Faux-Beat Anti-War Poem by Luther Blissett
by Steven McCabe
I have seen the greatest minds of my generation riding vacuum cleaners in the sky above Syria. George Washington’s wooden occult teeth clitter clatter in the rubble filled streets. General Sherman’s occult army empties another town on his flaming march to the sea.
Jet-diving vacuum roar sucks up intricate silver jewelry dropped upon/ into the embroidered rug. Loot! Booty! This should be worth something! Dropping beside/ into delicately curved brass dishes of fragrant food flavoured with aromatic spices. A wedding photograph framed within the ancient yew.
Great-grandmother’s sacred water-well dripping twisted rags in Springtime. Pawn shop lights blinking. Pawns on the azure-tiled cafe floor tipped beneath an abandoned chessboard. Dripping ruptured pipes drip, once it was every minute, rusted, caustic water drops staining the almost (e8=Q). Staining the almost.
See the fleet footed family fly beneath gleaming sedan billboards into the shade shadow of a brighter tomorrow. See the family scurry hurry parallel rust-flaked punctured pipes into the caustic, occult ceiling of a brighter tomorrow. A gleaming tomorrow/ flee flee Washington’s wanton wooden teeth.
Swing low sweet chariot with minus reflective surface. Aim from the plastic-wrapped heart in the gleaming plastic bowl in the chilled gleaming refrigerator darkened by a dead bulb.
Luther Blissett is a mythical figure in contemporary European art history. He works on multiple media platforms cross-referencing a multiplicity of artistic disciplines concerning identity, the body, society and the psyche.
Incredible and powerful mark making, Steven.
All those fine scratches like fingernails against our flesh and minds. Working their way in with the rhythm of word and image. Both difficult and captivating. Wow!
Thank you Karen for this simile. Itself contributing further poetic thoughts. I appreciate very much your images and interpretive, emotional notes on process. Working from the inside out. I remember a French film with a five minute scene of the pen drawing/scratching against fine paper, no other sounds. A certain haunting power. To think of this sound in tandem with your thoughts…
Sounds are powerful Captures lives , antiquities descrated. hoovering up lifeblood in dusty rubble
Indeed, all very true Mx, thank you for these empathetic impressions or impressionist empathy… ‘Lifeblood’ adds such a contrast to the suggestion of rubble. A connection to the red…
Wow! indeed. I’m always struck by the moods you evoke with your unique combinations of words and images: vacuum cleaners and apocalypse, sedan billboards, plastic-wrapped hearts in gleaming dark dead refrigerators! Bloody fingernail scratches on a colorless landscape. This is one powerful poem, Steven. Thank you.
Hi Jeanie, Thank you for these thoughts about words and images evoking moods. I’m quite sure ‘Luther Blissett’ is also appreciative. Your fingernail image is vivid and conveys yet another aspect to the horror of the reality described. Colourless landscape’… I hadn’t thought of that but yes it is a ‘reduction of colour.’ Maybe the vacuum cleaner has been busy again. Yes and I see you’ve harmonized ‘object/products’ to Apocalypse. Adding a prophetic twist to the history of ‘neutral’ pop art and its ‘fathermother.’ Somehow reading your comment I just thought of the ‘red scratches’ as Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ itself. Thank you for this layer of insight adding colour to the landscape.
Steven, I assume you are Canadian. However! Being an American myself, I hereby confer upon you the Luther Blissett “Revolutions and radical movements have always found and told their own myths” award.
Hi Jana, or perhaps I should say ‘Your Highness.’ I am dual nationality myself actually! And strangely I always assumed you were Canadian. Probably living in B.C. Thank you for this award! I very much like the quote within the award and shall endeavour to live up to this honour. :- ) Many thanks!
I’m glad you appreciated this bit of zaniness Steven, as I do your continually creative approach to addressing difficult and relevant subjects reminding us of the history of our human persuasions. This one is brilliant and has gratefully given me an avenue to encompass the unimaginable. I was viewing before and after pictures of Homs, Syria with my grand daughter. I’m still reeling.
I love the subversive concept of Luther Blissett but now I think this particular award might better be the Ginsberg “Howl” award. Kudos Steven and thank you! 🙂
Hi Jana, I immediately knew your prior comment, for all its absurdist humour, was rooted in a very serious and compassionate observation and awareness. I ‘accepted’ the award in that spirit. As I do this one. Thank you for this thought. As for Syria, yes the devastation is beyond comprehension and although it isn’t our western ‘Vacuum’ machine makes sure it is (full-on soapbox comment). Thank you again.
as a Canadian living in BC I feel I want to stroll in here and tell you both you are now Honorary Canadians, I can do that here, it’s like a citizens arrest only not, it is 2015 after all. Anybody can be mayor at any appropriate moment and I am mayor at this one…this is a COOL country and we want you to join us 😉
John it is good to know you have assumed the Mayoral Robes! Thank you for this honour. I love the idea of a ‘reverse Citizen’s Arrest.’ Never thought of that before! Canada has so many wonderful things going for it. And now impromptu ‘gifting’ mayors!
Brilliant! LB is an interesting “figure”.
Thank you Richard! Yes he certainly is! I hope one day to make his acquaintance.
Reminds me of Lord Nelson in the forge from the Turner show
Thank you Pierre. This is a very interesting allusion. I’ll have to look into this more fully.
completely absorbing images and words Steven…surreal, touching incongruous dreaming, I always feel at sea after reading you…
Thank you very much John. Perhaps metaphor takes us to sea, even tips us into the sea a bit. ‘Surreal, touching incongruous dreaming’ is an interesting phrase! Thank you for your generous words
I love that you take on challenging material in such a multi-layered way.
Thank you Sheila. I’ve figured out a way that works for my ‘gyre’ oriented approach to logic. Photoshop is very forgiving.