Soul Cadence and the Social
Mark Antony Rossi
The audience for social poetry
is here and waiting on poetry speaking to the new evolving political rhythms
of our existence, divorced of obscure references, mythic Greek figures
and greeting card mush. What honour is granted our history, our species,
by hopping over homeless men in mad rushes to document suburban childhood.
One senses in the American poetry world the literary equivalent of Reagan's
philosophy of supporting unions as long as they exist in Poland or other
far away lands. Writers living in a democracy, regardless how perfect that
democracy perceives itself, must be willing to stand up against the inequalities
and wrongdoing inevitable in any organized society.
My heart mourns the judgements of the
future: "Where were they?" As disease and despairs devour the very fabric
of our souls. "Where were they?" As civil liberties are under daily attack---the
future will ask: "Where were they?" A proper question posed to common citizens
and writers of which history shall always expect more from. The mourning
continues as I wade through today's other art forms and mediums corrupted
by the twin evils of commercialism and egotism. Their material polluted
in masturbatory fashions as Life is reduced to consumption and highly sexualized,
sword-wielding quests to compete and conquer. Reason and Reality are abandoned;
condemned as weak-kneed conditions offering only rewardless responsibilities.
The rationalizations to side-step social
writing are legion and usually summed up in a cowardly proclamation: "everything's
been said." As if the great writers of old could have divined the astounding
technological advances that shape and shatter the modern human condition.
True it is that every age has spoken its peace and poetry, but we must
now speak our own modern perceptions with renewed commitment if today's
masses are to grasp something more vital than the latest shopping mall
fragrance. To combat soul sucking apathy artists should be driven to insult
saccharine ramblings disguised as relevance. Instruct video fed citizens
to view life beyond the screen. Invigor senses long-since asleep at the
wheel of lazy wealth.
Poets are not born to be silent. They
are born to care and are provided with heightened arrays of instinct and
instruments to shape far and away landscapes dying for mercy and magic
and all the beauty poems expressing compassionate dignity can ignite. I
believe poets can move mountains. Move them with the power of stubborn
faith and action inherent in all true artistic talent. A peaceful army
screaming wherever liberty is molested, dreaming into reality the
consequences of body and soul; marshalling emotions desensitized by occupational
rote. The deadened feelings once known, but yesterday, when words were
magical doorways to justice and jubilee.
Your childhood home can wait. Make ready
to write about children in harm's way. Flowers in the fields will arrive
again next season. Rally against justice delayed or risk seasons of freedom
denied. Poets are born to be activists of a sort. It should surprise no
one that dictatorial governments arrest and execute, first and foremost,
poets. Never in the history of mankind has an evil government killed a
poet for poems of prairies and flowers. Make it your responsibility as
a human and a poet to periodically write about wrongs that should be righted.
Be not content at the supportable until you know greater things than lyrical
melody traverse your craft.
History has taught us not all victims
of crimes have a voice or can use their voice effectively to right horrible
wrongs. Those writers enraptured to compose tributes to green meadows forget
tragedy is on the same coin as Beauty. And no living soul is truly free
while some of his countrymen are grasping freedom through the steel
bars of naked hatred. If Politics are merely slick schemes dreamt by snake
oil salesmen, and Art a field of pretty flowers, what hope remains to guard
against present or future personality cults curtailing your every word,
colour and photograph. Their reign has a strange way of turning green meadows