Room 101 – An Orwellian Poem

Room 101

Fear, falling to hate like in 1984

The telescreen plays war music

like this video game commercial

and then the enemy is shown

Goldstein / Trump 2018

War is peace!

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength!

2+2=5

CNN / FOX 2018

&hatred&war& they have us

right where they want us

divided and scared.

– use your anger

Luke, come to the

dark side –

&myth&reality collides

God is in question and they

instill more fear more hate

and some eat it up talk about it

all day …

NPR – Democracy Now

Twitter – and another Ad

another like

another click.

we have been baited

the trap has been set.

This is room 101 –

– unless we remember

to love our neighbor

help our friends and

families we will

fall to their

narrative –

We play offense

full court love and reason

we are down at half

time – in the locker room

beat up – pissed off!

It just doesn’t matter!

It just doesn’t matter!

because love still exists

just as the sun moon and

the rain

children still laugh and

the good shall overtake

the bad.

– An injury to one

is an injury to all –

(Don’t Mourn – Organize)

WE SHALL OVERCOME

I do believe!

WE SHALL OVERCOME

some day!


1984-19561 (1)

Photo from the Internet Archive – Get the 1984 audiobook here

poems of Rumi


Coleman Barks accompanied
by Marcus Wise (tablas), David Whetstone (sitar),
Celso Maldanado, Michael Meade, and Olatunji (drums)


Spring

and everything outside is growing!

Even the tall cypress tree.

We must not leave this place!

Around the lip of the cup we share

these words …

my life is not mine

if someone were to play music –

it would have to be very sweet.

We’re drinking wine but

not through the lips.

We’re sleeping it off but

not in bed.

Rub the cup across your forehead

this day is outside of living and dying.

Give up wanting what other people

have, that way you’re safe.

Where, where can I be safe you ask?

This is not a day for asking questions!

Not a day on any calendar.

This day is conscience of itself.

This day is a lover

bread and gentleness

more manifest than saying can say.

Thoughts take take form with words

but this daylight is beyond and before

thinking and imagining

those two. They are so thirsty but

this gives smoothness to water.

Their mouths are dry and their tired.

The rest of this poem is too

blurry for them to read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning

As mid-afternoon arrives …

At the coffee house …

a homeless man sits in the back drinking water and coffee. Talking. Talking to a person who does not seem to be within the scope of reality. Looking to the ceiling, he is talking of being 73 years old. “If past behavior is a reflection of what I am doing now, why can not reason apply?” was his argument. “If I have never been a cattle rustler, it would seem to be that most likely, almost within intelligent reason, that I will not start being one now.” He then makes his argument to the ethereal judge and jury that, “If I have not hurt anyone by now.”

I am sitting, alone, in the back of the coffee house. Thinking of how fate has sent me down a troubled river of life. Somewhat to be stuck in a two year rapid eddie of confusion. The man’s argument with the angelic nothingness seems to move into the he is a veteran of some war department. Maybe vietnam? He is talking of the moral ethics of lying. “If you were in Nazi Germany, and an SS person asked you if you knew where the Frank family was hiding, would you tell a lie?” “Maybe i killed someone, it was the nature of being in the military.”

I almost speak to him but leave on a connection as if my nod was enough for this juncture. I go to this tavern for the quietness of not being known to may of the customers. The other coffee house is more like a bar. The same people sit on the porch everyday. Somedays, just to see the same people every day is strength enough to know the difference of being seen and unseen.

To be more descriptive of this mentioning of the Tavern. For years, a study of mine has been reading and listening to the words of a sufi mystic poet. The Tavern is a place where soulful dreamers meet to speak in sacred conversation. This poet, Rumi, the translator, Coleman Barks, the reason behind the work, Robert Bly, the mystical meeting that gave Coleman his literary license to translate, Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. This is the coffee house tavern metaphorical rendering of this prose.

I am talking to myself, in a little house next to a church, writing free verse on a social medium that would have given Guttenberg a run for his money! I am doing this for no other reason than to hear myself think. To mention a river of life, a hearts of darkness apocalyptical severing of self. This is not my first rodeo. Matter of fact, this is not me. Sometimes, i feel like a motherless child dreaming of rebirth, dreaming angelic voices.

Between two worlds, two coffee houses, two places to stare into the face of contemporary dystopian fear.

To smile at unknown faces. To continue down into the jungles of mind, spirit and body, knowing that at the end of journeying, will be that final test. The test of the hero, the fight to the finish. In the tavern we will meet, with language as shared experience, in a place where there is no darkness … if love is what you seek, keep seeking. A seeker after truth knows this Orwellian reference and knows the torture of not being allowed to speak freely of their deepest fears without the threat of isolated reprimand.

To make a choice between the seen and unseen. Eventually, the middle place becomes the point of all of this rambling. All of this so called connectivity is doing nothing. Putting nothing into motion. Into the digital realm. And isn’t this the danger of allowing something unseen to be in control of our narratives, vibrations and memories? What is seen, of a relative nature, an appeal to contemporary reason this manuscript may also be.

As much as I, you will have to also choose what is more profitable to you: the truth that you know, or the myth! And yes these are borrowed words, from an outkast jazz seeker, however, answer the question! At least try. The truth is said to be set in stone. So put that marker on the grave of ideals and an ever changing mission and vision. To speak of the myth, like my God mother used to say when questioned where she was going,

“crazy, you wanna go?”

In between two places, the tavern and the coffee house is the reality of sight and sound. About eight blocks of cityscape concrete jungle realty. The truth of the matter as of right now, be here now, I am alone. In a small house. A friend is letting me rebuild this reality that I speak of. To speak of first chapters, economy. Do we not borrow from others ideals and expressions? If, it is what it is, then, like a flow chart into words, sound and power, then follow the connective line into truth. Don’t get stuck there for too long or truth becomes doctrine. Render unto caesar as little as possible. I have chosen to stop feeding a beast. Chant down babylon, one more time. Dread beat dread.

A dance of chaos. Keep your head when everything around us in those eight city blocks makes thoughts in mind travel down realities of aggression, property ownership, competition, exploitation, disease, addiction. All of that is flowing these days in every stream of conscience. Liken a player piano roll, many of the hierarchical abuses are being rendered, and who is playing along? There seems to be no one behind the curtain. Some computer server in a cold climate, tied and chained together holds all our information.

Children these days dream images and ideals from screens. Adults, the sacred poor, all of us are victims of colonial forces. Is this truth? It is what it is, and that is the question. The human race seemingly on a suicide course,

a dangerous game of chicken with mother nature.

And could this be the new myth that many seers have suggested we need to create to survive? The old myth suggests the meek, shall inherit. Mother nature is a fine example of a mean queen given all power.

So, be it, soon come is now, her volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes all her faces of destruction are more terrifying, more damaging than the violence of us ants. Us humans and our righteous attempts at creation. Our fear based atom bombs are no competition to what is unseen. What is lurking in the darkness of space. The dance of scientific exploration into black holes, nothingness, no explanation but to keep faithfully reinventing myth.

Who are we without our story?

Two Coffee Houses And An Off Day

In the tavern i was reading, drinking coffee enjoying some free time. I walked the streets looking for you! You were not anywhere to be found! Everywhere beautiful women seemingly looking like I was, for a free time adventure. Looking for a friend or the silence of a lazy afternoon on the town.

          Now I am back at my hermitage shrine to solemn resolve. Thomas Merton and Dalai Lama quotes on the wall, experience rolling inside a mind weary of worldly desire – lost religions and blissful music, a rose above the door to invite soulful deep conversation. Questions roll from tongue like incense to the gods – swirls of past story like endless star galaxies revolve – callused hands and worn, creaking bones tell the tale of a rebellious past that finds me now even more in control of personal passage! In a far off contemplative stare – I am day dreaming of the bright, innocent youthful faces that caught my attention today – their mass consumption of a Pandora’s box of shiny little objects in nice little packages – their fancy clothing, their cultural statements of time and place. Older folks, holding desperately onto whatever the hell was important – hoping what was found long ago will not decay or fail!

          For this time is confusing! The papers are talking of war, again, the drums of destruction are beating relentlessly of a blood soaked – oil drenched unreasonable global position. This day weighs heavy on heart and soul. In all of this, in all of today, and tomorrow’s tomorrow – if your searching for a partner, a muse, someone to say it’s going to be alright? This mind has seen a big ominous picture that tells of days soon come that may not be alright. Things may not just be OK and nobody is going to care if you are triggered, offended, you may get lost!

          However, is just a connective way to suggest a duality of the reality that I enjoy, the blissful alter-destiny of paradox -another way of looking at all that surrounds today – the troubled minds of working stiffs, the suffering of the street beggar, the homeless people on the corner. I was out today, looking for that soul that is scared – for that mind that is open – for that heart that feels deeply all the sorrow, joy and the suffering, yet eats of it like a queen bee fed royal jelly.

          Maybe you were that young girl, reading Sylvia Plath – mad at her father, mad at the hypocrisy of her upbringing? Maybe you were that lonely woman, feverishly working on some term paper – for some side hustle degree – so her career can provide more mobility? Maybe all your childhood dreams of pretty horses and handsome princes have come to haunt you like some sort of painting hanging on the wall, here, in this coffee house, where lovers and lonesome souls mingle – workers toil – maybe you’re dreaming while awake? Lost in worldly demise. The gloom and doom of generational drift pulling your spirit into the cracks?

          Be that it may that I was looking for you – here, there and anywhere god’s children play. And all this beating about the burning bushes is folly for students of poetry, prose, I am settling differences, making plans for a long difficult journey, know what to take, what not to carry and what not to pick up along the way! I have been there before. Where darkness surrounds mindful dreaming like a skipping record, like a repeating message of known useless information. Caught like a prisoner, used like a metaphor, over and over – this life is not fair. Be that is may that you have gone missing.

          Your Saviour is crucified and satisfied with the narrative so long overturned that he is traveling to a new free trade, silk road escape. I can’t help your spiteful queen and vane princesses – who in selfish revolt, have ruthlessly killed their king. Overpowered and drunk in creation spirits, their mother nature gods have failed them. Now they are cold – now they are as powerless as power relentlessly turned inward. I warned you – I told you so! I knew your fruitless praying to symbols and light was dangerous! Playful occult muses were playing tricks with vanity! In this age of digital lost connection, this age of difficult reality and reason, you should have long put away your little girl teapots and childish games and came home when you were called!

          Eventually, I may find you. I’ll keep looking. And if you are hiding behind some corner and saw me searching? If you make your presence known? Leave your disgust of patriarchy to the fires of creation. A spark of light from a hearts kinship is all it takes to rekindle that conversation. Many a love sick girl runs to her father when it’s time to rebel against their mother. The corruption of human love is a lack of care-taking! A win -win situation? That scheme is not for the soulful. To win, you must lose it all and show up to the game naked as a jay bird singing.

John Henry The Myth – The Flogging Will Continue Until Morale Improves.

John Henry was the second folk song I worked on after I started working at the CSX railroad as a yard switchman. The first tune I wrote was Hub Engineer. We will get to that later.

There was so much going on around us as this tune was being reformatted for contemporary use. A new technology was being introduced, jobs were being cut and morale was at an all time low. Written on the cab wall of one of the railroad yard switch engines, in big black letters read:

The Flogging Will Continue Until Morale Improves.

Remote control technology had been a rumor for a long time and every once in a while in conversation we railroaders would suggest that it could never work, or any version of that argument, however, the union was making agreements, the remote control boxes were arriving and something needed to be done.

I grew up around folk music my whole life!

I was raised by a railroader and political activist! I knew the John Henry story and knew the power of song and being a Sun Ra devotee, knew that myth was important to developing our story. John Henry might as well had been a steel driving man, but we needed a hero. We needed myth and a story. What we needed was good old folk music to the rescue!

After releasing the song, I was sort of concerned because my co-workers were not fully aware of one of their own working class heroes. What was even more troubling, was that the moral to the real folk story John Henry was not being heeded.

Pride killed John Henry, and pride was not going to help us organize against this new technology.  The railroad knew Remote Control Technology was a direct threat to the locomotive engineer craft. They knew the two unions it was being forced on were historically known to fight each other. The railroad worked every aspect of the pride issue and eventually got exactly what they wanted. We were railroaded.

Dumb Boys UTU BLET Fighting Cartoon

Everybody was pissed off, mad and nervous.

Things were changing fast! Operations were changing, two unions were being pitted against each other and something historical was happening and needed to be told. A story. A story about what was going on back in the not so far away past. In some ways, I was embedded behind the front lines of the class war. Sort of a war journalist in a railyard battlefield.

I compiled the song John Henry on a CD titled Music For Modern Railroaders and sold them at the railyard from a clerk van. I think we sold about 200 copies at the yard. The song made everybody who bought a CD from the railroad clerk, laugh.

We needed laughter, bad.

There really was a locomotive engineer named John Henry at the railyard. He retired before the remote control technology was implemented. Ol’ John used to say when the rumors became a locker room conversation, that he would be gone before they came. If you get the nickname John Henry on the railroad these days, it’s probably because you are a company man. You probably need to slow down. He was one of those who would work us out of a job. Slow down! John Henry for ya’ work us all out of a job!

John Henry 2006 from (JP) (rufus porter) to all my brothers and sisters in
the BLE&T and The UTU!
Well John Henry he was a locomotive engineer

Workin’ down in the Osborn bowl.

And he looked at his switchman said you

Better git to work.

We’re gonna beat that RCO.

Gonna beat that RCO!
Yankin’ and a Pullin’ on them cars with his

Switchman working as fast as he can.

Ol’ John is a thinkin the whole time,

A Machine aint gonna beat a man.

A machine aint gonna beat a man.
Well the groundhoggers came out of the shanty

And they looked at the 6022.

Said to each other as they switched on their boxes,

Ya know we got a lotta work to do

Ya know we got a lotta work to do.
The groundhoggers were havin a little problem

They couldn’t get their boxes to link up.

Between a poll off-line and a comm loss,

They wer’nt having a very good time.

Seems like it happens everytime.
Well the groundhoggers hollerd at the bowl.

BOWL TOWR

We’re havin a problem linkin up.

We’ve tried everything we know how to do.

I guess we’re shit outta luck

I guess we’re shit outta luck.
The tower hollers to John Henry.

Come and get this engine outta the way

It’s blockin the East and we gotta pull some cars,

I guess we’ll convert one today,

It seems like it’s better that way.
The groundhoggers sat in the shanty,

Waitin for a Big E to come and git er done.

John Henry and his switchman allready pulled 300 cars

That RCO job pulled none.

But it’s safer when you sit on your bum.
There is a reason for this story,

Corporate greed is killin this land.

If we don’t do something and ORGANIZE.

Say hello to the ONE MAN PLAN.

That’s talkin Union!

They wanna run trains with one man.
Roll the Union on!!

A Late Night Poem

To whom:

our breath reaches only so far

into sky and hearts on the honest

hope of connection.

Leave the anger behind.

This truth may be confusing

may be too much to disolve

into worth.

I am not looking to impress.

Sharing requires a certain

something that this limited voice

booms to leave behind.