Whale at a submarine—-
Dear deep mariner, what do you hear?
Is it people milling about, snoring bunkmates or
busy machinery, the beeping meter’s pop?
If you can, to that porthole, put an eye, look around.
Are you interested? Does it make sense?
How I wish I could read your thoughts, become some medium
in order to understand all this complexity going on.
These beings aren’t puppets, are they?
And their consoles have a purpose—-
So what’s shooting forth?
Whoosh, such a fathomable
propellant, such a beautiful
bombshell whizzing through foam, schools of fish, strips
of plankton to hit some, some——
just child’s play
with the weight of earth
suddenly on backs?
to stomach, digest, breathe
Meanwhile, in some desert, for research, another device
Circle Of Poison
This is mercury. This—-
flesh, flesh in the water—-
children, cattle, washerwomen—-
Something to clean, drink, make
How’s it taste? Smell? Better re-
settle. Don’t tell
the press what’s common
Here, about right here
the dumping took place
& the burial
in many ailments
in a lot of food
The Aesthetics of Brutality
Last night when this floor bristled with boot soles
I thought of El Greco’s martyrs
With all perspective pushed forth.
That’s how it felt, foreshortening inversed,
Extreme, no depth to the siege.
We hadn’t done anything, but try and tell
These soldiers that. No comprehendo.
Pretend this fear is surreal. Better cooperate.
Once I saw a film of WW II bombers dropping
Their missiles the way certain insects lay eggs.
After the reels ceased spinning and the lights
Came back on, people grabbed their coats, left
In silence, filled with an eerie apprehension
Of the point where war is mundane.
As blank and able to be killed, we are business to be
Taken care of. No, this round up, of course,
Isn’t personal, except as a symbolic gesture:
The old crippled Jew shot, his wheelchair glittering
Down to the seas…
Later, in the press pics, perspective will
Get shoved back to its carved rightful place:
An angel’s wail from El Dorado, the torn city of tanks
Nightmare 4 A.M.
Are screams in sleep audible?
Then, dreaming a terrorist, his
shadow, hunched, gun, ready, his
ski mask a kind of bandage
for The Invisible Man——-
Suddenly it fills everything.
Eyes gape, are mechanisms, the
pupils, two slots, remote, blank,
registering a face of
They widen, absorb sights,
a black hole’s consumption
magnified as sound.
Waking, the body shudders,
jarred as if by a rifle
striking the head from
Windows greet stars, blinds
streaming light, brilliance,
a vestige, clean, nearly
violence takes leave.
Nuclear Diary (Thanks to Andre Carothers)
I light a cigarette,
little tobacco tube,
strange squared-off phallus.
Smoke stacks too, only without
smoke, in the distance, rise.
The flats leading to them
should all be mahogany.
here a wheat field, there
an oat, the tall stalks
which might gleam,
the steams, the soil
alive with a silent
tick tick tick.
Most citizens left sense it.
How could they not?
The houses of photographs,
busy with signals, the amok
waving cell-like from eyes,
from milk into bottles,
bottles to mouths…
White sound & bravery badges,
banner smiles & too aware faces
with rarely enough money
to get away, convince
a government chlorine burns
more than it cleans.
How angry, how fed up
can patient waiting turn?
How despairing, how atomic
when living in levels
science, coerced, swears
are not harmful, not as much
Not as harmful say,
as a bullet that’s left
One’s wound just overreacts.
One’s blood should just
should get down from towers,
find beds hidden away,
let tongues, diseased,
quiet on waves.
Sea pleats, field sheets,
nature’s grand green,
the design of peace
finds a ship, finds
a rig & a plant-
I put out my cig, & finger
the sweet pistil of a lily
in the passing window of this train.
A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage
films and sound-collage downloads. His latest P.O.D. amazon release is an art-text
hybrid, “According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made)”, a work which
takes to task the words which have been used against LGBT folks from time
immemorial. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being
published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in
one place: Poetry on the Line, Stephen Mead