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Thread: Apocalypse

  1. #1
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    Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
    by Pompey Bum

    I sing the Antihuman where ze reigns:
    Leviathan, the pussyfooted male;
    And Babylon's Whore; a needle born
    Against the quickening flesh of innocent day.
    The sun deranged, our deathless star
    Undone and nova red, its spirit, dead,
    Trails oracles like blood drops on a virgin's bed.
    So sheds at last the purple fruit, the idol's fodder.
    So comes the silent, drugged, anonymous slaughter,
    Wrought by faces masked, by steady hands and true.
    Oh, Man is dead, and we have killed him, too.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-29-2019 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Interesting poem... scans well.

    Ideas from Revelation and Also sprach Zarathustra ?

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor STATELY
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  3. #3
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Pompey this is an intriguing piece.
    Not sure what
    ze reigns and Leviathan
    are.
    And is this piece a reference to something?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  4. #4
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I have to agree with PB on this!
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  5. #5
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    Thank you, Cacian, tailor, and Danik, for reading and thinking about my poem--one I know to be full of difficult imagery. But that's the way the Muse sang it, and hey, I gotta be me.

    Quote Originally Posted by tailor STATELY View Post
    Ideas from Revelation and Also sprach Zarathustra ?
    Well, they're mostly my ideas, but yes, some of the images are Biblical. I tried to push them, though, to make them belong to the poem without sacrificing the iconic integrity of the original. Leviathan is greatly changed (see below). The dying, bleeding sun--about to go nova--is a symbol of Christ, dead already in modern/postmodern minds. It's not found in John, but it retains a "fire next time" sense to it. That's what I was trying to do.

    And Nietzsche, yes, but here especially the ideas are my own. I mean, I adopted and adapted some of his ideas by tweaks and twists. Obviously the last line is a pastiche of "God is dead...and we have killed him" (which is also the idea behind the bleeding sun). Granted Nietzsche and John make for strange bedfellows--but not so much when you think of it. You were right in noticing them, and obviously a man who has thought about their ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    And is this piece a reference to something?
    Yes, it's about abortion. More generally, it's about abortion as a manifestation of the antihuman nihilism that has become the spirit of the age. That'll probably make me no friends, but as I said, I gotta be me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    Not sure what
    ze reigns and Leviathan
    are.
    Well, it's complicated, so please bear with me. "I sing the Antihuman" is ironic and polemical. I was trying to play off Walt Whitman's enthusiasm in "I sing the body electric", but tailor is right to think I was also referencing Nietzsche's "I teach you the Superman." I was not advocating that idea (far from it), but Nietzsche was deeply concerned with antihuman tendencies in thought and history. So I wanted to use him, too.

    I also wanted to access prophetic and apocalyptic Biblical imagery (the poem's original title was Prophecy). I formulated the Antihuman in a deliberate parallel with the Antichrist--an ominous Apocalyptic figure from the New Testament. This is not Nietzsche, it is contra Nietzsche. Nietzsche was deeply atheistic and claimed (in a book called The Antichrist) that Christianity was the source of the problem. So who is this Antihuman figure my poem postulates? Well, like the Biblical Antichrist, a kind of false ruler. The poem promises to take the reader to the place the Antihuman reigns (as a king or queen reigns), which by the end turns out to be an abortion clinic.

    But there I had a problem: was this where he reigns or where she reigns? Well, neither and both. What I was really talking about was the loss in our times of moral and heroic virtue--divide them as you will between the masculine and feminine. So I adopted the ambiguous pronoun ze (which I don't mind using as long as I'm not compelled to use it). In my vision, the Antihuman combines Leviathan, an apocalyptic figure usually thought of as a dread sea beast, and the Whore of Babylon, a polemical image of virtue prostituted to worldly power. My twist was that rather than being a powerful brute, Leviathan turns out to be (in rather Nietzschean fashion) a weak and pathetic man.

    Combined as the Antihuman, they represent "a needle born/Against the quickening flesh of innocent day." The newborn day is a symbol for new life. This sets up the next set of images (the dying, bleeding sun) and foreshadows the poem's conclusion.

    Sorry you asked?
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 07-29-2019 at 06:57 PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Ahhh... all the more poignant. A banned song by Seals and Crofts came to mind when I read your explanation... not due to your poem per se, but a gut response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm7JACG-CTk Free speech ain't free when it becomes politically incorrect (go figger): https://humanlifereview.com/unborn-child-forty/ As with Seals and Crofts I doff my baseball cap to your humanity.

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor STATELY
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

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    Quote Originally Posted by tailor STATELY View Post
    I doff my baseball cap to your humanity.
    Thank you, tailor. That means SO MUCH to me.

  8. #8
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    Damn Pompey, I'd take a couple evenings with you drinking cheap wine at a smoke filled motel bar over a week at a beach resort drinking high-end margaritas next to the pool.

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    Thanks, Ekim. I must still have that smoky, cheap-wine ambiance about me. Definitely time to launder the ol' tweed.

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