Category Archives: Mediocrity

“The Underside”

…dedicated to the many who wonder what’s become of all that is and where the bottom is…

“The Underside”

“‘The underside’ … it’s not just in tandem, ‘Once, it’s everywhere! … sigh …'”
And she was right. It seems the predilection toward
The animal appears where there is none; the tsunami’s force is froward
Where there is no place to go but straight to hell for all but those who fly
Or settle for a second-rate mortgage off the high road’s endless traffic.
And we along the shores of what’s become the greater sea who sit
And sign within ourselves no higher there, nor lower here, are aware of it:
There is no real rest from those who foment
Condescension to Creation, laced with lies
To trap the innocent, and revel in the vanishing point
Below the picture, well beneath the edges or between the joints
Of slender bones and tissues in the body politic; cries
Will rise for them and for their victims and their families,
The “taken”, “took” and “broken for which poets scribble homilies.

Once

“The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane … I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes … Shakespeare … Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so a shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind.”

The Mark on the Wall
Virginia Woolf
[1882-1941]

“Wife, child, brother, parents, friends…We come only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us, and we move away from them. The law of life can’t be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother’s womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated lonliness is the only truth of life.”

R. K. Narayan
[October 10, 1906 — May 13, 2001]
(shortened from Rasipuram Krishnaswami Iyer Narayanaswami)
The English Teacher

“Dinner’s at Six”

“Dinner’s at Six”

Dinner’s served at six, and so’s the evening news;
The writing’s clearly on the wall and while the Constitution stalls, the gist
Of nothing from nothing sticks to banquet tables, chairs, and the guest list
Of the average home in Baghdád while the views
Expressed in measured fractions there amongst the factions
In the House feed increasingly on mediocrity and courtesies of strangers
Sporting cellphones where reporters point the finger at the signs of danger,
Motorcades, and armies on an ever trivialised darkling plain. Reactions
Blog communication lines of press and presidents who bear such striking
Poses and resemblances to Dr. Goebbels and his precedents that modern sooth-
Sayers need not wonder where all of this must lead. As Congress votes for truths
To fit pragmatic means, the ends, of course, are guaranteed from spiking
Needs dispensed in sparkling cocktails served each night along with dinner,
Presidential dim sum, cartoons, genocide, and Oprah classed as winners.