Archive for February, 2012

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor deleted files shall stop the Cynic from recovering his Freshman English project

THE CYNIC

2002

 

“Dna htiw ym nwo seye I was eht yelims gnignah morf eht sdnilb, dna I dias: Tahw sah deneppah ot ouy? Nda eht yelims dias “I evah neeb dehcnyl”

For Mr. Bloom:

evah a ecin yad.

 

  1. The Waking of the Brain Dead

 

April is the cruelest month, testing

My alarm can wake the dead, beeping

The Cynic is awaking, stirring

To begin his daily reign.

The comforter keeps me warm, covering

I am now in the kitchen, feeding

A little Captain Crunch with milk

The good ‘ol days I still do miss

And as I shower I reminisce,

And I went out of the sun, and into the Safeway’s 10

And to the brain-washing muzak we listened for an hour:

Galileo! Galileo! Galileo Figario! Magnifico-o-o-o!

The manager, he kicked us out,

And I was frightened. He said, Kid,

Kid, no loitering! And out we went.

In the strip mall, there teens feel free.

But enough of the past, for I’m out of hot water.

 

Where are the graduates, what knowledge grows

Out of this rubbish? Son of a gun, 20

I don’t know, or cannot guess, for I know only

A massive collection of bricks, where the sun bakes.

And the classroom gives no shelter, the learner no relief,

And the vending machine gives no change.

But there is a secret among these red bricks.

(Come and I will tell you about these red bricks)

And I’ll tell you something, but make sure

There are no teachers hiding behind you

Or no teachers coming to meet you;

I will show you what lies beneath this dust. 30

Annuit coeptis

Novus ordo seclordum,

E pluberus unum,

All others pay cash

“I suspected first a year ago;

“They called me a crazy dude”

— Yet when we* came back, late, from lunch off campus,

My stomach full, and hair gelled, I could not

Speak, but my suspicions were confirmed

As I saw staff members disappear 40

Into the underground via the drainpipe.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

 

Miss Cleo, famous scam artist

Has nothing to do with the story, nevertheless

Is one of the ugliest women on TV,

With a rigged pack of cards. Here, said she,

Is your card, the deranged Air Force Pilot,

(Those are wings on his uniform. Look!)

Here is Bloomadonna, Wizard of the Words, 50

The Vangoah of Vocabulary.

Here is the man with six numbers, and there is the tin,

And here is the one-minded student, and this card,

Which is blank, is something I spilled whiteout on,

Which I can no longer see. I do not find

The Hanged Smiley. Fear death by administrator.

Thank you. The bill will arrive shortly,

Please feel free to- I changed the channel:

There is such garbage on the tube these days.

 

Unreal classroom, 60

Under the rotting roof of a Phoenix school,

A crowd flowed in through the door, so many,

I had not thought AP had received so many.

Bells, short and infrequent, were signaled,

And each man stood post at his desk.

He paced up the rows and to his desk,

To where the attendance sheet was kept

With a dead sound, the EOP bell rang at the stroke of nine.

Then I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying: “Trevor!”

“You were with me when you wrote the suicide note, 70

“has it received a grade? Or did Bloom veto it?

“Oh keep that thought far hence, and away from Bloom,

“Lest he bring up stomping again!

“You! English techeur! – You likem my Freunch?

 

II. An Installment of Reading

 

The chair I sat in, like a quadriplegic,

Staring at the front, where the radio

Powered by its long-lasting dry cells, 80

From which a deep voice peeped out

(He was an old man who…)

Seemed to double the passing of time

Emitting sound from the table as

We followed along in our books

From our desks in sheer frustration,

In waves came the colorful language

Uncensored, came the strange synthetic phrases,

Unusual this story – we were troubled, confused

And drowned with the images; the descriptions 90

As the old man cast out his lines, his life

And talked to himself and the seagulls,

Floating in his skiff on the sea,

Stirring the waters on the placid surface.

Huge sea-fish snagged the line,

Pulled hard and sturdy, unrivaled size and strength,

And he ate raw dolphin, and was towed.

Above the sail was displayed

And the man accepted the bizarre scene

The fish of Santiago, the fishing king 100

So rudely dragged; yet there the seagull

Sat and listened to the undiscouraged voice

And then she flew, but still the voice continued,

“Fish… fish” spoke his lips.

And on we sat through time

I looked upon the posters, staring forms

Looked back at book lines, and read between them.

Footsteps drew my stare

I saw his shoes, his tie, his hair

And the finger hit the button 110

And the tape grew savagely still.

 

“We stop here for the day. Yes, stop. How is it?

“Speak to me. Why does no student speak? Speak.

“I doubt some of you are thinking? What thinking? Think!”

 

I think the monotonous voice mesmerized me.

I think I have lost all thought, and been chilled to the bones.

 

“You want me to just tell you?”

That would be nice.

“You want me to tell? Well, I’m not going to do that!”

Suit yourself. 120

“Do

“You think nothing? Do you hear nothing? Do you remember

“Nothing?”

I remember

The wings on his uniform.

“Are you accelerated or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

But

O O O O that Code Hero Rag-

It’s so eminent

So irrelevant 130

“What shall we read now? What shall we read?

“I shall leave you, and walk down the hall

“So, then. This is what we will read to-morrow?

“This we shall do?”

The bell rings at ten

And lunch at twelve, nearly dismissed at fourteen.

And I shall spin a record

And ponder the location of the hidden door.

 

As I stood in line, I said –

I didn’t mince the words, I said to my friends, 140

AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, SIR?

Now Bucky’s coming by, act smart.

He’ll want back the money he gave you

To buy yourself some fries. He did, I was there

And you salted them heavily

He said, I swear, I don’t know how you eat them.

And no more can’t I, and consider poor Bucky.

He’ll be in the Army in four years, and needs cash,

And if you won’t give it to him, you’re in deep, I said.

And I’ll know who to thank, Ax said, and gave me a strong stare. 150

AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, SIR?

If you don’t pay soon the interest comes, I said,

Others make you pay if you can’t.

But if Bucky takes off, it won’t be with empty wallet.

You ought to be ashamed, I said, like a perturbed mother.

(And then came the kicker)

I can’t help it, he said, pulling a long face.

I borrowed more, I needed more blank discs.

(He has five already. I nearly died from concealing my laughter) 160

The sharks said it would be all right, but they’ve never gotten off my back.

You blithering idiot, I said.

Well, if Bucky won’t leave you alone, T.S. (tough situation)

What did you borrow for if you didn’t want trouble?

AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, SIR?

Well, I’m taking off home, and vegging some more,

And I rolled my eyes at the beauty of the whole situation.

AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, SIR?

AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE, SIR?

Later Ax. Later Saber. Later James. Later. 170

See ya. Later. Later.

Later,friends, later, comrades, later, later.

 

III. Open Flame & Baked Beans

 

The sky is broken, the last shreds of daylight

The news speaks of the West Bank. The sun

Goes down. I feel the light betray me. The light is departed.

Linkin Park plays softly, and I think.

The baked beans provide nourishment, vitamins,

Minerals, nutrients, awesome dinner

And I think of beneath the school. The light is departed.

And my friends, who loiter daily near its entrance; 180

This issue I must address.

By the waters of my pool I sat down and thought…

Linkin Park, play softly your emotional song,

Linkin Park, play softly, for I think hard and long.

But from my back a blast I hear

To rattle my bones, and I chuckled from ear to ear.

I think I killed some vegetation

And I considered the school’s plants

Under which a dull canal

Is it used on winter evenings as a gashouse? 190

Its purpose is unknown, and I’m a wreck.

And as my father bellowed,

I looked at the damp ground

And turned away and went inside,

Embarked to my room, dust to dust

But from my back time to time I hear

The sound of bean residuals, and I sing.

Sweeny to Green Day, punk-ish theme:

Do you have the time

To listen to me whine 200

About nothing and everything all at one?

Sha la la la la la, a Brown Eyed Girl…

 

Twit twit twit

Is someone making fun of me?

So rudely forc’d.

Imbeciles.

 

Unreal Classroom

Under the glaring bulbs

Mr. Bloom, the Eloquent merchant

Unshaven, with a bag full of contraband 210

Ph.D. English, documents in hand,

Asked me in serious tone

To luncheon in the place where there is no darkness

Followed by a weekend at Metro Center.

 

At the right hour, I sat suspicious

Looked up from my desk, where the professor awaits

Had he known my subterranean intentions?

I Trevoreous, recently moved, and stuck between two women,

Who greatly obstruct my view, can see

That this hour, begins the Cynic’s strife 220

Time, will bring this problem into view,

And as our conspirators exchange, it lights

The stove, over which militants hang

Where curiosity and sarcasm are spread

The cynic’s theories are seeing their last days,

As the two parties ascend (the Otis escalator)

Pass Funkoland, Macy’s, Cinnabon, and Orange Julius

I Trevoreous, young prophet with smirk on face,

Perceived this scene, and quivered to think-

I gained knowledge of the Cynic’s decease 230

At the underground he shall arrive,

Accompanied by an agent, with a bold stare,

On whom the cynic’s assurance sits

Where he shall be taken, captured

And must endure the deathly fear

The time is upon us, as I guessed

Looking for a confidant,

Will confess to his dear teacher

He fears what’s in the underground-

Some brother lies beneath his feet. 240

Captured, betrayed, and assaulted at once;

And the cynic’s hands – futile defense;

Until he falls, with no response,

It’s whom he tells, makes all the difference.

(And I Trevoreous have foresuffered it all

been in the confines of the room;

I who saw Strafe below the ground

And saw him among the lowest dead.)

Let other cynics know the room,

For the number is a man number – the number is 101.

 

Strafe turns and enters through the glass, 250

Hardly aware of plans against me;

My brain was on the unanswered question ahead:

“Are you actually still reading this?”

And I thought of my imbedded skill:

I stomp people, no one exempted,

I pass people on the right or left,

With no signal given.

“And what of my musical connections?”

Be it Creed, or Queen, or Victorian Opera.

O Cd, Cd, I wish I could hear 260

I wish I could find my teacher,

For if it weren’t for him, I’d be doing-

Um, something else.

Now, for those hopelessly confused: you take me too seriously

Oh Mall Muzak take hold

You can skip this part if you wish.

 

How many times

Is it gonna take?

‘Till someone around you hears what you say?

You’ve tried being cool, you feel like a lie 270

You’ve played by their rules, now it’s their turn to try!

So back off your rules, back off your jive,

‘Cause I’m sick of not living

To stay alive

Leave me alone, I’m not asking a lot I just don’t wanna be controlled

It’s all I want… it’s all I want,

IT’S ALL I WANT, IT’S ALL I WANT!

Yi yi

Yiyiyah!

 

Repeat 280-292

 

“Golf carts by the trees.

Hide the entrance the Underground city

He sent me. By intuition I navigated

And found the doorway to my fate.”

 

“We’ve expected you, us administrators.

We wait under your feet. We run this cavern.

You don’t exist. But we could give you a ‘new start’

You have no commitment. Turn in your other cynics!” 300

 

“You’re all janitors!

I can connect

Nothing to a conspiracy!

You in greasy jumpsuits and dirty fingernails?

Use the underground to drink coffee?

Nothing.”

ha ha

Trevor takes things too seriously.

 

Laughing laughing laughing laughing

O man I am rather disappointed 310

O man I am

 

laughing

 

IV. Death by Administrator

 

Strafe the Cynic, not quite yet dead,

Forgot the rumors of conspiracy, beneath his feet

And the lack of his loss.

A Starbucks was under his feet!

He ordered a latte. As he added more sugar

He passed through the stages of his public education

Entering his teens.

Freshman or Senior

O you who remember the Tarot Prophecy 320

Consider Strafe, and what he said about TV psychics.

 

V. What the Saber Said

 

After the caffeine rush subsided

After the frothy mixture was downed

After the long walk home

The Cynic attempted to sleep

Tossing and turning and mattress reverberation

And thoughts of a red Moon over a white Valley

With the rocket at the center

His consciousness will become unconsciousness 330

With a little patience

 

Here there are no ravers but only punks

Punks and no ravers rule the streets

The streets which lead to this white valley

Which is the White Valley of rock and no techno

If there were ravers you could talk or think

Amongst punks one cannot talk or think

Trance is dead and the world is dark

If only there were ravers amongst these punks

Dead eyes glare back at this Red Mountain 340

Here one can neither rest or rave or chat

Even silence would be better than this

For thoughts run dry without the aid of trance

There is not even solitude in this valley

But pirced angry faces swear and snarl

From the doors of broken classrooms

And there are no ravers

 

And no punks?

If there were punks

And also ravers 350

And techno

A war?

And synths among the rock?

If there were the sound of techno

No more guitars

And white guys screaming

But the sound of keyboards over beats

Where the cynical friends can rave with their glow sticks

Beep blip dada blip bleep ta ta tatata

But there is no techno 360

 

Who is the dude who walks always beside you?

When I look, there are only Strafe and Ax

But when I turn again he appears

There is always another walking beside you

Wearing a gray hooded coat

I do not know whether he is a raver or punk

— But he is always there beside you

 

The Saber spoke, and his voice filled the air

Murmur of unorthodox intelligence:

Who are these you take orders from? 370

Over seven hours, each in respective quarter

They do not exist

They are illusions made by this Red Mountain

Yet they cost a lot of tax dollars

Strange, yes?

McCourtney Garcia Brooks

Eidenbock Bloom

Unreal

 

The Cynic, Strafe, let the puppy walk by – this time

In the glaring sunlight, he waited, once more 380

As students and teachers passed on both sides

Talking, all on cell phones

And he ducked his head and crawled back underground

He ignored the sound of the cooling towers

He ignored the bells above, signaling the hours

And descended further into the void, enclosed by earthy walls

In this decayed hole under the Red Mountain

Ax sat playing solitaire, and quietly singing

Amongst the graves, and far from classrooms

Surrounded by switches and cameras and things 390

It had no windows, and only one door

Dead ends can harm no one

And Ax sat alone in the control room

Destination Unknown! Ruby ruby ruby ruby so-ho!

Strafe opened the door, and a damp gust

Bringing Saber

 

Saber was last sunken, the last to leave

He waited for the tardy bell to ring, while the other ravers

Entered much sooner, the nimrods

The Cynic crouched, Ax sat in silence 400

Then spoke the Saber,

HA!

 

HAPPY: Why am I laughing, said Saber

My friends, your blindness wounds my heart

We, the last ravers, nearly surrendered

All the time you wanted answers from teachers

But now you know they never existed

Another week and you would have found sarcasm in an obituary

Or in memories, being rewritten by the Party

Or as falsehoods, being slandered by solicitors 410

In this empty room.

HA!

HARDCORE: This word is the key, said Ax

Turn away once and turn away forever

Should loyalty waiver and you’re in your own prison

Thinking like a raver – where lies your trust?

Inside your own mind, and only there!

This makes a hardcore person

HA!

HARMONY: The Cynic responded 420

Put simply, strength in numbers

More when all the numbers are in step

Independent, but when need be, submitting and obedient

To cynical hands

 

I sat back at my desk

Thinking, with the past behind me

Shall I declare my independence to the system in its native language?

I don’t need to walk around in circles walk around in circles walk around in

Raverthinkers unbellyfeel the system

Cynicism plusgood for modernman – here’s to ownself! 430

Teachers unpersons, thoughtcrime is nocrime

This voice shatters the calm of the day, like an alarm

Bless the ravers – we rise again.

Happy. Hardcore. Harmony.

Cynics. Cynics. Cynics.

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