Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
They knew who first
judged what out of dreams
came truly real*
and he was fastened to a rock
and they knew who
stirreth up the people and dippeth his hand**
in the dish with Judas
and he was nailed to a cross
And they read books within books
about wise and foolish virgins
and signs of the end
and love and judgment
and they heard God talk
through the mouths of men
who talked about him
his son and the holy ghost
When spectators provided the notion of reality
Christ and Prometheus
were objectified and subjectified allegory
spheres of hope and rebellion
courage and prudence
temperance and justice
and how they chose to read it
in the time before terror
depended on what level
they chose to see it
Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
They reused and refashioned the heads
of emperors in their own image
because they could
They reinforced power and authority
with legitimate political imagery
like the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses
and General Holofernes
They respected the classical past
in fertile crescents of greed
and rejected classical design
in the center of ruins
They housed the rock in the dome
on which Muhammad ascended to heaven
and hung the Virgin Mary’s blue robe
in Chartres Cathedral
When denizens of form said
Nothing is new…
The godforsaken asked
since the Lion Gate
since the Great Sphinx of Giza
since Doric and Ionic orders
since the Palette of King Narmer
since the Parthenon
They stood in the light of starry nights
in the drum, coffers, and concrete cylinders
of uninterrupted space in the Pantheon
and made no apologies for ripping off
master tracks from the past
and heard the hip hop train
sampling every post-hit
with unripe music and blood
and mounted the heads of gods
on the manifest
like the catalog of procreation
They heard his Mother
three blocks away
on parallel streets
You won’t take my child!
You won’t take my child!
at the vigil where transvestites
whispered how many times
her child was stabbed in the neck
Lord have mercy!
Who are these motherfuckers?
on the bottom rung of the Ladder of Descent
trying to climb up
on the backs of allegories
floating in fleeting and airy hope
part of the story
part of the sin
Before the godforsaken
had time to swallow…
that love ends
as it begins again
on rocks and crosses
in books and dreams
and politics and imagery
under domes and temples
in music and song
and blood and death
in stories and sin
and in the hands
The swallows are building.
Copyright 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
*Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound
** Matthew 26: V21,V22,V23,V25
For more visit: https://www.trenchpeople.com/
Triptych: A set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together. Mash it up! Press play at the same time…
We’re standing behind you
The window is your mirror
We‘re filming your reflections
In the window
You can see
The teardrop on her cheek
The other tear — is in your hair
Reach up and wipe the tear
With your thumb
Roll the tear on your fingers
As if water — is on the wings
of a butterfly_
Now, your face is dry
You point and say something
“See that gas station down there.”
Copyright © 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller
The [Dollhouse with the Red Corvette] is a lateral, vertical, linear, horizontal, and spherical art installation. It is a poesy puzzle for verse or graffiti, with sublime imagery. It functions like a mnemonic, a telltale pastiche for found poesy — in a digital world. Some of the pieces fit, and some are misfits — that lead to other immersions… in this stained-glass heaven — this society in the machine…
Copyright © 2017, 2018 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved.
Parallel Discussions (In Medias Res) Overtaken by Events
Behind Pushkin’s Coffeehouse, Aristotle Michelangelo and Louis Picasso sat on the remnants of a barge, trading barbs in Ibiza… swinging high top leather sock hip hop sneakers, and creeper boots in blue green virtual water, with Rick Owens’ reflection in the pool, burning fat ones – away from the beautiful ones — in a Period Piece. The Darlings of today’s literati — visionaries during the Harlem Renaissance, play themselves in a satirical throwback in VR.
Louis Picasso: “In RL, it’s 6 P.M. You just got home from work or you work from home in your virtual office. You decide to spend the evening in space! You scan Balmain for your Avatar – dope fashion — with as much audacity as Hype Williams’ black lacquered Keisha in Belly — wearing Versace!
You decide to download your brand new Porsche designed by Porsche and Atari for Microsoft, on the Pacific Coast Highway — Malibu on the left, Pepperdine University on the right, you’re on your way to virtual LA in the fast lane — your thighs are burning. Other avatars and their cars share the PCH too — driving Vipers, Corvettes, the white BMW X6 and you are speeding at 100 MIPS, streaming Coltrane.
Aristotle Michelangelo interjects: “Then you decide to go to BET’s virtual Nuyorican Café in Gotham City for the Open Mike – Saul Williams and Jessica Care Moore are featured (as themselves) tonight. You hand the keys to the valet — pay at the door with your password, sit front row center no matter what time you arrive, sign up to read your poem — because you can start over from the beginning or resume. Gender! Lame. Race is unimaginative in Space. Ethnicity is a brand — at best. The Open Mike is over at 10 P.M. but there is still time to go to Bar Pitti. You walk in and Claude McKay is at the bar in a heated debate with Ralph Ellison about literary ownership — by Netflix.
McKay shouts and then nearly whispers to Ellison, ‘It takes more than creative androgyny to “embody” the opposite sex. The storytelling responsibility of all writers, whether female or male is to fill the void. When a woman creates a man, she must imagine the sensation of “owning” a penis. When a man creates a woman, he must imagine the sensation of “owning” a vagina. It is a void, not a vacuum. A vacuum would imply the all-consuming black hole — the feminization of sex. It is not trained comprehension or chromosomes — it takes pure imagination to get the story straight…’
Louis Picasso: “Then, at Midnight, you blow kisses and wuggles to your friends, and log off. You stand and stretch your back, and your bladder is bursting because you forgot about your biological realities. The television is off; it has been off for weeks. Why watch television when you can be your own audience? Randall Walser said it best, “The filmmaker says, ‘Look, I’ll show you.’ The space maker says, ‘Here, I’ll help you discover.’ We will be our own creators functioning like actors in high culture — tools of the taste public! We will create our own universes — our own planets. We can superimpose our images circa 6 BC – AD 30, and follow Jesus to the Promised Land, witness the crucifixion – and how we feel and what we think is utterly private and without commercials! Because, global messages with common appeal will forever change with today’s technology, the challenge is to make communication visual, images symbolic, and still sell product… I want to propose arcane ideas…”
Aristotle Michelangelo interjects: “I want to develop, manage, and direct vision. My goal is to be where imagination and business are indistinguishable, because imagination without business, and business without imagination is as incongruous as capitalism without consumers… I found a dope quote dog!”
“When, she was still in her teens, well before she met Caesar, Cleopatra already had slept with Antony… though Caesar was fifty-three and she but twenty-three or so she proved ready enough to bed her third Roman. It is said that Cleopatra was a woman of lively turn and enticing talents. She also had a keen sense of the political. That this Roman [Caesar] conqueror had the power to secure the Egyptian throne for her must have added to the attraction she felt for him…Caesar established her in a sumptuous villa across the Tiber, from which she held court, while political leaders, financiers, and men of letters, including the renowned Cicero, danced in attendance.” Michael Parenti
Louis Picasso: I’m reading the same book, and I have a better one!
“In a prologue to Caesar and Cleopatra [George Bernard Shaw] that is almost never performed, the god Ra tells the audience how Rome discovered that ‘the road to riches and greatness is through robbery of the poor and slaughter of the weak.’ In conformity with that dictum, the Romans ‘robbed their own poor until they became great masters of that art, and knew by what laws it could be made to appear seemly and honest.’ And after squeezing their own people dry, they stripped the poor throughout the many other lands they conquered.” Michael Parenti
Aristotle Michelangelo: Shrugged his shoulders unconsciously, “Chez Bricktop in Paris?”
Louis Picasso: Not now. I am having a violent reaction to prescription drugs! My body is like, ‘Don’t put that shit down here again!’ They gave me all this medication for Acute Caesarion whatever — and I took it! Of course, you don’t exhaust the shit. You’re not an idiot. But, what the fuck? Where the weed at?”
Copyright 2016, E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Aristotle Michelangelo: I think it would be dope to channel Kerouac’s apology for automatic writing.
“He likened writing to dreaming and fantasizing, as a substitute for life. So, he wrote The Subterraneans, in three days and nights of speed typing energized by Benzedrine — to imitate the rhythm of Bebop like free energy flow, and unrestrained association, to reveal the unconscious… because he wanted to flow from inside out in spontaneous prose!” Dystopia, Explode 2015 2.0
So, here goes… They called her Marnie — behind her back. I was torn. I played with variations of Marnie. Black Marnie. Brown Marnie, Tortilla Marnie. It’s the language of found art. Bansky, Kehinde, Jazz, Hip Hop… They teased each other. Hitchcock’s Margaret, Mary, Marnie, teases Mark, so she could get the combination, to his company safe, and steal the money. She was a Kleptomaniac, a compulsive thief. A killer. She disappears. On the run! He tracks her like an animal, and finds her at a Lodge, riding her horse to the stables. He orders her off the horse, tells her she’ll walk — he’ll ride. He interrogates her. She tells him a bullshit story she can’t keep straight. He calls it, manure! Tells her to start over from the beginning, and this time — tell the truth. Back at the Lodge – he tells her to freshen up, change her clothes so he might take her to the police – she thinks. She does not know… It’s Tippi Hedren in RL! The white woman of a black man’s dreams – when he dreams about white women. Blonde, pearly white teeth and skin — Barbie! Beckie! He tells her, they will return to ‘the house’ and announce they are engaged, would to be married within the week and then cruise around the world. Of course, she thinks he’s “Out of his mind!” He told her, it was either marriage or the police, old girl. Black Marnie. Who would play her?
They get married. Eventually he takes her virginity. She tries to commit suicide. I don’t think I want to go there… Suicide. Who should play Mark? [#nomoreslavestories.] Does he catch her?
Louis Picasso: I remember that story. He said, I caught a real animal this time. I had to train her… to trust me.*
Aristotle Michelangelo: Pussy Riot danced in the cathedral — goes to jail, and the artist nailed his scrotum to the Red Square. She’s a prisoner of love. That kind of love makes me uncomfortable, racked, and anguished like a pet must be around possessive people. The energy is ignitable like the choice between blowing up and letting go. I don’t want to belong to anyone. But, what do I know about love?
Louis Picasso: Black people don’t like black people. That’s why we’re in this — hole… barrel, bucket, duck it, fuck it… We know it’s true. Listen to the tonal center of this beat!
Aristotle Michelangelo: In sixty revolutions a minute, if it’s not organic, I can’t get with it. Hate is not organic. Hate is a social construct. I want to live the life I swam to the egg for… A social construct is like zoon pushed to the egg, by stronger swimmers behind it. It’s still goal niggaz. I want an organic experience on this gridiron. A certain freedom, mere man can’t give, conceive or contrive. I want freedom Divine. You want to be free — you have to fuggin’ work for it. Zufi?
Aristotle Michelangelo: You need money, software and rigs in the virtual world. Bombs are obsolete. Race and gender is a pastiche — game challenges for points.
Louis Picasso: Beauty and power is iconography and homely stamps are hiccups – and brick and mortar is a path to experience the destruction of daredevils and matadors — in coliseums of pestilence and poverty – empirically.
Aristotle Michelangelo: Why go there? When, life is a perfect dream in a virtual world.
Louis Picasso: IJS. Get on board with — evolution. Evolution is not physical space. It’s the diamond life in our heads on a loop. Its VR not the moon…
Copyright 2016, 2018, E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
*Alfred Hitchcock, Marnie