. The Poet's Beat .

. The Poet's Beat .
"A working class citizen is apt to see this country for what it's worth... A miasma of interlocking variations on differing demographics and geographies unlike any other inhabited space in the world. The American Dream. The rolling footloose hills and the upstanding Apache badlands where criminals cut bread with priests and the children of Hollywood. I am no different. Yet I am still brazen enough to think that the world is a playground built by the rugged hands of a hard-working man in order that my fantasies be materialized." -- P.P. Vonnersdale

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Left Over Right (or) The Technology Crisis of 2011

If everything electrical suddenly and mysteriously stopped working, it's my opinion that the thin veil of civilization would be torn to shreds. We would be ushered back into the dark ages, and, as savages, the struggle for survival would take new meaning. Since this is my theoretical fantasy, I have instructed my friends where I would go and have told them how to find me if such an event ever occurred. This is a poem about all that...

The snowfall was a fitting funeral shroud,
cold world of dead machines,
O’ lost spark,
have pity on the living,
When the lights went out,
When all that was left was alive,
we became madmen.

He appeared on the distant tree line,
tall and skinny figure in the grey dawn,
the horses uneasy,
calling me from my labor,
raising the alarm,
an empty world where strangers are mistrusted,
they know he is there without seeing him,
and they know what must come next.

Through the dark days of the Brooklyn Blackout –
he waited,
Through rumors that the fell stroke was spread farther than his city –
he waited,
Through reports that the world had been turned off –
he waited,
When it was clear that mankind had given up,
he decided it was time to march.

I told my friends to find me,
an old Catholic boarding school in the South,
The soccer field is my garden,
The nuns’ quarters are mine,
Former pleasure horses are steeds of transport,
the boarders driven away,
my refuge in an uncharged and uncivilized time,
guarded vigilantly under arms,
and for admittance
I gave them all a sign.

Right over left,
he reminded himself,
over a thousand miles away,
When Hudson River water was still fresh on his loafers,
So dark was his spirit then,
six months of walking,
abandoned cans of tomato soup,
the old convent on the rise,
He steps from the tree line in someone else’s shoes,
the loafers long forgotten,
a smile on his ashen face,
and raises his hands over his head.

My fingers are cold,
December snow dissolving on the barrel of my rifle,
The figure in my sights,
I wait,
in a fever,
the world a dead and hostile place,
and I can take no chances.

He raises his hands over his head,
left over right,
left over right,
left over right,
I squeeze the trigger and the horses jump at the crack of the gun,
He falls,
blood in the snow,
We are all madmen,
left over right.


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