the way of the poet

21st Century Poetry

I call this
my turning hour
the imperceptible motion
from a fifty-nine
to a double-zero
I live this instant
in the streets
the cold cave of Europe
here, I wander aimlessly
I wonder incessantly
my stomach is turning too
hungry and drunk
let’s rock and roll
in the zeitgeist
that no history
will ever


21st Century Poetry

The world’s a machine

^ A by ytuquike


Let me tell you something. It may be a hard pill to swallow. No, on second thought, maybe my criticism is hollow and attempts to belittle a world too powerful to be challenged. Besides, most people are already aware of what I’m about to say. We all are. But it doesn’t matter. I must get it out; otherwise I’ll wallow in my own disgust and perpetuate a system too cruel in its indifference. 

I‘ve been sitting here for seven hours. Patiently chatting with customers over the internet, satisfying their demands, answering their recurrent questions. Yeah, it’s as simple as it sounds.  A few minutes here with a Dan from South Africa, a few seconds there with a Marysia from Bulgaria. I’m connected to the world but between me and the rest of the globe there’s a box that displays organized patches of light and allows me to interact with people I will probably never encounter, physically or virtually, again. It’s just that – organization – that bothers me. Here I am at the threshold of a global society and my enthusiasm is imprisoned under a thick layer of discomfort.

It doesn’t make sense to me. How we got here and all that. I was involuntarily born into a world that had organized itself in this way without my consent. Here I am functioning according to it, adding fuel to its monstrous engine by my insignificant but necessary participation in its affairs. I am a mere appendage to this colossal machine, a machine that keeps rolling on and on without any constraints – makes me wonder if we could stop it should we desire to?

That fact is that it is here, an organization a priori to my existence, and I must operate according to its rules; my life with its sufferings and joys must fit the frame of modernity; my dreams are shortened by 40 hours a week which are mandatory for my basic survival. I’m no utopian, I don’t trust in any universal remedy for happiness and prosperity, yet even with my mistrust in progress I’ve perceived the approach of a conviction that promises a better world, a saner reality.

Hadn’t fear regulated most of our expectations, or if habit wouldn’t paralyze our imagination, would we still be living for minimal wages and restricting life to those scarce hours of leisure that work “allows” us? While trapped in those routines of cement and asphalt, how often do we get to experience the beauty of nature which, according to poets and sages, delivers endless moments of delight and communion with the divine?

I don’t know, I don’t care. I will continue to intoxicate myself with the monotony of uneventful hours… who cares what a screw thinks when the machine can operate without it. New screws will be born to furnish The Machine with the elixir of eternal life, namely:

Our conformity.











Return to Beyond Language

Apocalyptic Vision

A curious reflection took place in my mind earlier this evening. As I was watching a video about the ancient Greek and Roman arts a terrifying and threatening thought came to mind. Let me try to capture the sequence of this reasoning. The Greeks attained such perfection in sculpture perhaps unequaled in subsequent times. They idealized the world of man and conceived a universe of harmony, balance and beauty. They portrayed the human body in all its subtleties and achieved an uncanny realism in the reproduction of the human form in three-dimensional space. Yet in all their glory they also acknowledged the frailty of men. Even their gods are seen as creatures that battle with an ongoing conflict within themselves. Their sculptures often present the contradictory impulses of the rational and irrational in men and women. They urge us to restrain our insatiable whims with the bridle of Reason.

The Greeks are remembered and identified by such ideas. I was left wondering what ideas would identify our age. What monuments have we created that, if they were to survive the caprices of Time, would speak for a set of ideas that were born out of the last few generations. I speak of the themes of despair, existential anguish, cynicism, and the awareness of transience. Since the times of the World Wars artists, writers and thinkers left a bitter flavor in their creations; our collective self-esteem has not fully recovered from the blows of those violent times – in fact we still live in such times. Perhaps human history has and will always be a story of wars and catastrophes. We also recognize a turbulent loneliness and alienation inseparable to the world of globalization and capitalism. Our advanced technology enables us to become fully aware of our brutality and all these modern themes become unavoidable to any spectator of the world. Do we have any monument that will reveal this to posterity, as the Pantheon makes us recall of the Roman adoration for absolute perfection in the Heavens?

That’s to be answered by those that shall come. But at this point a startling and dreadful possibility interrupted my meditations. Even if our age has turned slightly pessimistic and lives in a perpetual state of convalescence, has it yet considered the possibility that it will not survive? Didn’t the Roman Empire with all its grandeur and power fall to ashes and now lies in ruins? Why are we to suppose that our current liberalistic society will prosper to the end of time and not come to a disastrous finale?

This possibility seemed very real. Our current ideals of materialistic prosperity might not be the most wholesome and can one day, in times of desperation and lack of resources, claim the whole world as its prey and our world: only another rotten carcass of a deceased civilization.

Let the millennia tell the truth…