Poems- by Stephen Mead

Detonations

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—-

Exploration, correct?

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——

What

is it

just child’s play

with the weight of earth

oceanic

suddenly on backs?

How

to stomach, digest, breathe

belly upward?

Meanwhile, in some desert, for research, another device

goes off.

 

Circle Of Poison

This is mercury.  This—-

flesh, flesh in the water—-

children, cattle, washerwomen—-

Something to clean, drink, make

bodies rafts

moving through

moving through…

How’s it taste?  Smell?  Better re-

settle.  Don’t tell

the press what’s common

knowledge  hereabouts.

Here, about right here

the dumping took place

& the burial

turning

up   up

in many ailments

unexplained

in a lot of food

imported back.

 

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

deliberation extreme.

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

behind.

Windows greet stars, blinds

streaming light, brilliance,

a vestige, clean, nearly

spirituous, after

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.

Flats-

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,

fabrics, flesh

busy with signals, the amok

transparent termites

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

as thought?

Not as harmful say,

as a bullet that’s left

the gun.

One’s wound just overreacts.

One’s blood should just

stop bleeding.

One’s children

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-

1,2,3: test

4,5,6: dump

7,8,9: bury.

I put out my cig, & finger

the sweet pistil of a lily

in the passing window of this train.

 

self with soldier on to the future closer smaller.jpg

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

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