Tempus Fugit

December 23
(After Shel Silverstein)

1.

A.
Mark with his twinkly eyes
is a big shot now
going up & down
HK-Manila flights.
Who would have thought
the gregarious dude
would look so serious
in his executive suit?
He loves to prepare for the future.
But he himself is its imaginary lode.

B.
Edgar is dear ‘ol Bugsy
who cracks the whip on orgs
like a hard-core Che
but he bakes a mean strawberry pie
& is advised to open a pastry shop
if he’s financially done
saving this hopeless country
that stinks like Palace crap.
But if he sticks to his crimson system
he may yet stop the mafia mayhem.

C.
Kat is curiously high
on kids skippity-hopping
down the schoolyard path,
but she ought to leave the campus
because she ain’t cut out
to nursemaid kinderbrats.
She’s mulling a neat get-away
but here is also, alas! everywhere.

D.
Lala aka Gabriela
pulled them along to Trinoma
after all the fuss over Marian Rivera
in a hearty squabble at the table,
& if not for her sandalwear
& inclement December weather
she would have jogged to the theatre.
She has movies running on her mind
to guide her to what-ifs of her life.

E.
Sarah was in a domestic funk
& couldn’t make it to the gang.
She loathed the idea of showing up
to socialize with a teary scowl.
That won’t be her style.
She must not let out
she had temporarily lost control
for a wise heart must prove itself able.

F.
He was the odd man out
with his old-fart demeanor:
he could only stupidly wish
he was as young & daring again,
always in sync
with time’s temper & pretty women:
But they generously showered him
with invite to savor
a sunnier life all over again.
So it’s telling him off
this season is not for childish sulking:
Never dwell on the past, only livable moments.

2.
Harold Pinter

He caught the last bus
of 2008.
He who sneered at Bush & Blair,
imperial surrogates
who imposed their brutal will
on a world spinning to nowhere.
But the battlefield,
critics wager,
is right inside the hearts
where “struggles” run deep
& malevolent
the real historic theatre.
Guilt, fears, longings
that envelop existential moments
play out
like sorted laundry to wash & air
in the sunlight of conflicts
& guerilla wars
of lovers & daring…
O He “doesn’t write happy plays,”
he admits,
but “lives,” strangely, “happily”…
If that isn’t simply jiving,
his farces of a game,
this son of a Jewish tailor
takes us on a topsy-turvy ride
into human lore.

3.
Eartha Kitt

She didn’t know her father,
& was given away by her mother
who at 14 in South Carolina
was a nigger child herself.
Her foster family
would put her in a sack,
hoist it up a tree
then flog it playfully –
She was, after all, half-breed
crudely straddling
at the cotton fields
the color line.
But she purred into hearts
of Broadway & tinseltown,
breathing her last at 81,
yet her voice husky & feline
still magically haunts
the blessed & the damned.
[Obama should cherish
his change of fortune:
but if Uncle Sam doesn’t come out
of the rut,
there will be hell to pay
for being black.]

4.
Verdict

He bade his quick farewell.
Was he in a hurry
to be done
with the day’s festivity?
If he could only
at the table linger
as in the old, young days…
But an invisible wave
of sadness
had drowned him
with their sunbright ways.
Did he see her look askance,
almost blushing away
his timorous hand?
He laughed
stupidly at himself
as the evening devoured him
on the way to Cubao.
[He’s too damned old
to matter, really:
a boat wrecked on shore,
relic of black future.]

5.
Reprieve

Thunderstorm
cracks the horizon
in the country of his heart
where rain falls
but barely washes away
the bloodshot malaise.
Is there reprieve
from all the sadness
in the world?
Obladi, oblada –
The Lord inexplicably rules
whatever he conjures:
Man lives only to endure.
[There’s no light
at the end of the tunnel.
& every word of nonsense
repeats itself like truth
on the last tape.]

6.
Rabble

Change
is abracadabra
for the rabble
stuck at the bottom
of the well
& can only hear
the ringing of bells
in the blue skies
by shamanic leaders.
O When will they
ever learn,
herd in prayer,
to take the road
not traversed,
& never heeding
Tiresia’s oracles?
[Seers are purblind –
mathematicians
of emotions
in a bind.
While the disabled
lead the pack of sheep
& wolves.]

7.
The Unforgiving

Will there be an end
to your love songs?
Will your heart still beat
for her?
O Everything that trembles
with the gentle wind
is her presence
& you can only grit your teeth,
hold back your spit.
Leaves fall in December:
but will you fall up –
as in Silverstein’s world –
to see how things
look from the winding air?
Dreams are nightmares
& you can only raise hell
like Harold Pinter.
[In the boudoir & café,
voices zig & zag
between love & hate.]

8.
Formulaic

Do times differ?
What’s sauce for the goose
is sauce for the gander?
Does human nature
ensure justice & solidarity?
Who will stop the killing?
Who will start the party?
But the faithful swear,
All roads still lead to Marx,
anyway.
[He may find
his second coming
in a world that didn’t heed
his age-old warning.]

9.
Prognosis

A.
Change coming to America?
Obama talks cheap
but Americans fancy it hip.
The Wall Street gang
can’t be reined in
with their poppycock
over the meltdown
they will prevail.
Scoundrel time
is fast running out
on the system
that calls the shots.
God, Capital & Country
are still solid chemistry.
The future is nowhere
in sight
if the same moneybags
hold court over bail-out.
Empower the people?
All is sop for demagogues
who wrestle
with tygers burning bright
then join the pack.
O The world falls
as per gamblers’ die.
Will ’09 be any better?
The ride is rough
& cards are simply stacked.
Where do we turn
at the fork on the road?
Even Putin presumes
he’s Leningrad’s first-born.
Alas, all just whistle
to keep the wolves at bay.
Revolution? Coup d’etat?
New Age clowns
have taken over talk shows
while stragglers
keep watch over
signs of the holocaust.
The candle melts:
Is there a luminous spark?
[We count the years
when limbs were able:
how long should be
the dawning of the fable?]

B.
Das Kapital in manga book
makes it big among Japanese
who now lap up
the old wisdom of Marx –
the second look that shows
how workers get the boot
with hired fist, fired first
whenever holy capital drops:
Toyota gets it on the chin;
banks merge, foreclose;
personnel chiefs tactically unload;
the year gasps
like fish struggling on a hook.
But should a miracle occur,
will they stick it out with Marxist rule?
Will they hack it out
with the Red tidings
all workers
should unite
& finally gain control?
Das Kapital in manga book
makes for hot read these days
in ’08 of Wall Street donnybrook.

10.
JMS

How incongruous
that you should see him
laugh & chuckle
over fumbled lines
of a directive,
then confess on the side
he’s done with tobacco,
but never with prophetic
déjà vu.
He’s your next-door guy
out to banter
at a watering hole.
But how long has he been
demonized?
A cold-blooded godfather
who lifts a phone,
& calls a hit, then lies?
On YouTube, he’s so damned
regular.
Hasn’t he launched
an insurrectionary org
in urban streets & mountains?
He’s still there unchanging
despite the poundage, chinky grin.
His detractors sneer –
JMS is dead beat,
no longer in sync
with shifting arguments.
But when was Marxism
a matter of clothes & fashion?
The old man of The Netherlands
is not made of granite:
but his heart still beats
with the same, old passion:
always, always the future’s consolation.

11.

Red Rose has opted for white:
no longer seized by vendetta
to avenge her father
who died at the hands of soldiers,
she now tells a different tale:
“Put an end to the cycle of violence,”
even suspecting her mother
would force her back to ex-comrades.
This is fodder for spiritualists
mistaking the ideological trees for the forest.
Can you mount revolutionary war
on pure emotion & hate?
It will sputter & die
once smile breaks out among combatants
while intersecting interests collide, stand.
Did she learn her eureka from Marx?
Did she turn humanist-liberal?
Fall in love with prison guards?
Reconcile with her father’s killers?
In the war of classes, what’s her just side?
Can she conclude the heroics of her acts?
Yes, she feels safe inside the camp.
But she’s 21,
the daybreak of her life is still opening up.

12.
2008

Who remembers,
are reminded of,
the intimate names
in the long list
of the infinite?
But time isn’t merciless,
grievously showing
life must be cut short,
however pleasurable
or pitiful.
If the clock won’t tick off
all will stand stockstill –
& joy, ennui, pain
will plague us
in a living hell
that must be put to an end
like the sun
burning off to its core.
O There must be a stop
to everything
for love & hate
have their own expiry dates.
Auld Lang Syne
is wishful thinking:
the living & the dead
are inexorably forgotten.

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3 Responses to Tempus Fugit

  1. Hakan Tanyel says:

    Thank you very share use

  2. coffee buzz says:

    Eartha Kitt seemed to live a fuller life than most people ever manage to do.. and it was so funny to find out that she was a voice in “The Emperor’s New Groove”

  3. Pingback: Seks at Sosyalismo « Kapirasong Kritika

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