Monday, June 29, 2009

June 30, 2009 :

I sit in one of the dives
At Jone's Beach
Uncertain and Celebratory
As the clever hopes lift me above
The low dishonest decade:
Waves of empathy and compassion
Circulate over the brilliant
And darkened sandboxes of the earth,
Obsessing over private lives;
The unmentionable gossip of death
Offends the June night.

Accurate court-reporting can
Unearth the whole, bloody, offense
From Luther until now--Post-haste!--
That has driven a culture mad,
Finding Lindsey Lohan lacking,
What beauties imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and a million Iraqis know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return. However, those
Millions were occupied.

Exiled George knew
All that a whisper can say
About Democracy
And what Good People do.
The withering rubbish they spout
To an all-too silent grave;
Analyzed, by Generations of Boomers
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming Vonnegut,
Along with a Mismanagement of the Budget:
We must suffer them
In other more stately guises
Again.

Into this Swiss-like air
Where blind skyscrapers reach
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Soul,
Each wordsmith pours their vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an Cabana's dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
With Michael Jackson faces
And the international String Quartet,
bids us all farewell!

Faces along the bar
Cling to their sweaty pints:
The lights must be lit on the porch,
The music must speak for them All,
All the tongue-waggers conspire
To make this Arsenal-punter's abode
Assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we stand,
Lost in a hallowed wood,
Children dreaming,
Soft dreams of armies at Night
Who've never been coddled or shunned.

The militant clowns
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Newman wrote
About Alfred
Is true of the satiric heart; so,
What me worry?, aye,
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man who
Craves marriage, along with
Gay People
have,
Not universal love
But to be loved as you would a
Divorce Lawyer.

From the Conservative Jive
Into the eternal life
The dense commuters come,
(Paying the bitched fare-hike)
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the conductor,
I'll concentrate more upon savings,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their Sanford-like games:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach them when they're 6,ooo friggin'
Miles away!
Who can speak for these idiots!!!!!?

All I have is a voice
And, blessed is this
'Cause I'm losing it.
The romantic lie upon beach towels,
Naked.
Of the sensual man-in-the-grey-felt-hat,
And the lie of Atlas
Whose statues grope the breasts of
Megan Fox:
There is no such thing as the next Day,
And no one exists on a pill-box;
Hunger allows tummy-rumbles
To the People or the Coppers;
We must love one another or Fly!.

Defenseless under the sunscreen
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, quite speckled, everywhere,
Ironic points of confusion
Flash out wherever TMZ
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and Erections,
Beleaguered by the same
Newer words and desperate prose,
Show an affirming flame.

[thanks, Auden]

x,William H. Balzac. 6/30/09

8 comments:

Gerry Boyd said...

The unmentionable gossip of death
Offends the June night.

Great line in greater effort. Bravo!

Sunflower Ranch said...

William!! Lots of sensual imagery -- I love the way you see things, and lay your heart on the table for us all to see.

Here's what resonates most with me -- it's just so TRUE:

All I have is a voice
And, blessed is this
'Cause I'm losing it.

Would that every voice could be heard with respect, alas it is not so. But "We must love one another or Fly!."

Thanks for painting a picture of our life and times. You rock. :D

LLnL said...

Incredibly beautiful and poignant words that leave the sting of truth with a side of intolerance of injustice. The news depresses me but I realized that it is because I've decided there is nothing that I can do about it. Ii is not okay to view an abusive situation and do nothing, and lately its gets harder to ignore.

Thank you for taking your talent and making tragic situations and turning them into something to ponder by bringing cognitive delights to my mind.

William H. Balzac said...

Gerry~ Every once in a while I'll play with a classic poem. Auden's, "September 1, 1939," was written at a very dark time in our nations history. I wanted to speak a bit about "celebrity culture," and bring some light to this. The "gossip," sometimes, over-rides even the most sunny day. Even in Darkness, we have to find a reason to smile. Thank you.

Sunflower Ranch~~ If you take a look in the "archives" of this blog you'll find a poem I wrote [originally by John Milton]. The intention is to have fun & a homage to the poet at the same time. You've seen the "me" in this Auden, re-write (in "views":))...I'm glad you enjoyed it. YOU ROCK, too!

**
Here's the Original poem (if you're not familiar with it.) I should have done this in the post:

September 1, 1939:

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.

From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
"I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,"
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the deaf,
Who can speak for the dumb?


All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

William H. Balzac said...

LLnL~~Hey you! I was just writing replies while you were here!..You're right: Satire does have a serious side to it. You've hit the nail on the head, as they say. Keep smiling, and remember to "breathe"..(I loved your posting of that song.)

Mary Anne Gruen said...

I wish I had the ability with words that you have.

http://www.StarlightBlog.com

Sunflower Ranch said...

William!!! LOL I thought your poem was eerily familiar -- makes your work and your take on it even more AWESOME!! I see how it works as a wonderful parody but it also works exactly as the words suggest and mean in your own context. [How's that go about something being personal that departs the universal truth better than just stating the truth?] I want to do a line by line and really get into it. You know sort of curl up on the chaise, listen to the birds, sip something cool and just let the poem wash over me and soak into my heart... For now, just keep up the great work -- I look forward to more!! :D

William said...

Mary Anne~~ You do. You do!
I love your writing.

Sunflower Ranch~~It's just a bit of fun. Auden, I'm sure, would give me a good slap if he were alive to read me. :)