Yellow: The Color of First World Poverty (Poet’s Respond Submission)

When the tomes of sado-masochistic carnality

Finally overwhelm the diligent Goodwill clerks

we soon see that yellow, of mescal and mustard,

unveils the urges of logic and reality,

urges even grey could not merely expunge with its

sticky red plunger, worn from overuse

soon those tiring of poverty steeped in relativity

have emerged, for such is the pain when

forgetfulness drowns the Prometheans

drowning in the socio-political deluge

of taxes and scorn,

for not all poverty manifests as money

 

The free market runs, even when it can hide

the socialists spurn their vaunted proletariat

journalists grip their thin microphone

reporting from cloud 8 direct to cloud 9

and in the patisseries throughout the arondissement mondial

the macarons, once so sweet and running with goo

turn brittle and hard and threaten teeth still intact

the yellow collar workers mourn wallets long emptied

it once bought them joys, precious food

saving their ability to love from the pangs of hypergamy

tax measures are attack dogs, colorblind, indiscriminate,

in their beady eyes, yellow and white are no different

the dog owners hug yellow vests with pats on worn backs –

such a harsh social construct,

for what is poverty in Foucaultien France?

“I’m rich, you’re rich, everybody’s rich!”

A hug a day keeps reality away

but now the embrace, garbed with polyester cringe,

has been broken,

so weak had it been from the very beginning

so fallible are stocks in faux altruism

 

The lower classes march upon the Champs Elysee

they prepare to redefine a nations concept of triumph

A genuine Bastille day, elating if belated as

deaf ears bypass luxuries gone up in smoke

the French of the highways faces the culture of Grasse

so many long years after Charles du Gaulle

the President looks upon an angry republic

no longer the marker of Moutarde Dijon

yellow has become the color of first world poverty.

 

 

Rattle Note:

Most of us have heard of the gilet jaunes protests in Paris by now, a city in which I was honored to live in for a year. There are many things one can say about the protests for better or for worse, such as the destroyed cars, but coming from a lower middle class background and understanding rural concerns I generally support the goals of the protesters alongside 66% of France’s population. I can’t claim to know about any sanctioned political left-right opinion here, but the news reporting on the matter interested me as it was a strange mix of shock over the destroyed cars and a sympathy I had trouble believing was sincere.

This poem is also an exploration of relative poverty, a concept that intrigues me and that I think is one of the core issues. It’s true that France overall is a wealthier country than most. But it doesn’t mean everybody is rich or even middle class. If the middle class in the 50’s and 60’s could afford a new car every year while these protesters have trouble affording even a full tank of diesel to get to work, let alone a single car, I personally find the term middle class misleading, or at the very least outdated. Thus my use of the word poverty. As ambiguous as poetry can be, I don’t think it’s improper for poets to call a spade a spade when the moment is opportune.

In short, this poem is a show of support and a call for intellectual introspection.

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Berkeley’s Bubble Lady: A Requiem (Poet’s Respond Submission)

For Julia Vinograd

 

Many volumes later

As the states mourn with Texas

Another sun sets upon Berkeley California

The ruins of Cody’s, vaporized by plastic surgery,

Unleash a horde of quiet ghosts upon the night;

For better or for worse

We haunt our dry oases

With ghosts who thirst for comfort

Free passes bloat the belly of the past

We do not wish to leave them cold

But cannot stop their downward drift

Beyond the pier and to the Golden Gate

Where purgatories crumble ‘fore the gates

A bubble floats past the Farallons

Round as a globe and tinted with pink

Its fluctuating membrane

Embraces the distortion

Aeolus the boxer tries his hand as Steinbeck,

His gusts have more success with Noah’s head

The melding of the mind has commenced

Once fully displayed on Telegraph Avenue

Vinograds poems no longer manifest

Outside of our mind, crying out for nutrients

The horde of quiet ghosts

Is only truly silent

Many volumes later

 

 

Rattle Note:

I am a Berkeley California poet and proud of it. While this week was one of national mourning, under the radar it also saw the passing of one of Berkeley’s best-loved street poets, Julia Vinograd, or the Bubble Lady, who blew bubbles on Telegraph Avenue since the late 60’s. I’m submitting this poem to compliment the yang of the national mourning of Bush Sr. with the yin of my own personal requiem to the Bubble Lady. It satisfies a sense of dualism when it comes to time and place; domestic and national; the warring natures of left and right; and the wide professional spectrum between the wealthy politician and the poet of People’s Park.

Mid-December Update

Dear followers and fans,

 

A lot has happened since my last update, which should have come a lot sooner so apologies for that. In addition to the usual tribulations of life and a “day job” change I’m currently undergoing, I’ve also been taking some time to devote to my long-standing goal of breaking into the world of prose, a feat that has been accomplished only once with my sci fi story ‘The Machine.’ Some of the ideas I’m working with are challenging but philosophically entertaining. A TV show would be hard pressed to entertain me as much as these ideas have. (with all due respect to good, thought-provoking TV shows of course)

The most important bit of news is the publication of my second micro-chapbook, also from the good people at Origami Poems Project. Whereas my first micro-chap collected poems mostly written in Turin, Italy, this second one collects poems written in Czech Silesia. I’m very proud of this micro-chap because I think I tread the line very well between unifying poems that to me are all quite different from each other under the umbrella of a specific region. It sits well with my philosophy of balance, hinternationality and being generally pro-cultural specificity.

Since then I have also devoted more thought to improving my craft instead of simply churning it out, including: finding inspiration in objects and scenes that were previously uninspiring, writing better and with greater speed, greater consideration of words, and so forth. It has been helpful, and I’m confident that my future poems will only increase in quality. I also started an account on Duotrope to help me plan my submissions better and factor in their data. So far it’s been very informative.

My microchap has not been the only new submission since September. The good people at Vox Poetica have published another poem, titled “Reading Catalan Novels Under Darkening Skies, Pt. I.” There is indeed a Pt. II and I intend to submit it for consideration soon. The poem is a souvenir from my Grad school research and the classics of Catalan literature are well worth checking out. Click here to read the poem.

This week I will publish a few poems on my blog. Two of them were submitted to Rattle’s Poetry Responds project, which attempts to make poetry relevant by allowing poets to respond to current events in a timely manner. I only submit there if an idea hits me with enough inspiration to complete the poem in a speedy manner, as most of my poems are not immediately completed on the very first day. It’s generally not my style: I remember seeing a poet in Arcata who could type out a poem in ten minutes and sell it for a customer. But every now and then an idea hits me and it can be fleshed out quick enough. And last week, I had two such ideas. I will post the explanations I submitted to Rattle alongside the poems to contextualize them for those not in the know.

Click here to check out Rattle’s poem for this week.

The third poem for this week is a Christmas poem I’ve had in the can for awhile. I think it’s as great of a poem for a magazine as those already published, but I wanted to publish it during the Christmas season. I do want to post a few “normal” poems alongside the oddball ones reserved for my blog to shake things up.

The next bit of good news is that I have started the process of having some of my poems translated into another language for the first time. More to come on that as it unfolds.

The best bit of news I won’t mention now. I don’t want to jinx the outcome. But it is very very good news and one of the best compliments a poet can receive for his or her work along with translation.

Otherwise the writing keeps continuing.

It’s probably quite evident that I haven’t given this blog/website the attention it requires, let alone deserves. I intend to change that as I now have some time to think about using it more effectively. I’ve already been referring to it as the place to go for anybody wanting to learn more. I definitely plan to have at least a monthly update to keep people informed.

Thanks for keeping track! And a very merry Christmas to all of you fans and followers and anybody else passing through.

Respectfully yours,

  • Felix

September Update

Dear fans and subscribers,

At this point this page is more like an archive than anything. Still it can’t hurt to relay further news here.

Firstly, the second blog post that delves into Dostoyevsky’s attempts to recover his career as a writer following his exile is posted.

Secondly, two more poetry submissions: another from the great people at Vox Poetica, and four poems published last month in the Adelaide Literary Magazine. All of which you can find on my publications page.

Next up is another micro-chapbook and another full length collection. More to come!

All the best,

  • Felix

Dispersing Hipsters

They attempt to justify supposed intellectual creatures

Lurking within Borgesian labyrinths at the depths of a soul

Somewhere in the country, displayed garments of culture

Drooping limp across rolls of saturated fat;

 

Philistine citizens conduct strange experiments

Appropriating miniskirts overly fragranced by

Papaya smelling permacultures from Grasse,

Proceeding to plunder Alexandrian libraries soaring high

Above ruined bazaars teeming with honest people’s

Honest hobbies; these too will be appropriated before long

 

Once they have stripped the heirs of intellect

To their white, glaring bones, abdicated forcefully

From thrones bedecked with gemstones that signify

Significance, monetarily and aesthetically removed

from their rough cone of kimberlite;

 

Parading around SoCal city centers seldom

Lacking funds for their obsequious projects,

Laden with samplers of these weighing spoils while

Feigning understanding until earholes gush red

Chugging microbrews of misinterpretation while

Scratching the grooves of time-warped vinyl LP’s;

 

Islay scotch spills onto Macintoshes directed to

Websites with Indie music reviews and urban dictionaries,

Then choosing to peruse some dark Dostoyevsky,

Another round of Russian roulette in Hemingway’s hotel;

 

Patient peoples linger this whole time, eagerly

Waiting for the scientific process to occur

When, with nothing left to desecrate, they

Disperse into the stratosphere, as naturally

As the persecuting gin that expels the carbonation from

The tonic water pouring like Yosemite down celebrating throats.

 

Poet, Writer