The Last President

That’s the last president in the picture,
looking as if he still leads our great land.
I can’t help to wonder about him; all
his talk of giving people their demands.
But don’t linger too long on him. You
should admire this painting of our founding
fathers. They understood the true purpose
of the republic, at first sounding
to give only land owners the right to
vote. Don’t even teach this in school these days,
do they? Preferring instead to fill
impressionable minds with fairy tales
about equality and good will. Kid,
what they wrote to Georgie the greedy king
was just trash. Only that dimwit Jefferson
actually believed it. You still looking
at that picture? No, I would not take it
down; he was a leader of the greatest
nation on Earth, and his election must
always stand—a reminder that (the best)
humble stockbroker like me can be
president. But that one, well, we can show
his heart bled the wrong color—not blue like ours.
If too many are free than none are, we know.
We must take our cue from the ancient Greeks;
the only true democracy to exist
had more slaves within her walls than franchised.
Neither he nor his party understood this.
Too generous to the masses by far.
And he was tough, charismatic, I confess.
We could not allow him to prevent us from
legislating power to big business,
indebting consumers to them for life.
Why couldn’t he see what we’d given him?
We could not tell him (he would not listen),
“Your ideas are nothing more than a whim.”
He disgusted me; he sickened us all.
Oh, sure, he respected the elite,
but he pretended to care for everyone.
No, it was not true, but he would still defeat
us, ruin us soon enough. Look at that
charming smile on his arrogant face!
As if he still leads this great land.
But we did not let that stand in place.
Now he leads no one, except perhaps the
assembly line. So you might as well forget
him now; Congress is meeting in
the chamber below, and I have no regrets,
only duties, there. You, my intern, should attend.
I promised to teach you all I know
about regulation. What is your name again?
Oh, not from a prominent family, are you?
Perhaps I’ve said too much.
Then again, you could make a fine
politician. You might have the touch.
Now here’s a portrait of a truly great man—
Alexander Hamilton in his study,
who had a fairly ingenious plan—
provided by our patron, the Bank of America!

(I wrote this for my poetry class at TU. It is an allusion to Robert Browning’s “My Last Duchess.” At the time, I was stil naive enough to think Obama would be a good president. I should have known better, of course).

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The Diva

Sultry shadow, whistle a ride.
Without sharing, the diva confides.
Casting her ballot, petting her purse
jeering eyes, titters curt.
Tempting cowards
won’t look backwards
sniveling bastards.

Greedy masters serenade
death and hunger when the diva parades.
They turn smiles into cries.
Peasants swear by the diva’s big lie.
Tempting cowards
won’t look backwards
sniveling bastards.

Sultry shadow, stealing their pride
only her touch ever satisfies.
She’s so flaunted, setting them high
now all the people quiver and die.
Tempting cowards
won’t look backwards
sniveling bastards.

~*~

[This is still a work in progress. So far, the one person to look at it hasn’t recognized it. It’s an allusion to another work. Anyone know what it is? Once someone brings it up, or I get tired of waiting, I will update this post with the answer. I think it’s unclear what the diva represents, too, and it needs clarification. Can anyone figure it out? I probably gave it away, though.

English: Logo of Black Sabbath reunion

English: Logo of Black Sabbath reunion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gah! I can’t help myself: Except for adding some punctuation and removing caps, it follows “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath. I give in too easily. Someone might have seen it. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my tribute. I’m telling you, I have a thing for this style of writing.

I hope it’s clear that the only reason money has “feminine” attributes in this piece is because the sniveling bastards see it that way. Of course, I’m sure there are plenty of women who love money just as much.]

Fix the Fool

On the playground, in the gym or the locker room, the cruel kids
play target practice with the nerd. They know they’re the cool kids.

Pinch the beat, whip his dignity—they’re the best at that too.
And when they go home they’ll laugh about it at the pool, kids.

Stand together, lean against the lockers, leer at the girls.
Make sure even the teachers know they’re the cream. They rule, kids.

Follow him through the hall; corner him in the stall. Fix him.
Thinks he’s smart, thinks he’s better than them, but he’s a fool, kids.

One day he’ll remember crushing flowers, reaping virtue,
and want to blame his defects on them, those other school kids.

Excuses, excuses, a shield for his own abuses.
And to forget, he’ll do enough drugs to drool, kids.

Get up, get up, Four Eyes, before bitterness strangles you.
Drop the sack on your back and stop being such a fool, kid.

~*~

[I wrote this for my poetry class too, back in 2011. I’ve been thinking about possibly working with the point-of-view, but still haven’t figured out a way to do it that satisfies me. For the moment, I’m going with italics.

I wanted to wait for a while before posting this, since Dilliproduct had posted a ghazal earlier. She hasn’t posted anything else since, so I will go with it. However, hers is a wonderful read; a very thoughtful visualization of the life of a full-time college student, and all the work and pressure that entails. If you read it, I am sure you will not regret it. It’s called “All Nighter.”]

To a Rocket in the Empty Sky

You for my inspiration,
You through inertial wind and fire above, the zone, the edge of the atmosphere,
You in your rumbling blast, your exhausted fuel steaming, sonic boom compulsive,
Your sleek and phallic surface, shielding lead on a sword of steel,
Your unwanted sections, ejected and rejected pods, still tumbling, lonely in the void,
Through air or space, shoot high, shoot far, when the fire dies you still fly,
Hope for the future—reaching for knowledge and glory—penetrating the stars,
For once you contemplate the multiverse, just as I envision you,
Sun storm radiating plasma flares and photon spray,
Until your plunging, burning head swells and vibrates,
Until your steamy shell cools in the sea.

Mechanical monster!
Scream in my dreams of your chaos foretold from the moon to Neptune,
With atom-splitting silence, inflating, bursting like creation, you will rise
Above your own restraints, start surfing from world to world
(Instead of just from here to orbit and back again every time),
But even as you are, full of passion,
Undaunted by escape velocity,
Streak through blackness, unbound by philosophy.

~*~

(This is one I wrote for class, an allusion to Walt Whitman’s “To a Locomotive in Winter.” I’m not really a fan of Whitman, but I saw something in that particular poem that inspired me).

My Word

I must apologize to the little following I seem to building up so far because I will have to put part three of All the Help I Need” on hold for the moment. I’ve actually been in a considerable amount of pain for the last few days, getting worse each day, and I’m concerned I won’t be able to give the piece the attention it needs. In the meantime, I will still try to post some things that won’t require too much concentration.

For now, I will post another song I’ve been working on that still needs revision. I’d love it if someone would come in and give me a few crits. I’m only posting the first stanza because I haven’t done any more work on the second yet.

Cover of "Crow: From the Life and Songs o...

Cover via Amazon

The “crow” I mention is a reference to some rather morbid poetry written by Ted Hughes (The Life and Songs of the Crow).  We had a brief introduction to his work in my poetry class. “The crow” is always associated with death. I find myself wondering sometimes if his book might have somehow influenced or inspired the movies called The Crow. I should probably look it up, but I’m feeling “intellectually lazy” today, like most of us Americans; I’ll get around to it later.

Some of the problems people have pointed out:

1. Too obscure. Some people don’t understand what I’m trying to say.

2. Too many “-ing” words (although I have already eliminated some).

Plus, I don’t like my attempts to revise it so far (specifically, the first four lines).  🙂

~*~

My Word

Too many stolen choices
lurk behind these eyes
when all the scattered voices
lure me with their lies.

(Feel your trembling,
feel your trembling).

I never could slake the flow,
a rising crescendo of fear.
I never forsake the crow;
the broken cry thrashes with tears.

(Thrill and frenzy,
thrill and frenzy).

Release your reason!
I will emblazon
my word into you.
My touch withers you.

~*~