Freedom Day

Freedom Day

Jack Ramey reads Freedom Day. http://www.springwoodpress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Freedom-Day.mp3 We hold these truths to be self-evident: all white men who own property are created equal – this of course excludes black people and Indian people and women and poor white whiskey tangos who have no pot to piss in. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful morning this morning when all Americans are freed from work (except those who work at Walmart and MacDonald’s and Burger King and Pizza Hut and Kroger and Safeway and Piggly Wiggly) freed to pursue barbeque picnics by the lake and drunken relatives and loud firework displays that proclaim with colored gunpowder our freedom. Oh say can you see? Those rockets bursting over your villages for the past ten years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cluster bombs and napalm exploding in jungles forty years ago in Vietnam, just look at the beautiful tracers shooting out from the sides of ironic helicopters bearing the name of those we have subdued – Apache! Geronimo! shouted those paratroopers who leaped out of planes on D-Day two years or so before I was born into this land of freedom and gory. The list of those we have invaded to protect our freedom is too long to tell: hello Philippine Islands, hello Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan,Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Japan (and all the islands she laid claim to) Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Korean Peninsula, the Five Nations, the Creek Nations, the Cherokee Nation, the Chickasaw Nation, the Shawnee Nation, the Sioux Nations, the Comanche Nations, the Yuma, the Pomo, the Ute, the Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Crow, the Mandan, the Sauk and...
The Spiral Destiny

The Spiral Destiny

  Look at the light beams pouring down from the sun:– slicing through morning fog and mist like a million surgeons’ carefully sharpened knives in a medieval cathedral of medicine, where patients wait patiently, supine on the mossy floor of love in the nave of, in the name of, the greater synagogue of creation. Just look at the dew-strewn leaves and petals gleaming through mist:– up-turned lips waiting to be touched by Dawn’s rosy-fingered first caress not unlike those aforementioned metaphorical patients floored by the glory of their great mother’s lovely smile after two days of her tears, gray rain nourishing the roots of their being, crying down on her children her lachrymose blessing, her forgiveness for those who hurt her daily with chemical needles and warlike drones that daily rain down their own brutal tears on her innocent body and the bodies of children who one day may just stop, who already seem to have stopped evolving toward some greater understanding. Look at the river valley still hugged in fluff, puffed up with cloudy stuff masking the flow of her borderless destiny, her spiral world without beginning or ending, her always striving movement toward the sea.   from Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Featured Print:  Found at Sea  by Linda Lyke Newfoundland Paintings:  Found at Sea is from a series of paintings that convey the struggle for survival of the Beothuk Natives and European settlers of Newfoundland and memorializes the images of both cultures with their complex topography of land and...
Fragments from the Gone World

Fragments from the Gone World

I The gods are far too literal minded : Ithmonike of Pellene pregnant for three entire years after imploring the god Asklepios at Epidaurus. You silly woman, he said upon her return, why did you not say you wanted to give birth?   II Fingernail-clipping moon Above dustbin horsetail cloud. A small moth ascends As day descends into darkness. Dawn breaks My heart Apart. Opens up the night Like a knife wound Spilling red across the horizon.   III Great Egyptian Ptah, lord of creation, spoke out loud his green-skinned imagination : and the universe hurled off his tongue into being.   IV Rose taffeta unwinds from her spinning dancer’s dress You’ve hurt me for the last time, she says. A rogue’s gallery of blackguards lines the walls of her memory like a portico around her cerebellum’s cloister as baroque violoncellos squawk in the nautilus hollows of her ears like a dead sea of ancient tears. You are gone now in dust and I am still here, dancing.   from Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Featured Print:  Ship Wreck  by Linda Lyke Newfoundland Paintings:  Ship Wreck is from a series of paintings that convey the struggle for survival of the Beothuk Natives and European settlers of Newfoundland and memorializes the images of both cultures with their complex topography of land and...
Two Hundred and Six Bones

Two Hundred and Six Bones

The skin that hangs from this skeleton is cloud stuff: tree limbs on a hilltop seen from a moving vehicle – ineluctable like foxfire in nightwind, vanishing within seconds after sight. The tegument between these bones feels right; tightened to keep me strung high and low (cap a pe) from waist to crown to toe and then below all things connective like my lord’s puppet all unstrung. Femurs found in a dig in Egypt; metatarsals un- covered beneath centuries of dust in Mesopotamia and parts of a skull in a helmet in a river in England: all these things were once living and breathing: creation’s transitive explosion of love and here I still am in the middle of it all alive and wondering how it all will end.  The thigh bone connected to the hip bone, the hip bone connected to the love bone now hear the word of the Lord.  Or is it Darwin?  Why must we choose as if from a menu of entrees in the bistro of history?  Garden of Eden or Olduvai Gorge? Cain and Abel or Australopithecus africanus? Noah or Homo Erectus?  Revelation or walking fish? Which?  Or both, or none?  Can anyone judge or even begin to care?  Too many questions without enough answers.  This is the way it always must be.  I can feel it in my bones: all two hundred and six of them rattling around in a cage of flesh – bone house, brain house, sea road of muscle and fat waving us on into infinity’s mystery.       from Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Also published at Indiana Humanities...
Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga

On cracked ancient krater painted red, men black- bearded wrestle, hoist spear and penis or recline in drapery drinking wine from shallow cups restating thus this vessel’s earthly purpose.  Keats’ purple bubbles winking at the brim and yes they are all fixed in, forever slim forever holding the same positions; and yes the maidens always loath, the runner always wins, the wrestlers frozen along the rim, the satyrs always priapic. But what does it prove? That art is eternal? Immutable? Essential?  Death in the end does not conquer, does not shatter? A silver helmet found at the bottom of a river, beside rusted sword blades, dog and horse bones, human bones dung-flesh and blood ghosted away centuries ago. A warrior, gore-hero buried here, strong-blood-and-death lover, ring-giver, sent to Odin with his weapons his torcs, his women, his slaves, his beasts in a savage age not unlike our own : the age of Kali Yuga, the age we are trapped in like still figures on a painted vase. And is this too Art? Is this the stuff mankind’s dust is son and father to? Shards in time, slime breaking down to slime.   from   Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café Featured Print:  Beothuk Memory  by  Linda Lyke Newfoundland Paintings:  Beothuk Memory is from a series of paintings that convey the struggle for survival of the Beothuk Natives and European settlers of Newfoundland and memorializes the images of both cultures with their complex topography of land and...
To Age Slowly Without Pain

To Age Slowly Without Pain

The insubstantial beauty of smoke lilting upwards from an unseen stack on a clear winter morning, lifts the heart as briefly as it rises, and then fades away with the wind; attacks the senses with acute demand as sharp as battle lances brandished centuries ago in long forgotten China, where the Confucian texts of war first were caricatured on slim sticks of bamboo strung together with silk cords that crumbled in time, leaving only confused and jumbled accounts, full of splintered wisdom about high ground, bloodless coups, and counter counterspies. The insubstantial beauty of a sunrise as it clears the eastern horizon spreading fingers of golden light through bare boughs, across frosted roof tops covering untold joys and sorrows : nightmares and waking dreams, forgotten the moment light pales through the window, never to be recalled until the moment when death calls, and all forgotten dreams are remembered. The insubstantial beauty of morning’s river, placid and green, clear and clean, as though one could walk across its mirrored surface to the other shore, where the night before gold and red lights slashed the tide like knives glittering out to the center, where dreamy boats flow upstream pushed by the steamy breath of river spirits, and river gods, who watch us from the fourth dimension and shed frozen tears over our ignorant sins, and our transient beauty. They watch as children wake from fitful sleep to see air-to-ground missiles explode all around them, shattering roofs, and walls, and bodies, in their village sending mushroom clouds of golden fire spiraling upwards into the black mountain night, beautiful, beautiful the sight of...