polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
Poetry, What's It Good For?
Why is it so difficult for humans to think critically? Is it an evolving cuneiform brain? Or is it the tribal brain, otherwise known as the blood brain barrier threatened by walls surrounding its sensibility? Reminds me that half the US is foaming at the mouth to elect a rightwing president. We who found Nazi
Germany abhorrent & said it would never happen in our country fail to realize that people are people & that mob behavior gets molded by the culture.
Translation? Any mob can be controlled by the mobsters in charge of the culture. So, now, folks are saying that if the winger gets elected, the folks who elected him deserve what they get. But what about the rest of us? We don’t want a madman running our country for the next four years. Oh, almost forgot.
The Executive Branch only controls a few things; big banks control the rest.
Another aberration altogether.
Anyway, emotion rules the individual, & the individual is but a microscopic spoke in the mob. That’s why it’s so difficult for humans to cultivate complex sensibility? Remember, William Blake clarified that after our state of innocence, in order to enter the Palace of Wisdom it’s imperative that we become
enlightened by the bloody womb of experience. Alas, emotional intelligence or something that resembles enlightenment, that’s how we do it, said William over 200 years ago! So, what’s the holdup? Ay, almost forgot again. So busy plundering dreamland, I almost forgot that humans don’t read William Blake
except when they’re forced to in a liberal arts curriculum. No value there, right?
Business majors grumbling, college athletes revering multimillion dollar quarterbacks, basketball dunkers, & moral majority panderers. Even in his day, Blake struggled to feed his devoted wife, Catherine. In his day, William was ostracized as a weirdo, a nonconformist to the mob. Ginsberg read Blake &
infiltrated the mob, a mob that first found Allen’s politics spurious &, later, his lifestyle, never minding that he influenced Dylan & to some extent, Lennon.
Blakelight! Blakelight! Batteries dimmed but not forgotten.
Well, sentimentality is the easy way to go. Don’t get me wrong; no brain muscle required. Without emotional neurons the human race, indeed, would be doomed. Empathy would not exist. Humans would kill every living thing on this planet, including each other. & with the dumbing down of our homeland,
as other cultures cling to their own fantasies for salvation, what can a few surviving intellectuals do—we’re thrown together inside this gigantic bait ball called humanity. I guess that’s why we teach, why we preach, why we write poetry.
In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited to Ecuador as part of a cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. In 2018 and in 2013, he served as judge for the The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. He has been interviewed at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem and has published 17 books of poetry, his latest being Ode to Nothing (bilingual English/Hungarian: 2018) Crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge (bilingual English/Romanian): 2017; Violin Smoke (bilingual English/Hungarian: 2015). A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars he now teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.
Sugar in the Wine
Adding sugar to the wine
is like fleecing America,
America, among the richest
left on the planet securing
her financial own,
or so she thinks.
But adding sugar to the wine
renegs our agreement made
by evaluation to Diablo
eons ago, so now we’re sailing
on the whim of what passes
for authentic history printed
in corporate history books
while witnessing satellites sparkling
the darkness like rainbow sprinkles
on two scoops of Neapolitan
frozen brain cells stuffed inside
a whole grain conical paradox
So, no sugar.
Leave the wine for those in search
of the truth cultivated by Dionysus
when democracy bloomed
heat lightning all around him
like bruised bougainvillea
like what the poets said then
& what poets say today.
So, keep your cancer fuel
This is not our vision for the
United States of America.