Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Humans to Download Their Souls onto Microchips - poem

Lawrence Hall, HSG

Humans to Download Their Souls onto Microchips
So They Can Live Forever


And so all hopes and dreams and fears and loves:
That beautiful girl who kissed you one night
Your after-school job, your first little car
Recruit training, your Navy buddies, the sea

Your wedding day, your children at their play
Your coffee pals at the Old Men’s Café
The songs you wrote, the dreams you dreamed, your - self
Light-beamed and streamed into a little pill

The chip was lost; in someone else’s drive it sits -
He replaced your soul with Elvis’ greatest hits

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Super Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse - Rhyming Doggerel

Lawrence Hall, HSG

The Super Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse – Rhyming Doggerel

The Super Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse
Into its orbit quietly slips

Eclipse the Super Wolf Blood Moon
The fork drives away with the spoon

Moon Eclipse The Super Wolf Blood
It trips and falls into the mud

Blood Moon Eclipse The Super Wolf
Growls “Ha!” ‘cause nothing rhymes with “wolf”

Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse The Super
Cleans up the mud with a little scooper

Super Wolf Blood Moon Eclipse The
Shines bravely over my favourite tree -

The moon always gives us delight
Especially on this frosty night!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Jesuit Bob Stylin' to the Rhythms of 1968 - poem

Lawrence Hall, HSG

Jesuit Bob Stylin’ to the Rhythms of 1968

And Lord we just wanna

Upon my folk guitar I plang three chords
I place the book of Psalms upon a stand
And I can sort of mix them for the Lord
And twankle-twank clichés throughout the land

And Lord we just wanna

Now with her tambourine comes Sister Jean
To help me score MY song (MY name comes first)
She’ll rhythm that machine to our happenin’ scene
And wrap our Jesus in a tune chain-versed

And Lord we just wanna
And Lord we just wanna
And Lord we just wanna

“And Lord we just wanna” is our sugary tone
But the holy copyright is mine alone

And Lord we just wanna

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Neo-Colonialist Intersectionalism at an Intersection - limerick

Lawrence Hall, HSG

Neo-Colonialist Intersectionalism

Two wideawake birds bumped into each other
On the distant island of Ascension
Said one to the other, “Excuse me, dear brother!”
And the other replied, “Don’t mention

Friday, January 18, 2019

Lovers Disappoint Each Other in Time - a sappy poem

Lawrence Hall

Lovers Disappoint Each Other in Time

Lovers disappoint each other in time
The protestations of eternal love
Those breathless kisses on a summer night -
They leave no lipstick on a shopping list

Lovers disappoint each other in time
The protestations of eternal youth
When even the sell-by dates have faded away
From the shopping lists of our yesterday

We mourn the lips we’ve kissed, the lips we’ve missed

But still…

Would you leave lipstick on my shopping list?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Toxic Mooseculinity and that Gillette Commercial - weekly column

Lawrence Hall, HSG

Toxic Stereotypeinity

           “A soldier should know the difference between words
            And deeds, and keep that knowledge clear
            In his brain. I believe your words, I trust in
            Your friendship.”

-Danish Coast Guard to Beowulf

-Beowulf, trans. Burton Raffel, Glencoe Literature: British Literature

These few lines from Beowulf reveal many of the values properly attributed to manliness: martial discipline, honorable language, honorable behavior, logic, clarity in speech, trust, personal and national loyalty, and friendship.

No man can live up to all that, but the point is that all men are supposed to try.

As the narrative develops, the reader understands that other manly virtues include protecting the weak, including women and children.

At this point we might want to consider that many women are in the military, and in combat have accomplished for real what John Wayne did only in the movies.

The matter of masculinity, of manly behavior, now inaccurately and unjustly chained to the pejorative adjective “toxic,” is much criticized just now.

I submit that there is no such thing as toxic masculinity.

I submit that this is a categorical imperative: since “toxic” means “poisonous” (and by extension any sort of evil), and since the attributes of manliness obtain as categories of good, “toxic masculinity” is an inherent contradiction, and, like the figure of a snake swallowing its tail until it disappears, cannot be.

There appears to be an ideological fashion in associating evil actions with masculinity. If the village idiot (One is not supposed to say “village idiot,” but how not? And there are so many of them now!). But as I say, if the village idiot drives along a street discharging a weapon because his mum hurt his feelings, some say that this is an example of toxic masculinity. The behavior is toxic, all right, but it is not manly; it is a failure to be manly.

If a man spends his days flaked out on the couch with video war games while his wife or momma goes to work and supports his sorry ***, that is not toxic masculinity; it is not masculinity at all.

If a man is crooked, lazy, lecherous, creepy, predatory, violent, and stupid he is not demonstrating anything but a complete lack of masculinity.

There are a great many men like that, and often The People (bless their hearts) elect to high office candidates like that, both men and women, who never made the first day of recruit training, made an ambulance run to a flaming wreck, did time with the fire department, patrolled the streets, built fence, herded cows, framed a house, or busted a sweat except on the golf course.

And I don’t get it. But we should still call things as they are, and not mock the manly virtues.

About that Gillette ad – I haven’t seen it, though I shaved with a good, American-made Gillette and the fetid water of the Vam Co Tay along the Cambodian border. I hope that’s okay with the Gillette people.


Oklahoma in the Spring of 2013 - poem

Lawrence Hall

Oklahoma in the Spring of 2013

A young mother cradles her broken child
Amid the fragments of her world, her soul.
Blood drips. Rain-sodden insulation drips.
Stillness between storms. The trees are all gone.
A dark Sargasso Sea of shattered wood,
Bricks, clothes, books, toys, rags, glass, papers, bodies.
In the gasping heat the rot begins now.
No houses. No lights. A helicopter
Floating valley boys with plastic boxes
Taking cruel pictures and O-My-Godding
For the telescreen (between soda ads).
And in their fortresses of personal affronts

( Safely far away)

Keyboard commandos leap into inaction:

People who choose to live there deserve it.
We told you that global warming is true.
We didn’t have these things ‘til they kicked Jesus
Out of these here schools. And paddling, by God.
It’s Obama’s fault. Or is it George Bush?
It’s the Republicans. Public schools. Gaia.
British Petroleum. Coal. SUVs.
Suburbs. Not reading the Bible. Comets.
You’re stupid. Well eff you back. Eff you more.

While in the second lowering line of storms
A young mother cradles her broken child.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Saint Francis of the Garden Center - a frivolous four-line poem

Lawrence Hall

Saint Francis of the Garden Center

Saint Francis is depicted in fine art
In great museums and in modest homes -
And you can find him too, down at Wal-Mart,
Between the plastic frogs and concrete gnomes