it had been since he had last visited this tall red-bricked house. For so many years it had been for him a pied à terre. Those years when the care of infant children dominated his days, when coming up to London for 48 hours seemed such a relief, an escape from the daily round that small people demand. Since his first visits twenty years ago the area bristled with new enterprise. An abandoned Victorian hospital had been turned into expensive apartments; small enterprising businesses had taken over what had been residential property of the pre-war years. Looking up he was conscious of imaginative conversions of roof and loft spaces. What had seemed a wide-ranging community of ages and incomes appeared to have disappeared. Only the Middle Eastern corner shops and restaurants gave back to the area something of its former character: a place where people worked and lived.

It was a tall thin house on four floors. Two rooms at most of each floor, but of a good-size. The ground floor was her London workshop, but as always the blinds were down. In fact, he realised, he’d never been invited into her working space. Over the years she’d come to the door a few times, but like many artists and craftspeople he knew, she fiercely guarded her working space. The door to her studio was never left open as he passed through the hallway to climb the three flights of stairs to her husband’s domain. There was never a chance of the barest peek inside.

Today, she was in New York, and from outside the front door he could hear her husband descend from his fourth floor eyrie. The door was flung open and they greeted each other with the fervour of a long absence of friends. It had been a long time, really too long. Their lives had changed inexplicably. One, living almost permanently in that Italian marvel of waterways and sea-reflected light, the other, still in the drab West Yorkshire city from where their first acquaintance had begun from an email correspondence.

They had far too much to say to one another - on a hundred subjects. Of course the current project dominated, but as coffee (and a bowl of figs and mandarin oranges) was arranged, and they had moved almost immediately he arrived in the attic studio to the minimalist kitchen two floors below, questions were thrown out about partners and children, his activities, and sadly, his recent illness (the stairs had seemed much steeper than he remembered and he was a little breathless when he reached the top). As a guest he answered with a brevity that surprised him. Usually he found such questions needed roundabout answers to feel satisfactory - but he was learning to answer more directly, and being brief, suddenly thought of her and her always-direct questions. She wanted to know something, get something straight, so she asked  - straight - with no ‘going about things’ first. He wanted to get on with the business at hand, the business that preoccupied him, almost to the exclusion of everything else, for the last two days.

When they were settled in what was J’s working space ten years ago now he was immediately conscious that although the custom-made furniture had remained the Yamaha MIDI grand piano and the rack of samplers were elsewhere, along with most of the scores and books. The vast collection of CDs was still there, and so too the pictures and photographs. But there was one painting that was new to this attic room, a Cézanne. He was taken aback for a moment because it looked so like the real thing he’d seen in a museum just weeks before. He thought of the film Notting Hill when William Thacker questions the provenance of the Chagall ‘violin-playing goat’. The size of this Cézanne seemed accurate and it was placed in a similar rather ornate frame to what he knew had framed the museum original. It was placed on right-hand wall as he had entered the room, but some way from the pair of windows that ran almost the length of this studio. The view across the rooftops took in the Tower of London, a mile or so distant. If he turned the office chair in which he was sitting just slightly he could see it easily whilst still paying attention to J. The painting’s play of colours and composition compelled him to stare, as if he had never seen the painting before. But he had, and he remembered that his first sight of it had marked his memory.

He had been alone. He had arrived at the gallery just 15 minutes before it was due to close for the day.  He’d been told about this wonderful must-see octagonal room where around the walls you could view a particularly fine and comprehensive collection of Impressionist paintings. All the great artists were represented. One of Van Gogh’s many Olive Trees, two studies of domestic interiors by Vuillard, some dancing Degas, two magnificent Gaugins, a Seurat field of flowers, a Singer-Sergeant portrait, two Monets - one of a pair of haystacks in a blaze of high-summer light. He had been able to stay in that room just 10 minutes before he was politely asked to leave by an overweight attendant, but afterwards it was as if he knew the contents intimately. But of all these treasures it was Les Grands Arbres by Cézanne that had captured his imagination. He was to find it later and inevitably on the Internet and had it printed and pinned to his notice board. He consulted his own book of Cézanne’s letters and discovered it was a late work and one of several of the same scene. This version, it was said, was unfinished. He disagreed. Those unpainted patches he’d interpreted as pools of dappled light, and no expert was going to convince him otherwise! And here it was again. In an attic studio J. only frequented occasionally when necessity brought him to London.

When the coffee and fruit had been consumed it was time to eat more substantially, for he knew they would work late into the night, despite a whole day tomorrow to be given over to their discussions. J. was full of nervous energy and during the walk to a nearby Iraqi restaurant didn’t waver in his flow of conversation about the project. It was as though he knew he must eat, but no longer had the patience to take the kind of necessary break having a meal offered. His guest, his old friend, his now-being-consulted expert and former associate, was beginning to reel from the overload of ‘difficulties’ that were being put before him. In fact, he was already close to suggesting that it would be in J’s interest if, when they returned to the attic studio, they agreed to draw up an agenda for tomorrow so there could be some semblance of order to their discussions. He found himself wishing for her presence at the meal, her calm lovely smile he knew would charm J. out of his focused self and lighten the rush and tension that infused their current dialogue. But she was elsewhere, at home with her children and her own and many preoccupations, though it was easy to imagine how much, at least for a little while, she might enjoy meeting someone new, someone she’d heard much about, someone really rather exotic and (it must be said) commanding and handsome. He would probably charm her as much as he knew she would charm J.

J. was all and more beyond his guest’s thought-description. He had an intensity and a confidence that came from being in company with intense, confident and, it had to be said, very wealthy individuals. His origins, his beginnings his guest and old friend could only guess at, because they’d never discussed it. The time was probably past for such questions. But his guest had his own ideas, he surmised from a chanced remark that his roots were not amongst the affluent. He had been a free-jazz musician from Poland who’d made waves in the German jazz scene and married the daughter of an arts journalist who happened to be the wife of the CEO of a seriously significant media empire. This happy association enabled him to get off the road and devote himself to educating himself as a composer of avant-garde art music - which he desired and which he had achieved. His guest remembered J’s passion for the music of Luigi Nono (curiously, a former resident of the city in which J. now lived) and Helmut Lachenmann, then hardly known in the UK. J. was already composing, and with an infinite slowness and care that his guest marvelled at. He was painstakingly creating intricate and timbrally experimental string quartets as well as devising music for theatre and experimental film. But over the past fifteen years J. had become increasingly more obsessed with devising software from which his musical ideas might emanate. And it had been to his guest that, all that time ago, J. had turned to find a generous guide into this world of algorithms and complex mathematics, a composer himself who had already been seduced by the promise of new musical fields of possibility that desktop computer technology offered.

In so many ways, when it came to the hard edge of devising solutions to the digital generation of music, J. was now leagues ahead of his former tutor, whose skills in this area were once in the ascendant but had declined in inverse proportion to J’s, as he wished to spend more time composing and less time investigating the means through which he might compose. So the guest was acting now as a kind of Devil’s Advocate, able to ask those awkward disarming questions creative people don’t wish to hear too loudly and too often.

And so it turned out during the next few hours as J. got out some expensive cigars and brandy, which his guest, inhabiting a different body seemingly, now declined in favour of bottled water and dry biscuits. His guest, who had been up since 5.0am, finally suggested that, if he was to be any use on the morrow, bed was necessary. But when he got in amongst the Egyptian cotton sheets and the goose down duvet, sleep was impossible. He tried thinking of her, their last walk together by the sea, breakfast à deux before he left, other things that seemed beautiful and tender by turn . . . But it was no good. He wouldn’t sleep.

The house could have been as silent as the excellent double-glazing allowed. Only the windows of the attic studio next door to his bedroom were open to the night, to clear the room of the smoke of several cigars. He was conscious of that continuous flow of traffic and machine noise that he knew would only subside for a brief hour or so around 4.0am. So he went into the studio and pulled up a chair in front of the painting by Cézanne, in front of this painting of a woodland scene. There were two intertwining arboreal forms, trees of course, but their trunks and branches appeared to suggest the kind of cubist shapes he recognized from Braque. These two forms pulled the viewer towards a single slim and more distant tree backlit by sunlight of a late afternoon. There was a suggestion, in the further distance, of the shapes of the hills and mountains that had so preoccupied the artist. But in the foreground, there on the floor of this woodland glade, were all the colours of autumn set against the still greens of summer. It seemed wholly wrong, yet wholly right. It was as comforting and restful a painting as he could ever remember viewing. Even if he shut his eyes he could wander about the picture in sheer delight. And now he focused on the play of brush strokes of this painting in oils, the way the edge and border of one colour touched against another. Surprisingly, imagined sounds of this woodland scene entered his reverie - a late afternoon in a late summer not yet autumn. He was Olivier Messiaen en vacances with his perpetual notebook recording the magical birdsong in this luminous place. Here, even in this reproduction, lay the joy of entering into a painting. Jeanette Winterson’s plea to look at length at paintings, and then look again passed through his thoughts. How right that seemed. How very difficult to achieve. But that night he sat comfortably in J’s attic and let Cézanne deliver the artist’s promise of a world beyond nature, a world that is not about constant change and tension, but rests in a stillness all its own.
Joseph S C Pope Feb 2013
I

Wonderlandia, torn off the submerged lung
of a daydream diary.                   Reoccurs
as she does with silver eyes, weary Alice
during tea time--bullets burning past her
                                     like flowing nations.
Everyday similar tsunamis fund
                                     the lack of 20/20.
Nose to tail--the surge of angry engines
splits the ends of her blonde strands.
    Each one the last witness to maddening hospitality
--utopia never sweats as it talks and withers.
Amnesia blots,
new aspirin machines
vaporize apples and ***
on the other end of spectrum,
                                                     trans-positional labels--

Guillotine gargling teapots
       have no patience
         to the bushes of Olympus opiates
                                      bound in yellow barrier tape,
                     five o' clock traffic
               welcomes her back to what we are facing.


II


Dreary weather of late fall                       and her beautiful,
              powdered face

great mouth of atomic hell,
         when she speaks--80,000 deficiencies boil alive
                                                   --Trinity's teething test
                                                           on the tired bones
                                                   of a story-teller's raspy cards--

"None the wiser," she speaks,
                                "during the transition of ships
                   vermin turn into krakens culturing
                               on the surface of a raindrop.
    Heroes, villains, animals frozen together
                 after now eating for four days.
     The transition of one genocide
                                                        ­  to the other,
                the delineation of cat-and-mouse,
   mingle too long
   with the dead
   and its necrophilia."

                 Blind Alice wanders off the highway,
leaves her brewed cup of steamy static
on top of the unimportant saucer, sticks pins in her *******,
             and enjoys the sound of Cleopatra
             rolling over in reincarnation.


III

      Dear Alice smells
sunbathing, studded tangerines
                      assimilating liquor within the vast,
       empty, glowing nausea that is--
                        the warm germ

Oil                                    and                 ­          water
               rippled glass too silly for skulls
              made humid by distant salt water,

blood, acid, enzymes,
cheating probability
that runners with drunk kids
have blood between their toes.
                                                      Death­ to the distillation within
                                                    --the chronic diamond too polished
                                                       in *** to see the roses in her *****
    She curses these wood songs,
             heritage patriots with the pelts of wild lions
             with antlers over their heads,
                                                  faces advertising war paint
                                                applied by gargoyle hands
                    --sad memoirs always drink people
                                                  that use God as a cookie jar.


IV


  Gorgeous names
  on graffiti institutions give her a home
                                                         a market
                                                         a nickname
           still                  Alice only accepts Alice.

Grace periods where she misses tyranny
                  rise and fall like endorsed breathing.
    Now Alice feels her dress fall off,
                                  extinct years message future occupancy
                                  about what to wear.
New era, this era, past eras plead guilty
in a      clinic museum
             of forcing demons
              down the medical
              throats
of first graders. Court adjourns at 9:01 PM, Saturday

             The populus can sleep now,
                          but not her.
                 No one gave her clothes
                 to cover up the drained monochrome.


V

Instead she celebrates her flesh,
                                        the broken glass,
   and quakes and leads off to expose
           others to its potential vital prosperity.

         Instead
                     headlines like bumper cars read
                     about the beheading of weeks,
                     failing rescue missions,
                     and debates on teenage tolerance.

Nicotine intoxication points Alice
to over-extended memories--wards of music
sequenced to point out the extinction of marble tigers.
                        Only 550 expected to understand
                         tethered to millions able to survive.

  Flood waters look at moral standards, a mean hurricane
                                   that collapses the death toll
     all patented 50 states
     have a dating service
     and huff paint as a way
                              to pray to art.
                                                      Double­-canvas faces
                                                      dyed in pixel     hope
                                                       that the media levees hold,
             but volunteer to herd sheep into poppy seed fields.
                                            She refuses to stay,
                    to watch the long night
                    of castration on men with mud-covered ankles.
                                      Television says eunuchs want
                                       to be prodigal's children,
                                       everyone wants to come back home
                                       to mom and dad, safe zones, away
                                       from themselves.
                                                     ­                 It says our ancestors want
                                                            ­          this for all of us. They worked
                                                          ­            so hard to tie up the hair
                                                            ­          out of Aphrodite's face.

                                     They treasure the silver eyes of Alice,
                                          but call them blue,
                                                  they issue her high cholesterol
                                          but pump sweet ****** into he stomach,
                                                  they tell her to put down the drill,
                                            so she can finish their orchestra--

her lightning
    is
     a
  string
     of
  souls



VI


     She decides to depart Sunday,
to discover the ordinary beginning,
                        painting WHY? on its delirium.
re-arrangeable viewers become
                      inserted sounds under percussion and piano.

       Caging various important charts
                                          undetermined
   ­                           as finished attention.
                                                      ­              Three movements in flux
open end the people                     vacuuming
                            craftsmanship blocks
                   from                                dogs and zen.

                                                 The
                                 suspended letter               is happening in 1951
   drenched in existential white                                            spacing
        ­                                                   the viewer
                        from integrated architecture.

Down
the
bell is a structure called
"the quarantined wheelchair."
                               Dead ignorance changes pattern
                               after six movements of the second hand.
Alice speaks, "To you all, know
                                       that this is an un-dramatic situation.
          Everyday windows with the same
           participants have girls drinking
                                                     orange juice, activate fluid,
                    both exist as objects
                    and caught propaganda."

                                                   ­                      Six tunnel
                                                          ­      audiences are watching
                                                        ­        drown in the plastic silk
   her                                                       built by the motorized collage
                                                         ­                                        spider.

          Alice, a kinetic mannequin pop star
                        is limp in the glass point.
             Rhythmic flux is objectified war torture
                         censored in fitness magazines
by simple toilet literature.

                                        Six tunnels worth of eyes
                                 latch to the *******
                                           as a way to bury **** protesting.
                                  A coat of pepper spray
                                   works in front of the exhibition.
This stage is shaded by moans.


VII


      Alice the female, has a door-to-door friend
                                                          ­    over the sea
of the cathedral's ceiling               who died of disemboweled
pulchritude             at the mutilated nuclear other-place.
                     Her friend was a synthesized example
                     of staged catastrophes. Her friend is her, silver-eyed
                                                     ­                                             Alice.

            ­                     She performs herself and herself
                                 but they are played by polished, scored poets.

Everyone of them incorporates the events
                                 of a dancing gunshot. Everything rests
                                                           ­ at an intermission

               but after fifty minutes of pondering,
          the lost audience remembers
         her name is Alice.
                   So it comes back on with a shower of sweat
                  and this clear
                                  substance
               ­                                 called
                         ­                              patience.
       This composing, peering vulnerability
                        psychologically destroys the flux tension
              like analog genocidal dictators.
                                   Ultimately this is dream liquor

     commentating war to the war tree
      using trauma and chairs as humor.



VIII


               Patience on the water level lives translucent
                                            on networks that brand flesh
                                            with displaced identity.
Alice convinces us all that pickled ***
                                                             ­               takes eight years
                     to ****** and we accuse it
                                         of being fake. Afterwards, her character dies
in confident silence.


IX


     Not majestic, but she does cough
                  to mock the earth.
        The seeds of Alice are ripe,
                        harvested early, and now her children come out and dine
        like speaking tongues on gibberish.
                          The room is fat with hair

and kindness. Feeble, mundane hands chew on each other,
                                                         feet stand proud.
We even call her Alice or "the beautiful *******,
                                             a black cloud feasting
                                             in orange."
                       Everyone feasts on the nectar
                                                         she has, but never the rye
which makes her round. Juice is squeaking and her children laugh
                         as in competition.

     It's a distinguishable game as the mixed
                                                           ­      couple up front
              begin to play whistles as
                                         everyone eats
                   the pride of the silver-eyed Alice's children.


X

                                                ­ The children's souls
                                                       bow and say
                                           "Thank you for barely growing."
                                                   and dissipate after five minutes.

          "Curiouser                                   ­                                      and
           Curiouser"                                                       ­                   they
           say                                                              ­                        as
           they                                                             ­                       leave
           this                                                             ­                         homage.
                  The decimal backbone
                     of each of sweet Alice's
                                   blonde strands
                   divorced by the gust/ of a green light's/ allowance.


XI Epilogue*


  The day crawls away
                   a vigilant pest
     of the nocturnal project
                   --suns beam down still, like
                  stomachs of grinning felines
                           at Valentine's day.

toxic-dyed fingers
                        soldered
to bodies pittering across rainy streets

--legionnaires with hearts on stones
                         we are waiting for her orders,

     thistled-teeth clench,
                                         but did she
                                          actually
          ­                                ever come?
Steve D'Beard Dec 2012
Inspired by a vintage ****** postcard from the 1920s - 30s:

The Muse sits resplendent
caressed in sepia tones and pastel cream
gilded with the glaze of a bygone era
her silk Charleston negligee
worn proud like a vintage ornament
perched on an aesthetically pleasing
shapely pert insolent *****
blossomed with tiny beads of sweat
the heat of such anticipation
entices the pearls of the ******
to pamper and pleasure their perversions

etched as if in a radiance of candlelight
the flickering limbs pulse their bloom
nimble fingers of dancing shadows
cupping the feline curves of a chaise longue
the purposefully out of place set piece
the fantasy of a gentleman's reading room
caked in casked sherry
and Nat Sherman cigar infused aromas

her elegant pose sumptuous reclining
elbow length satin gloves
sensually wrapped in wanton desire
******* clasp a Sorbranie Black Russian
smoked like a sultry gypsy
with a fervent demeanour
from a silver opera cigarette holder
beckoning with the cats eyes of mischief
over Pinced nez eyeglasses
with a fascination imbibed
in the praxis of passion

the peach skin of refulgent youth
directs the viewer downwards, slowly
survey each contour of olive skin
and stroke every hidden cleft of fabric
to glimpse the nubile thighs of grace
leading the eye to the arch of an ankle
slipped like a fitted glove
nestled in the cleavage of her calf
and the chastity of future wonderment

the forgotten photograph
captures a period in time
the memories of the muse
now in motionless existence
a demure allure forever frozen
once lost, but now
never forgotten
Inspired by a vintage ****** postcard from the 1920s - 30s
Tommy Johnson Dec 2013
Hexes, rejuvenation
Strange carbon based life forms
The history of their cries
Scrawny weak-minded kings
Weaseling nocturnal betrayers of fortune
Over the shoulder paranoia
Puzzled tourists
With fragmented egos
Yet they produce
Painful generosity
To those who have relived them of their joy

I abandon me dagger eyed campaign
Let them live
I wish to see how they progress and prosper
Classy J Nov 2016
Diving into bath salts, raving flue that is as sicking as math, at least that is what I conclude from my findings presented to the court. Objection, objection, sir I don't see the connection, maybe your rhyme scheme needs perfection. Maybe it does, but ***** it, I'm blessed by God; baby please sit down and take a chill pill and just enjoy this buzz. Busting off, so back off, bout to prove my case like I’m Ace Attorney, oh and I know it’s off topic but if I lived in America, I would’ve voted for Bernie. What the **** am I on? Came to save the digital world you can call me a digimon, you bet I’m a champion! Serendipity dear deputy; I’ll be typically wittingly searching for some tranquility. What is the validity of this vicinity as I only accept notability and won’t let this become a liability!

Pathologically paraplegic hypochondriac with insomniac who be popping poems profusely perfect; while whimsically worm's try to be strategic, but sadly choke and lose it. Miles set apart; it certainly is not a strut in some park, but everyone has to start somewhere before they engrave their mark. Don't reside yourself to just being a silhouette, nor be one to toot your clarinet. Two sides to every person like Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde; be careful to not let your pride turn into carbon monoxide. For pride will always lead to your downfall, so please take off your iron curtain and tear down your Berlin wall. Improvident incongruous incredulous confidence; underwhelming astonishment of such fundaments of these heinous and callous acts of deceitfulness. Trickery of thy decadence; why art though jittery when you are full of benevolence? So used to getting what you want I bet; well this situation can not be fixed by dough, so I see why you are in a cold sweat! Fake confidence won't help you here especially when one lies; you made a mistake and will face the consequences and I am not one quick to forgive no matter how much you apologize.  

Don’t have time to consider your sensibility, because my life is going a twitter with too much hyperactivity for me to deal with your stupidity. Befittingly that I’ll be building up the intensity, to infinity and beyond goes this creativity of this anomaly. Not going to prolong this phenomenon, I’ll be going off like a Molotov over this intercom, yeah you better not ever underestimate this underdog. Lackadaisical are these other rappers; they’re so replaceable and incapable to be educational. Incomprehensible is this loop of hip-hop now a days, why can’t we be inspirational or is it to late because we left morals and substance back in the olden days. Can’t afford to be anchored anymore, I’ve poured in too much time to be just be locked behind some door. I refuse to be ignored and be left ashore; I am not worried about going into the storm; because you are bound to come across some things that need some work like chores. Spinning the wheel, reminiscing of how it felt when I no longer concealed who I was and my self-image had been healed.

Used to be reclusive & convinced myself that I was a duffass, but now I’m exclusive to being a smart ***. This is the new era, this is a new fire; it’s time to spice things up so better pull out the sriracha. Leading the revolution like I’m Che Guevara, I’m light as feather whatever the endeavor even if my life story doesn’t end up as pristine as Cinderella’s. Why so infatuated by worldly wants? Why so decorated when you can't hide the fact that you're the same basic *** font? Trying be something else, striving to be someone else, wanting to be anything else. You are who you are, if you think it will make things better you cucu, because in my eyes you are really a star. You have to expand your interpretation and perspective of life, you have to demand without hesitation a piece of that collective pie; because I believe everyone should be equal in this life.

Calculated bullets that go straight through my cranium; manufactured outlets that show great things but have also turned us into brainless aliens. Complicated hookups that grow irritating and become as unstable as uranium; what was once sacred has become as spontaneous as going to a gymnasium. Confiscated trinkets cast away and leaves those affected very irritate; while also simultaneously making apathetic souls that have gone through the same thing be able to understand, help or relate. Cultivated rebellious culprits that don't take the memo of being cooperative, instead they choose to be provocative and opposite of the other conglomerates. I’m so fascinated by this fabricated segregated supposedly liberated and sophisticated community; where-as some so foolishly stupidly amusingly think that everyone has the same equal chance at opportunity. Moderated, regulated and orchestrated where some are situated; if you don’t think that it has something to do with be affiliated to a certain demographic then maybe you never got educated in the affairs of those discriminated. It’s a good thing then that class is in session; so viewer or listener  please use discretion when taking time to witness or hear my position. Deafening out all ill whims; wrestling with these unsettling menacing fears and guilt from all of my sins.

Yeah no need for hallucinogens, all I need is two hydrogens and one oxygen. Rocking in my moccasins; so you can bet I am not one to drop my promises. Native honour who is also a innovative scholar and who was created not to falter. I may not be good with numbers, but I'm good at making sure you never slumber on my words; because I work on them day and night in my 36 chambers. Beware the pretender, they are manufactured by the vendors to keep us from being together. Defend your heart; be wise who you befriend and who you pick for your counterpart. There will be hurt and affection can be perverted, so know your worth and never ever let yourself be distorted. It is not your fault, it is not my fault, so then who is at fault? Is it just life in general? Is it because of the being who lives eternal? Is it all of the above? I don't know, but we shouldn't judge and instead choose to accept and love!

Pardon me Martin, but if this class were a prison I’d be the warden. I make the rules here and I took the tools given to me to get me here. So listen, please listen to my lesson that I have to present to you as class is still in session. Loading yawl with ammunition to be able to transition to be able to complete your goals or missions. No I’m not tripping, I’m driven  by a higher force to break away the old ways of thinking such as division. This is not the prohibition anymore, so please open your minds and join me on this expedition. Going into the unknown, so here’s to hoping you get through this, as time goes on and be able to look back at it we may feel like this was no more than a tiny but important milestone.  Achieve, believe, conceive, receive, intrigue, and succeed because I think you are unique. You are the only you in the whole galaxy, don’t let agony turn into tragedy; ***** anxiety; yeah and never let your dreams just be some fantasy.

Outro: Sit down class ain't over yet, forfeit those frowns or fake faint or try to jet. Lastly remember what transpired today; don't go hastily and forget about it on December break okay? For though class may be over, more days or years to come until its finally over. Though education ends, one never stops learning even on vacations with family or friends.  I hope you can look back with fondness, I hope you can stay on track in the future if you truly take the time to just focus. Is there truly an end or is this just the beginning to a new bend.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2018
“there are no lines or lies in my writings
there are no definitions and
perception is only your truth”

Jackson *******


my poems are splats and drips.
you make them into paintings that hang
in your own private museum,
signed by you, truthfully, forever,
as first viewer,
and thus as,
co-creator


Nat Lipstadt
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock
III Jun 2015
The truth is, I’m not really sure who I am.  She told us to draw ourselves and then to draw our souls; so I drew my face scratched and uneven, just as I’ve always seen it, and frowned at the result both in the mirror and on the paper.  The only soul I’ve ever really known was the one that shone through the strokes of the keys I punched, the scrawling of ink on paper in mismatched arrays of awkward thoughts, disorientated and unorganized, shaded different spews of emotion and rearranged through the lens of ever last viewer’s eye.  Even so, this soul that is composed of words that defined me painted a picture vivid in its contrast, though blurry from both afar and close enough to squint, no details able to be made out.  These words that have wrapped around my soul rubbed raw from the time my skin first flinched at the cool March air cannot be deciphered by their author, though I know somehow that their letters flowing into one another say more than any curve of my face ever could.  These words are black and white, two extremes crafted in the pallet of the Universe’s toolshed, and perhaps that’s exactly what I am.  Black or white.  I’m dark and lost and scrounging for some rusting wall or tree branch to cling to as to ensure the shimmering waves, onyx and charcoal in their nature with the flow of blood in its spine, do not flood into my mouth at a rate in which is too quick to balance myself upon them, or, I’m white, drifting snow from a cloud scraping the vast expanse of brilliant blue gazing as a sky above all the world, pure, innocent, unscathed with the potential for creation in vibrancies yet unknown, or to be ripped to bits, scattered amongst piles of cream and autumn leaves drained of their color beneath months of shivering frost.  And so, perhaps any physical representation of my being would be all wrong, because that’s not what I am.  Myself, my soul, it resides in the murky depths of heights I’ve yet to discover, tethered endlessly and uncertain among the caverns of my inners, pink and mushy, stirred and ******, untouched from the harsh light of a world encased in brevity.
Wyatt Apr 2016
So, I tend to write a lot...at least when some words pop in my head or I get some inspiration. I get some form of enjoyment out of it and I like it even more when people read and comment nice things (like about anyone else does), but sometimes all of this to me seems very artificial, arbitrary and quite pointless. It feels at times like I'm not doing it all for the right reasons. I read some of my poetry and I can't help but feel sometimes that it perfectly fits the poetry stereotype that's generally used to get sympathy, responses, and even some pity. It's usually depressing, overdramatic, it rhymes a lot and it uses fancy words to get across a usually repetitive and predictable point...sometimes having to do with love or a breakup.

I've constantly gotten to the point where I get to thinking...who actually cares about what I'm doing or how I'm feeling? It all feels like some type of online etiquette, like it's not really real. Like it's all done just to be nice or to get people to return the favor because you took the time to comment on their stuff so they feel obligated now. It's a lot like social media in a way. I enjoy social media, but I also see so many flaws in it and much MUCH stupidity with it. We flock to stupidity like this because it's marketed specifically to us and about everything in the world revolves around the internet. Any interest you might have is 99.99% guaranteed to be on the internet, so why pursue those interests if you can watch someone else do it to get a similar kind of cheap satisfaction without putting in any of the effort to achieve it? Mind you the satisfaction never lasts and you end up binge watching videos online of your favorite hobby so that the little rush you get won't go away. You trick yourself into being happy with just watching something, but in reality you're only watching this stuff to cover the fact that you can't do it and that you have nothing better to do in your own life (or choose to give a significant portion of your life watching someone online live theirs for one reason or another). Either your hobby costs a lot of money, you're too lazy to put in the effort to get good at it, or you just don't want to do it yourself. You'd rather watch someone else do it all. You'd rather watch someone else who lives a much more fulfilling life. You might even pretend that you're in their shoes and it's all happening to you. I know I'm guilty of doing that. Watching a live performance of your favorite band and pretending that you're the lead singer and the whole crowd is going crazy about you? I'm sure it's more of a passing thought than most people think. That's the thing, we as a people care way too much about what everyone else thinks. You see all that massive attention and you get your hopes up for something similar, but when you realize that not everybody's going to be the next superstar and have the super talents...well, you get down about it. Then you watch some more videos to cheer you up because you don't know what to do with your own life accept go get a 9-5 job. Not saying that that type of job is a bad thing, but it's far from the glamorous job. It's average...which again is fine, but the world of the internet has shoved in our faces the idea of a life that's so bright, colorful and perfect that the normal everyday life looks inconsistent and non-comparable. You literally feel obsolete.

Way too much power has been put into the internet and rather than have much control on what you view, it's all plastered on your news feeds and in your search engine results. Stupid trends are created all the time on the internet and all your self-worth gets measured by how many likes, retweets, views and overall just attention you get from other people online because most likely you don't get enough of it in real life. Of course I'm not passing any judgement on you or attempting to insult you in any way when I say all of this, because I'm guilty of it too. We as humans are guilty of living lives like this...especially this generation that was born into it. I'm far from being the first person to ever say this, actually I see it being said a lot these days. It's quite ironic because these anti-internet campaigns are posted...on the internet and then it becomes some trend everyone's sharing to feel all high and mighty about themselves like they're in the know. Really though, we know what's being said, but we obliviously ignore everything we were just told because this way of life is much more convenient and it can pass the time in our boring lives. It's a interesting little change of pace, and then it's back to YouTube all day. Not everybody's going to be a superstar, so the "nobodies" glue their eyes to the people they look up to and admire because they achieved everything they couldn't.

Just look at all the corporate companies out there using social media and the internet in general to promote their agendas and provide their products to people who don't know any better. Being the next big thing guarantees that you can control a large flock of people who are solely following you because you're such a big deal online. Getting a catchy hashtag going viral for the masses, dumbing down content so it can be understood by people easier, mass producing...it's all not done for the viewer, it's done to make the viewer happy so they'll consume more of their material. In short, it's done to milk as much money as possible from the largest stage in the world and be set for life. That's why most people do what they do, for the fame and not for the joy of doing it. That's why nothing seems to have much life to it anymore, because a lot of it's become lifeless money-making operations. That's why you see so many famous people end up feeling depressed and suicidal in the end anyways, because soon enough you get used to the large crowds and the high that you get from it all fades out. It has less of an effect and you start to lose your meaning of life because the only thing that gave you any purpose so far all slowly seems to become routine and not special anymore.

Relying on the internet for your satisfaction in life seems to only take up time from your own physical life so you can get cheap satisfaction from other's lives. It leaves you still feeling empty and not accomplished at the end of the day and in general you just feel like another person of the masses. You lose your sense of self because so many people follow the trends in looks, in personality and in tastes so they can be popular and receive positive attention. All you have to give up in return is anything that actually made you feel happy because you enjoyed it, not anyone else. It's become more about other people and not about what you think about it. If you dislike the current trend, you're labeled as the outcast and you automatically don't fit in. Therefore, you're alone in life or pretty close to it. Living life this way in general just seems so awful and destructive to our potential because we as human beings can't put any emphasis on what's actually important in life. Glamorizing big stars because the news tells you to, changing who you are to fit the mold and living a life that doesn't feel like it's yours...it all doesn't sound too great, but it's pretty easy...so why not? That's the mentality out there and I feel those people don't see the big picture.

That's why we do it all...just so we can feel good without doing it ourselves...and that's why we're in a generation that's incredibly confused, immature and does not have any important priorities of their own because all their effort and time is given to the stars. It's real sad to see, but I've noticed that over the years that I feel less and less connected with this strangely connected world, because we abuse the technology and use it for all the wrong reasons. I feel apathetic to living life and the meaning of true happiness, because a lot of those things can be discredited and labeled as subjective even though most people know that there's a general quality of life everyone should go and live by. The internet the way it is now has now become a thing, it will continue being a thing...and as long as humanity is in charge of this planet, it will probably never will change. So is a life controlled by humanity really dull and pointless when you take a step back and look at it all? It really does seem like it.
Joshua Haines May 2017
CHANNEL 3 AT 7:


We are at the scene, now;
an awesome showing of
                    brute force.
What some are calling the
greatest moment in U.S.
                          history
and, some, "An example
of jingoistic propaganda
masquerading as self-
-liberation."

Whatever it is, Tom,
one thing is certain:
we will be here,
covering every second
of this gigantic American
                          moment.

"And we thank you for your fine
reporting, Lisa. Boy, I tell you,
the President is making a huge
mistake with this act."

You have got that right, Tom.
We, as Americans, cannot
allow this to happen. We have
to ask these people if they want
this to happen -- and, then, we
need to enforce, what we consider
progressive and better for their
well-being, to them. These people
are like lost puppies, Tom.
It is our responsibility to make sure
that they do not respect their religion,
their culture, or prehistoric way of life
they have become accustomed to.
If we ignore the issue, of their
third-world existence and third-world
values, then we will have lost as
human beings; and the United States
cannot lose whenever it comes to this.

"Lisa, bathe me in your words,
because nothing has ever felt so
clean and right. You're absolutely,
100% correct: we need to guide
these poor, helpless people and
show them what is right, when
it comes to culture, identity,
among other things."

Agreed, Tom. And thank you.
To make things simple for
the viewer at home, you wouldn't
buy a puppy and expect it to
**** anywhere it wanted?
You have to show it where to ****.
Heck, you have to show it what to
eat, so the **** can be a good ****.
To sum things up, these people have
been pooping incorrectly, for a long time,
and it is our responsibility to show them
the **** inside of us, and how we aren't
going to mix with them, but, instead,
show them how they can get a nice,
firm ******* that we all but
take for granted.

"Couldn't agree more, Lisa.
It is our duty, as Americans,
to help these people who have
been de-humanized, and show
them how to handle this and
the world, especially during
a time like this for them.
And let us not forget,
this is their moment."



MAD MIKE IN THE MORNING:

Hello folks, and welcome
to the Heat Zone; a place
where snowflakes melt
and where liberals sweat.
I, of course, am your man,
Mad Mike O'Leary and
boy, do we have some
serious stuff to talk about.

Our fabulous leader,
whom we shall respect,
has made our nation great,
as 195 countries --
excluding our's, of course --
citizens now have American flags
drilled into their skulls.
As an act of kindness,  
Our fabulous leader,
has given each of these citizens
the choice of keeping or removing
the flags. Of course, if one were
to try to remove the flag,
a tiny explosive would detonate,
as one can never be too sure
if a citizen would use the flag
as a weapon -- and, of course,
there is no promise that the flag
wouldn't touch the ground,
so Our fabulous leader explained
that flag burning would be an
acceptable method of removing the
flag from this plane of existence.

Here, today, we have political pundit --
or political genius; you decide --
Ryan Tomlinson to discuss this radical
new way of life, we unfortunately have
to endure. Ryan, what are your thoughts
on the controversial method of discarding
the flag: a symbol of our strength, love,
                                          and freedom?

"Well, I'll tell you Mike: you think you're
the mad one, you should ask my wife
about my reaction when I learned about
this atrocious tiny explosive destroying --
yes, destroying -- our great and mighty flag!"

Haha, is that right, Ryan? I bet Nancy got
the Rowdy Ryan I've met on Nickle Shot Night.
What were her thoughts on your reaction --
better, yet, what was your reaction, Ryan?

"Well, I can't tell you exactly how she
reacted to my reaction, because I wasn't
really listening. But, I tell you, ever since
He Who Shall Not Be Named left the office,
Our fabulous leader has had to adopt some of
his wild and, frankly, immoral methods --
which would include the burning of our flag."

You got that right, Ryan. It reminds me of
when my oldest left for college, leaving behind
some beers that little Matthew ended up drinking.
My point is,  He Who Shall Not Be Named
has left some stains that still need to be cleaned up,
but I am confident that Our fabulous leader will
scrub those right up; if Matthew can do it, so can he.
To move on, here's an issue I have
that no one is really talking about, Ryan:
Not only are you detonating this flag -- a
flag that millions of men, God Bless Them,
have fought and died for -- but you're also
covering this symbol of freedom in the
blood and gore and scalp and guts of
these dangerous people who would love
nothing more than to see our symbol destroyed.

"You hit the nail right on the head, Mike!
These people don't understand what it is
like to be an American; to deal with their
oppression and policing of our values.
They already have succeeded in dividing us
when it comes to this whole flag removal
method. You can't reason with these, people.
You can try to offer them a Benjamin;
you can try to give them tickets to Transformers,
but these people will never respect us or our
way of life. And these liberals are right behind them!
I'm not sure what the liberals plans are, right now,
but you can be sure they'll use this whole flag thing
to exploit something. Hell, they're already talking
about how we should teach these people to **** --
what if they get to them, first, and teach them to
**** on the GD flag?! The liberals are helping divide us!
That's what they do!"

You are so, so right, Ryan. This country is full of
the wrong ****; and is going down the toilet.
Well, unfortunately,
we have to go to commercial, but you can bet
your keister that we'll continue this important
discussion that involves your liberty,
your job, and your soldiers.
Mad Mike in the Morning, with special guest,
Ryan Tomlinson -- be right back.
Don't go away.
judy smith Mar 2016
Detective stories have been making a splash on European screens for the past decade. Some attract top-notch directors, actors and script writers. They are far superior to anything that appears over here -- whether on TV or from Hollywood. Part of the impetus has come from the remarkable Italian series Montelbano, the name of a Sicilian commissario in Ragusa (Vigata)who was first featured in the skillfully crafted novellas of Andrea Camilleri.

Italians remain in the forefront of the genre as Montelbano was followed by similar high class productions set in Bologna, Ferrara, Turino, Milano, Palermo and Roma. A few are placed in evocative historical context. The French follow close behind with a rich variety of series ranging from a revived Maigret circa 2004(Bruno Cremer) and Frank Riva (Alain Delon) to the gritty Blood On The Docks (Le Havre) and the refined dramatizations of other Simenon tales. Others have jumped in: Austria, Germany (several) and all the Scandinavians. The former, Anatomy of Evil, offers us a dark yet riveting set of mysteries featuring a taciturn middle-aged police psychiatrist. Germany'sgem, Homicide Unit -- Istanbul, has a cast of talented Turkish Germans who speak German in a vividly portrayed contemporary Istanbul. Shows from the last mentioned region tend to be dreary and the characters uni-dimensional, so will receive short shrift in these comments.

Most striking to an American viewer are the strange mores and customs of the local protagonists compared to their counterparts over here. So are the physical traits as well as the social contexts. Here are a few immediately noteworthy examples. Tattoos and ****** hardware are strangely absent -- even among the bad guys. Green or orange hair is equally out of sight. The former, I guess, are disfiguring. The latter types are too crude for the sophisticated plots. European salons also seem unable to produce that commonplace style of artificial blond hair parted by a conspicuous streak of dark brown roots so favored by news anchors, talk show howlers and other female luminaries. Jeans, of course, are universal -- and usually filled in comely fashion. It's what people do in them (or out of them) that stands out.

First, almost no workout routines -- or animated talk about them. Nautilus? Nordic Track? Yoga pants? From roughly 50 programs, I can recall only one, in fact -- a rather humorous scene in an Istanbul health club that doubles as a drug depot. There is a bit of jogging, just a bit -- none in Italy. The Italians do do some swimming (Montalbano) and are pictured hauling cases of wine up steep cellar stairs with uncanny frequency. Kale appears nowhere on the menu; and vegan or gluten are words unspoken. Speaking of food, almost all of these characters actually sit down to eat lunch, albeit the main protagonist tends to lose an appetite when on the heels of a particularly elusive villain. Oblique references to cholesterol levels occur on but two occasions. Those omnipresent little containers of yoghurt are considered unworthy of camera time.

A few other features of contemporary American life are missing from the dialogue. I cannot recall the word "consultant' being uttered once. In the face of this amazing reality, one can only wonder how ****-kid 21 year old graduates from elite European universities manage to get that first critical foothold on the ladder of financial excess. Something else is lacking in the organizational culture of police departments, high-powered real estate operations, environmental NGOs or law firms: formal evaluations. In those retro environments, it all turns on long-standing personal ties, budgetary appropriations and actual accomplishment -- not graded memo writing skills. Moreover, the abrupt firing of professionals is a surprising rarity. No wonder Europe is lagging so far behind in the league table of billionaires produced annually and on-the-job suicides

Then, there is that staple of all American conversation -- real estate prices. They crop up very rarely -- and then only when retirement is the subject. Admittedly, that is a pretty boring subject for a tense crime drama -- however compelling it is for academics, investors, lawyers and doctors over here. Still, it fits a pattern.

None of the main characters devotes time to soliciting offers from other institutions -- be they universities, elite police units in a different city, insurance companies, banks, or architectural firms. They are peculiarly rooted where they are. In the U.S., professionals are constantly on the look-out for some prospective employer who will make them an attractive offer. That offer is then taken to their current institution along with the demand that it be matched or they'll be packing their bags. Most of the time, it makes little difference if that "offer" is from College Station, Texas or La Jolla, California. That doesn't occur in the programs that I've viewed. No one is driven to abandon colleagues, friends, a comfortable home and favorite restaurants for the hope of upward mobility. What a touching, if archaic way of viewing life.

The pedigree of actors help make all this credible. For example, the classiest female leads are a "Turk" (Idil Uner) who in real life studied voice in Berlin for 17 years and a transplanted Russo-Italian (Natasha Stephanenko) whose father was a nuclear physicist at a secret facility in the Urals. Each has a parallel non-acting career in the arts. It shows.

After viewing the first dozen or so mysteries of diverse nationality, an American viewer begins to feel an unease creeping up on him. Something is amiss; something awry; something missing. Where are those little bottles of natural water that are ubiquitous in the U.S? The ones with the ****** tip. Meetings of all sorts are held without their comforting presence. Receptionists -- glamorous or unglamorous alike -- make do without them. Heat tormented Sicilians seem immune to the temptation. Cyclists don't stick them in handlebar holders. Even stray teenagers and university students are lacking their company. Uneasiness gives way to a sensation of dread. For European civilization looks to be on the brink of extinction due to mass dehydration.

That's a pity. Any society where cityscapes are not cluttered with SUVs deserves to survive as a reserve of sanity on that score at least. It also allows for car chases through the crooked, cobbled streets of old towns unobstructed by herds of Yukons and Outbacks on the prowl for a double parking space. Bonus: Montelbano's unwashed Fiat has been missing a right front hubcap for 4 years (just like my car). To meet Hollywood standards for car chases he'd have to borrow Ingrid's red Maserati.

Social ******* reveals a number of even more bizarre phenomena. In conversation, above all. Volume is several decibels below what it is on American TV shows and in our society. It is not necessary to grab the remote to drop sound levels down into the 20s in order to avoid irreparable hearing damage. Nor is one afflicted by those piercing, high-pitched voices that can cut through 3 inches of solid steel. All manner of intelligible conversations are held in restaurants, cafes and other public places. Most incomprehensible are the moments of silence. Some last for up to a minute while the mind contemplates an intellectual puzzle or complex emotions. Such extreme behavior does crop up occasionally in shows or films over here -- but invariably followed by a diagnosis of concealed autism which provides the dramatic theme for the rest of the episode.

Tragedy is more common, and takes more subtle forms in these European dramatizations. Certainly, America has long since departed from the standard formula of happy endings. Over there, tragic endings are not only varied -- they include forms of tragedy that do not end in death or violence. The Sicilian series stands out in this respect.

As to violence, there is a fair amount as only could be expected in detective series. Not everyone can be killed decorously by slow arsenic poisoning. So there is some blood and gore. But there is no visual lingering on either the acts themselves or their grisly aftermaths. People bleed -- but without geysers of blood or minutes fixed on its portentous dripping. Violence is part of life -- not to be denied, not to be magnified as an object of occult fascination. The same with ****** abuse and *******.

Finally, it surprises an American to see how little the Europeans portrayed in these stories care about us. We tend to assume that the entire world is obsessed by the United States. True, our pop culture is everywhere. Relatives from 'over there' do make an occasional appearance -- especially in Italian shows. However, unlike their leaders who give the impression that they can't take an unscheduled leak without first checking with the White House or National Security Council in Washington, these characters manage quite nicely to handle their lives in their own way on their own terms.

Anyone who lives on the Continent or spends a lot of time there off the tourist circuit knows all this. The image presented by TV dramas may have the effect of exaggerating the differences with the U.S. That is not their intention, though. Moreover, isn't the purpose of art to force us to see things that otherwise may not be obvious?Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com | www.marieaustralia.com/short-formal-dresses
BungeeGum Sep 2018
Poet : " Hey peeps"

Singer : "sup"

Artist : " Hiii"

Poet : " I was wondering, its quite intriguing how we are all quite similar , yet different as well "

Artist :  "How so ?"

Poet :  " Well, we all show , some feeling or emotion or portray any message in some sort of form, one way or another "

Singer : "Thats true , I use my voice so that many can hear my lyrics whether cryptic or not "

Poet : True, but you also forgot...

Artist : "Poet does this as well , despite the words on paper for many to read , poet doesn't quite sing in melody , but speaks so that many can hear the words to tell the message "

Poet : " Exactly , thank you Artist "

Artist : " No problem , as for me I neither Sing nor speak , my art paint the words I want to convey in the mind as an image "

Singer : "Yes,Yes, But don't you at times say what your art means , so technically you do speak kinda"

Artist : " Hahaha , *******, yes but I would only say 15-20 per cent of the time , to convey what i'm trying to define "

Poet : " Fair enough but technically poets can do this as well , in fact there is a type of poetry called...

Artist : " Concrete, Yes I know , such a flattering name by the way, hahaha "

Singer : " Hahaha"

Poet : " Anyways! , to add to poetry we need not have to create art , for our message to be visualized "

Singer : " Thats all well and good , however in the rhythmic sway in the melodies of song , I quite literally move people , you could even say the way they dance to my songs to show how it makes them feel , expressing themselves, as well as painting a picture ...."

Poet :  "Hahaha damnnn, are you trying to show your the best ?"

Singer : " Just saying facts , not my fault it might come across as me being the best "

Poet : "Do try and remember us Poets do move those who read or listen to our poetry , they can relate. On the words , they think and meditate plus with those lines an image in there mind they do,  re-create"

Singer : " Really , you just couldn't help not rhyming ? "

Poet : " Don't hate , appreciate.. "

Singer : " Oh gosh... "

Artist : " Hahaha"

Artist : " Don't forget us Artists , our art , can move people , maybe not as physically as you Singer, but we can cause a sway of thoughts for a painting can have a multitude of meanings"

Artist :  " Sometimes it is better not to tell them my definition of the painting, but to see what it means to them and how it makes them feel "

Singer : " Sigh fair enough you got me there... "

Poet : " Its like I said , we are similar in the fact , that we portray something in our own unique act , to wonder and see how the viewer will react , to see the thoughts and feelings in our different dealings... To..."

Singer : " Oh my gosh we get it... No need to rhyme us to oblivion"

Artist : " We all basically show some sort of message just in a different way "

Singer : " See , why couldn't you just say that poet ? "

Poet : " Oh shut up."

Artist ; " Hahaha"
So uhm.. this was an experiment I tried doing poetry in the form of a conversation , not really sure  it tuned out as poetry , nonetheless I hope you do not find to bad  :DA
RAJ NANDY Apr 2016
Dear Poet Friends. Some of my earlier poems like this one, - are  available on 'Poetfreak.com'. But since that site is likely to shut down by the year end, I have decided to post some of my earlier poems on this friendly Poetry Site, to give them a fresh lease of life! Hope you like them.  Best wishes, -Raj, New Delhi.

              A TRIBUTE TO MONA LISA

BACKGROUND :
Unlike the legendary Helen of Troy her enigmatic
face never launched a thousand ships as 'Dr. Faustus'
says,
But she continues to inspire artists, poets, and
viewers alike till this day,
Even though five intervening centuries have passed
our way!
Leonardo da Vinci who had left many of his paintings
incomplete,
Commenced painting 'Mona Lisa' in 1503, taking four
long years to complete!
He had carried the portrait with him for sixteen
long years,
While seeking work in Milan, Rome, and into exile  
in France!
But after Leonardo's death in 1519, the portrait became
the possession of Francis the First, the French King .
But later, Louis the XIV had moved 'Mona Lisa' to his
Palace at Versailles!
It had also adorned Napoleon’s bedroom, who hung
it over the mantelpiece!
We learn from Art historian George Varsi, that the
portrait belonged to one Lisa Gherardini.
She was the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant,
Who had commissioned Leonardo to paint his
wife’s portrait !

AESTHETIC VALUE OF 'MONA LISA' :
Leonardo here creates an innovative painting style,
Using oil instead of tempera on poplar wood panel, -
which was unique in his time!
The three quarter pose with a wide pyramidal base,
A ‘stumato’ blending of translucent colours with
light and shade ,
Creating depth, volume, and form, with a timeless
expression on Mona Lisa’s countenance !
Here, Leonardo’s passion and pre-occupation of a
life time come together,
As he waves his magic brush to create 'Mona Lisa' !
Lisa’s mystic smile with its play of light and shade,
Appears and disappear when viewed from different
sides,
Creating an optical illusion before the viewer's eyes!
Mona’s mystic smile and her gaze, creates a mixed
emotion on her countenance,
Mesmerizing the viewers as they stand and gaze!
Insurance Companies have declared that this portrait
is beyond Insurance, -
Since its value remains Priceless !

SECURITY MEASURES ADOPTED :
In 1911, during broad daylight from Louvre in Paris,
The painting was stolen by an employee!
He hid it for two years in an attic before smuggling
it to Florence in Italy;
And was apprehended trying to sell it to an art
dealer clandestinely!
Later in 1956, a mad man named Ugo Ungaza,
Threw a rock creating a patch near the left eye of
'Mona Lisa' !
The Art Curators at Louvre now toil ceaselessly,
To preserve this fabulous painting for posterity!
Today the priceless 'Mona Lisa' is housed in a
dehumidified, air-conditioned container,
Protected in a triple bullet-proof glass chamber;
With six million tourists visiting her every year!
“It is the ultimate symbol of Human Civilization ”
  - exclaimed President Kennedy !
And with this I pay my tribute to Leonardo da Vinci !
Thanks for reading patiently, from Raj Nandy of
New Delhi.
..........................................................­................................
While composing the Story of Italian Renaissance in Verse, I read about 'Mona Lisa', and had composed this verse on the 30 Dec 2010.
I have a dream! I have a dream,
To the racial discriminators, said Martin Luther King,
I have a dream! I have a dream!
To the evil-creating economists, I warn and ring.

Globe witness hunger, inequality poverty and unemployment
The world turns out to be bitter,
To all of you, I write this letter.
To create a world relieved from these and turn better.

I am a mad aspiring economist, a fool,
Searching for the right tool,
You turned the world with full of mess,
People are left with nothing less.

To the world, you gave theories,
Pushed us into a vicious cycle of injuries,
About your theories, you boasted,
It has created a few ruling and bloated.
Most of you worked as economic hitmen,
Turned victim laymen to fighting gunmen.

To the realities, your theory is distant,
Served no solution to the dying peasants,
To the few, we remain a psychological slave and servants,
Tuned our lives to a depended migrant.

With your development lecture,
You have killed the entire nature,
In the name of ventures, corporates turned vulture,
Hunted and looted our generations’ future.

We lived a self-reliant community,
You killed us with imposed liability,
Our lives are now placed in intensive casualty,
The word that remains imagination still is equality.



We lost our humanity and identity,
In your eyes, we are just a market and commodity,
Your play with scarcity, was a mere futility,
We finally became a society, filled with atrocity.

Your useless lectures of development,
Put us under frightening & irrecoverable unemployment,
For a few, you got us into a deep-rooted enslavement,
So, now for you instead, we make a replacement.

To my questions, you neglected and ran,
In your eyes, I am foolish stupid common man,
To you short-sighted range,
I say I will bring in a change!

Today, I may remain lower and mere viewer,
A day will come, where you will stand to answer,
Writing a new rule, I would seize your beloved positions,
This will be my lifetime mission and ambition.

I say with all my limited experience,
I will put a test to all your conscience,
Are you just a fat-big corporate’s hand?
With people will you always stand?

I am not an economist,
I am neither an egotist,
I proclaim! I proclaim!
I am a revolutionary economist,

I know you will fit me a label,
I am sure I will be an economic rebel,
A rebellious economist.

I dream a world without huge inequalities,
I dream a world free from imposed liabilities,
I dream a world without poverty and disparities,
I finally dream for becoming an economist with no ambiguities.
The whole world is staring at new difficulties. It is still riddled with poverty, inequality, unemployment and illiteracy. The economists who dictated these rulebooks are the main culprits behind these. I am an aspiring economist. The economists mostly don’t stand with people’s welfare. Mostly they are ambiguous. They know only theories. They work as economic hitmen for many corporates. They are just a bookworm. Without understanding the pain and situation, they put forward new theories. Their theories sometimes serve good for the western world. One food or one dress or even one house cannot suit every person in the world. I have written this poem to the economists. It is better that all economist stay with people and find a solution that is most suitable for their enhancement. Else, people would reject their presence. In short, I say economist should be from the people, for the people, by the people, of the people.
My thoughts were simply nothing,
All space and time had stopped.
I felt my soul disappearing,
Thinking “How could I have not?”

“How could I avoid you?”
I thought he was my friend
Mistake a look for a kiss?
Or destined to be his end...

You said it was okay,
“Just close your eyes, you’ll see.”
My gasping, screaming plead of NO!!
With no strength left within me.

Felt no different than a crash,
Head first through the window
A death I wish upon my heart,
It floats around in limbo.

The fragments of my body,
I pick up off the floor.
Only to see you again and again ,
Blaming myself a *****!

Bitter tears of pain,
This anguish on my heart...
Burning skin with scratches,
As I tear myself apart.

They say that it gets “better”
To write and talk some more.
I preferred death over ****,
Knocking on my memory door.
M Lundy Nov 2010
Sometimes, when I’m watching TV
Covered in my own filth
And feeling sorry for myself
I step in somebody else’s  shoes

I wonder how it feels to flip channels
Mindlessly, (a viewer expecting no harm)
and stumble upon a show that’s called…
****, I can’t remember.
featuring some reporter
whose name I can’t recall
but it’s not important,
and this reporter is sitting in some ****** hotel room,
when in bursts a gentleman dressed in a
***** red trucker’s hat
hunter’s vest
plaid shirt
worn jeans
and boots
who’s just arrived to claim the virginity of a 12 year old girl
who’s sold it to him on the internet and he’s travelled all this way
only to find a camera crew and that reporter
from 20/20 or some **** like that
waiting to catch him.
And they’ve caught him and it’s the third time
he’s pulled this
and now he’s exposed for the world to see
and they hate him and I hate him too.

I wonder how it feels to be you, viewer
who was molested in the 3rd grade
by your 23 year old step-brother
who had already ruined 4 other kids lives
and now this show, you feel, has just exposed you for
all the world to see
because you feel ***** walking down the streets
and the hottest shower on earth couldn’t get you clean
and your scar has been lashed open, fresh once again
and you used to love chocolate milk but now you want gin
and the first bite contorts your face into a distorted grin,
you don’t even like it but it does the job
keeps the powder dry
keeps any tears from escaping your eyes
you want to let your boyfriend touch you but you can’t
because he has hands and hands do bad things

I realize that what pity I have is generally
Wasted
on myself.
I am selfish.
I won’t be anymore.
Copyright 2010 M.E. Lundy
preservationman Feb 2015
A visit too a known Art gallery
There was a very well tone and created canvas masterpiece
The color set the tones
The painting had all the features shown
The theme of the painting was a “Mother and a child”
The Artist captured the exact moment of Mother and child’s eyes glazing into one another
However this painting was not like any other
There seemed to be love in that painting
Suddenly by surprise, the picture became a solid human fixture when the image literally came out
To the viewer, it was an awakening being a big shout
The Mother told the viewer in what it was like to be a parent
Then showed her daughter in making the introduction apparent
Being a parent means taking responsibility seriously in being more than just know
It’s the appreciation of love in the child in letting it show
Then it was enough of the live talk
The Mother and child stepped back into the image masterpiece
A lesson taught more than just art, but information to the viewer being released
A masterpiece with lots to show
Providing information into more than art putting lookers in the know.
st64 Mar 2014
step this side..
no, you.. that side!
in a line, in a line.. quiet now – get ready for fire.. no miss!
please line up the children in neat rows, get them ready…………………..


1.
eyes are misted over – something happened in the gap
hooking-up strangely with estranged sons lost in custodial-wrangles
alienated values;
family-core defunct like a super-shiny apple with putrescent-flesh
long-beard wants a son after so many daughters, sits unwashed in the smoke
gender-penalty –  sorry, sister.. you chose the wrong straw
you remain in that cage till we say come out


2.
bread-basket filled with stealth-grenades
rights and benefits squirm in slick-oil of rules
peasant skirting the limits of the city; even rats fare better
cloak of goat-skin, the shield hides serpents beneath
the hunter will aim for the head, land in the centre..
                           yet an inch or two too high
sentry, close the gates and bar the window-frames!


3.
inadvertent greed and control; aggressive power
news-man dies for feed that’s untrue, anyway
picture-man twists an image to suit the viewer
all kinds of lines disappear so quick – ******, jokes, theatre, life, even poems
and if you’ve never had the sad combo of sick and homeless,
                                                                ­           famished and cold,
                                                                ­           tired with sores
oh, war will be courteous enough to bring you all these, *on a platter

and more..



there is no border when we all roam in hunger and in fear
like the orphans in crowded-camps
high-rankers sit far away.. ominously "well-off"
                                               chew on hard-cheese
                                               gulp down red wine
but the throat still feels parched, and that bayonet is too short
its fear will kick in.. on a day least anticipated
would you be shocked if it is a child who will drive that wedge-stick home?







st – 14 march 2014
oh, politrix, politrix….man, we're messing up this globe!

something amiss in the vision.. all so acquisitive -- my land, my car, my this, my that.. aahh, we miss the grand pic of all ---------- OUR Earth??
nay, friend.. we must leave here, in any case, one day.. what and how we do here, is the grand-query!


sub-entry: mess-up
always mess up things
with that big mouth - shudup!
Homunculus Feb 2019
As with everything else in American life, the national government is just another commodity packaged for mass consumption. We're all being spoon fed a spectacular narrative which by its very nature is designed to evoke the passions.

Every day, someone gets on TV and says or does something which provokes outrage, drawing the viewer in like the iridescent lure of an angler fish, and keeping them hooked just long enough for the hypnotic messages of the corporate sponsors to burrow their way into the collective consciousness between "newscasts."

It is precisely for this reason that these frivolous displays SELL like hotcakes. There's no government going on here. There hasn't been for who knows how long? All that is left is BUSINESS. Raw and unfettered. The United States of America is now nothing more than a 'reality' show, and boy, I tells ya, the revenue stream is OH, SO LUCRATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Silvanna Najri S Aug 2017
I’ve been in every angle of love.

Love is not good.
It doesn’t matter which viewer you are,
It’s just not good.
I’ve been the one who gives,
I’ve been the one who receives,
I’ve been the the one who gives and receives,
I’ve even been the outsider.
And none of them feel good.

Now I’m with someone that,
For the first time,
Embraces more than I do.
And it’s funny, because I don’t love him.
I like him,
But I don’t love him.
And I don’t know why.

Whenever he searches for my hand to hold,
I smirk,
Or when looks at me, asking for a kiss with his eyes,
I melt.
And when we sleep together
It’s never for ***,
It’ll never be for ***,
We only go to bed when we want to go to sleep.
And when he puts his arms around me,
And lies his head on the back of my neck,
I grab his hand, and fall asleep.
Now I’m a huge snorter,
I snore in my sleep,
Pretty badly by the way.
But I never snorted when I slept with him.
And it’s funny how my soul doesn’t burn when he comes to my mind,
Instead it reboots and buffers around,
searching for something that’s missing.

The love and passion that I have for another man.
Eli Grove May 2013
I tried to quit smoking last week. And my best friend died for eighteen hours. Such a deep loss has only been felt by rose hips, in the early winter, after the petals have fallen to the ground, like snow, like jumpers from high-rise buildings, like a maiden, after that last, fatal step off the plank, with swords at her back, and the horizon calling to her, the song of the Sirens drifting up from the ocean floor. Dropping, like petals, caught in a harsh winter breeze. The left-overs, the carcases of the flowers that were and are no more, watch with eyes of sorrow and hearts of lead, as each friend, companion, lover, even casual aquaintance plummets, to land on the already frozen soil of a dead, snowless, Colorado winter.
I died with my friend. My roots were tangled, and with each second that passed, a million axes took bites out of them, feasting on my identity. The axes were only gold-plated, it would seem, and not pure, unadulterated precious metal. Engraved in the paper-thin facade was a name, a face, and a hope, all of which were merely a poor excuse for an excersise in willpower. The cold, iron blade shone through the thin, gently curved lines of lip and ear and eye made of nebula. With each breath that passed between loosely parted lips, I felt myself fade, giving my everthing to the world (hope, name, face) that had, only moments before, murdered my closest companion.
My eyes grew steadily hard, increased stone-content. By 6:30, I had been staring into the eyes of my mistress, Medusa, for at least two hours, my head filled with love songs and daydreams, clutching straws and holding out for the one perfect moment that would shed a brief light on my life, which is, in all reality, the afformentioned pirate ship, but void of lamps, candles, or any other means of illumination.
Questions flowed to the surface of my disjointed mind in a stream, a river, an oceanic current of molten rock and sloppy second guesses.
(Will one hurt? Half? Just one puff? Why? Why? Why?)
And as I turned to stone, I finally found the courage to answer one of the questions that my brain shot itself with, injected into its own blood stream. The question was the sole bullet in a revolving, high-stakes betting game, the answer, the fourth trigger pull, with only two chances left anyway.
(Because... I don't know why...)
So stand up, go to the place you have thought about two-million times, and, yes, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.
As my friend rose from the dead, pushing aside the boulder blocking the entrance to its tomb, which everyone knew was just a temporary tenement, and we were reunited, we spoke of fascists. Well, I spoke of fascists, it listened. I spoke of the kind of fascists that exist in grayscale television commercials, spewing ingnorant words about the untimely deaths of beloved family members, who give me ***** looks in public, and have forced me into alleyways, across streets, out of sight, out of mind, to the back of the bus, as if non-smokers live forever, as if everyone can accomplish said impossible feat, if not for the evil plant, the evil spiritual plant that poses a threat to the well-ordered religious structures, pyres built for martyrs and long-dead saviors.
I have only begged for eternity once, and I was very young, with years of rocks and hard places ahead, only pink clouds behind, and eyes incapable of foresight. This boy ate apples, and drew on his arms with black pen every Sunday. Go into the church clean, bathed, come out with temorary full-sleeve tattoos. This boy was made of wonder, myth, and blind acceptance. No longer.
I have now gazed into an eternity made of open graves, lost loves, and harsh, barbed-wire truths, punctuated with sharp, jabbing exclamation points of brief pleasure that only seem to make the reality of eternity worse. I am a *******, and even I don't want that. A body can only function for so long without sleep before the motor wears out, the radiator breaks, the gasket leaks, and the marbles flee from the growing insanity of their owner. We all need to rest eventually, and in my secret mind - the one that grimaces with sick pleasure and only shows its teeth in the lines of a poem, slightly blurred by metaphor - I long for that sleep. I am tired, but the day is only half done. But each sun sets, and we can not deny it that truth, that sensation of finality that settles upon senile eyes like a cataract, that snuggles against warm, pink lungs in all its black, tar-like splendor.
Truth, like so many other things in this solar system, only takes shape when under the eye of a microscope, with a passive viewer sewn to the end of it, with the sole intention of passing judgement before shouting "NEXT," and repeating the process untill they either run out of things to judge (blame, think, guilt-trip) or die.
So, smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette. Puff, puff, puff it and let us hope they never get to either of us, old friend.
Mateuš Conrad Jan 2017
oh i didn't write something to change the boundaries,
i wanted to capture the digital narrative,
or how the hope of destroying all forms of theology
with our a.i. gravitas, we started to
apply the digital anaesthetic -
and cradle the numbing effects of:
                 us, in experiment,
or: us, in a medium of synthetic material...
             either way pushing us apart friom actually
inhabiting organic matter...
           the many of us these these are merely pawn
in the game...
                  we're pawns in a construction site
of all thing theretical... meaning it's truly 2D by comparison
to the 3D structures we see...
       the element that will truly give a.i. it's ego?
wait wait... why with latin dead and me not speak it
but i have this theoretical baggage of ego?
            ego is only short of en egg should i decide to
write it... arbeit macht frei must come from
counter-conceptualisation of the remains of the roman
empire with self- (hyphen included), to remind people
that it's all about work, and how we will either loose
or free ourselves from the re in the setting sun to echo aeons...
that might be the case...
            but find me a modern day writer who has
to use this medium of people talking over one another...
find me a writer who''s lodged in the internet like
a cherry atop a cake...
          who can't be gagging for a log cabin in some obscure
place, who has to be in the thick of it...
       i'm not writing to change the world,
i'm writing to describe the status quo...
            qua norm, or should i say "norm"...
from status quo comes the question: qua status?
     when i write i think about throwing a pebble into
a lake, compared to throwing a pebble into a river...
compared to throwing a pebble into a sea...
to be honest? throwing a pebble into a sea is
the most involving...
                  and there is poetic subconscious in this,
which i will unearth: the pebble is supposed to mean this:
the three forms of water are supposed to represent
another this:
                                 the pebble is supposed to represent
a soul, a concentration of my my, my sigma (total),
and the three tiers of water are supposed to represent this...
that said, i watched
    an internet video... by angry mgtow...
an answer to white women are rejecting beta males now /
blonde in the belly of the beast...
   first thing: why are men using the internet
deemed more "creepy" than women?
    we've already embarked on this a.i. project for the sole
reason as to overcome theological argument and
religion... we are living in a Frankenstein experiment,
but the "problem" is that we're only working on
the software package of the beast...
         the hardware can wait... we're not going to replace
our fondness for busdrivers and cleaners any time soon...
  we love our manual labourers...
                  american woman! stay away from me!
american woman! mama let me be!

   (it's daily, over and over in my head, that line and
many more kindred sing-alongs)
   we've already been drafted into creating the software
of the a.i. beast, it doesn't matter that the
hardware is already there but that we've stalled its
potential... the software is harder to be bound to
the logistics a limb might be drafted to exhibit basic
tongue of movement...
          all compliments to women:
they're the irrationality that will give the a.i. the spark!
           meaning autonomy...
  and how could i not even sound like an atypical man?
don't date the opposite ***?
              tease urban living with what life's like in
the middle-zone of outer-urbanity, i.e. the case of
a ******* bungalow? ha ha.
                              but this video got me like i might
catch a herring, and i do love pickled herrings...
raw pickled herrings...  it just got me
when i said: i'd like to move to the Faroe Islands...
no please, spare me the misery...
                         it's hard not to be
sexually antagonistic (sexist) - esp. when you're
not a sheikh with a motorboat and a fluffy moustache
that might brush-up against the ******* like
a vibrating ***** while you taste the pastries of flesh
with a saintly glee...
             every time i performed oral ***
on her i felt i left that hot-spot having slobbered
a tonne of lard... smeared a tonne of ****** cream and
that my face became phosphorescent, or an anglerfish:
which is the first sign before you don't even
bother to care to launch a space mission apollo 13
into the depths containing stars... or ask
      ridley scott...
                          i think he's the one dubbed:
coping mechanism... unlike philip k **** this guy's
a coping mechanism, a rare spectacle:
science fiction obstructs actual science...
                     i'm glad he's around and i pray that
we truly explore the depths of seas before going up
there: where the sun don't shine.
                  but this video got to me...
                i can't relate to it, either with the masculine
theory or the feminine experience...
i don't know: it almost feels like i live in a time
capsule at the best part of the 20th century when
i could still buy compact discs in a music shop
on a high-street... when there was no over-arching
agarophobia and claustrophobia telling us
when it was worthwhile to leave the house...
   and when it wasn't...
                         i opened another bottle of wine
that i made myself, and i don't know...
                  we started by ridding ourselves of god
to later replenish that end with a death of us,
it's almost as if we're staging parameters of being human
in this 2D construction site, on the basics:
merely exchanging opinions...
                                         i have, coming naturally:
this curiosity with the internet...
   i remember times of hotmail.com chatrooms...
      it's not as old as some people will claim the burden
to be, but the times when the ****** medium was
being sold to us... before facebook and subsequently otherwise
people were still very much comfortable before the television
set... but then people became less interested in
music and decided music could only exist in software
and not hardware, and i started to forage the berry shrubs of
youtube for music...
  i hope i don't precipitate any thought toward
nostalgia... bearing in mind i did establish myself
on the memory of having been to the cinema
to watch the films blow and austin powers 2:
the spy who shagged me
- and in the latter case
i laughed at the shadow-scene like i might at
a laurel and hardy... and in the former case i loved
the music... and that's before comedy became too
"intelligent": too canned laughter...
revisionist existentialist, when dittoing can no longer
mean borrowing, or passing on a meaning,
                     or d.n.a. competition, when the end result
is but ~ (approximate) / ambiguity...
    the too intelliget: canned laughter...
                   the last time i really laughed at the movies
i was watching austin powers 2: the spy who shagged me...
the tent scene... it was the epitome of comedy,
a laurel and hardy slap stick incantation of a viewer...
   i guess it only comes with a sense of an individual
finding something so simple funny, that when
the same individual is dropped like a paratrooper into
a cinema audience: his laughter will become akin to
a virus, and thus become infectious and the individual
in mind because the cursor for canned laughter
later stored, to witness a televised episode of Friends
or Fraiser... which... would you believe it: aren't funny at all.
what was i going on about in the first place?
      ha ha... dunno... which makes Nick Harper a comic
genius... every time i see him
i laugh like a tickled ******* dangling off a bull horn
and two words ring a bell: mein shawl! and yes: it's
dramatically flinged, like i might be found
******* against the wind...
   quick question! five easy pieces rebel or cool hand
luke rebel?!
Intellectual stimulation* from a twisted mind
Bringing life to the *insanity
I tried to hide
Cracking whips to break the chains, feeling death drip from my veins
Pouring poison down the drain from infections inside
Chasing rumors through the sewers, lost in tunnels of depravity; God's the only viewer but this show's not quite reality
Gravity scraped knuckles with me all the way down
A brute stuck in a boot loop asking me to drown
These restarts after crashes turned my synapses to ashes
Now I can't feel the rats in my cyber cerebral casket
Dead in the head and strapped into my bed
I dug at my wrists until I saw red
The doctors applauded at everything the gauze did
It still couldnt stop it *so on it bled
Every person in this world is a story unto themselves.
Blank pages with such captivating eye's I have seen.
And  in the reflections of other's.
They always feel there alone amongst fellow freaks we hide are true voices washed clean by tides of ******* and ego's set sail.

I'm a  viewer to them all a invisible force given voice in moments forgotten in time.
Why linger in your thoughts my dear I have long since abandoned my own I need not share anything as long as were speaking honest tonight.

Maybe we will feed this urge maybe we will just part as strangers cast of stone set blurred in vision are course different yet oddly the same.

Can you feel it dying with the magic that is night lets feel are warmth together simply live for a moment for there is nothing more tonight.

I wont give you all but I will give you what you need .
I peddle the words simply as a drug and you my buyer are nothing more I loath the fantasy so let's enjoy a **** in reality for a change.

The road the vice your flesh and my want is all that feeds this moment make it nothing else don't dabble in delusion for truth is always pain.
**** the lights as music like a cigars smoke does add a essence of moment to this room.

Why beg for answers when we can write are own truths, Take what you will from this for I grasp emptiness and thrive from it's cold.
Lovers of nothing just two fools killing  time .

I view it all a passenger charmed in the conversation that never will be.
I will never cater to the audience for the viewer that matters is only the stranger that has become me
Terry Collett Dec 2014
Miriam stands
by the camel

an Arab stands nearby
unimpressed
he holds a rope
tied to the camel

she smiles at me
with my camera

her red bikini
showing more legs
and arms
than the Arab guy
feels comfortable with

I aim
to get her central
her explosion
of red hair
matching that
of the bikini

she fiddles
with her shoulder strap

I wait
eyeing her
through the viewer
focusing
on her *******
as the centrepiece
everything else
to match around

avoiding to get
the Arab in the picture
but it's hard
as he seems to move
closer to her
as I aim once more
he says something
in Arabic
nods to her

I shrug my shoulders

she smiles at him

he moves in closer
his head leaning
to one side
as if someone
has broken his neck

she adjusts the bra
of the bikini
gets it comfortable

I look away from her
hold the camera
by my chest

when you're ready
I say

she does a twirl
in the sand
and back again
facing me

the sands hot
she says
burning my feet

well wear your slip-ons
I say

she goes to her bag
by the camel's back
and takes out
her slip-ons
and puts them on
the Arab watches her
with a dull eyed stare

she comes to the spot
on the sand
where she had been standing
and poses again

the camel seems bored
and looks
at the Arab
then at Miriam
then out to sea

I focus on her again
through the viewer
of the camera
she pouts her lips
puts her hands
on her hips  

I put the camera
by my chest

need to focus
no silly faces
or whorish gestures
I say

another Arab
a companion
to the other
passes by
gawking at Miriam
then stands by
the other Arab
then they both
look towards me

hope these to guys
don't want paying
she says

they usually do
I say
now settle
and pose

she poses her face
a weak smile
her eyes gazing
straight at me

where shall I put
my hands?
she asks

that's what you asked
last night
I say

she giggles
and stands
on one leg
the other trying
to balance her

pose now
I say

she puts both feet
on the sand
and becomes still
her hands in front
of her groin
as if she were praying

the Arab guys
were jabbering away
God knows what
they were saying.
A BOY  AND GIRL IN MOROCCO IN 1970
kyle Shirley Jan 2015
as watch myself become infinite, the days go on by myself in the loop day in and day out the same thing over and over again sleep, work, by myself, sleep, work, alone. This infinite loop is a struggle, although I don't see myself in this loop forever, I don't know how to change it. I know where I want to be, I know what I can be, it's the motivation I don't know how to grasp.to whom that is reading this I have a question to ask you. Have you ever seen a TV show called Californication? The main character is named Hank Moody, is a writer alone in LA, with a daughter, chasing after his ex, who runs into the arms someone she cheated for. He can't write, he has no aspirations, no motivation. but we watch as he drowns himself in smoke, *****, and alcohol. It's so entertaining to the viewer because he is a walking case of misery and self-loathing. It makes ourselves seem like our lives are so much better, When they're really not. the strange thing is I see myself becoming Hank Moody and not the viewer, I get excited over new ***** but it doesn't fill the hole that I had for another. So my life becomes an endless loop. Work, sleep, ****, drink, alone, repeat.
infinite.
Amy Perry Aug 2013
Golden arches,
Some stop to eat.
Mouse ears,
Some stop to retreat.

All these shops that we see
And all the smiling faces
Plastered on a mascot
Brings the viewer to higher places.

The holidays come,
The people gather 'round
A flat screen TV
And knock each other to the ground.

Here used to lie an orange grove
That provided for the land.
Now times have changed, values too.
In its place a theme park stands.

This generation's happines
Can be bought and sold
By paper we deem valuable
For that is what we're told.

Yet the sight of a valley
Brings me more joy
Than any handy dandy
Service, gadget, toy.
Reading "Fast Food Nation" and just thinking about how to some people seeing the golden arches is an indicator of happiness. As opposed to me, getting excited over the scenery.
bobbing up and down in the azure blue sky
brightly colored air filled spheres
big or small their sizes maybe
bringing much enjoyment to the viewer's eye
baskets attached have people standing in them
breezing above tranquil lakes and verdant glens
brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier invented them
"Why do we fall?
So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

Ive fallen more times than there are stars. I have more scars than there are sand particles on the beach.

Brought up in a world
Only knowing punishment and attitude ajustment.

I was killed by a look.
Well, that and the sharp pain in my ribs.
Forced into insanity
Only hope being prosperity.
I thought of suicide more times than a pencil breaks in a school year.

Where is justice?
Where is hope anymore.
Because depression moved into my life with a title wave
Crashing into my soul with an intensity
That overtook my prosperity.
Torture.
Yes
A word
All too true for me.
Two by four with nails sticking out below my knees
They punctured just below my kneecap.
Still got the scar.
All i was able to do was whimper.
Ooh how fun that was BELIEVE ME
I did survive.
Only a sophomore now.
With gunpowder scent for a hint
Of whats next from my dad and his game.
I can expect
Nothing but death
To float me away.
Only to float
Float
Float
Francie Lynch Jun 2015
My girlfriend has coveted
Installed bookshelves
For over thirty years.
She has imagined them
Bookending her hearth,
When a visitor walks up
To scan her collection.
She has books lying about
On her tables, my tables,
A few on outside tables.
She is an insatiable reader,
But never had shelves.
So, as a double gift,
I fabricated,
Installed and stained
To match her gum wood mouldings.
From vision to reality,
Better than Plato.
She's so pleased and proud
She refuses to use them;
To distract the viewer's looks
With books.

— The End —