Sunday, May 22, 2011

In the City of Android Dreams







In the City of Android Dreams

Down the latticed steps checkered with emptiness
leaving pillared buildings replicated endlessly
to arrive at their multiplying clones
in a bleach boned City of one shape,

dappled with green sulphur light I walk,
on a pavement that moves beneath me like
an animal twitching in its sleep, irked by
the buzz of yellow hellbeams that pierce the fretwork stairs.

My feet obey and slide me downward
in the inexorable fashion of the rolling belt.
The factory of my life hums as I descend,
through a rain of tumbling forms, a good machine.

There is no whirr, no clank, as the guardian statues watch,
not even the comforting blanket of a  natural terror;
only the ponderous attractive white building
which is every building, opening its million mouths.

There is no end to the steps going down
and there is no end to going down them
into that greengold sulphurous heart
that long ago ceased to beat,

into the light that is a violation,
down, down to penetrate the
atom, to be a particle forever
trapped on a stair spiraling around
the silent maelstrom’s eye.

I ask the shadowed statues
the only question I can’t answer;
the words drop, falling planets
in a black well of void.


August 1987
revised 2011


Posted for  OneShootSunday  at the inimitable OneStopPoetry 



Image by Walter Parada
Mr. Parada's website

 

27 comments:

  1. nice...the spiral stair makes a great allusion to the DNA in that atom...the animal beneath your feet is a rather fascinating thought as well...the whirr of the factory...lots of great feeling words in this...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Damn. Now that's quite the unique one there - from the title, I was curious to see how it had fit the picture, as you noted in your comment...but I was certainly made a believer. No end...the repetition, the monotony, it can feel like that sometimes. Going through the motions, as they say--and the stairs, the road, they just keep stretching on. Gorgeous descriptions drawing us in, stirring feelings of the almost mechanical feeling of life at times...works well with the computerized feel of the image.

    "only the ponderous attractive white building
    which is every building, opening its million mouths" - The line stirred in me the "little boxes" song, if you are familiar...seems altogether fitting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This feels immense to me ~ in the best way possible.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "There is no end to the steps going down
    and there is no end to going down them
    into that greengold sulphurous heart
    that long ago ceased to beat,"

    That's my favorite part, especially the first two lines.

    Could the unanswerable question be "why?"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another intriguing write, which demands I think a little. Brilliant language and such a relevant response to this somewhat disturbing image.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks all for stopping by for a read. This was a rather problematic prompt for me, but I dredged up an old piece.

    @ Chris: Thanks--I really wasn't intending to post today, but then I looked at the background of the prompt with its pillars and white mirrored quality. Seemed to fit this blast from the past.

    @FB It could, O always percipient one.

    @James: Glad you enjoyed. Don't mean to make you work too hard on a Sunday though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is chilling. I particularly like the last four lines.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Enjoyed this, Joy. It had the feel of a modern piece of sculpture or the paintings of Leger. Very architectural and modern. That's novel and a good thing. I love your versatility. Gay

    ReplyDelete
  9. 'not even the comforting blanket of a natural terror' I loved the irony of this statement, it caused me to really focus my attention from that point on, thanks for sharing

    L Turner

    ReplyDelete
  10. [Insert suitable imprecation and exclamation mark]

    You have the most remarkable scope. I never know what to expect when I step into your world and this piece has further reminded me never to take Hedgewitch for granted.
    Unbelievably good.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This poem is brilliant in its premise -- I love how the imagery, often chilling and disturbing, ties it all in.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "There is no whirr, no clank, as the guardian statues watch,
    not even the comforting blanket of a natural terror;
    only the ponderous attractive white building
    which is every building, opening its million mouths."

    oh my, this is just fabulous...quite curious if you added the the 'million mouths' for it is perfection for the picture... nicely played, if anyone could answer the call of this photo, my money was on you...wonderful ~

    ReplyDelete
  13. @yhc: No that line was written before I saw the picture, when I revised it earlier this year--it's about 50/50 old & revised, with the parts about the statues being all that was added today. Thanks for your interest, and the kind words.

    And thanks also to all who've taken the time to read and comment.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, very brilliant! I also especially loved the lines Firblossom picked out........no end to going down them.......brilliant writing! Breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's funny how perfect separate works of art can be suited for each other.
    Hedge...You Rock!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Haunting, vivid, wonderful. Great poem!

    ReplyDelete
  17. And the atom was boiled down to its essence and revealed a stunning universe which focused in on one micro atom... and the ever spiraling picture tightens and reveals more than intended.

    Fantastic write! You did a great job with this, I admit I am still a humble student of yours. I have much to learn! Thanks for sharing hedge, always appreciate your works!

    ReplyDelete
  18. @G-Man--Don't be talking about the rocks--he's got a perfectly good flag going, there.

    @LV: Many thanks,my friend. You know I enjoy your work as well. You have your own unique voice and it suits your style, and your gift of narrative. More importantly, you're using it constantly, honing and developing it, and it shows in the progress you've made. But you may still sit at my feet anytime, young padawan, if you bring gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You begin with emptiness and end with "a black well of void" which really captures this photo. It seems to have no hope, no heart. This write and the photo are extremely well suited.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "In the City of Android Dreams"

    a brilliant line! the entire poem is amazing and really expands on the feel of the photograph.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This piece built very well towards its end. A wonderful tapestry of imagery and thought. Fantastic write ~ Rose

    ReplyDelete
  22. You may have dredged up an older piece, but it certainly fit. I had the same feelings toward this, the 'replicating endlessly' and 'multiplying clones''green sulphur light' and 'yellow hellbeams' - what should be so full of light and life, gone.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Excellent read. Love the tale-telling here.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "...into the light that is a violation,
    down, down to penetrate the
    atom, to be a particle forever
    trapped on a stair spiraling around
    the silent maelstrom’s eye..."

    Unresisting, that's how I followed your hypnotic lines, your voice in this poem. Unresisting, that's how I descended 'the stairs' into my fate--the one I pretend isn't--which you so fluidly make me surrender to. You do live up to your 'name', magician shaman or in my culture, 'babaylan'--seer, healer, goddess of the light and darkness, where we both exist in truth. Again and again, thank you for being you and for sharing it magnanimously!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Somehow i got vibes of "Metropolis" crossed with the production rooms in the "Wizard of Oz" where they reassembled the Dorothy's Marching Crew ... plus a dose of my own dreamworks (frequently a massive underground stockroom where every experience of a life is stored.) You sure love that greeny sulphur light of late night (same color as the drunk tank at 3 a.m., you know) Dreams have their incessant labor -- like labors in Hell, fulfilling duties for nameless gods and faceless statues -- And always the question, am I here to learn something, or am I here to die? Like you said, its the only question we can't answer and the dream is silent. Great write, nightmarish in the passive descent toward ends which the dreamer can't control, and in the machinelike fabrications of what we call soul. Animal, android, human ... 's all good (or terrifying). -- Brendan

    ReplyDelete
  26. @Alegria--thank you so much for your gracious compliments, so obviously sincere. You know I love your poetry with the same feeling.

    @Brendan Yeah, it really was a nightmare, and it happened during a very stressful period of both my life and my job--I had that sense of being just a cog in something I had no interest in, turning regardless of will, on demand, for why?? etc. That feeds, of course, into all the larger existential questions, and if there are any answers to those, they are never spoken.

    ReplyDelete

'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg