Category Archives: General

In the Public Eye

(This poem is a tribute to the artists from my childhood who lived and died highly public, highly tragic lives — people like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Dana Plato, Gary Coleman and now Whitney Houston. I hope they have found peace in eternal rest.)

in the public eye
a child can be raised up
strong-armed into submission and hoisted
above the shoulders of a colossus
left to wrestle with fate while suspended on high
only to be slammed into a canvas
painted with their naïveté
while the blood lust of the crowd
screams its pleasure into shaken ears

in the public eye we create darlings
who are given a loom and endless thread
with which to spin gold with their talents
while we allow the thread to knot
when left to unfettered devices
preferring to spin yarns of their memories
instead of weaving a beautiful tapestry
to capture their lively essence
and comprehending too late
always too late that the product
from such a wealth of raw material
formed under tremendous pressure
leaves a warped creation behind
fit only to be soaked then
hung out to dry

and in the same public eye
an unsuspecting dreamer can be elevated
on a hydraulic lift to theatrical effect
by the drama of actors and directors
with a major role and no minor implications
controls manipulated by strangers
then brought viciously back down to earth
by the dysfunction of the platform operators
who will return the next day and
play the same role the same way
despite the carnage they create

i have seen too many car wrecks
that can never be termed true accidents
and been privy to secrets so heart-wrenching
that we all know like the pattern of veins
upon the backs of our own hands
spilled like platelet beans and used for ink
on demonic contracts solely meant
to disenfranchise the vulnerable and
emasculate innocents masked from their true circumstances
to fuel the fire of the beast through power
generated from kids as kindling

there is so much dirt and there are so many lashes
accumulating in the public eye
it’s amazing it can see anything anymore
discern shapes and shadows one from the other
so it can distinguish shiny fanciful objects
from the singed supernovas of superstars
it tries ever more frantically to find bright lights
to stare into and through with laser focus
until the intensity of gaze incinerates the object of desire
leaving only charred ruin in its wake

tribute by tributary dammed while subject fried
then busted open and rafts of masses taken for a ride
once the star burned out, fizzled and died
only then could lids liquefy and overflow with pride

as the breathless sighs subside
it is only then when we fully recognize
after saline tears roll away and are swept aside
that there is now a new child shivering petrified
directly in line with the jaundiced crossed spy
of the public eye

and as another is groomed by the machine to be deified
then subjected to flashbulb rumours and false allies in disguise
only to be crucified on the altar of celebrity supersized
consumed ravenously by pop culture mass-produced lies

when the anointed one dies before our highly public eyes
we never stop to ask ourselves – why.

© A. Gregory Frankson, 2012. All rights reserved.

Now or Never

she told me it was now or never
it was a time for change
and the meaning of this can be found in the roots
of our discussions, electric and airy
instantly appearing in our mind’s eyes
traceable through the currents of our souls
as the juiciness of our blackberries
drips sweet nectar from the fruit of our labours
heavily into the pay it forward columns
of our life balances

the scales of justice finally tilt my way
one listing lip protrudes like a cleansing spout and
sand particles rain down like tears of joy
bury past dissatisfactions cadaverous cold
in the depth of previous despair
and in the sunlight of newfound clarity
where her eyes dance like marionettes with
strings attached nowhere except to my heart
i raise prayers to the heavens like poker wagers
flush with straight knowledge of my full house
of paired love brimming to bursting within me

i had convinced myself it would be never
the build-up of past emotional disasters
heavy like radioactive water in the Japanese sea
and the fallout just as everlasting
but the quietude at the core of my being that was
resigned to the yo-yo effect of unbalanced love
screams out in joy at the fevered reality she brings
into a life trying to be more than not unhappy
she makes me want to reach for more
the sound of her voice makes me yearn for more
her hand in mine makes me long for more
and her words of mutual attraction and affection
make me know more is possible between us

but even with that knowledge
i also know that now is not the time
not yet
changes need to happen that are beyond my control
the patient is still on the table and the
patient are awaiting their time of healing
with resuscitating knowledge the blessing is coming
belief and faith stoke the charcoal stove passion
she fuels in me with her poker to boil me to scalding heat
hot runs the fluids within me that sustain me
my heart pumps my self-esteem full with steam
and my confidence in what we will become explodes

at the root of it all, she is in me
has been for longer than either of us truly realized
misconceptions dating to the very beginning kept us parted
and like the Red Sea, when the water walls crashed back together
the misbelievers in the middle died in ignorance
but in this case the wayward were her and i
we drowned lacking the knowledge that one
held a torch for the other
we allowed the flames to be snuffed out because we
lacked the courage to tilt our torches together and
make the effort to forge sustained guiding light
out of fear the combination of flames
might scorch the holders rather than
illuminate the way ahead

but we no longer have time nor patience
to burn away the final traces of bindings
that lash us unrepentantly to the tree of knowledge
there is no sin in sampling this fruit
and feeling the river run down my cheeks
knowing she will be there to savour me clean
when the moment of sharing finally arrives

but in the present moment
she told me it was now or never
it was a time for change
the meaning of this can be found in the roots
of our newly amorous discussions, electric and airy
it branches out into all aspects of our souls
and leaves no unsweetened space between us
as the juiciness of our blackberries
drips sweet nectar thick with possibility
heavily into the pay it forward columns
of our life balances.

© A. Gregory Frankson, 2011. All rights reserved.

NEWS: Next book of Ritallin Poetry in the Works

This week I’ve been participating in the 2011 Network Meeting for the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL). I was in Vancouver and then San Francisco participating in events related to the IIMHL meeting. I serve as Poet Laureate for the group, and wrote eight full-length poems with 10 haiku during the three days I was in San Fran. This goes along with the poems I wrote in 2007 in Ottawa, 2009 in Brisbane and 2010 in Killarney.

I received the exciting news that the IIMHL plans to fund and distribute a compilation of these poems, to be released sometime in the coming months. When the book is available I will be sure to share that information with you; in the meantime, I’m editing my poems and getting them ready for publication. When IIMHL distributes them, they will be made available for purchase in paperback form in seven countries.

Very exciting indeed!

the gamma wave begins

I never thought that I would start a poetry blog, but once I added my friend Shawna to my Facebook page and saw a certain post, I knew it was all over.

She was looking for poets to promote.  I have always shied away from sharing poems online, for fear of having them poached.  But perhaps this is the first step down an entirely different road than I had envisioned for myself before this moment.

So this will be the place where I will share poetry online.  I have another blog I (very) occasionally post to called Page, Stage & Rage, which I use for my commentaries and other such musings.  But this blog is all about the creative aspect.  Shawna, eat your heart out!

If people read this stuff and like what they see, please feel free to drop me a line at cytoinfo at cytopoetics dot ca or leave a (moderated) comment on the page.  I hope you enjoy what you read!

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