Thursday 23rd March 2017,
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Unilateral Idiosyncrasy by Chris Taljaard

17 November 2014 a poem a day challenge, poetry Comments Off on Unilateral Idiosyncrasy by Chris Taljaard
I have seen some of the best minds
Of an incumbent generation preoccupied
With issues of physicality, focused
On their physiques and cliques
Fraternities and sororities of nothing
More than a means to look better
Naked, as per the maxim of the emaciated
And exoskeletal harpies that howl
From the liquid crystal looking-glass
With manifestos quenched in massacre

But I have also seen the culmination
Of the counter-culture
A new kind of hipster
But not the one walking down the streets
Of slums and ghettos in search of sense
In jazz and anarchistic ideas of freedom
But a massive,
Oscillating wave of
non-con-
formist fashions –
Uniform in its western heritage
Of slanted side partings and slim-fitting shorts

I watched them as they professed awareness
Of eastern philosophy and the ecological impact
Of the digital revolution and I watched them
Type up toxic titbits with one mechanised hammer
After the other, ever deeper into chlorinated paper
I watched them broadcast this peculiar paradox
Through scanners and deep into an imitation of space
Powered with electricity and carved by conventionality

I watched them as they chanted their muted mantras
To the melody of peculiarity, as espoused by the green
Peace and pacifists – as long as it’s not too popular –
The only worthwhile gurus are, after all, mysterious
Obscure and whole-heartedly planted in mountains
Aloof from the homogenous metropolis of global America

I watched them neglect the wise men of the Ganges
There I watched them decry the drudgery of devotion
And question the sterility of the sanctity of the crowd
In their millions at the banks of this new River Styx
In their millions, I watched them devour themselves
In defiance against almost all that they could see
In the name of their idiosyncrasy: their god called Novelty

Perhaps you will excuse me if I turn from my own feelings to the words of another splendid bugger, Bob Dylan:

Just for a second there I thought I saw something move…
Gonna take dancing lessons, do the jitterbug rag –
Ain’t no shortcuts, gonna dress in drag.
Only a fool in here would think he’s got anything to prove.

 

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