Poems: A Selection

myana marred

your mightiest ships

cannot sail to heaven on

a river of blood

justsayin’

from generation to degeneration the slope slips and slides

throughout the land we hear the cry as honesty elides

a thousand pictures painted with the life’s blood of our own

is not worth a single word that says This we’ll not condone!

the young child’s revelation is the wisdom of our race:

the simple No! we all learn to speak unlocks our human face

inundations

is it conversation or conversion that you seeking long for?

dial log in M for the murderous intent

speak your peace be still be calmed

these wars of dark and light are yours are yours alone

the battleground within leaves me without

unsettled the encampment spawning seeding breeding

enchantment or enchainment

parroting and puppetry abound surround confound

your arc’s a closing circle

my ark’s a refuge floating free

sustaining through catastrophe until the armies receding

reveal a sign across the skies the face of God

in every living being seen some day may it be some day

clarity

do not speak to me of

solids

I will not tarry in your

thickened airy world of

sinister substances

toxic trespasses

and secondary semblances

assembled

the weight of your hatred breaks my bones

I will go fluid

find the   gaps

the crevices

as sweet melodies drift by

a chant meant for my fathers

a  tone meant for my mothers

help me fill the interlude

help me feel the interval

let  me be   the interstitial fool

and bridge       the edgeless     depth

sail iconoclastic chasms

float above the flooded caverns

lift me now beyond the fathoms

feed me solitary daring

that although

alone

I might

rise

and ride

and roam this vast and savage

devastation

the wild hard sands will take you

melting down          to seal you

a crystalline night vault

a cocoon         of fixity

as glassy history runs past

and I

I am saved by winds

they race me away

their speech is of flow

their protean tongues

cry a chorus of whispers

they are desire

I will not resist

I will breathe a cold crisp air

and where they will take me

there I will be

there you can find me

yes there I will be

ghetto

And we rock and sand go into the furnace

forming reddened skin flexing flowing free

adapting to the shape

the shape of necessity

tempered

tempered and purified

in this oven in these flames

until the fires are bartered for the light

silver streams now fixed and frozen

frozen mirrored to reflect/deflect

clear fluid now made cool and hard

hard windowed to look out/look in

as judgment arrives in the wake of heat:

And who shall be a dagger?

And who shall be a shield?

And who a looking glass?

And who will magnify the small?

And who will see beyond the stars?

And who will carry it all within

to contain

to protect

to preserve?

five windows

I am not of the community, no

not a remnant half-remembered

inmuseumed persistence, no

but I will tell their story just the same

it’s a story that you’ll want to hear

that every cold-cultured conqueror

could stand to learn

do not close your gates

like the covers of a book

the future remains free of any rule

maniachean

put your fist through glass and fill the house with your laughter

cool observation before the firestorm’s hot nights crystallize

melting into light of day to give wings to words of lead and steel

fast flight through soft boundaries yields sounds of wet bombasts bursting without a care

lawns require immaculate manicure and precise trim or so you say

prune the branch and spare the tree and take cold showers to invigorate your musculature

just say go and get ready to set the intimation as tumult yields timidity

in the silent crowd befriending fear with formula visitation

and the pully-boy says go gogogogogogogogo

soaring like an ego in flight but it’s only suspended ammunition

from motion to emotion and displayed devotion in nurture all guidance

judgment delayed comes too late too dearly among inured ambergrisly

because when putsch comes to shove the tough go getting their way

and the rest go getting out of their way or it’s tough going going gone

after all it’s a rational calculation grounded in scientific investigation

best minds best methods best means to an ending an effect an edge an heurism

go figure

Bionote

Lance a. Strate is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. He is the author of Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman’s Brave New World Revisited (2014), On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology (2011), and Echoes and Reflections: On Media Ecology as a Field of Study (2006), and the poetry collection, Thunder at Darwin Station (2014). He is founder and past president of the Media Ecology Association, a Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics and the president of New York Society of General semantics.

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Lance A . Strate
Lance a. Strate is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City. He is the author of Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman’s Brave New World Revisited (2014), On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology (2011), and Echoes and Reflections: On Media Ecology as a Field of Study (2006), and the poetry collection, Thunder at Darwin Station (2014). He is founder and past president of the Media Ecology Association, a Trustee of the Institute of General Semantics and the president of New York Society of General semantics.

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