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The poet

walking through the French doors
on claw-feet,
here and there
at the screeches and screams
of the wheeled calvary parade,
playing out
its 'sound and fury'
on the streets below...

reaching the kitchen
and cycling through
some minutes of zombified contortions:
followed by ingestation,

basking in the warm consolatory glow
of dark espresso,
I dream of Paris,
as there's so little romance
in the city I know...
though no doubt half
of that capital's literati glow
is owed
to such 'tricks of fame,'
such tradition and presentation
as amount to sophist show,

and yet still one could walk
Parisian streets
and at least convincingly delude
to see scenes and souls
of some sophistication,
sensitivity, and high motive,

as could at least better
our vast coffee-mall caricatures,
steaming as they are
with crass carnality and carnivality,
packed with
all the briefly tempered
roaring, parrying, and horn-rattling
common to pseudo-civilized beasts...
driven, dizzied, polished
and all defined
as they are
by the local gold-lust,
the barbarous languishments,
self-satisfied pieties, and deified obsessions
of some particularly
islandized and grotesque province,

the same saintly-styled Sodom
in which our anti-hero
will face the coming years...
exiled and cloistered
on a verdant Eastern street,
in a sprawling 'beatnik' house,
detailed with every
Asiatic elegance and convenience,
as one might travel
to opulent Bangkok
and find an 'English tea-room'
(next to a garish brothel)
styled with every appearance
of English modesty and culture...
even patronized by some sundry souls
lazily semi-devoted
to the ritual and ideals
of high tea and civilized converse,
and yet the whole scene
is by nuance and surrounding
a garden not for Spartan-thorned roses
but for the neon-seething anarchy
of vines and orchids,
manic monkeys, street markets,
sales-fiends, tigers and tourists...

all this
not to villify nor idealize
the British cloister
nor the sex-sirened city scape,
but rather by metaphor

to illustrate
how our anti-hero,
with his character, motivations,
and cultural micro-cosm...
must now adapt
to life within
a sprawling and sordid jungle of
'high-tech' savagery,

such as might ensue were
John Wayne to lead
a mega-budget production
of "Hamlet"
over the carpenter's cast
of "Pyramis and Thisbe..."
all the juxtaposition of
wild western animal energy
unnaturally empowered
by the alien-born motors
of the best art and ideas
as sprung forth
from the Roman forum,
the medieval monastery,
and the salons
of the European renaissance...

it is
on just such
a Moreau's island
that I am now blessed
and cursed to survive,
to struggle, and to pursue
the personal and cultural aspirations
which chill and thrill
this neo-beat soul...
all caught and enthralled
in such canal-scapes
as run like merchant veins
through the flesh of Hades
carrying manna, Molloch,
and pseudo-genetic instructions,
(along with all
the burning illusion of life)
to each rotting cell and soul...

and yet one digs in
as if to defend Constantinople,
drawing on the damned inspiration
of the most fiendish of beasts...
for such is the dismal devotion
of the 'fallen," dream-seeing artist,
drawing the plans and landscapes
of cloudy Eden...

from the boiler-room bowels
of some slum-singed factory monster,
and sending the drawings
to the eager hands of
Saint Peter, Van Gogh,
Ginsberg, and Michelangelo

via the diseased wings
of heaven-seeking bats,
fleeing youths
spent in the
petty polluted air
over scheming witches
and steaming sulforous vats...

even so,
like Kerouac or Corso,
Polo or Crusoe,
we seek and trade in
heavenly Xanadu
from those darkened roads
and earthly sands
we know

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The following comments are for "exile in Barbaria"
by seanspacey

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