“They’ve Played That Card”

“They’ve Played That Card”

They’ve played that card so many times: they blur
The icons, alter megabits until it’s come to be a part
Of them in triplicate, and still they’re at it. There’s an art
To all this noise, and something sinister in words
And sounds that take up so much memory
And leave so little history in the space of fifteen minutes in the light.
The antidote, the better for the overhaul, continual flights
Through manuals of casuistry and blame, the counterfeit incendiary
Of every curtain call, the wherewithal in the daily stampede to press.
The public calls for even more than all must be obvious to any least
Observer. Within the Fed, the yeast that feeds the beauty to the beast—
To hell with all the rest—with no surprise and endless repetition, the test
Of wills and willing contradictions to the golden rule, the pundit’s song,
Remembrances of frogs who inhabit ponds but moments, and are gone.

6 responses to ““They’ve Played That Card”

  1. I’m always awed by the “flow” of your writing–the profluence…

    Any comments on “Where” it “comes from”??

  2. Alexander: I have some idea of course as to how it is I have been enabled to write all these sonnets, but when it comes to what any of us does in this world, even when it seems to be a sure thing, I suspect the truth of the matter is that no one really knows. I know that more often than not, when I read something I wrote, the thought comes to mind, “Now, how in hell did you write that?” You and I know that there is no such thing as a health “automatic writing” scenario that would fit what appears to be a “gift” or an unusual overload of capacity in any author. After all, how in the hell did Shakespeare write that many plays and never mind his sonnets? Doestoevsky apparently wrote whole novels in a hurry because he had run out of money with bills to pay. Physically speaking, even, I wonder at just how the Dickens Dickens did it with a feather for a pen and gallons of ink. Not that I find I can compare what I do with anyone like that, but still, the truth of the matter is that I was pleased as punch to do it every day once I discovered I could do it about five years ago and have been doing it every day since simply because I like the bang it gives me to finish any one of them and when I read them later, the “bang” is still there to the point that it has maintained my interest in doing it all these past five or six years.

    In a nutshell, however, I think one has to have three particulars to write anything: 1.) subjective content; 2.) an objective voice; and 3.) an audience. I was not sure whether you wanted anything like a college paper on these things, but I can tell you that if you did have the time and patience and wanted an explanation, I could and would take the time and energy to express it. Even ‘Abdu’l-Baha cut short His explanations at times in order to avoid burying an inquirer in “prolixity’ and I have to keep this in mind when I express anything having to do with the finite questions, Who? What? When? Where? and How? When it comes to the infinite question, Why? I avoid that one as if it were poison since it seems to be something that only a fool or a Prophet would attempt, or at least, someone with greater credentials than I have or even pretend to have. I write poetry because I get a bang out of it; I am not, however, a poet. I am a retired secondary school teacher of English compostion and literature who did that for forty-two years. It does make sence that I might know something about how to write a sonnet since I taught all those years and of course was reading English literature all that time. Yes, I could explain and clarify whatever I know about writing, but of course I have some reticience to do that because I am by no means an academic. The three aspects I have mentioned never fell into place until about five years ago when I discovered Stumbleupon, and found that it was easy to write and post and finding photographs and paintings to go with each sonnet was at times as much fun as writing the sonnet, itself.

    Pardon this somewhat evasive answer, but I have no real wish to impress you with my credentials, my unofficial academic view of what it takes to write sonnets. What I do in this writing is what I used to do orally in class. Speaking to five classes of English literature and composition at five levels of high school for over forty years necessitated the development of oral expression; it actually amazed me when I saw the reaction in students when it seemed I was on a roll and the same thing happens now when I finish many, not all, but many of the poems I write. It has been a wonderful opportunity that in fact I stumbled upon Stumbleupon.com, and it has never lost its flavour since March of 2005. Eight hundred sonnets later, I have been revising them all because I have the time to do this and because many times, the revision makes a poem totally different than what it originally managed to do.

    At any rate, these past two days I have had appointments to keep or I would have replied to your message before now.

  3. I’m certain you noticed my comment had quotation marks: “Where” it “comes from”.

    Reading your response has filled me with a flavor of joy I rarely feel

    I thought, in grade school, that I would double major in speech and English. Something about my future clashed with my present and I bailed from college after nine weeks–never could put up with schooling…

    Still, I’ve studied all these years. It’s only been the last two or three (I’m 64) that have seen me let up on intensive study.

    Reading fiction and poetry was study, too. And, I learned public speaking by being a free-lance instructor in various occult branches of knowledge.

    I’ve just sent you an email with my current book, my poetry book, and a short story attached. I’m not looking for feedback; just sharing.

    There is one poem I’ve written that seems to me to come from some possibly shared space of poetry-ville, the avenue I identified in your sonnets as “profluence”, that I’ll share here:

    Forebear

    The chains of hollow
    Imitation clasp their sterile links on
    Minds so lost in routinized
    Intentions even
    Love can spawn but
    Crimes; and,
    Faithless certainties, like
    Clockwork, build their
    Superstitious blinds so even
    Faith becomes the Devil trading
    Hope for fruitless
    Rinds.

    Will be reading your future creations; possibly attempting to explain all you make me feel……………………….

    • Forebear

      The chains of hollow
      Imitation clasp their sterile links on
      Minds so lost in routinized
      Intentions even
      Love can spawn but
      Crimes; and,
      Faithless certainties, like
      Clockwork, build their
      Superstitious blinds so even
      Faith becomes the Devil trading
      Hope for fruitless
      Rinds.

      Alexander: Strange it is that after all these years what once I thought beautiful or what was thought to be beautiful has been so overrun parasites, and aesthetic, itself so bloated with the same that I no longer think of “beauty” or “charm” or whatever the vocabulary of the “finer things in life” as beacons or lighthouses as I once thought they were. As a matter of fact, it is certain that beauty still exists, that other attributes of quality and substance, again, still exist and may be found in abundance, but having said that, it is equally true that “Faithless certainties” and “Superstitious blinds” and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men have so inundated what were former sources of delight [i.e. reading truly great works of literature or seeing what the theatre can produce for the stage, or viewing exhibitions of any of the arts, and, of course, ubiquitous music in all its varieties] that I have more often than not a feeling so bloated with what pass for the arts that I often no longer have the energy to seek out these pleasures and most especially because I have so often been seduced into expectations that were but “rinds” after being altered to suite the pubic taste for mere spectacle. I happen to have a hole in one of my shoes which is not so serious, but has affected what little walking I have been able to manage in all the freezing weather lately because of course, I must now contend with the creeping sensation that my sock is beginning to feel slight damp and by the time I reach my destination, my foot is soaked. In somewhat the same pattern of experience I have been soured on active participation in the arts and/or collect trances created by even the evening news of most any of the mainstream news organisations. I have come close to cancelling my cable because I rarely watch my television precisely because the news anchors are so egregiously bias in what they report even to the point of vilifying the likes of any of our public figures that these same anchors appear to be news items in themselves, never mind what they report. When I do watch the news, I find myself staring in disbelief as much for the reporter as whatever it is they are reporting. Yes, well,…and as for love….

      Your poem was more than appreciated.

  4. I just noticed some critical errors in spelling and leaving out words in my last message. I have recently lost the sight in one of my eyes and there are times when I just do not see clearly with the other one so that some things don’t hit the page correctly and I do not really notice it until it’s too late and I’ve already sent the message. At any rate, even so, I thought to alert you to the fact that I am still getting used to using only one eye when I write for the first time in sixty-six years and while I am getting better at it, I still have a way to go to hit perfection. Compared to the problems of most souls in this world, this can hardly be called a problem, but it’s something that I’ve noticed as I might notice flies at a picnic, nothing all that serious, but I do wish they would land somewhere else.

  5. I deeply appreciate the comments you left in the wake of my poem–like the phosphorescence on the waves of my angst 🙂

    I, too, am facing the new challenge of altered sight. For me it’s the inability to focus well after eight or ten hours on the computer. Sure, lots of computer work is hard on the eyes but I’ve been using them for oh, so many years and am only now having to struggle… Ah, well, the percentage of time I have left to use this body is small compared to whatever will be it’s total time on earth 🙂

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