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scientia IZ mundus
Literary Contributions New Man in New York
New Man in New York
Clinton Van Inman
Color coded complete with picture I.D.
We'll teach you to be like us.
Give you a turtle neck or bow tie
You will be our kind of Mensch
Complete with certificate of authenticity
Credit rating and charge account,
Security, savings, and even disability.
We'll teach you how to walk and talk
in circles as if you had some sense.
We will give you some brand named shoes
We'll even call you Frank or Frankie
We gave you a brain doesn't matter
Which for they all are just the same,
But why are you still reaching for
Clinton Van Inman is 65 and was born in Walton on Thames, England. He is a high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida. He has had many publications throughout the years.
The Egyptian Room
Ars Longa, Vita Brevis
Which is crueller -tell me.
We move in the Egyptian Room where big cats move on ornate walls.
What happens when a fresco come to live to live the life it wishes for - when an image enters the living day.
When a beast is stirred from its static poise - when there are no impersonators left to play their role?
No one knows but no one feels safe: already the shadows are moving among other shadows.
I cannot sleep - I prowl the house and smoke a cigarette -yet not to let my shadow define me
no more than Rilke did.
My blood mutates against me.
It is dark in the world, I do not see the trees, the harrowing of the world has not yet done with me
I prowl the house and smoke a cigarette
Witness, mute or active, the world is active before you, yet your chronicle unfinished, as if it were the only one which will be written.
Witness - the perspective of observer or participant - history's necessity, citing numbers and names -the unquiet beasts upon the shadow-covered floor
The zoom lens fixes on a blur behind a ditch, then clarifies it as a tank.
The reporter gives the tonnage and scope then estimates how far the maimed and displaced are from its range.
Some paces more and they reach the point the gunners have waited patiently for.
"A veteran at nine of three previous migrations, this one is no worse than the other ones were.
Her eyes are cold or indifferent or have ceased to be eyes having witnessed so much 'that is neither right nor reasonable'.
She has highly developed survival skills and is no longer, unduly, frightened by the shells.
However regarding 'solutions' -let us not be too impetuous.
Genocide is a distressing crime -but do the dead constitute sufficient proof?
Our committee will draft a balanced outrage and present it for discussion.
Tact is the key and protocol a necessity here.
You may quote that in this we will fully succeed"
Gesture, truth or history -a hand reaches for a brother hand until a bullet separates them.
A twenty-first century 'incident' in which the bullet comes to rest in these lines, as does that handshake -
Gesture, truth and history
The victim at the already bloodied core.
Martin Burke is an Irish poet/playwright/editor living in Belgium with books published in the USA, UK, Ireland, & Belgium. Note: the Egyptian Room of the title and opening lines is an actual room in a 19th centuary Castle in the town of St Niklass, Belgium, about which a hospital was built and is now something of a tourist attraction.
Soldiers of the Bulge
Cold, callous, crippling tears
Never once allowed to cry
From the steeled black hollows
Of a soldier's burning eye.
Curled to seek a lonely rest
In a blanket knit of snow,
'Til the night lie shattered, shaken, torn,
About a thousand feet below.
Winter split hands grip boldly
At freezing instruments of death,
And innocence evacuates the body
In every visible wintry breath.
Extremes in regal fashion
Blunted by the fight,
And Hell's own angels ascend
To take possession of the night.
And spirits of a better nature
For a far off land have departed,
To comfort mothers, brother, sisters,
Fathers soon to be broken hearted.
Youth's blissful illusions
Of paladin's integral sword,
Fade in pain drenched strokes
Reaching a hushed, grim accord.
"Up now and to your posts"
A call lifting above drizzling fog,
And a thousand rays of light
Charge a blackened demagogue.
So brothers locked in battle
Moved forward by unseen force,
Like a current pushing patterned waves
In rhythm from their source.
Grieving widows will be born
From the Bulge's empty womb,
And a soldier's bonds forever strengthened,
Lifting brothers to their tomb.
Michael was born in Hartford, CT and graduated from the University of Connecticut. After spending some time in Ireland and Prince Edward Island, he returned to New York City to pursue screenwriting. After several successes in the film industry as a writer and independent film producer, he turned his writing to non-fiction historical works on the Second World War, publishing articles for the Centre de Recherches et d'Informations sur la Bataille des Ardennes. He has maintained deep interest for poetry, being influenced by Robert Frost, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. He was most recently published in the Birmingham Arts Journal. He currently resides in the Boston area.