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Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Mad Beloved [Today's News Poem, June 27, 2010]

The Mad Beloved [Today's News Poem, June 27, 2010]

They offer the car to their god in the hope
It's pleasing—that smoke from the plastic cupholders
Can summon a miracle down from the clouds.

The officers gather with shields and their clubs.
The leaders of nations are clad in deception.
And desperate mobs with their bottles of fire

Perform for the screen: my own prayer in a plume
Of gasoline clouds—the black in the grayness
Of towers and stormclouds; of sidewalks and age.

We're jaded and fearful of breadlines and bombs;
The black and white footage of skeletons starving
To death—all the mustaches screaming in mics,

Before all the millions in streets at salute.
This movie is real and we're stars—at least extras.
A pixel of billions, I'm nothing but days

In dreams of routine. Yet I've loved to the end
Of love; to that child of that love—each progression
Expanding my empathy; waking from scenes

Of victory, failure, routine, and ennui
To love without question; beyond the expected,
To limits I thought were denied to the bitter.

There's nothing discrete in this world of connection,
And nothing to fear from beloveds in madness.

“More than 500 people had been arrested by Sunday morning in connection with various protests, as well as some vandalism, related to the Group of 20 leaders summit here... Without offering specific information, Mr. Blair said that the violence was an attempt to draw police away from the protective ring around the summit site so that other protesters could move in and attack it.”
– Ian Austen, The New York Times, June 27, 2010

“The latest government estimate is $897 million for three days of summitry. That comes to about $12 million per hour, or a total near what the government spends per year in the war in Afghanistan.”
– Ian Austen, The New York Times, June 27, 2010

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1 comment:

Dirk Johnson said...

I'm deeply impressed. The movement of this poem -- the syncopation of line to line -- reminds me of Swinburne's essay on Blake ( at the dawn of Blake's acceptance into English letters -- long before Blake became popular, which happened in the 20th Century) -- pointing out that in his little pieces like "The Lamb" ( Blake brought complex music back into the tradition of English poetry after it had languished in the heroic couplets, blank verse, and endless iambic of the 18th century.

The continuing times of dead prosody dominating the dominant poetry journals especially endears this poem to me. Forgive me for dragging Swinburne out of the dust where he was so peacefully resting.