poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Tag: war

Duck and Cover!

Duck and cover!
Head down! Hands behind head!
Knees on floor!

You are Hieronymus Bosch! Imagine flame! Smoke!

As if they were saying,
‘You are now a fish or a block of wood.’
‘We’ve got you where we want you.’

Did no parents, even once, wonder?
Or had the anesthesia already
kicked in.

Remain motionless!

Photos found online of school building and schoolchildren participating in ‘Duck and Cover’ exercises. I do not claim ownership of these images. I have used them to create new works for non-commercial purposes of parody, education, and commentary.

Faux-Beat Anti-War Poem by Luther Blissett

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mémoire by Arthur Rimbaud

refugee 13

I

Clear water, like the salt of childhood tears:
The white of women’s bodies opened in the sun,
And truth, beyond walls or the silk oriflammes, won
Out with the valour of a maid pure in her years.

The frolic of angels in their moving blaze of gold,
Imponderable arms sparkling with the coolness of the grass,
And the blues of Heaven taking up their beds to pass
Under the canopy of shade into the arch and hill’s fold.

refugee 3refugee 15

II

The stones, under the water, extend as in a clear broth,
And depths, freckled in prepared beds of pale gold,
And frocks of girls, loosely faded, as green as mould,
And willows, and hopping birds, unfettered, woven in the day’s cloth.

Round as the eyelid, with the warmth of a gold Louis,
Blooms the marsh marigold, fresh in its wedding vows.
The mirror at prompt noon, jealous of the day’s drouse
Tarnishes into a sphere, heat-flecked and dear to us.

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III

Too upright is Madam in the meadow’s rippled glass.
The sons of toil are in the cotton-fields falling as a white cloud.
In her fingers she twirls her parasol, tramples it, too proud
To watch her children reading in the flowered grass

Their books in red morocco. Of what they think or dream —
As on all paths a thousand angels flare upon the day —
Of hopes lost in high mountains, she cannot follow; her way
Is overcast and cold, as is the shadowed stream.

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IV

Regret of arms satiated and celibate,
Sainted, straight white beds on moonlit April nights,
And the tear-wet joy falling on abandoned river sites,
And the rotting evenings in August that these germinate.

Under walls let her weep now: the winds possess
Only the high poplars, their motions tremulously sown.
Underneath in lead, unglinting, weighed with stone,
An old dredger labours, the small boat motionless.

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V

Flotsam, plaything of these waters that nothing hinders,
A boat beholden to stillness, and with arms too short,
And flowers blue or yellow, not then ever sought,
And breath now spread upon a water dull as cinders.

And for all that there are willows, powder, the plume of blood
That would drag out roses from reedbeds of time’s jaws,
The boat stays here, unmoving, and the chain draws
On the eye, water-heavy and deep in the unbanked mud.

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Translation C. John Holcombe

http://www.textetc.com/workshop/wt-rimbaud-1.html

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 Original photo credit: Massimo Sestini

A Bolt of Black Cloth

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I imagined a colour the density of funeral bunting,

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A bolt of black cloth,

a singed songflaring

A sudden black waterfall quickly dropping six stories,

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Unrolled from a balcony,

dense nights

The beginning of a voyage,

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Negotiating darkness.

flaring

My father shopped at Dales for paper bags full of groceries,

parkinglot

I waited in the car listening to the radio,

people who knowwaiting in the car 1

I tried to describe a song called Eve of Destruction,

q

He looked at me in the rear-view mirror,

r

Columns of black smoke rose above the Pacific Ocean,

spark 2a ring

Like poisonous vines,

the projector shining

Morse code blinking through the darkness,

waiting in the car 1

At night he came home as late as possible,

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Then looking again into the rear-view mirror,

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He repeated the name of the song,

‘Eve of Destruction.’

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I pictured a wooden bowl in my chest,

parkinglotthe projector shining

Smoothed and worn by water,

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& Climbing the stairs into this language,

a ring

Gazed, longingly, into a rear-view mirror.

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To Such Belong the Kingdom of the Heavens: A Visual Essay on The 11th Hour of The 11th Day of The 11th Month (Remembrance Day)

a m l k j i h g f e d c b

As I understand the accepted wisdom Jesus was a peacemaker. Reflecting upon Remembrance Day one cannot help but think of how children (and civilians) are affected by war. I have incorporated the biblical quotes/visual references into this digital essay as a way of contemplating the historical workings of religion towards war.

one four

‘Jesus however said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs.’ – Weymouth New Testament, Matthew 19:14

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‘Blessed are the Peacemakers…’ – Matthew 5:9

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Images of Christ from the Ravenna Mosaics – a public domain image from Wikipedia Commons.

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Credit: Photos of children from the online collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art released for non-commercial adaption. I have used images from the great photographers Ansel Adams, Walker Evans,  Johan Hayemeyer. If I have misunderstood the terms of conditions attached to these images I will remove the digital collages from online publication.

final

 

the empty cafe(s)

this collaged image

The lovesick man

although looking inward

is watching modern warplanes roar past.

Perhaps aiming for the cities and civilians

of Gaza,

Guernica,

Wounded Knee,

Nagasaki…

grosz world war one battlefieldblind willie mctell

Nobody

can sing the blues

like

Blind Willie McTell

creviceblind willie mctella flash

Nobody 

can sing the blues

like

Blind Willie McTell

let there be light

Digital collage: Details from Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ have been superimposed over photographs of rubble in Guernica and Gaza. The face of radical pacifist Martin Luther King Jr. is layered within a painting by antiwar artist George Grosz titled ‘The Lovesick Man’ (1916). Battlefield terrain from World War One frames the George Grosz painting.

“Nobody can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell...” from the Bob Dylan song Blind Willie McTell. 

The copyright of original images remains with the holders of same. Under fair use provisions I have composed new work for non-commercial purposes and commentary.

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I Said to a Cab Driver…

ink A

First a bit of background: I’ve been wearing a cast on my leg and foot for over 40 days. Xrays tomorrow. I’ll find out how well the 7 screws (and my body’s healing processes) have done their job.

ink B

Had surgery on May 31st. Pushed through and had my book launch on June 12th with Never More Together. My friend William Beauvais played classical guitar. Mother Nature cooperated during a week of rain & gave us a glorious evening on the ‘Tango Palace Coffee Company’ patio. I was exhausted yet enjoyed it all.

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During the last 44 days regular life has come to a standstill. Getting from point A to B is laborious. Summer plans changed. One notable illusion dissipated, a couple of very hopeful (creative) ideas germinated, names and faces came (via telephone and in person) out of the past, I met many kind people and had interactions I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve come to the simple conclusion that (living in) the universe gives us experiences and it’s up to us to make of them what we will.

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And yet I’m also puzzled by synchronicity. The why of what, the what of when, the when of why. This seems to exist of its own volition. Unless the self has the power to mysteriously will coincidental events into existence. Paging Dr. Jung…

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The first four drawings from my sketchbook are from a planned series showing facial profiles as well as a spiral motif. Again I return to Jung’s quote that in times of crisis humanity returns to primal symbols. The final page is post-accident and shows the symbol but not a profile. It has a different feel to it. The drawings from ‘before’ seem to be describing an immersion, or perception of reality. The most recent drawing seems to be aiming. Has ‘experiencing perception’ been replaced by a direct line of reception? Is this what pain does?

e ink Read the rest of this entry »

A Found Poem about the War in Syria

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