Arts & Culture / Politics / The Stage / Vol. 1 No. 3-4

Reassessment

Nanette Carter Cantilevered36

Image Credit: Nanette Carter, Cantilevered #36, 2017, oils on Mylar, 6.75″ x 9″

Take a leisure look back where it all was,
the gapers and blozers, haggling whack offs
standing on the platform waving so long
as your train rolled past, carnival mayhem’s
stale moments given to eternity.
Grackles quarreling on roof tops banter
much more eloquent than such nincompoops
swilling malt beer banging rusty buckets.

That said, now done, its commotion remains
like a mummy in a lidless coffin . . .
good ol’ days, shrimp pizza after midnight
poised for dawn’s early waking, a drag race
or two after cops quit their final rounds.
It doesn’t happen like that anymore.
Things now go down tautly mediated,
cell phones instead of hi-jinx rumbling by.

The big news became everything is news,
just distraction really, boredom feeding
on itself, flickered light, eerie faces
as if humans command a blank mind set
to keep from thinking, defer feeling’s sting
and the awful sense that nothing’s worth it:
nothing certain, free, ablaze with rapture’s
complex embellishments to make life real.

Can it be this bad or, as droning songs
hounding evil streets insist, desperate need’s
hysteria drains into anxious fear?
What went wrong: we paid our bills, accepted
the anthem’s tug on our hearts’ fondest core?
Something got left out, something beautiful,
the landscape’s welcome, life’s simple rhythms
loved and touched, here to share while we still can.

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