At The Junction — Lew Rosenbaum

[This is the first poem in my new chapbook, “Time’s Arrow.”  Being the January selection, I suppose it is appropriate for a December 31 post.  Each poem in the chapbook is linked to a month; but not all months are represented, and some months have more than one poem. — LR]

At The Junction

by Lew Rosenbaum

Janus

the two faced god

sits at the junction of before and afterjanus

he can’t fully give up the past and

won’t commit to the future

two faced meaning a liar?

perhaps he is telling tales that never were

or forecasts he knows will never come to pass

the counsel for what they call the political class

facing back he is gray-bearded but

looks forward without hair on his chin

this has always been the fascination

the disambiguation

the what’s-in-it-for-me kid

the facialization of January

a hell of a cold welcome for the baby new year

cold as hell

but out of the hell hole heat of the past year

with its wars and famine and

apocalyptic horsemen

hope springs eternal — again —

that this external new year will see no more war

not even bake sales this year for the pentagon

two faced Janus is a dreamer

when we need visionaries

dreaming of what was

trying to bring back

when the good times rolled

those ozzie and harriet days

when america was america

the america that never was for langston hughes

but janus can’t grasp the dialectic

it’s either yesterday or tomorrow

yet there is no tomorrow without yesterday

and if he’s not aiming for all those yesterdays

he’s telling us to close the door

build a wall

dig a moat

between yesterday and today

preserve our purity

the baby has no clothes

but the emperor with all his fascist robes

is naked in his vulturosity

what is my point anyway?

tomorrow is a new year

how new can it be

when we drag our ropa vieja with us

and they don’t fit, never will again,

don’t look back

something may be gaining on us

you can’t fool me

that by adding one day after another

something new strides forth

all those screams and fireworks and horns at midnight

full of sound and ecstasy that signify nothing

but another drunk corporatico plodding in snow

when the day breaks

protecting his stranglehold on his privates property,

the edifice of his wealth and the military that guards it,

the public display of his masturbo-obscenity

so what compels us to ask

what really is new under the sun?

what makes today different from any other

liturgical day

 

either the iron heel of robotofetishism

or the unheard-of abundance of all of us or none

everything or nothing

when the wretched of the earth arise

because we must and because we can

2 Responses to “At The Junction — Lew Rosenbaum”

  1. Vince Nuzzo Says:

    Lew, I have over the years have meant to get in contact with you.
    And mostly for mental health reasons have been sidetracked in doing so.
    I would like to send you if i may a poem i just wrote titled Our world not theirs.. I’m just asking you to read it. nothing more. I send you greetings in the same spirit as when we were comrades in old times. Our paths diverged at some point in the time continuum as they sometimes do. i always admired and respected you. I remember Guild Books and miss it so much not only as a Bookstore but as an institution. A very integral part of the community and by
    extension its cultural lifeline in such a world where story of the oppressor is so omnipresent and deadening. I have few people I call comrade these days. A sense of community i haven’t felt in many years. As Chuck D said:” Year by year all the sense disappears, People don’t even own themselves paying mental rental to corporate presidents”. I really liked your poem.
    sincerely,
    Vince
    P.s: At your request i can send you the poem i mentioned.
    I hope you and Diana are well.


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