Thursday, November 4, 2010


We’ve labored in your grand machines,

you corner office libertines,

we built your smoke and mirror screens

while burying your go-betweens;

with avarice, with arrogance

with no regard for consequence

your words will make no difference

when you collect your recompense

we’ll build a new economy

with music, paint and poetry -

when words become our currency

we’ll learn to use them carefully

the banker and the Bedouin

will stand and sing in unison -

as sentinels, as bastions

regardless of our origin

Doesn’t matter what you tell us

you have nothing new to sell us

peddle deference as rebellious

but your hoaxes won’t propel us

engineer some new afflictions

to endorse some new addictions

blur some facts to grease the fiction

flavor helps reduce the friction

we’ll build a new democracy

with music, paint and poetry -

when harmony is liberty

we’ll play it out responsibly

the grand duke and the destitute

will shrug their station and repute

to raise their voices, resolute

united in the same pursuit

although we’re bruised and bandaged

in a world fouled and damaged

by disasters you’ve repackaged

and the faith that you mismanaged

we’ll still tear down every rubric

of each populist and maverick;

let you choke on all your rhetoric

as thick and sweet as arsenic

we’ll build a new reality

with music, paint and poetry -

when art is made invisibly

we’ll learn to live life beautifully

the children and the elderly,

the indigent and pedigreed,

will slip the chains of enmity

and close the book on history.


Jannie Funster said...

Man, you are a deep deep thinker, as I've always known! And that you express it all in this amazing poetry just blows me away, time and again.

Music, paint and poetry, best things to build with I think. And I can tell you do all 3 with love.


Jannie Funster said...

And wow! Was I really first commenter here? Whoo-hoo!!


Karen said...

Oh, Joaquin! This leaves me speechless, and that doesn't happen very often! I think it is the breadth of your message that amazes me so. This could be the absolute anthem for our time! I only hope there are enough musicians, artists and writers to bring some harmony into the world.

This has great sophistication of form, and I would love to hear this put to music and hear that refrain over and over.

The message is timely and needed. Here it is on the blogs, and I'm thinking, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls." Your light does shine, and I hope your readers will share that light.

Terresa said...

In the wake of the elections this week, the poem resonates.

I liked this stanza best,
"we’ll build a new reality
with music, paint and poetry -
when art is made invisibly
we’ll learn to live life beautifully" and the hope it gives, that a new reality, despite everything else going to crap, is possible.

I hesitate to say this poem would work as a rap song, don't want to offend, I mean that in every good sense. I feel like it would be best hummed or chanted.

Dave King said...

Superb! Bravo! And a dozen other such. I should have reread it a few times. I know it will repay doing so, and I will do so, but for once I couldn't wait to get in my response.

RachelW said...

I like the sci fi quality to this one. It gets my imagination going.

Ink Champagne said...

How do you churn out such quality poetry week after week? Very impressive! I'd support a new music, paint and poetry democracy! :)

J :)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

An An(d)them, indeed!

Put it out there, brother. We WILL build a new economy and reality with music, paint and poetry! When words become our currency - instead of flesh and bone - what a better day it will be!

I think we are all sick and tired of the politicians, big execs, and power people everywhere calling the shots. Look what a mess they've made!

we’ll still tear down every rubric
of each populist and maverick;
let you choke on all your rhetoric
as thick and sweet as arsenic

Let this be our call! Fantastic, Joaquin!

joaquin carvel said...

jannie - wow - thank you! it's not every day i'm accused of being a deep thinker. :) but i agree that they're the best things to build with. yoo-hoo indeed!

karen - what a relief your words are. i kind of felt i was over-reaching - and maybe i was - but maybe sometimes that's not all bad. thank you - and thanks for the nod to s&g - i'm sure they would've considered "written on the blogroll walls" if it had been written today. :)

teressa - yeah - i think there was some "election fatigue" going on. but i guess i needed a shot of wild-eyed idealism. :) and no offense at all - i don't think i write many slam poems, but this might be one. now i just need to get to a slam.

dave - thank you! your enthusiasm is much appreciated - i think this sentiment must be fairly universal.

rachel - thank you. i guess it does have a sci-fi quality - somewhere between "blade runner" and "v is for vendetta", maybe?

jane - late nights, black coffee and missed appointments. just kidding. thank you - i would too, i think. where's that candidate?

k. - i hope so. i wasn't sure if this would inspire the raising of fists or the rolling of eyes - probably both, to some degree - but sometimes you get tired of knocking and want to kick down the door. it's great to know you feel the same - thank you!