Poems and Poetics

Contents:

POEMS

Something Has To Change

Genesis

Giving Advice 

The American Dream

Everybody Loves Bush

Last Words

Unrequited Love

Room Service

Prose

Bowl of Soup (a story) - Sometimes a bowl of soup makes all the difference. A story based on true events and recounted in a possibly fictional manner that is the result of memory altered by time and faces.

Short Stories:

Arnold Valentine

Up The Bank

And Now a Word from our Sponsor

Page 13 Missing - an ode to Mr. Vonnegut

 

 

Something Has To Change

by Attila Gyenis

I sit here at Kent State
after viewing the four open spaces,
each lit at night,
that mark the emptiness
of the emptied lives,
where four died
on that sad day,
the 4th of May in 1970.
And I have but one thought in my mind
and that is,

Something Has to Change

I refuse to accept these actions as inevitable, unavoidable,
or just a consequence

Something Has to Change

It is not acceptable.
I refuse to go along and accept these events
    as just a fading memory.
Because it is more than just a headline
said in passing.
It is an indictment:
    Of what we are,
    Of what we allow to happen to us,
    Of what we allow to happen to others.

Something has to Change

Because if we are not moving forward,
and progressing to where we want to be
then we are remaining
Stuck
where the human condition
allows any of us
to be struck down
at any moment,
for any cause, at any time.

Something Has to Change

I refuse to compromise any more
when truth, justice, morality
and mortality
are attacked as a non-important consequence.
 
Where blind rage, force, and oppression
    are allowed a free hand,
Where we create the weapons
    that will bring about the end of our existence,
Where we allow for societies based on violence
    if the bottom line is profitable,
Where freedom is based on a popularity contest,
Where the fate of clean air and clean water is decided
    in board rooms,
Where happiness and contentment is measured
    in corporate dollars.

Something Has to Change

If we are unable to chose which path we want to be on
if we allow ourself to be dragged onto the path
    that leads to our own destruction
If we are unable to realize the inevitable outcome
    of our actions
If we continue to be blind to everything that is around us,
If we don’t start having truth and justice be our guiding light
then those four empty spaces will have been in vain.

Something Has to Change

Because I’ll tell you this,
 
Money may be the cause of my death,
    but it will not be the purpose of my life.
 

Kent State, Ohio - On May 4, 1970, twenty eight Guardsmen opened fire on students , shooting between 61 - 67 shots in thirteen seconds. Four persons lay dying, nine were wounded.

Kent StateThe people who were killed:

Allison Krause
Jeffrey Miller
Sandra Scheuer
William Schroeder

The people who were shot:

Alan Canfora
John Cleary
Thomas Grace
Dean Kahler (permanently paralyzed)
Joseph Lewis
Donald MacKenzie
James Russell
Robert Stamps
Douglas Wrentmore

Reason for demonstration: US bombing of Cambodia.

Alan Canfora's excellent website on Kent State:  http://alancanfora.com


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Genesis

On the first day
Man said let there be light
so he created the electric company
 

On the second day
Man said let there be rich and poor
and let the rich have heavenly comforts
the poor he would just ignore
 

On the third day
Man created the land and sea
and called it real estate
so that it all could be owned,
leased, or subleased
 

On the fourth day
Man took control
of all that grew
on both land and sea
from apples to zebras
and called it resource management
 

On the fifth day
Man created cattle ranches
with hormone fed cattle
that ate genetically altered corn
 

On the sixth day
Man created god
in his own image
that included greed, corruption,
power and retribution
 

And on the seventh day
Man rested,
and looked over all that he created
and drank martinis
at the country club
waiting for his profits
to multiply

It was good.
It was all good.

created by Attila Gyenis

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Giving Advice

Giving advice
is a dangerous thing.
 
To offer guidance
on matters of the heart,
political issues,
religious and philosophical doctrines
Moral and ethical values
or cooking instructions
can be met with resistance.
 
Or worse yet,
acceptance
 
The how to
where to
when to
 
even when provided
in a clear and concise manner
backed up with a logical
and inherently valid argument
can result in the most
adverse ramifications
known to mankind.
 
Giving advice can result
in you being
resented
hated
blackballed
and blacklisted
punched in the nose
kicked in the shin
knocked to the ground
never heard from again
and that’s if you ‘re lucky
 
You will be called
pushy
nosey
stupid
just plain dumb
a blabber mouth
a know-it-all
and ‘who the hell
do you think you are
that you can tell anyone
what to do!”
 
Even if you state at the beginning
that the advice you are about to give
is nothing but advice, an opinion,
with no warrantees, guarantees,
stated or otherwise implied
you will still be responsible
for any and all consequences
that befall the victim of your advice
for the next 47 years
 
I caution anyone
contemplating giving advice,
even if done with the purest of hearts
best of intentions
and clearness of mind
 
Even if done with the sum total
of all knowledge
ever known to mankind
 
But be aware
 
There is one thing
even more terrible and dreadful
that can befall a person
who is considering giving advice
 
And that is taking it.

 Attila Gyenis

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American Dream
 

I am a pond
but I want
to be a lake
 
Then I would buy up all
the other lakes
 
Then I would compete
with the oceans
eventually
taking over each one
 
Until I owned
every pond
lake
ocean
in the world
 
Don’t ask me why.
 

Attila Gyenis

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Everybody loves Bush
 
I mean Everybody
            Everybody
              Everybody
 
Mobil, Shell, and Exxon
love Bush
 
Off shore drilling companies
and defense contractors
love Bush
 
Dictators, Unelected Interim Governments
and other anti-terrorists
love Bush
 
Afghanistani Freedom Fighters
with their soon-to-be-new pipelines
love Bush
 
NAFTA, World Bank
and other global monetary financial institutions
love Bush
 
Arms dealers, weapons manufacturers
and other suit-and-tie businessmen
love Bush
 
Hugh Hefner loves bush
The FBI, CIA and Homeland Security
with their 300 billion dollar budget
love Bush
 
Millionaires, Billionaires, and Zillionaires
and people who think they should be
millionaires, billionaires, and zillionaires
love Bush
 
Politicians on the take
and on the make
love Bush
 
Insurance, logging, and mining companies
and others not so friendly
to the people or the environment
love Bush
 
Chemical and genetically-modified-food companies
brought to us courtesy
of Monsanto
love Bush
 
Even my father loves Bush
 
I’m telling you
Everybody loves Bush
I mean everybody
             everybody
               everybody
 
But me.
 

Attila Gyenis

 

Last Words 
- or Things I would Say if I Knew I was going to Die Tomorrow
 
 
Yes, there would be things I would say
if I knew that I would die tomorrow
 
Words that I would not normally say
not for lack of intent, or desire
but just because I believe
I still have time to say them
 
And I would think mightily of the right words to say
choosing them carefully and correctly
with perfect meaning
 
and I would wish to say them in a way poetic
with each word carefully arranged and balanced
 
I would talk about the beauty of a drop of rain
on a blade of grass
when caught in the light
of the early morning sun
reflecting perfected golden eternity
 
I would talk about the friendships
that have provided me with countless moments
of laughter, joy, and wisdom
And shown me kindness, trust, and honesty
 
I would gloss over those other friendships
that brought me sorrow, sadness and anger
 
I would seek out those people
who over the years have given me
that which I think is the most important gift of all,
and that is the giving of themselves and their time
 
And I would convey my appreciation and gratitude
to those who acted out of fairness and compassion
and to those who have shared with me their vision of life,
that life can be good, the importance of being happy
and the need to notice all things in life,
both great and small
 
And I would express my heartfelt thanks
to the people closest to me,
family, friends, teachers,
and even people just met in passing
who have given freely
without any desire or need of a thank you
 
And then I would express my views
of life, death, truth, happiness
and all things in-between
to any passerby who happened to pass by
and explain about matters like love,
and a hundred million other things
 
I would be willing to engage
in conversations with anyone
in an honest and earnest manner
And I hope that I would also listen
because it is never too late to learn a lesson
 
And this is where I would attempt to expound eloquently
on subjects close to my heart and soul:
 
    and talk of my lack of fear of death
    (which is not entirely true);
 
    of my feeling of contentment with my life
    (which is true most of the time);
 
    of my opinion that there is no purpose to life,
    nor is one necessary;
 
    of my understanding that you make life sacred
    by treating it sacred;
 
    of the importance of finding the path
    to your inner truth and purpose;
 
and to the consternation of some I would not talk of a god,
    or of heaven,
    or of hell for that matter either.
 
I would also point out that we humans
and our ‘civilization’
are not only capable of destroying this Garden of Eden,
but in fact are destroying it,
causing unnecessary pain and sorrow to everyone
 
I would think about what my dying words would be.
 
And I worry that I might say my dying words too early
so that they end up not being my dying words.
 
I practice what my dying words might be,
but I am torn between having the words
be whimsically amusing but insightful;
or dramatically melancholy but powerful.
 
Do I want to laugh at the face of death
    and show that I have conquered
    the mortal fear of the unknown,
or display my subtle understanding
    of the inner essence of humanity?
 
Of course, do dying words matter?
 
Yes, I would perhaps sit down
    and write a poetic and rambling declaration
    and imagine my audience being far greater
    than just the friends and family I have amassed.
 
I would quote authors I had never read,
    use words that I looked up the thesaurus
    and generally attempt to evoke any great idea
    that I have stumbled across in my life.
 
I would try to explain that truth is not a popularity contest,
    and that a person should stand up for what is right
    because it is the right thing to do.
 
That the power of truth will always become evident,
    even if it does take two lifetimes.
 
That it is important in our daily life
    to carry forward that which is beneficial to us,
    and leave behind that which is not.
 
That there is a lesson learned from every experience,
    and that you should learn from you mistakes
    as well as your successes.
 
That it is okay to practice spontaneous acts of kindness.
 
That the sooner we learn to enjoy our lives,
    the longer we get to enjoy it.
 
That children are out most important asset,
    that our planet is our most important resource,
    that that each person’s essence
    is worth more than all the tea in China.
 
Yes, there would be a great many things I would say
if I knew I would be dying tomorrow,
 
     but I have plenty of time.
 
 
 
Attila Gyenis
February 2001

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Unrequited Love

 
If you don't call me
  I will either shrivel away forever
  or go terribly blind

Attila Gyenis

 
lie
in sterile surroundings
breathing in air
that is anything but sterile
listen to the moans and screams
of people old and frightened
 
Pull the curtains around you
think that it shuts you off
from the outside
 
But the IV
that drips into your arm
keeps you always aware
of where you are
 
They don't tell you in the brochure
that they come around at night
to prick you
and squeeze your arm
while you pretend
you are in a deep sleep
 
At 900 dollars a day
It ain't no Hilton on the Riviera

Attila Gyenis

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