Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Haunting Quote From Borges

Jorge Luis Borges
A remembered passage from Jorge Luis Borges grows louder in my head as disregard for facts grows in my country's government. This paragraph comes from his story "Deutsches Requiem," as translated by Julian Pelley. The words are spoken by a the character of a German convicted of war crimes after the Second World War and is the summation of a fascist and totalitarian worldview:
An inexorable epoch is spreading over the world. We forged it, we who are already its victim. What matters if England is the hammer and we the anvil, so long as violence reigns and not servile Christian timidity? If victory and injustice and happiness are not for Germany, let them be for other nations. Let Heaven exist, even though our dwelling place is Hell.
 I hope this philosophy grossly over-represents whatever philosophy informs the current administration. However, without respect for objective reality, with tightened nationalism and with disrespect of the impoverished, the path to that "dwelling place" looks broad and clear.

Again, I hope I'm wrong.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Progress on the "Cuban" Poems

I posted a teaser poem on this blog to point toward the verse project about the Cuban missile crisis, as well President John Kennedy's address to the nation about Cuba divided into accentual-syllabic lines. Work, mostly research, continues on this project that I intend to publish elsewhere unless no editors care to reproduce the poems.

As far as writing goes, there is a short prologue so far. The overall form of the poems will probably be mixed with lyric, dramatic and persona poetry both formal and free. My first persona poem in a long time (non-"Cuban"), about Freddie Mercury, appears in this blog, and its flaws show me mistakes to avoid in the future. As daunting as the project is I remain excited and hope to make substantial writing progress soon.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Once More I Need...

green cigars and their particulate smoke,
my guitar tuned to D for Dowland
because fantasias circulate the blood.
Once more I need the Brothers Hernandez
and to explore their abandoned spaceships
and villages of true heartbreak and dust.
Once more I need topographical maps
of my region to trace from hills to lakes
perfect symbols of the familiar
wanderings and haunts I had the time for.
Once more I need rumors of tornadoes.
Once more I need us running from thunder
to emerge again by a shattered tree,
even the singed chips and splinters like gifts.
Once more I need to feel assailed by ancient
fears in a brave young body. I need
snow in Iowa, especially snow
crusted from here to Lincoln, Nebraska,
and the flakes that dance in a cold sun.
That's where I meet you in your long red coat,
and there is no future for us, nothing
ever happens after we see ourselves
on that frozen street not looking ahead
but into a store window and slightly pale.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Security Council

For want of heavy water
no atomic slaughter
came from the dark Third Reich.

What would Adolf say?
Did he win or get his way
with Bannon's dark alt-right?

And who sits now like a glutton
toying with the button
that sounds the last "good night"?