Fresh Poetry ~ “The Pumpkin Narrative”

Bartolomeo Bimbi

In revolutions of taste, opinion
so celebrated is flavoured with faith;
where classical passion fits into
pop-psychology.
One asks in the courtier’s
hoarse whisper,
behind questioning eyes
suggesting orgasms & commissions,
like the people in soap operas
reduced to pep-talks & lusty parlour tricks,
surviving on the dregs of love;
marked by absurdity,
taken by violence—a dream world.

Perhaps you’ve heard?

The whole power thing,
the stark reality lost in a focus
of the overall, where
it is & it isn’t,
now that we are civilized & a dollar gets you ten,
even twenty compromising positions—everything else
is just a movie,
minus the fun.

Behind the urgency of
a blocked pawn,
like those Victorians worried
about spontaneous combustion,
forbidden to express rage,
dismissed to define an era
of renewed hope, with liberating forces
focused & connected,
all emotion controlled like
those macho women swimming in kids;
swimming in overtures
of salvation.
Once a person starts making
refinements,
there is no turning back—the power of luxury,
quality of life,
of integrity
in the overview;
of energy re-invested in the creation of
irony; irony shovelling the same shit &
pretending it’s better; that winking irony,
bricked with love & mortared
with hope,
promising the light shall prevail but not without
a few twists.

{Painting by Bartolomeo Bimbi}

 

Quotation from Annie Besant

Annie_Besant_1895“It is our weakness that the rush & bustle of life in the city makes us deaf to the Voice that is ever-speaking.”
~ Annie Besant

 

{Image from Johnstone, O’Shannessy and Co.}

Arleta Blue ~ Part One of Three

Zach Vega(Arleta Blue enters the playing area briskly, looking distracted & mildly nervous. She approaches a speaker’s podium, clears her throat & speaks directly to the audience, as a soccer mom might wax eloquently on a subject she feels passionately towards, at say a City Council meeting.)

Arleta Blue: Good afternoon ladies & gentlemen. Ya’ll will have to forgive me for being a little…breathless but I’m on the digital fly these days it seems & I’m starting to realize, stupid me, that I’m not exactly at my best when rushing around like this. Speaking to that, I’d like to invite everyone. . . oh, hush up!

(Arleta is distracted by something in her pocket. She removes a vibrating smart phone.)

What in hell does this damn thing want now?

(Arleta flips opens the phone, checks the screen, then slams the device shut. She replaces it to her pocket, then immediately removes it & considers placing it on the podium. Instead, she changes her mind & puts the Blackberry back into a pocket.)

Oh my stars, the grip of that thing. You must truly forgive me, but I do think it’s time to get to the point of why y’all are being so kind to let me speak here today. Normally, I am a level-headed gal, good-in-a-pinch & always a steady shoulder to cry on but lately? I have not been myself, for months now really & I suppose the best way to explain why is to just come right out & say that my husband… got addicted to the Internet. Not booze or drugs, mind you but a computer & he went at it like people take the church into extremes. I can still hardly believe it myself & have whiled away many an hour trying to figure how this all came about to challenge what was once a model home.

(Arleta feels her pocket, to connect with the smart phone for strength & inspiration.)

I come from a small town in Alabama & as a result of what I consider to be a very fortunate upbringing—I pray I am never without its comfort & protection—I have nevertheless kind of missed-out on this whole Digital Revolution. We just never got interested in bringing a computer into our home when the boys were younger—I mean…the damn things are everywhere these day but like every parent, I realized my kids were eventually going to want this Internet-thing. People talk about it all the damn time & they spend half their time at school online, it seems & they are supposed to need it for research & help with homework but I have to admit…that initially? I was sceptical as to it’s actual uses. Like all mothers, I know y’all out there who are parents will understand me when I tell you that I did not want to see my kids left in the Dark Ages but at the same time, I do not want them to grow-up with a head full of razzle-dazzle, mistaking daydreams for reality & do not even get me started on the sexual material they can be so easily exposed to—all the perverts of the world gathered-up in one place. I was really torn on what was the right choice until one morning, I read a quote in the newspaper from the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who said that ‘libraries should be open to everyone–except the censors.’ I didn’t really understand what he meant by that at first but once I had reasoned it all out, I saw his point, that I was being like some unfair censor & I am not the kind of woman who goes against the word of a former president.

(Arleta smooths her hair back & settles more deeply into her story.)

I worry about my boys. They are growing up in a generation on the edge—with drugs & gangs & all of that poisonous sex & all the violence in their schools & the threat of being bullied but what is it that encourages all of this? If you said ‘the media,’ then you got it right. Can you believe all the belly-aching about why people are picking up guns & killing each other? Not that I mean to be callous about all the deaths & all the terrible suffering & grief the poor families suffer. All of that terrible sadness but what really worries me is that there is only going to be more of it. So I worry & worry & suppression of that concern is difficult for any parent. Being protective, you need to ban things— it’s a common & normal practice because the desire to guide your child through the rapids of popular culture, far from bad influences is our responsibility. It is understandable why parents are over-protective but then I thought that perhaps I was taking things too far. Albert Einstein said that a new thinking was needed if we were to evolve to higher levels. ‘Never mind,’ I said to that nagging worry. ‘The Internet is going to get it all right.’ That’s when I allowed the house to go on-line. The boys would have an advantage in the research available to them, so they could excel in their school work. People are connecting socially, exchanging all types of things in this controlled, digital world, all peacefully & efficiently. We were thinking like dreamers so I really felt this would be good for the family.

(Arleta checks the Blackberry silently, then replaces it.)

I have not been a woman with an unbending intent for electronics but I do know how to get things done. A few phone calls & a MasterCard number later? We were in business. Naturally, there were ground rules: One-hour daily time limit, longer on the weekends if they kept their grades up; the Internet had to be used for research & school work, before any chatting or games & most important of all—absolutely no porn & I meant it. I was not going to subject my children to potentially dangerous sexual predators & policed their usage diligently. Funny thing is? Turns out, that after months of negotiation on my older son’s part, he decided he didn’t want to spend his free time sitting in front of a computer screen & lost all interest in Facebook after three days. ‘Are you not using the computer any more?’ I asked him one morning at breakfast. ‘I get enough of the Internet at school,’ was his reply. I could hardly believe it! ‘What about Twitter? You were all excited about that the other day.’ ‘Who wants everyone to know where they are all the time?’ By this time I was getting pretty steamed. ‘You begged me for that computer. What happened to ‘we can’t live without one’?’ Know what he does then? He looks at me real sly-like & says, ‘You tell me to go outside to play, all the time & now you’re trying to make me stay in? What kind of a mother are you?’ He had me there, & out the door he went to play soccer. A week later, his little brother followed suit & the computer sat there collecting dust.

(Arleta removes the vibrating Blackberry from her pocket but replaces it without checking.)

I tell you—kids these days have the attention spans of fruit flies. They may have made a point but I was still pissed & so turned to my husband to ask him what to do with that white elephant. His solution, as always—set by example, so Daryl—that’s my husband’s name—Daryl figured that if he used that computer in a healthy-minded manner, the boys would follow his lead. So online he went & at first he had no idea what to do because he was as computer illiterate as I was. We’re kind of backward people, I guess. In our generation, computers that were smart & talked to you were only gonna tell you to do bad things & try to take over the world but Daryl was brave—a little surfing here, a little browsing there & soon he was having a ball. He set up a Facebook account for the whole family & downloaded vacation pictures & I was really glad to see him having some fun ‘cause he works real hard at his job down at the plant. I even forgot how angry I was at the boys.

(Arleta checks the vibrating Blackberry in a quick glance.)

The weeks went by & the kids were showing no more interest in using the computer than when they walked away but I couldn’t help but notice being online was becoming a bit of an obsession for Daryl. When I tried to talk to him about that, he pooh-poohed by concerns. ‘Great things are afoot, Arleta,’ he promised. ‘Minds are loose the world over.’ Daryl can be a real stubborn prick when he sets his mind to something & I was getting pretty sick & tired of seeing the back of his head while he shared in this global celebration. It was that wilful withdrawal of his personality that was starting to bother me but I kept quiet about it, hoping he would run through some part of himself in this obsessive process & come back to the table & eat meals with his family again. But the time he spent ‘philosophizing,’ in the chat rooms & researching some thing or another grew longer & longer still & eventually he stopped talking to me altogether, stopped looking me in the eye & it’s not like we had a wild sex life in the first place but there was nothing happening between the sheets. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I knew something was wrong. Now… I know this might not be the right thing to do but I made the decision to spy on him. I didn’t hire a private investigator or anything expensive like they do on the television when they think a spouse might be cheating. Daryl has a terrible memory & has to write anything down to remember so I went to the place where I knew he kept his passwords & then checked his email account. I broke his privacy, yes. I went into his private business & big surprise—it didn’t take long to figure out exactly what had been going on behind my back.

Sam Wolff

 

{Images by Zach Vega & Sam Wolff}

Fresh Poetry ~ “Saturn’s Madness Letter”

Elsa Dax - Saturn's Madness Letters

A new ritual for the Golden Age settles us finally like some roulette ball spun by hidden hands, this whirling orb guiding future resources into the mystery of lawlessness, the almighty dollar—a pinch heavier & we let the dead weight drop for we seek to harvest only wicked grapes which telegraph trends of fairness & decency.

Freed finally of such compulsive tendency,
we shall demand to know
authentic reaction
generated independently of external influence,
preferably in a conflagration
governed by a generation of namesakes who,
by shucking-off
social morays, surpass bewilderment & plunge deeply
into madness—illusion
is essential,
some crazy universal synchronicity blowing
strong winds which fly into dominant trends;
use TV to do it,
hunker people down
like on the set of a zombie movie, finding
us all bound by predestination:
In receiving God’s grace
we understand just how many strings
so few puppeteers can master.

Turn the televisions off;
summon demon warriors:
Are the rebels really our saviours?
Shall we make a holy halleluiah out
of all of this?
When the hand of civilization
loosens its grip on the solidarity
of faith, a miracle will have no respect
for continuity.
Cruelty is good for
strengthening the will.
General vibe?
Surrender: peek below the surface,
that ever-shifting illusion of mastery
awash in a sea of love,
the chaos of surrender
genuine & raw;
drives for success characterized by insatiable appetite
for reward;
the vanity of a belief in choice,
of a thoroughly personal nature—how can evolution occur
otherwise?
The Everyone as Macy’s parade float—puffed-up
but well-anchored for a lasting interpretation
in history,
to a degree required by common
politeness—how are we to
classify this never ending metamorphosis
otherwise?

Translated in Kabalistic numerology:
Egotism = Pride + Presumption + Selfishness.
Knowing this: are all demons
banished by science?
Thou art that—the re-newed water folk,
in order to constantly witness,
terrible & bad
the revealing period,
setting a hazy, dreamy glow
as lower vibrational energies dissolve into
this dark time, when even our
classical ideas betray former intent.
Why not replace theory
with trigger words,
promising to dissect all shenanigans?
The necessity of establishing community through
communication, all of us forming some former de-facto
society, humming together in the late-afternoon sun,
enjoying a rush of crackling codes.
From knowledge of times past we emerge
to profit from annexation,
this automatic repletion of the gears of fear
forcing us to risk everything to unlock some secrets.
And in the space provided for a response,
here it comes
sitting in a chair,
early in the predawn hours—the irrational
gains ground; some rickety pile of junk
composed of
the arrogance of absolute faith;
all our impossible explanations where
law versus voluntary cooperation
promises only
a ruination of endurance—this union
leading only to heresy,
the illumination of Lucifer’s
angelic hierarchies but because repentance has long been
an obsession,
during a most critical 13-day period, where
those desperate for the language of prayers
& their relation to fire; those
relying on visions & ecstasies & the luxury
of confession which
makes this very provocative,
far more sinister
when we pay attention to
only the uninhibited ones who manage to continue
drawing manna, prepared for devotion
as lawlessness
blooms
afoul in the land of Temptation.

The grande agent Saturn controls
time, space & the reality
laid-out in sacred geometrics;
Influenced only by atomic units of space—we love
when surrendered
to such
verifications.

{Artwork by Elsa Dax}