Guest Feature – A Dim View of the Hippie Movement ~ Chris Rodriguez

At the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
Strawberry Alarm Clock awakens a
stream of consciousness,
artificial spirituality laced with LSD.
Transformed Beatniks don beads, become hip in
bell-bottomed hip-huggers encountering
their id at a Human Be-In.
Back to the land communes in Strawberry Fields
support organic humanure-spiked food
free for sexual favors at local markets.
Nature Boys in old timey clothes fertilize
filth-crusted bodies with free love,
In a Gadda da Vida, honey!
Urbanization spurned, freaks still choose
Frisco as their center of (de)light.

Free press rings in news,
Feed My Headlines proclaim –
Dr. Strange and Jefferson Airplane attend an
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test at a Grateful Dead revival,
the church of drug induced Nirvana.
Liquid Light Shows draw tie-dyed run-away teens,
down the rabbit hole of
wide-eyed, White Rabbit wonder.
At the Height of Haight Happening,
Hare Krishna chants induce superficial
infatuation with Asian etiology.
‘Keeping it Real’ gets Gays
out of the closet (Far out!),
riding a rainbow of psychedelic ribbons
of Pride to The Castro district.
Hirsute Flower Children with lice, but nice
bare-breasted chicks making love
in patchouli-scented crash pads singing
“love the one you’re with,” oblivious
ball and chain toking through hours
and daze hazy nights.
The free-love train is not a smooth ride.
Stick it to The Man – the mantra in a man’s world.
The Bearded Curtain lacks money,
root of all Establishment evil.
Women serve as replacement currency
coerced to entice new males’ members to enter
the communal state of orgiastic bliss.
Babies abused in false belief,
“It’s alright, it’s his bag. All love is beautiful.”
Magical Mystery Tour, Woodstock,

Summer of Love sexual stew of STD’s
spawns a free clinic that treats
Joplin’s botched abortion.
By all means do your own thing,
tune in, drop out, turn on – blow your mind as
Manson’s musical of murderous missions
taunts L.A. Elysian Park love-ins.
Tricky (Sock it to me?) Dick, with a double (under)handed flash of the peace sign,
tries to send Jo-Yo packing back to Nutopia.
The “Death of Hippies Funeral” buries the
counterculture movement, but uptight,
hung-up, assertive feminists
rise like the Phoenix
from the ashes of burned bras,
born of the so-called age of enlightenment
which kept girls prone,
minds closed
legs open
to Masters and Johnson’s post-revolution probe.
Ouch!


Chris Rodriguez has retired from the horrors of conventional life.  She
now lives on the brink of inspiration in a 100-year-old cottage in
Pocatello, Idaho. Her works have appeared in various themed anthologies
including Rhetoric Askew, Kelly Jacobson’s, The Way to My Heart: An
Anthology of Food-Related Romance, Anchala Press’s Flash Fiction for
Flash Memories and several by Horrified Press/Thirteen O’Clock and
coming soon to Left Hand Publisher’s, Mindscapes Unimagined.  You can
find her latest at https://www.chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.com or
https://www.amazon.com/author/chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.

Advertisements

Glitter to Rust – Chris Nelson

We dance and dance to jingle’s tune

And eager swallow every lie,

The promise of the silver moon

To hang ourselves in crystal sky.

We offer up each golden prayer

To mark our lives like none before,

And drape ourselves in jewels so rare

Like none but us can read the score.

And on our faces painted clear

Desire and lust out stripping need,

The thought of less our only fear

To justify our burning greed.

Our eyes fixed firm towards the light

That guides us to the good and true,

Expectance lingers in our sight

At offerings for the chosen few.

We grasp at gold within our reach

As fortune smiles her twisted grin,

To claim the riches that we seek

She offers us a way to win.

But what is it we find we hold

When all the glitter turns to rust,

And we are weakened, frail and old

And all our futures turned to dust?

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61

Guest Feature: On The Road To Samaria – Jonathan Humble

orig

In these shoes,
I negotiate life in the third person;
toes swathed in top quality calfskin,
safe from random shit and shards,
where neither grass nor paved path
can sully these soft arches and soles.

I wear these suits;
an actor avoiding the fourth wall,
costumed and painted with lines learnt,
senses fenced off with silk and cashmere,
any truthful light blocked by scenery.

I drive these cars;
cosseted in high-end second skin caskets,
hermetically sealed and sheltered from rain,
all shocks absorbed and sins absolved,
reality suspended for the duration.

In front of these screens,
I casually exploit worlds lived separately,
salving conscience with painless gestures,
shifting small sums with gift aided texts,
untouched by the sweat of first person lives;

always remembering to give openly,
while keeping a record for tax purposes.

© Jonanthan Humble
First published by Ink Sweat & Tears (June 2018)


Jonathan Humble is a teacher in Cumbria. His poetry has appeared in IS&T, Obsessed With Pipework, Clear Poetry, Amaryllis, Riggwelter, Atrium, Three Drops Press, Burning House Press, Zoomorphic, Fairacre Press, EyeFlash and on BBC Radio.  You can read more from him here: Jonanthan Humble’s Stuff…a poetry blog


 

The sojourner’s haibun – Nitin Lalit Murali

I’m trapped in my old sedan like the Sicilian Bull, the fires of trauma roasting me, and in agony I pound the steering wheel and incessantly press the horn, though the hairpin  bends as sharp as glinting scythes stay deserted, except for the hard rain, the water like blood sluicing, the wipers like metal claws scraping the glass in desperation. On either side tea plantations like incisions on a masochist’s wrist haunt. The mist envelopes like white pus, and I can’t see the dying light circumscribed by the mutinous night with her soldiers with onyx spears and her crescent moon—her war horn with pitted symbols of anarchy. A solitary hooded man passes like the reaper in flesh. My shrieks echo, and the car burns the wet asphalt leaving tire marks like another layer of infection on a gangrenous wound. The rage from my headlights clamp the air like crocodile shears, tearing its appendages of oxygen and nitrogen. The fume from my exhaust pipe settles on crushed empty paper cups, like acid poured on a battered, torture victim’s face. I ascend, yanked by some invisible force, like a mongrel tied to the back of motorcycle and then dragged across winding curve after winding curve because it bit the driver, sunk its teeth into his flesh. I’m the dog and Fate is the driver. I should have never rebelled. I should have never played with his dice, tossed it like a chewed off mutton bone. The car has a few dents like keloids that eventually form if one keeps itching scabs. It’s running low on fuel like a terminally ill patient in the ICU slowly losing his life-force. The tires pass over a thin trunk with spindly branches – stripped away by the howling wind like a demoniac’s scream – like a spine yanked out with thoracic nerves attached. I don’t see it and it pierces one like a rusty nail impales a big toe. The air fizzles out like the entrails of a sacrificed goat. A loud pop like a gunshot to the head. I lose control and spin like vertigo before a faint. The car careens like bloody vomit and smashes a signboard saying, ‘12/24.’ Glass shatters like foot bones cracking when stepped on by football studs. My head hits the dashboard like a plate thrown, smashing a wall. I gradually drift in and out of consciousness like a man after a snake bite…

You’ll never reach the end of this long walk –
Because fate to man is no two-edged coin –
So, rush to meet life, the gods they enjoin –
you – fight, attend with silent, muted talk –

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You can find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting the dying light

An Uncivil Discourse – The Stories in Between

I would give everything to you if I thought it would make any difference. You can have it all, I’ve held on to it long enough. But what would you do with it? Would you piss it away, day after day in self pity through self loathing? Would you continue to walk around with that mirror, facing everyone but yourself? Imposing your self righteous judgment, showing them all their imperfections while hiding behind, unexposed, weak, afraid. Afraid of what you have to offer. Afraid of taking responsibility for your part in all this. Your false narrative is one I have heard before, even taken part in. Your judgment and moral superiority are as hollow as the eyes of the mob you follow. Your own hypocrisy will turn on you one day. Your divisiveness, anger, hate will silence you. Your self imposed group identity will destroy you- the individual. But that is all OK because you will always find someone else to blame.

I admit now I was wrong, there is understanding in me, but I hold true to the fact I have little sympathy for your uncivil discourse.

Stay then, with the others, if that’s what it takes to get you through your day. If not, then you are welcome to put it all down and walk with me. I will love you but nothing will be spared.

Kicking and screaming, we strip away the dependence to label and categorize. When everything is no longer anything, it just is, as it will be. Neither for or against you. You will breathe a sigh of relief at the unrecognizable. Differences erode and with enough time, finally, there will be nothing left to set aside.

Then what will you do with all your time?

protest 1

 

 

 

protest 3

 

protest 4

 

protest 2

 

police

 


More can be found at The Stories in Between