Saturday, October 31, 2015

Masks Of Every God

Masks Of Every God
© Surazeus
2015 10 31

The infinite ennui of bleak gray skies
lours over suburban houses at sunset
where faces of the dead from every nation
watch me from glowing windows of contempt.

We wear masks of their faces to inquire
why they refuse to explain their despair
for the sad tales of their demise are sewn
in curtains of respectability.

I reach my hand in television tube
and acquire new hero mask to wear home
after paddling wood boat to jagged shore
where blind wizard teaches me alchemy.

Children flock like ducks on suburban streets,
holding plastic pumpkins with glowing eyes,
while Hecate lurks behind polished doors
and smiles silver moonlight from flashing eyes.

The most powerful wizard in the world,
wearing long shabby academic jacket,
makes children transform into long-dead souls
who dance around fire in ring of glass towers.

Come into palace of forgotten dreams,
and search through labyrinth of ancient myths
where masks of every god worshipped by men
stare mute from the gallery of our hopes.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dance Of Feathered Ghosts

Dance Of Feathered Ghosts
© Surazeus
2015 10 29

Now weeping mother sun watches me drive
desolate highway past ancient pyramids
where tourists elect ghosts of long dead kings
when cameras illuminate their lost faces.

I turn sideways at flash of green sun beam
and see through mirror door of broken eyes
infinite recession of long dead kings
who stand on pyramids with arms spread wide.

I am eagle king who soars on high wind
and shoots arrow of fire to spark rain storm
so father cloud weeps and soaks soil of meadows
where cocoa and corn blossom from our hopes.

Who drives busy highway from towers of glass
to watch dance of feathered ghosts in dark forest
where young girl with eyes full of flashing stars
tames snake of death while drums wake my heartbeat?

Breath of joy exhales from pan pipes when she plays,
luring me ten thousand miles to high slope
of jagged mountains frosted by ice sunrays
that weave eternal music through my mind.

Fire crackles in valley of Rainbow Mountains,
glowing on face of Onatah who laughs
and gives me bowl of hot popcorn to eat,
then tells me how Sun Spider weaves this world.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bards Of Dudley Castle

Bards Of Dudley Castle
© Surazeus
2015 10 27

I drive home from work as a cartographer
each evening, nap, eat supper, then read poems.

This week I am reading poems by two cousins,
Edwin Arlington Robinson and Robert Lowell,
for I am descended from Anne Bradstreet,
and they are descended from her two sisters.

We all walk the same labyrinth of dreams,
ascend the moon-lit flat-top pyramid,
and sing tales of lost souls to all lost souls
who sit around the umbilical fire
of our national clan under listening stars
to relate tragicomic tales of human life.

We are the bards who escaped Dudley Castle,
sailed the angry Atlantic, seeking Eden
to build a shining city on the hill,
but instead cast spells in dark leafless woods
when the moon beams on Salem, Massachusetts.

We chant hymns about the sorrows of life
while wearing the masks of people we love
under the Tale Tree on Halloween Night.

Razzmatazz Queen Of Wild Jazz

Razzmatazz Queen Of Wild Jazz
20 September 2004

Slow she plods through ancient house
of wood and glass searching dazed
in empty rooms cluttered with clothes
and torn books for memory of faces
forgotten when flames of desperation
obliterated meaning from photographs.

Together thirty people with hammers
and saws and buckets of shining paint
restored this ancient home to condition
of pristine glory reflecting lost era
gilded with power over all human lives
but I think ghosts of greed and hate
seep from splintered walls of silence
she whispers groping blind at midnight.

Her fingers tremble reaching out slow
to touch muscle-rippling chest of man
stretched nude on white satin sheets
though your skeleton glows under skin
green with soft phosphorescent hunger
for love that rots from a ripe peach
black and withered hard in summer sun.

Growing old far beyond fertile flash
of youth I ache with brittle bones
fragile as fractured chandelier glass
bound by tense stiff strands of tendons
that tear when I climb creaking stairs
for they translate moaning of cold wind
as I feel my gin-soaked organs slosh
inside bag of sagging sun-parched skin.

Aching drive of lust to live each hour
pushing against bounds of convention
fueled my headlong plunge into old age
because whirlwind of parties and sex
saturated sponge of my brain with flash
of blinding joy that jazzed my nerves
with endless banging howl of hot desire
till my head pounds from hard headache.

I should have died a thousand times
before dawn as I stumbled blurry-eyed
through driving rain or screeching wind
or shivering ice stillness toward home
through signless maze of vast Manhattan
after hours of hot slithering human souls
packed together in high tower apartments
drinking and smoking and swinging to horns
for I am razzmatazz queen of wild jazz.

Old woman with wrinkled skin chuckles
at forgotten joke that surfaces sharp
as iceberg shark from muddled memory
then pauses by cracked window to stare
at boys and girls wearing long hair
and jeans and shirts dyed with rainbows
who swirl to pounding beat of guitars
where five boys dance on wooden stage.

Crazy hippies think they invented fun
she grins shaking her head with delight
at how life seems to swirl in a circle
because whole world went crazy with war
after roaring age of jazz and gangsters
planes dropping doomsday bombs on cities
obliterating millions of people with gas
and fire and bullets splattering brains.

World war against fascist dictators
destroyed that gilded age of my desire
so I had to work singing on Broadway
shaking my behind to earn a few dollars
and I even got filmed several times
preserving shining beauty of my youth
on shaky black and white film that spins
lost somewhere in a vault without a label.

My spirit is captured dancing forever
on never-seen film while my hot flesh
withers dry and cold sagging on my bones
so maybe my soul will live after I die
resurrected in eyes of some young boy
who watches me dancing without cease
a thousand years from now in ice room
as he wonders how to label my existence.

Who perceives this ghost that I became
moving without cease inside wood skull
of my house still chasing Rainbow Elves
like I did when I was a cute teenager
running through misty forest of Wales
after eating mushrooms with purple eyes
for I found Fairyland behind willow
on swan lake where they dance on stars.

There she was ancient Ice Moon Mother
Titania wearing long gown of white silk
shimmering with diamonds in moonlight
singing as Elves danced in wide circles
around forest queen so alive in flesh
as though she sprang from torn pages
of forgotten theater show born again
to seek mystery of our strange universe
hidden inside crystal egg of my heart.

They were filming a forest production
of Midsummer Nights Dream and I played
Peach Blossom carrying silver platter
heaped with peaches for everyone to eat
and director with mustache and a spark
of diamonds in his eyes kissed my cheek
proclaiming you are most perfect Elf
to dance in Fairyland on gossamer wings.

You will live forever he shouted loud
and here I am more than forty long years
after that magical month still half alive
feeling like I am a thousand years old
because last night I saw a man in a suit
step from Apollo starship onto my moon
boots kicking up stardust with eagerness
to walk beyond bounds of our little world.

Clara Belle looks outside large window
of her Victorian house onto wide street
of Ashbury in San Francisco to watch
Grateful Dead jamming electric guitars
and she smiles as a thousand hippies hop
up and down in light sparkling drizzle
whispering today you are young and sharp
and full of life jolting electric desire.

Forty years from now will you remember
power of revolution hurtling your souls
through space on this great spinning world
for today Oberon and Moses have returned
reincarnated as that long-bearded prophet
who leads your lost souls from cement maze
to discover your spirit of eternal love
that blooms like flowers through sidewalks
delicate wings of Fairies lifting you high
to soar for a brief hour over bloody war.

My brothers died in forests of Germany
and my sons died in jungles of Vietnam
but where will my grandson die in what war
fought forty years from now over ideology
or some other mad invention of a warmonger
who spins illusions to blind eyes of men
marching with blind obedience into battle
where they will die for a rich greedy king.

Fortune and Fate twin sisters of time
cannot be stopped like that new folk song
where have all our flowers gone to hands
of young girls who marry good young men
gone to war as soldiers falling in battle
to fertilize a new generation of flowers
helpless pawns on chessboard field of power
manipulated by puppet masters in towers
unless you exercise free will and choose
to create garden of Eden in your backyard.

Ancient Sibylla hidden in her golden cage
lies down exhausted from seeking truth
and love as her ghost departs her flesh
to soar with voices of chanting children
toward eternal glowing light of our sun
leaving her memories behind in faded photos
that flutter scattered on wooden floor
when a storm breeze flutters lace curtains
and lightning flashes over Lanikai Ocean.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Supergirl Will Save Us All

Supergirl Will Save Us All
© Surazeus
2015 10 26

Supergirl leaps into the silver sky
and soars streaking like lightning strike of Zeus
to save humanity from smirking tyrants
while refugees drown on Italian coast.

Supergirl dangles from the twanging wires
and fans blow her hair while cameras record
her swift flight across blue screen of illusions
while Mahdi pushes poets off mosque roofs.

Supergirl will save us all from disaster,
Dea ex Machina from sparkling clouds,
and flirts with Thor between times filming scenes,
while Ahmed smashes heads of men with hammers.

Supergirl saves the steel-glass tower bank
from airplanes hijacked by grim terrorists,
while thousands of girls are kidnapped and raped
by angry men who pray to an empty tomb.

Spirit Animal

Spirit Animal

Recently I saw an actress being accused of cultural appropriation when she talked about the Spirit Animal. How can referring to a concept that is core to all human tribes be dismissed as cultural appropriation?

The concept of the Spirit Animal has been core to human tribal culture for at least 125,000 years since humans first gathered in circles around fires at night and play-acted to imitate animals they had observed during their daily hunt for food.

Play-acting as an animal is probably one of the essential elements of human civilization, along with fire, using sticks and stones as tools, and talking, and probably occurred in tangent with the invention of clothing when we began wearing the hides of animals. As the basis of shamanistic practice, the Spirit Animal is at the very core of all religious rituals as a symbol of the animating spirit of all life.

When we first began to pretend to be animals is probably the moment we psychologically became aware of ourselves as separate from most animals since we can talk and imitate other, the only animal to do this.

Therefore, using the concept of the Spirit Animal is not cultural appropriation, since humans have been playing as animals since the moment we became human many thousands of years ago. The Spirit Animal is core to all human civilization. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Opening of Life in April

Opening of Life in April

April comes from a Latin word meaning Opening, and has been used in a number of poems to refer to the generating power of life in spring.

Chaucer begins the Canterbury Tales with a reference the generating power of life in April:

Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour

In a riff on this concept, Eliot begins the Waste Land with a reference to the generating power of life in April:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

In honor of both these poets and their poems, I wrote a scene in my epic poem about the life of Lucretius, the Roman poet-philosopher, in which he overhears a group of girls who are picking flowers in spring. Here are four lines out of 42 lines expressed by a young priestess named Turan:

When April showers soak soil with sparkling rain
that bathes roots of trees with humorous moisture
and water drops engender flowers to sprout
April is most vital month that sparks life

The tale of Lucretius will be in volume 7 of Hermead, the epic poem about philosophers and scientists.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Poetic Vision

Poetic Vision

Philodemos while musing in the Museum
in the Epicureum, garden in Herculaneum
where he runs the library of Calpurnius Piso:

"We can deceive, we poets who compose
visions with words, therefore we should explore
forms and effective causes of this world
so we can compose rich poems that describe
real world as it exists, with accurate terms,
and visions we spell with words may guide straight
humankind from waste land to paradise.
We can deceive minds with fantastic spells
or we can describe real world that exists
for truth is more beautiful than all lies."

from Hedonism of Philodemos
Hermead Epic of Philosophers

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Nymphs Gathering Flowers

Nymphs Gathering Flowers
© Surazeus
2015 10 17

We always find our way in groups of friends
on winding trail of laughter through soft woods
where sunlight flickers on our swishing gowns,
to gather flowers and sit on river shore.

We place our hands on pungent breast of Earth
and feel deep flowing beat of ancient life
surge upward through our trembling limbs of hope
and feel indifferent light enhance our glow.

We laugh and flash our eyes in evening wind
where roots of trees coil from wiggling toes
and we stand tall and spread our arms out wide
and change to trees who whisper secret spells.

But when I open wide my eyes at dawn
and look around for faces that reflect
memories of cooking in kitchen hall
I see they all are now forever trees.

I sit alone on dew-wet grass at dawn
and stare at face that my grandmother wore
gazing back at me from green silent pool,
and though I call their names they never come.

You are now soil that nurtures blooming flowers,
I whisper to their faces that flash clear
before my blinking eyes, and then my breasts
sprout flowers, and I become the round world.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Spirit of Investigation

Spirit of Investigation

In the epic poem Alastor by Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Poet journeys from England to the Caucasus Mountains on a quest for the Spirit of Solitude in the ancient homeland of Caucasians.

In the epic poem Prelude by William Wordsworth, the Poet journeys from England to France and Italy, then back to the wilderness of lakes on a quest for the Spirit of Nature.

In the epic poem Hermead, the Poet journeys from Oregon to the Caucasus Mountains on a quest for the Spirit of Investigation, and then follows the lives of philosophers forward through time from Hermes on Mount Olympus to Lucretius on Mount Vesuvius, to discover how humans traveled over the past three millennia from the Cave of Visions to the modern world of advanced technology in our search to understand the Nature of Things.

So the Hermead is nothing but a colossal addendum to Alastor and the Prelude, an epic for the age of rational science after the age of romantic science.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Heights of Parnassus

Heights of Parnassus

Earlier this year I read the Iliad translated by Alexander Pope, and find his bouncy rhyming heroic couplets difficult to read.

I spent most of the past six months reading all the plays of Shakespeare, and find his tightly coiled blank verse easy and delightful to read.

Yesterday, I read Venus and Adonis, and today I continued reading the Odyssey translated by Alexander Pope. I see how Alexander may have been inspired by this narrative poem, as well as others, to use rhyming couplets.

Alexander should have instead followed the path Milton took in adopting pentameter blank verse as the best verse for composing a long narrative poem.

That is why I chose epic blank verse for composing the Hermead.

I am getting spoiled by Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, and Keats, because I am having a very difficult time reading most verse being written these days.

Contemporary poems are so fragmented, small, sparse, and incoherent, lacking both theme beyond feelings or epiphanies, and craft beyond scattered fragments of imagery.

It seems most poets are crowded among the weeds on a swampy plain, and few are climbing the heights of Parnassus to compose narrative poems that present the complexity of human character.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Walk Between Worlds

Walk Between Worlds
© Surazeus
2015 10 10

We walk between the worlds that we invent,
weaving them together with dreaming eyes
that stitch fantasies from our hungry hopes.

Every Saturday evening I enjoy
a Wordsworthian stroll around the lake
by my home that mirrors all our lost dreams.

I stroll about the lake in evening cool,
gazing at sheen of reflected sunlight
while thousands of people around the world
suffer every day from disease and war.

I watch children play in the carefree park
while far across the indifferent sea
men in trucks shoot villages of men,
then enslave nameless daughters as their wives,
while they pray to their invisible god.

I ponder beauty in the peaceful park
while nations fight for whose god reigns supreme,
but I see only myself and the sun.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sonnet on Atoms and Ideas

Sonnet on Atoms and Ideas
Hedonism of Philodemos

Philodemus to Lucretius:
"Atoms form into things that exist first,
conscious creatures who rise from swirling lakes,
so wise creatures survive to reproduce
while creatures who make mistakes are destroyed.
Once we wake from dream of our transformation
we perceive existing things with our minds,
then devise ideas based on standard forms
that atoms assume in struggle to live.
Strong forms of our bodies develop first
then our minds invent patterns of ideas
and assign sounds as words to signify
objects that match forms of each named idea.
Humans exist first who perceive world of things,
then we design ideas to explain perceptions."

Hermead Epic of Philosophers

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Comprehensive Vision of Poetry

Comprehensive Vision of Poetry

Poetry that requires showmanship will vanish with the showman.

Poetry that relies on the quality of the vision presented in the elegance of well-crafted text will last millennia.

Homer has lasted almost 3 millennia so far.

Many other poems were being written at the time of Homer, yet his lasted because he created a comprehensive view of human life with interacting characters.

Reading this article about Kenneth Goldsmith helped clarify in my mind what makes poetry a failure or a success.

Kenneth Goldsmith​ has so far been defeated by the anxiety of influence because there is so much information these days he cannot figure out how to distill it all into key dramatic interactions that present a comprehensive view of human life, so he thinks just copying it all is "poetry", but it is not. Poetry is designing and "making" a comprehensive view of life.

The argument of modernism is that life is fragmented and too complex, and thus such a comprehensive view is impossible to create.

Life has always been chaotic and complicated, and artists always discover salient threads to weave into a tapestry of life and create dramatic stories that appeal to our narrative sense of love for the beauty of life.

Through my composition of the Hermead of Surazeus​ I am attempting to construct a comprehensive view of the development of philosophy and science by writing biographic epic poems about the lives of philosophers and scientists. It is but one small way of weaving the tapestry of life.

Whitman presented himself as an American Adam.

I see the foundations of American culture in ancient Greek philosophers, so I am writing an epic about their lives. I find it thrilling and enlightening to put on the mask of each philosopher and explore their life and ideas through a narrative of their quest for truth.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Femme Fatale

My Femme Fatale
© Surazeus
2015 10 03

I stroll down busy city street at dawn
and drink hot coffee on library lawn,
watching glittery elves ride blue giraffes
and dwarf programmers fight with wizard staffs.
While I am stroking my long hipster beard
sweet gorgeous woman with shining blond hair
slips arm around my shoulder with a smile
and whispers how she wants me in my ear.
Now I am in love with Lauren Bacall.
I think she wants to be my femme fatale.

I slip fedora low to shield my eyes
when we stroll together on midnight streets,
listening to jazz and watching out for spies
while Magnifico performs divine feats.
Three shady characters from shadows leap,
aiming silver pistols to blast my mind,
but I leave them all dead in bleeding heap,
then smoke a cigarette on bridge of mist.
What her name was I cannot now recall.
I think she wants to be my femme fatale.

I follow clues to uncover their trail,
like Gretel dropping crumbs on forest path,
and find my lover being read like Braille
in possessive arms of old king of wrath.
Somewhere I hear a melancholy tune
rip bullets through my heart as she smiles bright.
Though she wanted our wedding held in June
I laugh she played me like a violin.
Inside real woman is a broken doll.
I think she wants to be my femme fatale.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Famous Television Star

Famous Television Star
01 October 2015

I will not rip open my pulsing breast
and expose my heart to your hungry need
to drink tragedy of failure and loss,
for I am not that savior of your soul
you pray for in your disgust and despair
who promised to lead lost children of hope
through waste land of horror at bleeding death
to retake paradise from angry God.

I lock myself hidden in tower of stone
I built from bones and skulls of ancient gods
far outside high walls of your paradise
and gaze in crystal sphere of shining light
to search for secrets of our universe,
then armor my heart inside polished tales
to keep it from cracking for ache of love
when he went to fight and never returned.

This pristine paradise of fairy land,
where bees buzzed around apple trees and flowers,
and wild birds fluttered along sparkling streams,
vanished long ago when bulldozers came
and erected banks and apartment halls
on ruins of my castle, and paved black
pathways through my gardens of worts and herbs
where hissing snakes changed to telephone poles.

You will never find me now, hordes of men
with flashing cameras who stalk my footsteps
and publish private photos of my life
in tabloids for people working dull jobs
to feast at communion on my ripe flesh
and drink divine blood of my mortal soul
that drips in rain to soak asphalt-paved streets,
for ten thousand cars drive over my skull.

Though I hear you call to me, "Sylvia!"
I am nothing more than shadow of hope
in sylvan amusement park where wild bards
are worshipped as bright cartoon characters,
although bristle-bearded Saturnian Faunus,
who wears cheap plastic Halloween clown mask,
dances wild around fire in tangled woods
and you see face of Silvius flash in dreams.

Leaping from shadow of ancient dark woods,
Silvius leads his little son Brutus by hand,
teaching him names of animals and plants,
then they leap on stag that bounds over hills
to mountain top where they stand in bright beams
of sunlight that stream through clouds after rain,
and eat ripe apples while Diana sings
and generates new bodies for old souls.

Eat this red apple for it is my heart,
and sweet juice of love, brewed by rain and sun,
soaks sponge of my mind with aching desire
to hold you in my arms by Nemi Lake
and kiss by moonlight to create new life,
for our bodies writhe with passionate urge
when we dance among oak trees at sunset,
though all these are memories lost in my dreams.

I feel them all alive now in my mind,
every ancestor who once lived in flesh,
stimulated by blood coursing their minds,
for all their memories of hope and lust
seethe blazing from every cell of my brain,
and I now replay their lives on lit stage
of television dream so you can watch
tragic comedy of all who loved and died.