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Somewhere around 1960 or thereabouts,
(these dates are never precise, much like an
old lover loved lost seeking to regain the sphere)
the poem changed, lost meaning, Eliot, Yeats, Stevens,
out of fashion, not to mention Tennyson, the metaphysicals,
or Shakespeare, jolly giants, deemed too tough.
A dreary half century muddling along without a voice:
merely doomsday imagery, the mushroom of Bikini island,
a strand of concrete splintering Berlin, horrific mummified
Stalin still seeking to be buried, laid to rest beyond an air
conditioned coffin where peasants stroll by eating only
the nothingness of Lenin, Marx now long rotted by syphilis,
Mao Se Tung a dreaded Chinese negro nightmare brought
into full light by Tienamen Square.
Only the blanks remain
to be filled in.
Children taught by CNN, MTV, the latest nihilo news
on the brightest Turned channel.
There is no substance here, no essence
beyond the milky shadowy photosultry images
haunting the mind, the spirit, like the just turned
Where have all the poets gone?
What heroes remain?
How can enticement beyond the mundane
reach the dead brain zombies that don't
even eat cornflakes anymore?
What Vegas dancing girls can bring back the
Haunted hush of centuries, beplumed, sequined,
a pyramidal sequence beyond the painted flesh?
Can it be in something as simple as Chevrolet, baseball,
apple pie? These are twisted images for the hungry to hunt,
the bold to embrace, the fortunate few dancing
Circuitous in lightning that seeks the splintered sphere:
only to be reminded where you are=where you will be.
Those are serpentine terms to be regarded in the day
or night--both embracing--till the soil no longer
speaks, loam silenced
for another whispering voice
that has nothing to do with an abstract millenium.
POETRYREPAIRS 11.01: 011|