Geek Poetry

I’ll be honest: it’s the first week of summer break; I’m already busy preparing for summer school; I’ve had a bit of a cold, and I’m fairly well written-out from the latest issue of Redshift. I’m in the middle of a great graphic novel that I want to review soon, but that’s not quite ready yet. So I’m pretty much depleted on material for this week’s blog. However, something that I did think might be interesting, especially in light of my return to creative writing, would be to feature some of my “sci-fi”-ish poetry. These are pieces that can be found on my old art/poetry blog, The Hack, to which I haven’t contributed in some time. Haven’t posted a poem to it in a year, and I think I’ve only written one poem that’s not there. Haven’t had the bug, is all. At any rate, there are a few pieces which are somewhat geek oriented, and I’ve exhibited them below. If you like the style, maybe visit the other site as well. Comments and conversation is always welcome.

Namaste and happy gaming!

Being Vulcan
Does this describe breed?  Ethnicity?  Philosophy?
To adhere to a code of conduct amidst those
who disregard their own directives.
To pursue the Godhead through logic.
To search alone.

When the ambassador bartered peace, he did not rejoice.
They lauded his “humility.”
When his mother died, he did not lament.
They chided his “frigidity.”
Humans want their yin without its yang.

Was it not Siddhartha of ancient Earth
who cautioned against the pendulum swinging either way?
Still one grows tired—negotiating, tolerating
Ferengi, whose ears refuse to listen.
Klingons, whose heads refuse to think.
Romulans, whose rage invokes its kin.
We transgress.
Emotion gives rise to new beings: us and yet not us—
like materializing from transporter beams.
Do our past transgressions beam with us,
or can one simply energize,
melding mind and space?

Longevity precludes prosperity,
living with those who scratch and throw feces.
They chart frontiers seeking home.
This is illogical.
The boldest voyage is to go within.

Noble Lineage
When I dream of great-grandfather Odoacer,
the senate is on fire behind him.
A trail of blood marks the way from Italy to my throne.
I wanted the light,
not just the flames.

My wizard foretold the plague
of usurpers amongst our race.
Six million naked nobles would be put to death.
Another Caesar in Germania.
Men will take no counsel.

I forbade my children their sovereignty.
Popular sovereignty reined imperial minds.
Peasants grew plump, selling surplus to people of privilege—
who voted for mutiny.
Indeed, they chose their rule.

My castle’s on fire behind me
for telling the people their needs,
for men would rather choose to fail
than they would be forced to succeed.

The Governor’s Daughter
The loop snags his lower lip
as they slip it over his head.
It tastes of brine, and he wonders
how many men have dangled from its end.
He cannot know the rope is not sanitized—
that its fibers harbor a million bacteria
that seep into his scurvy gums.
But even if he could,
presently, such things won’t matter anymore.

They might have forgiven the mutiny.
After all: these were Cambridge men.
They must have seen the folly in herding
a hundred hardened men on a brig
with a handful of haughty officers and the cat.
Even if the Quartermaster’s bowels had to be swabbed off the deck.

They might have forgiven the robbery.
After all: these were privateers.
What he had stolen from the British
had only just been stolen from the French
had only just been stolen from the Dutch
and all the loot was down in the Locker now anyway.
Nothing gained, nothing lost.
Except the forty or so lads killed at each exchange.

They might even have forgiven the rape,
had she not been who she was.
After all: how many officers and men didn’t have a go
at the native Jamaicans?
Even when they screamed.
Even when they pushed sand up inside their bodies
to deter their would-be suitors.
But what sailor hasn’t had to suffer a little sand in his crotch?

He cannot know his life will be sanitized—
that his crimes will be the stuff of follies
on some moving picture box
for some other daughter
of some other governor
while she slurps her breakfast cereal,
and the part of the pyrate will be played
by some anthropomorphic vegetable.
But even if he could,
presently, such things don’t matter anymore.

Vulnerable
Look.  Up in the sky.
A man devoid of desire to fly.
In stratospheric winds, his cape is frayed
like an American flag too long displayed
and twisted round a Grecian pillar of steel.
Humanity’s like bugs beneath his boot heel.

A single silver filament, coiled over his brow,
is all the weathering from a million storms
of the century before now.
No scars from ten thousand stabbings, shootings;
no limp from fighting criminal behavior;
no wrinkles from ten thousand sunscapes.

All hail the universal savior.
He saved all, save a few.

First home—engulfed in supernova.
Then Dad collapsed in a field.
And all he could say was, “I love you,” to her
when she told him what the biopsy revealed.

The man of tomorrow is yesterday.
The future’s entombed in lead.
What truth?  What justice?  The American Way?
Even his nemesis is dead.
Once a shield for the citizens, now the crest is a crutch
for the billions of human infirm.
He could succor them still,
but what would it matter?
It was always for her.  Always for her.

How many sunrises stand in his way?
Must he be the last son of two worlds?
Or could he make the sun set today?
He couldn’t do it by speeding bullet,
nor by throwing himself in front of a train.
Even if he leapt from atop a tall building,
the attempt would be in vain.

The song of the sirens rises up on the wind,
but he rides the wind to the north.
For now, he’ll take solace in solitude
and wonder what it’s worth.

Ode to the Doctor
It seems ridiculous that I sit and pine
on a Saturday night, like a sweetheart burned,
or like your companions, idling time,
for you to light a phone booth and return.
You are fiction.  Fantasy’s your realm.
You battle robots, monsters, aliens—
your nemeses are salt-shaker droids…
And still the thrill of joining you at helm,
flying to outer space and back again,
recalls the make-believe so real to boys.

Like any good fiction, poem, or prose, you changed
over time.  You came into your own.
So many faces you’ve worn, but still you’re unnamed.
We only know you as who you’re unknown.
You are not yours now; you’re all of ours.
We’ve laughed.  We’ve loved.  We’ve wanted to kill.
(That’s how good stories ought to make us feel.)
Your blue box in our boob box condensed countless hours.
As we’ve grown older, you’ve grown younger still,
and we take communion in your mass appeal.

Time Lord, O Time Lord, I’ve two hearts for you.
The whoosh-hiss of TARDIS sets my schedule anew.
First through you the kingdom was actually united,
and now you’re broadcast so the whole world’s ignited.
Parents all over book vicarious vacations
while kids behind couches suffer great consternation.
So I guess it isn’t so foolish at all
for a grown man to be with a whimsy enthralled.
We’ve revisited youth gallivanting through time,
so for Gallifrey I write this whimsical rhyme!


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