Progress And Antigress

 

Robot carrier

There are at present disruptive forces and people who are involved with the solidifying mutations of our current society and how they are attempting, somewhat successfully, to undermine the basic forces and institutions which network and stabilize the world in which we live.  Many of these ideas were thrashed over even back in the late 1930’s when I was an early teenager eagerly swallowing the thoughts of the creative scientists and technologists in Astounding Science Fiction. I have read that at least some of the adherents to that literature eventually ended up in NASA.

Although the various individuals and their radical ideas see themselves as originality innovators, the envelope of their dynamics has something of the energy of the basic forces of evolution which, at a geological snail’s pace, has produced the entire spectrum of life on the planet out of that primitive lazy slime bouncing up and down on the early seas in the first years of our planet. Evolution, of course, is not a conscious entity, but by its nature of gaining expertise in survival by treading on the obsolete corpses of the unsuccessful, it has fabricated all the intricacies of a very dynamic spectrum of interacting living creatures. Currently humanity is not only the leading edge of this long process but by its ability to model internally many novel possibilities and quickly discard those that are obviously unsuccessful, it has sped up evolution itself to blinding speeds. But that blindness carries with it a necessity for great caution, something which seems greatly lacking in the current social mechanics of civilization.

Over thousands of years human interaction for survival demanded efforts of individuals to create the necessities of existence. In precivilized life, humanity, like other species, developed out of the available largess of the planet and food and shelter required no human effort as they were the gifts of nature. As humanity progressed they modified nature to enlarge its output and this required the regimentation of society with rewards to conform which determined the shape and dynamics of society. The rapid current developments of automation and robotics and artificial intelligence are now replacing large sectors of workers in many fields, both in manual and expert areas and although, in the past, this dislocation merely moved the work force to other areas, the current fundamental changes do not provide enough innovative areas to engage the replaced work force. It is still early days but the outlook, in a strange way, looks to return humanity to the precivilized era when all necessities are produced with little or no effort from human participation. In effect, it destroys the basic dynamics of civilization.

So, the remedy must be to devise a radically new form of civilization, something which seems not to be occurring. No doubt the dangers of global warming and nuclear conflict are real threats but when technology undermines social dynamics totally, there are large dangers as well.

 

Homage To Edgar Allan Poe

Screaming face

 

Somewhere between the cracks of chronic comic cosmic cackling

Seeps blood and choosy boozie floozie oozy fluids down the wall

To pool and run across the floor and corridor

To convert the bureaucrats to acrobats in spats and hats

So they slip and trip and skip and drip

And dance in funny capers dropping all their papers

Stained and mashed and crushed and trashed to make a mess galore.

 

But upper echelons of bosses

Look up from their naughts and crosses

Hexed and vexed by jerky clerks

Who pirouette and dance quadrilles

Across the floor, on window sills,

And slither here and there and thither.

 

“Goddamn!” They slam their bulky hams with palms so sly –

Threaten with their power drills to make round holes above the eye.

The clerks all scream, “It’s just a dream we’re all a team

And don’t ask why.” And so they cower in the shower

Confounded over corporate power,

Wheezing, coughing, sneezing, freezing –

Hoping that they’ll soon be coping as they gracefully go loping

‘Round the wet and soppy soapy sloppy tessellated shower floor.

 

“Back to work!”, the bosses rant, ties askew, eyes aslant,

“There’s things you do and things you can’t!”

But workers wet and workers weary

Fed with practice, jammed with theory,

Red rimmed eyes and vision bleary,

Hungry for a chicken salad topped with sauce but rather pallid,

Stuffed their ears with rubber foam,

Crammed the stairs and elevators,

Tumbled down the escalators,

Grabbed the cabs put on their tabs

And headed straight for spouse and home.

 

 

 

Michelangelo’s David On Alpha Centaurus IV

David photo

Discovered several hundred thousand years

After life was found to be extinct

On the third planet from a nearby star,

The strange rock elicited curiosity, some fears.

 

One biologist theorized that it had been

A giant form of life, petrified. But samples

Had revealed no organic matter, nothing

To indicate this stone had felt biologic discipline.

 

A geologist had surmised the surface had been worn

By liquid water – an exotic fluid that, at one time,

May have been abundant on that odd planet,

A theory quite unique for such a place so forlorn.

 

Gazed upon from a special angle (perhaps the thought is mad),

This form could be imagined to have lived.

A foot, or something like a foot could be at one end

And opposite, could it be a head with eyes completely sad?

The Seeds Of Death

Death flower

 

The seeds of death are intimate to the birth of life

To strike away the false and clumsy, shear

To oblivion the inexact.

Their pact with the unexpected shreds failure to conform

To necessity to strip the rags of rot

From existent purpose that permits

All living things the opportunity

To join in pervasive unity.

 

But the consuming skills of destruction can exult

In dominations that exceed all creativities.

Uncontrolled it can enfold all life,

Strap all effort to create with killing furies

That invite total termination of the flame.

The game must be played with cunning caution

That permits the final glowing sparks

To re-ignite the dust.

For dust is ever eager to begin again.

It knows no why or where, no here or there

To invest its possibilities.

It sits and waits in everlasting patience

For that light touch that can crack open

The center of the universe.

A Fair Shake

Bag picture

 

Life, stuffed into a bag.

A sack of bones, glutinous flesh,

Strings and tubes, blobs of cells,

Lakes of blood, piss, snot and indeterminate goo,

Collections of nails, teeth, cartilage,

A tangled mat of hair.

A determined shake could produce

A cat, a dog, a feral tiger,

A batch of mice, Theodore Roosevelt,

Ostensibly a small rhinoceros,

Or forty bats.

Most of these things still exist.

They quarrel, hunt, kill,

Reproduce themselves.

But the world is dying.

Air is going bad.

The sea is full of plastic bags

And polar ice.

Future plans to proliferate

Radioactivity

Do not bode well.

It’s high time

To shake the bag again.

To see what emerges.

 

Passage

Rising smoke

My mind is waves curled with wind,

Is smoke that twists and flares,

Is leaves that tumble in a dance

To flapping slapping airs.

But when the wind has gone away

And smoke hangs up like string

And leaves lie still in still embrace

Nor moves not anything,

And water sits as flat as glass

And holds the blue eyed sky,

Then I am gone and never been.

There is no eye nor I.

 

Gus

duck

 

Once upon a rainy day

While my mind filled with dismay

I heard a clacking at my door,

A clicking, quacking I’d deplore.

I’d thought, a first, it was the post

Which fills mailboxes coast to coast

With awful offers, credit cards,

Advertisements by the yards.

But no. I’d found, damn the luck,

I was just a rain soaked duck.

A creature I’d want to ignore.

But then, Iet it in my door.

It climbed upon my wife’s bust.

She’d viewed the bird with disgust.

But nothing then could dislodge it.

It told us that it’s name was Blodget.

It said it was a prince in spell

That a witch, which lives in Hell,

Had turned him “zip” into a bird.

(A claim I’d thought, at first, absurd.)

But he’d shown a winning smile

One to convince and beguile.

And so, a time, he’d lived with us.

His first name, he’d said, was Gus.

He told us tales of palace love,

Of kings and queens – heavens above!,

That copulate in cockeyed ways

But were quite proper at the days.

My wife and I listened entranced

But then I’d learned she was romanced

By this fowl erotic bird.

Shortly then it had occurred

They’d both escaped to the south seas

While I go mad by degrees.