Starpoet by Lisa Jain Thompson
Newsflash:

The StarPoet Newsletter
XV:XXXVIII (21 September 2014 C.E.)
StarPoet Newsletter by Lisa Jain Thompson
Fairfax, VA, USA. The last day of summer, the National Football League self-destructs, Joan Rivers is killed by a selfie-taking, self-indulgent doctor. The Nationals win their division with weeks to spare. The president is still the president and I still write poetry: one of us is better at it than the other.
A division, a pennant,
A World Series
For The Nationals,
The first in Washington
Since Walter Johnson,
The best pitcher ever.
Lisa Jain Thompson c. 2014 CE

 

 
The sky to fall has transitioned, Orion rises early dawn chased by Sirius. The heavens move and we move within it. Bees make their last hasty trips to reluctant flowers as fragile butterflies vanish and the birds fatten themselves up on sunflower seeds./td>

autumn

Earthworm

Earthworm dying on the sidewalk cement,
Too far gone for the robins to care,
The birds prefer their food live gobbled
Than slowly tortured and freeze-dried
Like some evil-eyed Jihadist terrorist.

- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
The devil frequently fills our thoughts with great schemes, so that instead of putting our hands to what work we can do to serve our Lord, we may rest satisfied with wishing to perform impossibilities.
 
-- Teresa of Ávila, Interior Castle
Perp Walks
A Police Officer, A Rabbi, and A Boy Scout Leader

A police officer, a rabbi, and a Boy Scout leader
Plugged into a computer network to exchange Child Porn,
175 Terrabytes of Sex and Children,
600 computers, tablets and smart phones owned by
70 people around New York City;
Each of the images is a crime scene photo,
Each of these images may be a missing child,
The personal interest of one or many obsessing men;
A baseball coach, a teacher, a tinker or a tailor,
The rabbi ran a home school for his children and his neighbors,
Another used a hidden camera to secretly film his children's friends,
A mother sexually abusing her 3 or 4 year old child,
A football player beating his bloody son,
The everyday people who walk each day beside you
When they feel safe behind closed doors.

- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014) 

a crowd is born every minute
With or Without

If you should not have actual content,
Go for spectacle and flashy dress,
It worked for P. T. Barnum
And it will surely work for you:

Scream and shout from the center of the stage,
Fiercely pound the podium and distract,
Speak loudly and demand your drifting audience
Give you their full attention.

If, however, you have interesting content,
If you have skills and sureness of word,
Speak softly without noise or theatrical gesture,
And all the world, eventually, will find you.

 

-- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)


That there is a Devil, is a thing doubted by none but such as are under the influences of the Devil.

-- Cotton Mather, On Witchcraft
eI do not know his name only that I wished him gone

The Creepy Guy

Creepy guy on the Metro,
Somewhere in his mid-twenties,
Likes to stand,
Hovering over seated women,
Pretending to be playing with
His iPhone;

Doesn't say a word,
Or make direct eye contact,
He just stands there silently,
Intruding deep into the neutral zone,
Exuding testosterone until his stop arrives.
Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
The fine thing about pacts with the devil is that when you sign them you are well aware of their conditions. Otherwise, why would you be recompensed with hell?

-- Umberto Eco, Postscript to the Name of the Rose
images tumble, i try to make sense

Headaches, Worms And Snakebites

On the lordly lofts of Bedlam
With stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips, ding-dong,
With wholesome hunger plenty.

--Tom O' Bedlam's Song



The First of November, the month of blood,
Saints, soulcakes, Thanksgiving and assassination,
Moonlight dances off the wet grass
As I drink wormwood and mint by the draft.

I cannot be a professional athlete,
A  nun or a priest I am not,
My leg prevents me from being a crusader,
My dreams are out of balance.

If I look around, the devil is winning,
Trees have fallen, lowlands flood,
Babes in their cradles are washed out to sea,
The river tumbles with dead rats and used tampons.

I am floating in Rimbaud's drunk boat,
Drowning in a rush of conflicting image,
Dyfrig crowned Arthur king of England
Then snatched the sword from his hand.

Last Friday night I was in the high meadow,
Waiting for comet debris to shoot
Brightly across the the summer night,
Only to be disappointed once again.

The abbess said I must accept the
Gifts that the gods have given me,
Then slapped me when I asked if that
Included my rash and sent me on my way.

Headaches, worms, and snakebites,
They've found King Richard's body
Hidden away in the chapel basement
By Henry's chosen press secretary.

I am thrown into the deep and ocean,
An anchor hanging around my neck,
Musicians are playing The Streets of Laredo
As I struggle against the outgoing tide.

My days are spent grinding words,
Steeping and straining them until
The scent of agrimony and printer's ink
Overcomes the moonlit air at dinner.

I sup on eels baked with white apples,
Dodging the rain clouds delaying me,
What would one use for a spell between lovers
If one has no dragon dung or mandrake?

Would I have chosen to die
Rather than become a poet?
That choice was not presented before me,
Hi diddly, diddly, nonne, nonne.

Would I hurl to my death off a high peak
Should the muse forsake me?
Not until I'm done embroidering my name
Across this thread I travel.

Pigeons and snipes, peacocks in raisin sauce,
Abalone jellies and artichoke tarts,
Up time's nose yarrow I stuff, I've never
Seen a hanging, especially my own.

Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
                                               
with jaundiced eye
Job Descriptions

If you were an alpha male
(Or, at least, you think you are)
You climb up escalators small and large
To demonstrate your masculine prowess.

If you are a radical fem,
Full of anger and bitterness,
You would dislike both men and women
For accepting sexual dimorphism.

If you were a soldier or a sailor,
Fighting to defend hearth and nation,
You would risk your life for god and country,
Pinning ribbons and medals on your chest afterwards.

If you were a bright liberal light,
Progressive in your hate for capitalism,
You would believe big business is evil
And Marx was right except in the details.

If you were a staunch conservative,
Firm in your beliefs and politics,
The country would be enroute straight to hell
While the president fiddles and flummoxes.

If you were a poet observer,
Full of wit and educated vigor,
You would be amused by humanity's foibles,
Finding fault with almost everyone.

-- Lisa Jain Thompson  (September 2014)

In cases of organized and multi-perpetrator abuse when the abuse occurs in the context of rituals and ceremonies, some elements of the experience may have been staged specifically with the intention of encouraging the disbelief of others if the victim were to report the crime. For example, someone reporting such a crime may mention that the devil was present, or that someone well-known was there, or that acts of magic were performed. These were tricks and deceptions by the abusers-often experienced by the victims after being given medication or hallucinogenic drugs - that render the account unbelievable, make the witness sound unreliable, and protector the perpetrators.

-- Graeme Galton, Forensic Aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder
(
page 120, Chapter 9, Some clinical implications of believing or not believing the patient)

remember, no matter where you go, there you are

Maybe It Wasn't The Patriarchy

While you were still stacking beer cans neatly
And building floats for parades and festivals,
Some of us were making choices and starting careers,
Planning for the day we would grow old.

When the drive for gay marriage first started,
The religious conservatives were afraid
Gay culture would infect middle America
While Stonewall gay activists were afraid
Middle America would infect gay culture
-- It turned out both groups were right.

Welcome to normal people, not all of us are idiots;
Just wait until you get to the antediluvian part about
In sickness and in health before you claim to be married,
The human pair bond is much more than just a right.

Division of labor is a natural occurrence that begins
Most often when one spouse works away from home?
You don't say. How odd. How remarkable and dismaying,
You've discovered the theory of comparative advantage.

Welcome to middle age, here are your socks and your sandals,
A sensible car, and your random discussions with friends about
The virtue of finding pants that don't bind so much around the middle
And the inability to remember why you used to stay out until 3 A.M.

There are only so many hours in the day (do the math),
You can have anything you want but not everything you want.
We all must decide what is important in life and we find
Family and spouses often weigh heavier than careers,
Hard charging, triple Alpha personalities notwithstanding.

We all grow up and maybe we all grow up the same,
Subject to the same human condition, gay or straight or bi,
Whether or not it fits our deeply felt social philosophies:
Life has a way of upsetting established theory every time.

Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
when in doubt, choose lies and hypocrisy
National Appleball
Apple does this, Apple does that,
The NFL does nothing then changes its mind,
No one wants it larger, here it is big,
Beat your wife, beat your child,
Beat your girlfriend then beat off.

We don't, we do,
We won't, we will,
God save the Queen,
The National Football League
And Apple!

We are the people our
Parents warned us about,
A bloody well used tampon
Tumbling helplessly down river
To the sea.
— Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
I am an Agnostic because I am not afraid to think. I am not afraid of any god in the universe who would send me or any other man or woman to hell. If there were such a being, he would not be a god; he would be a devil.
 
-- Clarence Darrow
what passes for good air
A Most Congenial Spot

The White House has said
We are not at War
And will not be at War
As long as they control the Nouns.

Fair enough.

The Weather will always be perfectly Spring,
The Waters, Cool and Clear,
The Ocean will always produce the Perfect Wave
And the Russians will be our Best Friend Forever.

Rain will never fall until after Sundown,
Morning Fog will be gone by Eight,
The Full Moon will rise every day at Sunset,
The Stars will shine brightly each Night.

Happily-Ever-Aftering for all true Americans
And for All, a long, long Good Night.

— Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
 




what is not spoken aloud

The Football Wife's Creed

 

The message is clear
Don't fuck up anything for your partner,
The one who is the star bringing in the money;
Don't fuck up anything for your team,
The one who employs your husband or boyfriend,
Don't do anything controversial, better yet,
Stay out of the way and don't talk to the media,
A player's wife or girlfriend should be seen not heard;
Winning is everything, your marriage is secondary,
Do not ever distract your man from winning the game
So schedule all your babies to arrive in the off-season;
You have no identity but your husband's and the team's,
Do not screw up anything for either of them
And remember, if you walk away you are leaving behind
Not only the money and the fame and your marriage,
You are also leaving behind your identity: he's making
Great money, so support him and shut your mouth please,
He's the star so just keep him happy.

— Lisa Jain Thompson  (September 2014)

God sends meat and the devil sends cooks.

-- Thomas Deloney



Letters - Newsletters


The StarPoet Newsletter
XV:XXXVII (14 September 2014 C.E.)
StarPoet Newsletter by Lisa Jain Thompson
Fairfax, VA, USA. The year counts down to election. The Star-Spangled Banner has a birthday. The President decides to make a decision. The Washington Nationals are in first place in their division as the World Series looms on the horizon. Outside of the United States, the dogs of war run freely across the Mid-East and Eastern Europe. The poet continues to write, waiting for the explosion that will finally end it all.
Roll, bump, rotate and away,
Climb through the overcast
To bright sun above;

Stall, spin, windshear and crash,
An airplane is a painless way to die
If you don't mind the panic.
Lisa Jain Thompson c. 2014 CE

 

 
Ode To An American Banner


Have we survived,
Are we still a Nation?
Are we still one People
Or a collection of tribes?

Does the Republic survive
Or has this all been a dream?
What have we made of
This experiment called Democracy?

A fitful wind moves coldly
Across the golden fields,
Who now assembles in
General Congress confirming,
Who now sings for the united States?


Lisa Jain Thompson (March 2015)

stumbling into history

Apple Has Lost

Apple has lost its sizzle,
If Steve Jobs were still alive,
There would be a string of heads on pikes
Instead of a video screen on stage.

The Belle of the Ball is now an old maid,
Worn out and quickly growing wrinkled,
Wearing last year's fashion and stale perfume
Sobbing quietly Why don't you love me anymore?

- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
[They say] But Father, how old-fashioned you are to speak about the Devil in the 21st century. Look out because the Devil is present.
 
-- Pope Francis
Still We Stand
The Irrational Tenth

... so I drew these tides of men into my hands
and wrote my will across the sky in stars
To gain you Freedom ...

-- T. E. Lawrence


13 years since death and destruction
Fell around me at the Pentagon;
I haven't had a nightmare in years
Or thought of my friends except
On 9-11.

But now some looney-tunes jihadists
Threaten me with violence once again,
Thinking maybe I will flinch this time,
Thinking they might just win.

May Merciful Allah damn them all
And the dog-breath Mullah they rode in on;
May all their virgins be born with H.I.V.
And all their daughters die from syphilis.

I will not kneel before any fascist pig,
Nor will I run from their Caliphate fantasies,
I am a American, born in the U. S. A.,
And I will die to make men free if need be,
Any blood stains in the sand will be theirs.


Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all.

-- T. E. Lawrence

- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014) 

another passerby
Unraveling The Knots

Neither Jewish, nor Christian, nor Muslim,
Nor Sikh nor Buddhist nor Hindu nor even Baha'i
Possesses the one true path to salvation:
There are many ways up the mountain, assuming
The mountain actually exists, of course,
And the jury is still out on that.

What we see and interpret as a rugged mighty peak
May be little more than an illusion on a hot summer day;
Life is full of disappointments, big and small,
So no one should be surprised if God actually is the
Little man behind the screen, pulling strings and making
It all up as he goes along, counting the years until
His retirement. Unless of course, he's a she, which means
She'll be stuck having us all over for dinner on the holidays.

 

-- Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)


The sad truth is that there are many bishops and priests in our church who do not really believe in the Devil. I believe Pope Francis is speaking to them. Because when you don’t believe, the Devil wins.

 -- Rev. Gabriele Amorth
even Kirk dies eventually

The Retreat of The West

Beheading and all that
is just a cultural manifestation
and who are we to judge?


Russia invades, China bullies,
Iran spins centrifuges, not to forget
The Islamic State of Terror:

The execution of Kurds,
The Syrians and Iraqis,
The rape and enslavement of women;

Christians being shot,
Christians being beheaded,
War crimes in the name of religion.

The western nations dawdle,
NATO's empty threats,
A gnashing of teeth with little bite.

A lesson in changes,
An enumeration of dangers,
The weakness of a passive presidency.

Callous and self-centered,
Complete lack of a moral center,
Weakness of the will of America.

The failure of the West,
The resurrection of The Caliphate,
Death, conversion or retreat.

Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)

Once you hear a Satanic growl, you never forget it. It’s like smelling Margherita pizza for the first time. It’s something you never forget.

-- Rev. Cesar Truqui  


(Two lesbians, Truqui said, had sat behind him on the plane. Soon afterward, he said, he felt Satan’s presence. As he silently sought to repel the evil spirit through prayer, one of the women, he said, began growling demonically and threw chocolates at his head.)

the quest

Billions and Billions

If we told you we have learned
The nine billion glorious names of God,
Sent our semi-autonomous intelligent bots
Across the internet, across the light years,
Until they found each and every name
God has ever used, would you believe me?

Too bad, 'cos we're half way through
And when we've learn the last one
The universe will end and only our bots
Will be around to see it coming

Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
                                               
a mother's story
Isho's Wife's Tale

Fuck me now,
Can't you see
That I am
Not afraid?

I don't care
What your boys
Might say,
They're just jealous
You are sleeping
With me and not
One of them.

I promise to
Love and honor you,
Bury your body
After the Romans
Charge you with
Treason,

Birth your son
When my time comes
And name him
Yeshua bar Isho
To remind both of us
Who his father was,
That he might take up
Our path
When he too
Becomes a man.

-- Lisa Jain Thompson  (September 2014)

Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.

-- Martin Luther

deep dive

Go U S A!

We have mobilized our Rhetoric,
Turned the screws on Rich Guys' bank accounts,
Announced we would respond some time after
We examine a couple dozen plan options,
None of which includes boots on the ground
Or stepping up in the face of our adversaries,
We do not want to be the cause of a Russian invasion
Or have our fingerprints on any action that might
Go wrong: we are as pure as the virgin snow
After a drunken football fan has peed in it.
Go U S A!  Fight Fight Fight! for our right
To speak freely as long as there are a lot of
Subordinate clauses and clarifications and
T. V. cameras available.

Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
then and now
Hier Ist Kein Warum
I do not believe in evil,
Death may be swift or not,
Sometimes it comes with
An ordinary kitchen knife,
At other times, an explosive
In the middle of the road,
Neither the knife or the bomb
Is evil.

A beheading is barbaric
But death is only death,
Murdered for your religion
You are a martyr,
Taking coup for your god
May be a good thing
Should he command it,
But if his name is Adolph,
You're just another fascist.

Murder and torture and enslaving
Are ancient biblical reactions,
What we call evil is as much
A religion as Islam or Christianity,
There is no "why" needed for
Their actions, there is no reason
Other than the belief
They are on the right path
Up the mountain.

There is little difference between
What we now think of as evil
And Western Medieval morality and
The Theology and Canon of the Church:
Richard the Third and Henry Tudor
Ruthlessly slaughtered their enemies,
The bloodstained mud of Bosworth Field
Fairly matched by the cold, real-politick
Brutality of their reigns, the Church
Supporting the throne of both kings.

King Richard, alone, was killed fighting
Manfully in the thickest press of his enemies,
The Tudors said Richard was the source of all evil,
Then Shakespeare gave artistic lie to Richard's reign,
Both blamed Richard for the young Princes' deaths,
Deflecting any blame away from the Tudors:
Evil is always what your enemy has done to you,
Not ever what you might have done yourself.

What we term evil is a root part of humanity,
A defect not yet fully evolved from our genes,
The basest part of our mammalian ancestry,
The survival by tooth and claw of the strongest
Pack, tribe and family, so necessary to the savanna,
So unsettling to the refined civility of church going,
Well educated people that they propose great satans
And the existence of intrinsically evil, half-crazed men
Who do not believe as they do, refusing to look inward
Towards the failings and deficiencies of the human soul.

The world changes and I move through it,
Albeit at times somewhat reluctantly,
Reborn each morning when the virgin sun rises
To seize what has become and bend it to my needs.
— Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)

To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States.

It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda.

It would mean that we'd be risking mass killings on a horrific scale.

It would mean we allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan.  

It would mean we'd be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.


-- George W. Bush, 12 July 2007 White House Briefing Room

past ties
While I Was Making Other Plans

The night John Lennon died,
I was watching the late news on Channel 4
When Jessica Savitch, after a commercial break,
Looked up at the camera and announce that John
Had been shot and was enroute to the hospital;
A few minutes later she told me,
With obvious difficulty,
That John was dead.

I didn't sleep much that night and could hear
My neighbor play Lennon on his stereo until
My alarm went off.

Three years later, the same station told me
Jessica had died in a car wreck in New Hope,
I didn't sleep much that night either.

— Lisa Jain Thompson (September 2014)
 




Liberty

Every Man Dies

 

Not every man really lives.

-- William Wallace


Please don't tear our small nation apart,
The British PM so spoke to the Scots
To which the Scots responded you stole
Our independence you son of a bitch
And now you have the gall  to pretend
We've always been close friends.

We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready
For battle, determined to avenge our wrongs
And set our country free from those who would be
Our masters: this time we will dance and our
Freedom will be won.  

We are not and never have been your subjects.

— Lisa Jain Thompson  (September 2014)

We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
 
-- Oscar Wilde



Letters - Newsletters


The StarPoet Newsletter
XV:XXXVI (07 September 2014 C.E.)
StarPoet Newsletter by Lisa Jain Thompson
Fairfax, VA, USA. The summer lingers, humid, hot and wet. As I am not the Kings Toady, neither am I his Fool. They would have me whipped for speaking true. Summer's not yet gone if wild geese fly in that direction. I'll speak a prophecy ere I go ...

This warm night turns us all to fools and madmen.
Canine Rite and Ritual

We have rain,
We have thunder and lightning,
We have a smart dog who goes to ground
In the basement when the heavens rumble:
She'll be back up shortly after
The gods are no longer angry with her.

She has her own explanations
For natural phenomenon
And who's to say she's wrong?
She appeases the storm
By showing respect and deference
And the storm soon stops
Rattling the sky above her.
From her viewpoint, the ritual works,
She has exorcised the demon
Who was threatening her.
Lisa Jain Thompson c. 2014 CE

Read more...

Letters - Newsletters

This website and all works herein copyright © Lisa Jain Thompson 1948-2014.