International Writers Magazine: WORDSMITH - From Our Archives
Here we are in
America: early twenty-first century, soaring costs bite us at every
cross roads, plunging incomes snipe at us from the ivory towers
and garish banks, dreadful polarized thinking infects every head
in town. The last thing anybody wants or needs (or sacrifices
precious vacation time for) are poems. Sad story dont
you think? A sad story that veers into macabre silliness when
so many of us keep writing poems and positioning ourselves as sensitive
Cosmic dust mingles with road dust and settles on my furniture.
I cant keep it out. This shack suffers from many cracks and
Creature of indolence that I am; I seldom wipe the dust away. Creature
of speculation that I am; I wonder why indolence evolved in the first
place. I cant understand why people argue about evolution
and agonize over dust.
I could sweep the dust out of the house. I could (and do) vote against
The dust always settles back onto the end tables and the creationists
always slither back onto the school boards.
Clearly evolution and dust and zealotry mingle in our quilted universe.
I cant separate them when all our lines of communication remain
tangled and over taxed. The creationists always gloat as if they
never contemplated the evolution of a crossed wire.
Everybody works, lets call that the cardinal law of the universe.
Everybody gripes about work; lets label that the inexorable law
of universal dissatisfaction. Nobody sings while they work.
Everybody prays for that big break or that big make-over. We can concur;
that constitutes an unspoken code of diffuse ambition. Everybody
sneers at has-beens and mystified spirits. We can agree; thats
a snake-oil salve for the weak but willful. Nobody sneers at themselves.
Everybody assumes they merit a meaty role to play in this world.
We can tag that the unplanned by-product of consumer arrogance.
Nobody feels safe enough, or spiritual enough, or contrary enough to step
away from the microphone and take a seat in the dim light under the stage.
I found a good place to ride out my obscurity, a small neglected paradise
in which to work and eat and write without the disturbed world hammering
on me. The shack is small and cluttered and dusty. The yard
is ragged and dusty and neglected.
The place feels more humble than current universal codes allow.
I like it a lot. I found a job that doesnt take too much out
of me. I found a family of stray dogs and cats to fill the place
with motion and zest. The plainness of the setting and aimlessness
of my life lends a lucky spirit to my days. The shabbiness of the
place keeps snoopy eyes and inquiring minds turned away without need for
ugly fences or gates or priceless security systems.
I found a blind spot under the lens of the global microscope. I
pray I can hold on to it through the bitter, tumultuous times ahead.
hyperbole and the business jet
Nicanor Parra told you in poetry everything is permitted.
All thats required is that you improve upon the blank page.
I submit that its not that easy. A stamp appears on the packaging
around every ream of blank pages and it reads, PROPERTY OF THE SHAREHOLDERS!
How do you propose we improve the page without endorsing the chains?
Watermarks woven into the fabric of every blank page read, FOR AUTHORIZED
DOCUMENTS ONLY! INAPPROPRIATE USE MAY RESULT IN LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT,
HEFTY FINES, EXILE FROM THE RANKS OF THE PAMPERED, HUMILIATION, AND, IN
EGREGIOUS CASES, HOMELESSNESS, BEWILDERMENT AND PARANOIA. Wheres
the brilliant strategy for undermining that stranglehold!
Forget the blank page. We cant improve on it. Well
only abet the cause of control and standardization. If you hold
a blank page in front of you right now, dont write on it!
Dont scribble a single syllable! Fold that page into a paper
business jet and waft yourself into the highest Andes before
the thugs from ASSET PROTECTION confine you in secret, year long a re-education
I deliver this message to you on the remains of a blank page.
All thats required is that you ask yourself, IS IT HYPERBOLE, OR
IS IT "MEMOREX"?
Ex-firefighter, ex-beat cop, ex-dirt farmer/cowhand/bouncer and current
garden center flunky; Frank Sloan lives and writes in a small shack near
the heart of the American empire. Despite all evidence to the contrary,
he believes its a heart that merits salvation.
© Frank Sloan November 2007
El Dorado, Ks.
sln_frnk at yahoo.com
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