Authors note*: If at some point quality deviates, by weight of adapting culture and a more increasingly vapid influx of art that provokes nothing more than a cinematic rendition to grace popular culture, then by strict comparison; art has declined. Poetry and its proverbial cousins of drama, cinema and prose, have long documented a progression from brash troglodytes to condescending proclamations of morality. There upon that podium, art hath cried out, like a Christian in the time of decadence:
“Here layeth, the seed of all that rusts and rots. Doth with your negligence do you embrace this, with open arms and smiles of glee. Where to, does one look, to Rembrandt, to Dante?
Do you not loathe the sin that you embellish, you the ones who shun art, take pride its extortion and ridicule?
Do you not see, these artists as prophets? To grace yonder, Isaiah upon the mound or Muhammad in the plains of Medina?
Fickle were you, who laid waste to Pound when he saluted fascism, who let the virtuous Mathematics take a seat beside that which made the earth flow with sentiment and honesty. In time, thou shalt once more see, the heavens agape, and the earth flow open. The land shall grow white as milk and honey shall run like the Nile when the season doth pass.
I shall see The Bard with a vicious tongue and an apathetic ear settling for the tenderest of Iambics walk into the city clutching at the Folio: “Tears virginal
Shall be to me even as the dew to fire,
And beauty that the tyrant oft reclaims
Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.
Henceforth I will not have to do with pity:
Meet I an infant of the house of York,
Into as many gobbets will I cut it
As wild Medea young Absyrtus did:
In cruelty will I seek out my fame.”
I shall see the Mothers of future poets, painters and philosophers not spare the obscenity of Lawrence, not declare the macabre of Plath a sin, for they shall rejoice in their children’s talent and love.
I shall see the clouds align and make for grievous apprehensions of God, they shall form shapes and ornaments: begging to be painted and serenaded.
I shall see dogs bark in harmony and delight, their song but a sweet and choral one, with the overture of their master’s discontent.
I shall see merchants drink their own wine, proclaim their anguish at lovers come and gone, with every sip a detail of intimacy shall breathe and come forth with woe.
I shall see the soldiers beat their swords against their shields, declare this the greatest love of the century, lift up their crimson tunics and flay what sent Paris blindly into Helen’s arms, without thought for lady loves pink skies, each moan but an expression of sentiment in deepest melody.
I shall see the sun perched in the sky, cradled in the arms of God, burst into the shade of passion that no lover ever once saw, it’s rays will burn and they will anoint and when the frivolity passes, the sun shall render himself useless for a quarter of an hour.
I shall see the Moon, like an actor go forth and bathe in the light for himself, blocking all manner of glow from the rest of you.
I shall see the faces of those that feared and hated, droop and wither like the flowers on the banks of the Jordan.
I shall see Shelley arise from her folly, take hold of the knowledge that men praised and swallow it whole, she will frolic hand in hand with Bysshe and then walk into the Dead Sea with stones adorning her pockets.
I shall see the stars amidst the veil of night sky, each one sending Rimbaud into fits of derangement and passion; twisting and turning- for you my son, you are in Hell, and in Hell you take delight.
And still, the academics and sceptics gnash their teeth and shake their heads, they will outlive their own disparity and their bones will be playthings for those that roam the night.
Still, will institution upon institution cast doubt about metaphor and prose, they will look to those that see heaven in number and currency.
Still, Dickinson will weep, she will sing of death in a glorious tone, her gift is but the promise of death, and she shall go hand in hand with Woolf into Heaven.
Still, the locks that adorn the gentle things of youth, they will stay gold, but like gold they will rust and crumble, for no Muse shalt be free from impending age, you have been fooled by poets.
Still, heaths and lanes that you held so close, that lit your mind with the flame of passion, they will be set alight by barbarians and their sentiment will diminish as flame and ember ravages.
And you, in the City of Jerusalem shall see; angel upon Angel Fall from the Heavens, they will be impaled by the quills of Kant and Hume, and their blood shall write a new way for the people to embrace.
And you, in the City of Jerusalem shall see; the Dome of the Rock cave in on itself, every Jew, Christian and Muslim with their mouths agape will weep and toil, yet they will salvage the gold for themselves.
And you, in the City of Jerusalem shall see; the fortune tellers and seers run like rabbits through the streets, trumpet tongued and singing of Michael.
And you, in the City Of Jerusalem shall see; the worms seep through from the sand, they will tie themselves in knots and they shall be used as badges for the Heretics.
And you, in the City of Jerusalem shall see; all that once was, is now, and forever shall be.
They shall write in tongues of old and in tongues of new, laments that did protest with rigour, which in our pursuit of that which sent bodies into the sky and dissolves babes in the womb we have abandoned those who wrote of lovers taking their lives.
Withered and blue, they will abort children that would give their own lives in due course for that of another.
Your beliefs and virtues will not remain intact, for the weight of apparent progress will crush them and you will be left with only remnants of your passion.
If you should still hold close that which laid naked covered in roses in high esteem and within your grasp, they will be snatched from you and made into Harlots.
They will consume every living thing that roams this Earth in the name of apparent instinct, those that shall find nutrition in the woods and gardens will be force fed the blood of a Lamb.
Gold will replace currency once more, the mines will be full of men, and they will be paid in lighter form of what they broke their back to find.
Schools of Art and Music will be boarded up, the clay will be used for building blocks and the violins shall be burnt to keep the roar of industry alive.
You will dedicate yourself to the Odyssey and the Mariner, and upon invigorating yourself with the solemnity of it’s worth, they shall tear the pages and put in your hand; diluted literature.
My friends, my Lovers, my Family, my Enemies, my Animals:
You shall scorn me, detest me and say that I feel the Western breeze no different from you, but believe me this when my lips move to convey;
O Glory! Sweet is such.
I believe in the twilight of poetry and consummation of art,
Together they shall intertwine like Tristan & Isolde, through the ages.
From whenst I felt the bitter kiss in my youth,
I beheld figments known only to Donne and Blake.
But you called me a liar and a false prophet,
For in your youth you were taught regiment and fixture.
I abhor these things like I do the sight of used up lovers!
Go forth into the city and frolic with those who wrote,
Sweet songs and verses, who sent the sun from China to the Americas.
There you will find yourself, immersed in all that is good and sweet.
Think not of the trumpet tongued angels who come to claim you,
for you shall remain a seer even in Heaven, even when the gates have rusted.
Jordan Mac Phee-Torres