Monday, July 25, 2016

"Mendacious Manuals" by David Pring-Mill, Frequent Contributor

Mendacious Manuals
David Pring-Mill

We're lost
within a library
of censorship.
Fingers parse the pages,
with others
skimming quickly
past the paper cuts…
The distributed manuals
bind the banality,
insidiously instruct,
typographically terrorize!

One boy is angry:
a hand on forehead,
thumb apart
from fingers closed-together,
headphones masking
that sound of silence,
because even silence
is too vulnerable
to someone else's beats
and words.

And this abandoned youth
defies the heartless
through rhythms alone,
creating his own sonic myths
in mind.
What worlds could rise
from self-asserted patterns?
Can structures be shaken
by rumbling bass?

Respecting the etiquette of quiet,
I leave through the doorway;
my bar code doesn't beep.
Oblivious participants
form a crowd
and it is surging,
with anxious, jerking movements.

Hurry! faster!
excuse me,
watch out…

They walk swiftly
with blank and slightly
tortured faces,
as if they all might be late
for the apocalypse.
Embers impacting concrete
signify the cigarettes,
craved and consumed
with uncaring dismissal.

I read a film review
by Roger Ebert,
in which he observed:
"In the 1950s
smoked everywhere
all the time.
Life was a disease,
and smoking held it
temporarily in remission."

Barreling forward,
without choice,
I notice
an octagon of light
falling upon them
as they worry,
with lost rays filtered
into geometric command.
and the stampede finally
culminates, beautifully,
with a trampling elegance,
and a five-thirty congestion
of cars, and a cacophony
of engines, pouring
over everything reliably.

Sneakers, cone heels, and simple,
Oxford shoes can make
a metered mark upon
this world,
with thoughts tilting
against the natural orbit,
and aligning to the accuracy
of morphed-out shadows.
We emulate the distortions
of the ones who rushed before
and rush no more.

There is more to this world
than what first appears.
This is a game played
between light and darkness.
Strategically, and musically,
the clever ones anticipate
the next moves, conjuring up
a fantasy by which
they might get saved.

On the street corner,
an official passes out
revised manuals,
with even more options
crossed out.

Poet's Notes:  I would describe "Mendacious Manuals" as a vaguely political poem. People anxiously comply with patterns, to the detriment of society, ostensibly for the maintenance of society. Those who are willing to reconsider old considerations redeem us.

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