ACADEME REDUX

The young mentors confer
among themselves
how to teach the class
“the” proper literary stuff,
as if their life should depend on it…
Nah, they shake their heads-
it’s a losing proposition;
this generation doesn’t care to read
& measure their lives
according to the thematics
of authorial classics
& postmodernist anarchists –
They feel the pulse
of how the world moves,
& will safely follow
the well-travelled route
of grounded truths
that pay dividends
in the cyberworld.
The Real outside configures
otherwise:
It’s Hannibal Lecter’s psycholab;
laggards will be brutally
trapped behind…
whose faces are blank pages
that won’t crease
with inconsolable grief –
The existentialist age of Sartre
& Camus is gone,
this is the digital age
of Zizek’s end time;
O they cross their fingers
they won’t miss a beat,
even a nostalgic goosestep…

2.
He walks about the campus
like a beggar out of sync
with fresh, nubile faces
eager to toe the line
& bow to fancy authorities.
It is all a charade they play,
wishing the day to pass over
until certificates are issued
at the appointed hour…
Then, toward a wanton,
high-end life
of Bonifacio condos
& fast cars.
They need not take to the books
seriously,
rather bum around
for easy money languishing out there
in familiar alleys.
Who cares if the cosmos
blesses them as lucky guys?
Everyone lives for himself,
no one is worth dying for,
you make your own bed
with sluts
to lie with.
O the market dictates the code –
but he is a jaded old player
drowning in bohemian gin:
O barbarians camp out
in expensive suits,
loaded with ATMs…

3.
So there they are:
drawing up the blueprint
for the future
while their professorial eyes
feast on calculated sacrifice.
Will the center of sanity hold?
They won’t bother
with the old, old question –
too grim & existential
for the greenhorns
who work their butts off –
the Now is all –
& history won’t give a damn
about old fogeys
who have gone to pasture,
their booming voices
waning into a rodent’s whisper.
The old are dead,
or forever gone in exile,
& young turks
have taken over the podium –
they will now call the shots
if it’s thumb up, or thumb down
as in the ancient Roman
Coliseum:
O the past is a weightless matter,
like invisible quarks
that criss-cross the universe.

4.
The juvenile cyclopes
flock in the corridor
awaiting the doors of the labyrinth
to open for the Minotaurs
to prance out into the exterior.
Yet, their mission
is to seek out workable monsters
that won’t savage them
& lead them out of the forest
of academic rigor…
O this is how the world pulsates
according to capitalist norm:
Should they dance
to asynchronic tune,
covet their neighbor’s bitch,
or break into the empire
where words are cheap,
of pure silver gloss
& sheer luminance
to spark empty statistics.
In the age of Capital,
one should be quick
for the dead cannot win
the nod from corporate gods –
None, after all, should be blamed
for obeying two-bit emperors:
Only the loyal & chosen robots
will reap the Wall Street,
the mercantile standard logic.

5.
How shall he formulate
the paper to address
the day’s inconsolable grief?
Shall he seek refuge
among philosophers
whom tenured mentors have demoted?
O they won’t change their minds,
reinvent out of the box ways, designs…
Better to sit down & doze off
to let the intramurals subside?
Strutting in & out
of lecture rooms
as they pursue the Einsteinian
secrets of their paper probes…
O When will they confess
old timers are forever at fault
for clinging on to guesswork,
never the labwork of Reason
where skepticism sits brooding
in a corner,
desperately wanting to bloom?
They have bartered away
this generation’s future,
their conceit sky-high, like a Papal bull.

6.
They are just canonical wolves
spawning young playful cubs
to push north/south of the woods –
In the open road
litter the salvaged corpses
as Parthenon’s detritus.
The old Man,
puffing on his cigar,
lazes at the veranda
that overlooks the listless crowd…
Hustling for what?
In search of whose wise words?
There is only the bogus sainthood
of cheap emperors
in barong & suits.
Where lie the crossroads?
Who amplifies the limited truth?
No one starts from the beginning.
Nothing is virginal –
Repetition is damned deafening
& only the wise would plug
their ears
to the wisdom of the ancient…
There are only traces
of erasure on the mind’s
blackboard…

7.
Happily they congregate
like long-lost friends
in Kyoto
where C & B
have long since been stacked
like fresh books
in the cubbyhole:
they drank to old times,
this young set of educators
who have risen up
the ladder of the turf,
having circumnavigated
the globe like conquistadors.
For sure, they won’t suffer
the tragic comedy
of that old professor
who rebelled fruitlessly
against the iconic rule,
his fate that of a
campus jeepney driver
who waits out students
to roll off…
Nah, they’re wise enough
to steer clear of trouble,
making peace with campus titans
who strut around
with their puny thunderbolts.

8.
Hopefully, they wish
that the wizened mentors
would give their angst –
crafted poems or prose –
a second look.
Should they have trusted
the old guards
of the kingdom,
to sharpen their tools
for a future
that is forever dark
& crimsoned with mixed
prescriptions?
But the old visionaries
had stayed under the sun
too long,
speechless & burnt
like savages of old…
Is there something to offer
from their crystal ball?
None, none at all.
they had long lost hope
for whatever direction
they would point…
The novices must
fend for themselves,
dream alone,
to float in the ocean
of words,
or savagely drown.

9.
She kept the door ajar,
catching the lacerating words
of a fat “cat”
out to draw her blood:
Why must we justify
renewing her contract?
& so on ad infinitum.
O how she felt it in her bones
it was a nightmare
bound to happen:
the guy had been a bête noir
since she took over
the premier slot.
He’s got his own power base now,
the kingpin of the hill,
the new lord of the flies
& cannot stop to dazzle
green mentors on the rise.
It has come full circle then –
Outsiders in,
insiders out,
& there should be therefore
interminable bloodletting
for atavistic spite to exorcise.
The mass slaughter
is par for the course,
a bird’s eye-view
from a hobbit’s bonsai grove.

10.
Is there a genius
in the room?
Nobody raises an indulgent
hand –
after all, nothing is served
to toot one’s horn
in the company
of the crème de la crème
in a dying world…
Everyone is a voyager
in the ocean of texts,
& would unfurl the flag
after the tumult of the
discursive drift…
Who turns Supreme Gladiator
among the herd
of warriors?
O It is the state
that preaches the acceptable
religion:
be the Pope to reign over
the mediocre dominion.
But this is modernist time
when certainty
is out of line –
Only the mentors
would dare spiel they are
in control
of well-scrubbed morons
catching morsels at the feet
of demigods
for their consecrated wisdom.

11.
He has impeccable credentials,
armed with academic tools
& can justifiably serve the nation.
But he can never mount
the hustings
for an electoral seat.
He doesn’t have the moolah
to spread around
as manna for the lower classes
who blindly troop
to the polls
to elect their monetary icons.
O People can be bought –
a simple, monstrous truth –
they easily change principle
like any disposable clothes.
Love the masses
& be an activist?
The Revolution is an empty
shibboleth
fit to be aired in the fields
as a cruel pantomime
for the romantic.
They who sneer at justice
only assure the cosmos
never heeds mortal prayers
because God is his wisdom
& practicum
has gone to sleep.
[O the multicolored pennant of the defeated!]

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