Apologia: One

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brianedwards
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Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:34 pm

Apologia: One


For Ken and Hana



1.


Sorry for all these night-time thoughts on daylit trains.
Sorry for all the unborns bounced in standing room only,
for all the pregnant women rocked and lunged,
bumping knees with businessmen sleeping off
eighteen hour shifts in white collar furnaces.

Where schoolgirls' skirts are rolled two inches thick
above uncombed pubic hair and spray painted genitals;
where cynical foreigners' stares burn forest fires
into tabloid inches of immigrant crimes besides
housewives for sale in all shades of yellow.

Where shiny blue eyes traverse the globe
hypnotised, magnetised by modern myths
of passivity and gratitude and wind up drunk,
deported, divorced or homeless, selling
language like crack whores pimped by pinstripes.

Where bug-eyed internet cafes wheeze
full to the rafters, full with backpacks
and thick-rims wiped behind brocade,
laughing, gagging on complimentary tissues
while on-screen animated nymphs escape
bullets and blades and land on the tips
of humongous pencilled cocks, the phallic
imaginations of a generation
of bubble children, enjoying a bubble world
built by absent parents with ink trowels and pork-bellies,
tax included.

And I'm sorry for choosing a country where
I have no vote, no rights, no voice except
the one that screams at television screens,
media conveyor of anonymous leaders
speaking to the future in the language of the past;

a country where forty-something divorcees
redundant in cutbacks to payback for crimes
of chemicals injected in cookies and frozen
dumplings outsourced to China, steals
a shotgun and stalks a head of state
avenging dead and dying relatives, chain
smoking cancer in hospital corridors,
no insurance, diseased inside and out.

A country where scream of tyres on tarmac
drowned out by i-phones and headphones burns
the bared brains of a burned-out city;

where copy-cats kill like copy-cats who couldn't
copyright their own madness or fantasies
of rush-hour massacres and savage orgies.

Where wild mutations of history lay claim
to truth in textbooks proofread by drunken
professors dressed in fascist regalia;

where Catcher in the Rye is real,
alive and well and working a cliff
talking down sacked salary slaves
dead to life beyond the pay cheque;

where news reports of children murdering
parents and parents murdering children
murdering parents and grandparents murdering;

where a sixteen-year old schoolboy walks
into a police station made of bureaucracy,
throws down a ruck-sack on a stack of paper,
soaks statistics with his mother's severed head;

where news reports disenfranchised mid-life crisis
sufferers suicide homicide parricide and genocide.

I'm sorry for kids technicolour television vapidity
substituting gestures for feelings with coke-addled
talent singing uppers through comedowns,
clowns with white noses, whores sold wholesale.

And karaoke boxes stock
back-catalogues of glam-rock classics,
sung by truant school-kids licking
Tamazepam-dipped lollipop microphones;

and Shibuya shines in traffic light glow orgasm
and strip-show fantasy all night-long midnights
and boys with English names like Liam and Ryan
ride married men into ragged red-eyed breakfasts.

And Dawn's the name on the badge of the girl
serving scotch to brokers and bankers,
the washed and terrorised ghouls of the markets
mind-wrecked, crying into ice-wracked tumblers
as Yen rides roughshod around the globe
in muscular boats and phallic equine carriages.

And from Hokkaido to Kyushu
trains so packed feet don't touch the ground,
swinging carcasses in mobile abbatoirs,
toes dripped in pins and needles, dangling
over golden floors of platinum ponds
in silver forests drenched in diamond
bird songs and silk-wings and ribcages sprout
mouths that scream muffled, foreign,
and they rock like rows of black hollyhocks,
furled buds full of dreams of schoolgirls
skull-fucked in uniforms designed by philanthropists
with pedophile tendencies and skin conditions.

I'm sorry for the train drivers chasing clocks
through apartment blocks on six-hours sleep;
sorry about architects cutting corners, building
foundations on goodwill and fingers-crossed
the earth's core doesn't illumine handshakes.

Sorry about school principals carrying hidden
cameras into playgrounds and gymnasiums, unable
to supply the demand single-handed, employing
teachers to assist in mass-producing horror;

schools where victims skim
the surface of existence, faces
grazing corridor walls and halls,
crab-walking to graduation
via hari-kiri pitstop.

I apologize for your mixed-nationality,
your mixed up armies of genetic thousands,
direction-less in the young fields of your bodies.

I'm sorry you will always be foreign here and foreign there.
Your toes too white to break hot springs,
your eyes too pale to watch snow fall
and die in steam shadowed by sacred
mountains, your tongues too tied to praise the dead,
or raise them up with flags with songs.














~

ray miller
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Re: Apologia: One

Post by ray miller » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:09 pm

Well, I enjoyed the read, but by halfway all the horrors were just merging into one another. You could cut it to a quarter of its current length, I think. And stop saying sorry all the time. Oh, and it's Temazepam.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

brianedwards
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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:25 pm

ray miller wrote:Well, I enjoyed the read, but by halfway all the horrors were just merging into one another. You could cut it to a quarter of its current length, I think. And stop saying sorry all the time. Oh, and it's Temazepam.
Thanks for reading Ray, and for the spelling catch. It's already about a quarter of the length it was and a third of the length it will be after I add more sections . . . Of course I could cut it down, we can always cut things down, but that's not what's always required . . .

Glad you enjoyed it at least, cheers.

B.

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Ros » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:36 pm

I also enjoyed this, though I'd have liked to see a bit more of the lack of voting rights/taxes stuff or something more like that. The repeated emphasis on sex in one form or another feels overdone. I'm afraid I agree with Ray about the length - there is too much you don't like, making it feel unrealistic and leaving the reader wondering why the narrator doesn't move somewhere else. Some great individual sections, though.

Ros
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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Meesha » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:34 pm

It rambles on and on, B.

where copy-cats kill like copy-cats who couldn't
copyright their own madness or fantasies
of rush-hour massacres and savage orgies.


To justify its ramble, maybe this S needs to go last? :mrgreen:

You do realise The Cable Guy's been overdone already?

M

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:54 pm

Ros wrote:I also enjoyed this, though I'd have liked to see a bit more of the lack of voting rights/taxes stuff or something more like that. The repeated emphasis on sex in one form or another feels overdone. I'm afraid I agree with Ray about the length - there is too much you don't like, making it feel unrealistic and leaving the reader wondering why the narrator doesn't move somewhere else. Some great individual sections, though.

Ros
Thanks Ros.
You know, I don't think it's a question of liking or disliking the points listed, but the speaker is compiling a list of of society's ills. To say this is unrealistic is a tad peculiar. Firstly they all happen to be true in some form or other in most societies. In fact, if we were to list all of any given society's faults it would be a much longer list than this poem. True of Japan, true of England, true of elsewhere. Location is not important, only the specifics change.
Secondly, the question of realism is surely not the poet's main concern. On another version of this poem you asked "Having some trouble with your adopted country?" Taken alongside your comments above, it suggests you are guilty of mistaking the speaker for the author. Surely you don't need reminding that poetry is fiction . . .

OK, reading all that back it sounds like I am attacking you. I'm not, really. Nor do I wish to appear too defensive of this poem: I know it is flawed (greatly flawed in some places) and needs lots of work. Your comments interrogate well and prompt me to look back and question my own thinking. For that I am very grateful. I hope you'll revisit this as I revise and offer your insights on future sections. I'll post 2 up soon . . .

Cheers,

B.

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Ros » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:53 am

No, I appreciate it's not 'you', but to me the narrator has an - emphasis on, knowledge of? - the nastier side of the culture, more than feels realistic for the voice. Of course all this stuff goes on, and of course it happens everywhere, though from the particular images you choose I'm assuming it's particularly about Japan. It's just a bit 'methinks he doth protest too much' - the weight seems too heavily skewed towards the sexual themes. I think someone genuinely moaning about their country would have more of the personal in there, with the overall cultural thing as something in the background, an ever-present theme, but pehaps not so much in the consciousness. Unless secretly he feels attracted to it all, which is another issue, I guess.

Trying to engage with the 'voice' here, not 'you'!
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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:57 am

Ros wrote: Unless secretly he feels attracted to it all, which is another issue, I guess.
Busted!

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Ros » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:03 am

So it is about you, after all? :shock:
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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:47 pm

*sigh*

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by stuartryder » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:30 am

Catharsis?

Stuart

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Denis Joe » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:21 pm

There was a group called Hothouse Flowers back in the 80s. They had a song called 'I'm Sorry'. This reminded me of them. The song was a lot shorter than this and a lot less musical as well.

This cries out to be put on the i player Brian.
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[right]Vladimir Mayakovsky[/right]

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by Suzanne » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:59 pm

"Where shiny blue eyes traverse the globe
hypnotised, magnetised by modern myths
of passivity and gratitude and wind up drunk,
deported, divorced or homeless, selling
language like crack whores pimped by pinstripes."

This was brilliantly phrased. Well done.

There was a lot of emotion I could relate to although the specifics are not in my environment.
It is too long and some of it gets lost due to the over-stimulation of images but I think that is part of the whole issue being addressed.
Liked it though.

I would love to hear it in audio. Give it a try, Brian.
Suzanne

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:11 am

Thanks for all the input, appreciated.

B.

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by coffeedodger » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:17 am

This is drivel. And Brian. You're a liar.

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by brianedwards » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:26 am

Thanks.

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Re: Apologia: One

Post by coffeedodger » Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:29 am

My pleasure! :)

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