Saturday, January 09, 2010

Strung Souls
Unless you view this
ill defined world as others do,
with all they perceive it to offer…
Everything deemed worthy to submit
before your discerning eye might
well be dismissed as nothing more
than shadows cast across
a contrived backdrop.

There upon that featureless stage,
curtains perpetually rise and fall
and yet nothing of significance
ever crosses its boundaries.
That is, unless someone lifts a hand.
Unless an array of gnarled ligature and bone
falls beneath another’s thumb.

That some sad marionette
might stagger forth
under the influence of a higher power,
and there
with a buckling of joints,
drop to its knees in an
abject act of subjugation.
He with head bowed in forced capitulation,
while you in your velveteen chair
swoon in unison with the dark silhouette
of all those pathetic voyeurs
in some staggered array
falling away before you.
All while up beyond those Faustian footlights,
a frail figure shudders and sways
beneath the veiled yoke of
another’s tethered dominion.

There in the theatre dark,
you feel the leash of your
mind start to fray
as there upon stage some
automaton of angst
turns its splintered grimace
to you in the audience,
and there reflects the foul fa├žade
of your own enameled face.
But this act of communion
abruptly unspools,
for there below a dour draped sky
of velour verisimilitude,
the mute marionette collapses to floor
in prostrate compliance to the
spastic machinations
of some unseen obscene
omnipotent.

And though those assorted strands
momentarily sag and sway,
you assume their taunts remain true.
That the imperceptible thread which
drops to that puppet’s
outstretched hand
is taut and free of entanglement.
That the one who tied the assorted knots
was free from divine distraction when
he was shown the ropes.
And while you persist in dwelling
upon the greatest of forever unknowns,
there upon stage that crumpled marionette
attempts to rise of its own free will.
Ah, but the gravity of its sutured situation
consists of such weight
that it simply can not prevail.

And here in your roll as rapt audience
you come to conclude that this…
All of this.
This soul in anguished torment.
That this is not entertainment.
That you as a distinctly empowered being
will not partake of another’s
dire derision.

And so you endeavor to rise.
To simply turn your riotous head
towards the waiting exit.
Ah, but there in that hollowed dome of bone,
a cinder strewn mind vainly goes in search
of some remnant of spiritual spark,
and fails quite miserably.
For what are you if not
suspended
mid mortal finality?

Was there ever truly such a thing
as an existence that came
without strings attached?

© 09 Jack Hubbell

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Consuming Others
That I might live, others must die.
It’s a harsh reality but
I suppose I’m okay with it.
In the realm of morality, there’s a hierarchy of them
which are decreed spiritually insignificant
and strangely all those others deemed
significantly lacking in requisite spirituality.
Not exactly sure where I fall in that spectrum,
but between me and them what be
designated as ‘others’,
I figure I got the inside track
on where my loyalties lie.

I suppose I should define
just who gets the categorical labeling of ‘others’
but where would be the fun in that?
This all being a game and
everything involved being
some form of pretension, we are
supposed to pretend we are starving.
And starving being a precursor to death,
it’s relatively easy to stay focused.
And in part of that whole pretend scenario,
it really helps with the ‘poetic license’
that I haven’t eaten in almost a day.

Of course I am not a lone soloist
in this whole starvation experience.
Of those contestants in my
makeshift Donner Pass party,
there are seven men and one female.
Of the fact there’s a woman in our midst
is not supposed to matter.
We are a military presence and thus
androgynous.
Don’t ask and don’t tell us of your all too
emotive orientation.
This ain’t about procreation.
Ain’t about gender genitalia.
Is about life sustaining satiation.
Is about voraciously devouring others.

Okay, a bit of clarification may be in order.
My use of the word ‘others’
might just be a bit broader than yours.
You see, there’s the other seven living entities
in my immediate group
(all by law—un-edible)
and then everything else.
Half of which by taste are also un-edible.

That one girl in our group?
She has openly expressed that
she is a vegetarian.
I figure that for her this fact has cut the
remaining group of what’s edible
roughly in half.
On the previous night, we had to
slaughter by hand
a pair of rabbits and
butcher them.
Something of which
did not sit well with her. She…
She used to raise them as pets.
How would she as herbivore
last in such an unforgiving wild?

So there we stand at a stream,
refilling our canteens with
bacterial and protozoan
‘others’ laden water,
and carnivore that I am,
I look down to spy a medium sized snake
enter the liquid flow
and make for the far bank.
There mid coarse,
I easily reach down to grasp it by the neck
and lift it up to display before
my surrounding pack of fellow hunter-gatherers.

And here I am expecting adulation,
and indeed from the majority of my
Cro-Magnon brethren I receive it, but…
But not from her.
From across the stream, she
surges forward and there a few feet away,
raises her hands into clinched fists
and begins to rain them down
upon my upper chest and shoulders.
“Put it down! Put it down! Put it down!”
she screams again and again.
Tears well in her eyes
and her soft face contorts
in the most extreme way.

Oh, I’ve been slapped by a girl but
this is the first time I’ve ever been beaten.
Ah yes. Well… The fists?
The fists meant very little.
No. It was her eyes.
Their intensity.
Their passion.
The willingness to starve
so that some lesser entity
deemed insignificant by
we the humanoid masses
might continue to live another day.
And here her verbal assault alters.
“You got the rabbits! Put it down! Put the snake down!”
Again a maniacal mantra.
All in syncopation to the percussive rhythm
beaten into my chest.

And I let the snake go.
Let it drops to the water where it
shoots away and down the stream
before any of the other men can grab it.
And here now my onslaught of abuse
changes from female to male.
What a loser!
What a pathetic example of manhood!
And they turn away in disgust for
what have I done
but failed one of the ultimate tests of virility?

Am I weak?
Well isn’t that obvious?
I have let down my fellow man.
Flunked ‘Male Bonding 101’.
But hey! Let’s face it.
This is less about men and
more about me embracing my feminine side.
For men I will always put up the
pretence of accommodation,
but here’s the truth:
I love women.

To starve myself;
to waste away and whither.
I would die for you.
There at your stream,
I would release my grasp.
Turn loose my snake and
ease it back into the flowing wet
of which I just withdrew it.

I would do this for you.
I would.
All you have to do is ask.

©09 Jack Hubbell