CODA: THE GHOSTS GO HOME. A Poem by EM Schorb.

      O lost and by the wind grieved,
      ghost, come back again.
      —Thomas Wolfe

. . . so this is luck says Maxine
you can take your freaking luck and shove it
Mama says it was the aliens who helped us
hundreds of flying saucers piloted by
Elvises in sequined pod suits
they lifted us off the cliff
I told you they would I told you
she’s nuts Buddy we’re dead right now
dead and floating away Max dispersing smoke
and just when I thought I was going to heaven
to God’s bright musical castle
where I could play the organ
play Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
for all the heavenly days of my death
O.K. Buddy but what in hell do you think
I’m travelling for
we left the other goddamned Disney place
three thousand miles back
I want to get away from it all
that’s my heaven
every place is the same Max
every place is Disneyland
now don’t you start sniveling Mama
but home is where the heart is
my heart is with Harry in Orlando
poor old Alzheimer man
I loved him so much
for God’s sake we got all freaking bummed out
I sent a card back home to tell
how you’ve acted you son-of-a-bitch you killed us
and I think you did it on purpose
you think you can drive through space now Buddy
still steering Max
Maxine
what Mama
you children are enough to drive me out of my mind
but the National Star
and the Pod People keep me sane
look at all that space
can you fly this thing Buddy
an American G.I. can do anything he has to do Mama
Buddy sometimes you remind me of Harry
why thanks Mama
doughboys is what we called G.I.s in my day
like you he came back full of holes
but gassed in Belleau Wood
beautiful name to be so horrible
I know I don’t tell you very much
but now that I know we are all going to
heaven together or somewhere
well wherever the pod people take us
I love you both
we love you too Mama
don’t we Max
O.K. so all us suckers love each other
just keep this smoke floating
Mama I think Maxine is blubbering up
crocodile tears Buddy she’s hard as a rock
no Mama you should see her up here
shut up Buddy
she’s had too much beer
no I think the crash is just now sinking in on me
but I’m not going to stop drinking my Lite
I don’t care if I’m dead
you are dead Max we’re all dead
Buddy are you sure you can fly are you
does smoke rise up from a fire
and finally vanish in the sky
I keep on truckin’ like I always done Max
through war and peace Mama
our flag must still wave
through hell and high water Max
I could go on flying this big beautiful
Winnebago with the eagle wing span of an
Enola Gay forever across America
back and forth across this great big
God bless America country

FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA
 
 
E.M. Schorb’s Murderer’s Day, was awarded the Verna Emery Poetry Prize and published by Purdue University Press, and a subsequent collection, Time and Fevers, was the recipient of the Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Award for Poetry and also an Eric Hoffer Award.
 
Other works include 50 Poems, Hill House New York; Words in Passing, The New Formalist Press; The Ideologues and Other Retrospec­tive Poems, Aldrich Press; Eclectica Americana, Hill House New York; Manhattan Spleen, Aldrich Press; Last Exit to East Hampton, Kelsay Books; and The Poor Boy, Dragon’s Teeth Press, Living Poets Series. The title poem, “The Poor Boy,” was awarded the International Keats Poetry Prize by London Literary Editions, Ltd., judged by Howard Sergeant.
 
Schorb’s novel, Paradise Square, received the Grand Prize for Fiction from the International eBook Award Founda­tion at the Frankfurt Book Fair. A Portable Chaos was the First Prize Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction. His latest novel, R&R, a Sex Comedy, has won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Humor. But Schorb maintains that he is first and foremost a poet, and his poetry has appeared in numerous publi­ca­tions, such as Agenda (UK), The American Scholar (US), Frank (FR), The Hudson Review (US), Stand (UK), Poetry Salzburg Review (AU), Queen’s Quarterly (CA), The Yale Review (US), and Oxford Poetry (UK), among others.

THE VIRUS MONOLOGUE. Translation from Source: https://lundi.am/Monologue-du-virus by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

THE VIRUS MONOLOGUE
 
 
“I came to shut down the machine for which you could not find the emergency brake. “
 
 
“Silence, dear humans, all your ridiculous calls to war. Lower the looks of revenge you have on me. Turn off the halo of terror that surrounds my name. We, viruses, from the bacterial background of the world, are the true continuum of life on Earth. Without us, you would never have seen the light of day, nor would the first cell.
 
We are your ancestors, just like stones and algae, and much more than monkeys. We are everywhere you are and where you are not too. Too bad for you, if you only see in the universe what is your liking! But above all, stop saying that I’m the one killing you. You do not die from my action on your tissues, but from the lack of care of your fellow men. If you weren’t as rapacious among yourself as you were with everything that lives on this planet, you would still have enough beds, nurses and respirators to survive the damage I do to your lungs. If you did not store your old people in dying rooms and your able-bodied people in reinforced concrete hutches, you would not be there. If you had not changed the yesterday still luxuriant, chaotic, infinitely populated vastness of the world or rather of the worlds into a vast desert for the monoculture of the Same and the More, I would not have been able to launch out a planetary conquest of your throats.
 
If you had not almost all become, throughout the last century, redundant copies of a single and unsustable form of life, you would not be preparing to die like flies abandoned in the water of your sweet civilization. If you hadn’t made your backgrounds so empty, so transparent, so abstract, believe me that I wouldn’t be moving at the speed of an aircraft. I have only come to carry out the sanction which you have long since pronounced against yourselves. Forgive me, but it is you, as far as I know, who coined the name “Anthropocene”. You have claimed all the honor of the disaster; now that it is accomplished, it is too late to give it up. The most honest among you know this well: I have no other accomplice than your social organization, your madness of the “big scale” and its economy, your fanaticism for the system. Only systems are “vulnerable”. The rest live and die. There is “vulnerability” only with regard to control, its extension and its improvement. Look at me carefully: I am only the reverse of the reigning Death.
 
So stop blaming me, accusing me, tracking me down. Stop paralyzing against me. All of this is childish. I offer you a conversion of the look: there is an immanent intelligence in life. You don’t have to be a subject to have a memory or a strategy. You don’t have to be sovereign to decide. Bacteria and viruses can also make rain and sun shine. So see me as your savior rather than your gravedigger. Feel free to believe me, but I came to shut down the machine for which you could not find the emergency brake. I have come to suspend the operation of which you were the hostages. I came to demonstrate the aberration of “normality”. “To delegate our food, our protection, our ability to take care of our living environment to others was madness” … “There is no budgetary limit, health is priceless”: see how I have the language and the spirit of your governors forked! See how I bring them back to their real rank of miserable swindlers, and arrogant with that! See how suddenly they denounce themselves not only as superfluous, but as harmful! You are for them only the supports of the reproduction of their system, even less than slaves. Even plankton is treated better than you.
 
Be careful, however to blame their shortcomings. Avoid wasting your energy. To accuse them of carelessness is to lend them more than they deserve. Ask yourself, how did you find it so comfortable to let yourself be governed? To praise the merits of the Chinese option against the British option, of the imperial-forensic solution against the Darwinist-liberal method, is to understand nothing of either, of the horror of one as the horror of the other. Since Quesnay, the “liberals” have always regarded the Chinese Empire with envy; and they continue to do so. They are Siamese brothers. That one confines you in your interest and the other in that of “society” always comes down to crushing the only non-nihilistic conduct: taking care of oneself, those one loves and what one loves in those one doesn´t know. Do not let those who led you to the abyss pretend to know how to get out of it: they will only prepare you for a more perfected hell, an even deeper grave. The day they can, they will patrol the beyond with their armies.
 
Thank me instead. Without me, how much longer would all these unquestionable things suddenly suspended been regarded as necessary? Globalization, contests, air traffic, budgetary limits, elections, sports competitions, Disneyland, fitness rooms, most shops, the congress and parliament, school crowding, mass gatherings, most office jobs, all this drunken sociability which is only the flip side of the anguished loneliness of metropolitan dwellings: all this was therefore unnecessary, once the state of necessity manifests itself. Thank me for the test of truth for the next few weeks: you are finally going to live your own life, without the thousand loopholes that, year after year, keep the untenable going. Without realizing it, you had never moved into your own existence. You were among the boxes, and you didn’t know it. You will now live with your loved ones. You will live at home. You will stop being in transit to death. You may hate your husband. You may vomit your children. Perhaps you will want to blow up the decor of your daily life. To tell the truth, you were no longer in the world, in these metropolises of separation. Your world was no more livable in any of its points than on the condition of constantly fleeing. It was necessary to be dazed by movement and distractions so much ugliness had gained presence. And the ghostly reigned among beings. Everything had become so effective that nothing made more sense. Thank me for all of this, and welcome to earth!
 
Thanks to me, for an indefinite time, you will no longer be working, your children will not go to school, and yet it will be the complete opposite of the holidays. Holidays are that space that must be furnished at all costs while awaiting the expected return from work. But here, what opens up before you, thanks to me, is not a demarcated space, it is a huge gaping hole. I am here to disassemble everything. Nothing can guarantee you that the non-world of before will return. All of this profitable nonsense may be over. By dint of not being paid, what could be more natural than not paying your rent? Why would he still pay his debts to the bank, the one who can no longer work anyway? Isn’t it suicidal, in the end, to live where you can’t even grow a garden? Whoever has no more money will not stop eating, and the one who has the iron has the bread- as Auguste Blanqui used to say.
 
Thank me: I place you at the foot of the fork that tacitly structured your lives: the economy or life. It’s up to you. The range is historic. Either the rulers impose their state of emergency on you, or you invent your own. Either you get attached to the emerging truths or you put your head on the chopping block. Either you use the time I am giving you now to figure out the next world from the lessons of the ongoing collapse, or it will end up by radicalizing, even more. Disaster ends when the economy stops. The economy is devastating. It was a thesis before last month. It is now a fact. No one can ignore the fact that it will take police, surveillance, propaganda, logistics and telework to repress it.
 
As you face me, do not give in to panic or denial. Don’t give in to biopolitical hysteria. The coming weeks are going to be terrible, overwhelming, cruel. The doors of Death will be wide open. I am the most devastating production of the ravage of production. I come to nullify the nihilists. The injustice of this world will never be more glaring. It is a civilization, and not you, that I come to bury. Those who want to live will have to make new habits, and their own. Avoiding myself will be the occasion for this reinvention, this new art of distance. The art of greeting each other, in which some were short-sighted enough to see the very shape of the institution, will soon no longer obey any label. It will be an agreement between sentient beings. Do not do it “for others”, for “the population” or for “society”, do it for your own. Take care of your friends and your loved ones. Rethink with them, sovereignly, a just form of life. Make good life clusters, expand them, and I can’t do anything against you. This isn´t a call for the massive return of discipline, but of attention. Not for the end of all lightness, but of all neglect. What other way was left for me to remind you that salvation is in every gesture? That everything is in the infinitesimal?
 
I had to face the facts: humanity only asks itself the questions that it can no longer not ask itself. ”
 
Source: https://lundi.am/Monologue-du-virus Original French Version

Laminations in Lacquer. Audio Textual Poem. Excerpt from Moon by Robin Ouzman Hislop

http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
 

 
 
In a bright lit night, he lays his bed
deep in hues of Lapis Lazuli.
In the corners sit the winds
dressed like musical chairs.
 
An olive ferments in a pastel saucer
into mossy green minutiae
where a painted flower swallows
against its form, liquid spaces
in lean reflections towards a bottomless well.
 
Veils swim on the verge the flower
defines drawn against
an olive splash of skin
in the glazed lacquer
gloss to the anonymous images.
 
A cock crows cockle doodle do
discrete, concrete, on the fronds
ruffles in the red sprocketed throat
a screech of feathers
stilled in the flower’s passion
in the pool’s hoard.
 
The gibbous mound
a crimson flash in the curtain
through which he passes
beneath the bridges.
A stairway in pastel hue
laps tranquilly cool
to a hole in a wall
a cavernous breach which retains
the scream of the arch
scrawled on a screen
defiant in the stance of plumages
hordes of epiphanies
buried in petrified pastel ripples.
 
Below the rift of its eye
the sealed beak that will open
gleams on the lee.
 
Throughout the entire circumference
can be seen the tilt giving rise
to both translucence, transparency
where the acid, oil separate
only to appear to coalesce
in the almost pure liquid sheen
containing its own light
even in the presence of the vegetative
silt at the bottom of the bowl.
 
At the moment of its brimming
at that line of definition
in a room that roams without corners
he must rise with a chalice of blood for lips of shades
where the vertigo edge of the flower distils the dish
together with the quantities of immeasurable throng
on watery groves billowing with ivy bowers
sprung over hidden lairs of concealed hoards.
 
Night begins and the dogs draw nigh
scavenging for scraps
yapping at the walker’s naked ankles
in the dust of unknown alleys.
 
The broken lights of the bazaar
spangle with glittering promises
the eyes of the dusky beggar
sunk in their sockets maze
in crooked cul de sacs embargo
amidst the furls of silk that foil
the flickering lantern niche
throttled in an olive tray
whilst the flower’s blur does not allow
the stroke that blurs its horizon
and all beneath to return.
 
It is helpless in its light
a camouflage to visitation
to the sigh of the rock’s flow
so few, so few, so few.
 
The olive saturates its wish
outlining monuments amidst the rubble
in momentary musical explosions
and the spell is cast.
 
Fireworks like a diaphanous lithograph
print an emblazoned sky
on the craggy mountains of the night
where comets play at kites
& glistening the eerie beak hisses.
 
 

 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is on line Editor at Poetry Life & Times at Artvilla.com. His numerous appearances include Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N.Carolina), The Honest Ulsterman, Cratera No 3 and Aquillrelle’s Best. His publications are collected poems All the Babble of the Souk, Cartoon Molecules, Next Arrivals & Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems and translations from Spanish of poems by Guadalupe Grande Key of Mist and Carmen Crespo Tesserae (the award winning XIII Premio César Simón De Poesía). In November 2017 these works were presented in a live performance at The International Writer’s Conference hosted by the University of Leeds, UK. A forthcoming publication of collected poems Off the Menu is expected in 2020.

Robin Ouzman Hislop, Publisher of Poetry Life and Times and Artvilla’s Poetry Editor

 

Robin Ouzman Hislop was editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times from 2005, previously edited by Sara Russell, after its closure in 2008, he joined with Dave Jackson editor/admin as co editor at  https://motherbird.com & Artvilla.com  in 2013 & now edits both Poetry Life and Times  with its Facebook page  PoetryLifeTimes .

He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, which include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, The Poetic Bond  series and  an Anthology of Sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. His publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo 

visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop for more information and reviews, him performing some of his work at  Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest volume of collected poems at Next-Arrivals

Submittals may be sent to robin@artvilla.com or editor@artvilla.com  Please refer to our submittal guidelines at any of the sites.