2002/2020 – The Empire At The End Of The Decadence?

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ON-Editorial August 2020. A letter and a poem from our Editor in Chief Tommaso Cartia

Clock

I am the empire at the end of the decadence. Prophet of a world that has stopped being prophetical. Milan. Italy. Someday, some night, in 2002. I woke up in the middle of that night, with a virulent urgency, with a trepidatious feeling. With those words on my mind. I wrote them down, quickly, and they suddenly opened a breach into my consciousness. An engulfing stream derailed my perception of space and time and I traveled.

I traveled through a feeling, I traveled across the sentiment of a world in turmoil, of an entire collectivity languishing. Those sudden travels are little miracles; on rare occasions, benevolent muses grant writers access to extraordinary emotional vehicles. At that time, I was “growing pains” because I was an adolescent and there was plenty to be mad at in the world in my “roaring twenties”. But that night, those excruciating roars were not shouting out my insecurities in front of the mirror or the feeling of being perceived as an ambiguous character always somewhat on the outside, out of place everywhere. That night was the face of the world and its distortions, grotesquely staring at me from the pieces of a fragmented mirror.

Since September 2001, the world itself was feeling ambiguous, precarious, on the outside, out of place everywhere. The world was turning into a fearful adolescent, certain only of its paradoxical uncertainty. We are all familiar with that feeling because it happened to us. We are all familiar with that feeling because it is happening to us. It began when the first minuscule ember of those crumbling towers started filling the air and our consciousness with a vicious nebula of unclarity. And by the time those towers reached ground zero, we all reached ground zero. Our end, or our beginning? The people of my generation who didn’t experience apocalyptic disruptive events like wars, pestilences, or natural calamities, suddenly knew what it felt like to be a fragile ember in the vastity of an unknown universe.

So that night, something that was dormant, something that I was blocking from my mind in my naive attempt to believe that “everything will be alright,” erupted with the force of a world quivering to come to life. A new cycle was beginning, but we were stuck at our ground zero, a step behind the past, not yet a step ahead into the future. And yet a 0 looks like a circle, and the circle is an infinite perfect shape. Our end, or our beginning? And in between, what’s in between? It is maybe what the astrophysics tend to call liminal times, and the people of faith purgatory times? It is definitely a time of purges when all of the infections need to be spurted out of our systems, all of the wounds stitched and disinfected, all of our mental and spiritual clutter, dismantled.

If that was the beginning of a new cycle and that new cycle started with purgatory mode, are we at the end of this purgatory?. 2002/2020, looks like some sort of cryptic symbolism that could satisfy the many conspiracy theorists out there. This pandemic, the fragility of our ecosystems, the autarchic leaderships, the rampant inequities and iniquities all around the globe, the corruption, the violence, the constant danger, this indefatigable feeling of fatigue and tremendous uncertainty… and so on and so inescapably forth… is this the acme, the tip of the iceberg, the final act, the extreme ablution of all of the viral infections we need to free ourselves from?

I would hope a benevolent muse comes back to grant me access to a piece of prophetic truth. The French poet Paul Verlaine was definitely granted a grand truth when he wrote in his poem”Langueur” (Languishing) of 1883, “I am the Empire at the end of the Decadence,” a lyric that was inspired by the collapse of the Roman Empire addressing the collapse of his own era, and that later inspired my feeling of collapsing of our era in 2002. Three eras, the same languishing, decadent feeling; is this enough to satisfy the category of “prophetic truth”? If we dive into the recurrent liminal cycles of human history, do we find there an answer to our dangling present? Because after a liminal cycle, a golden era always arises and did arise. And maybe that benevolent muse came to me one time and for all during this 10 years of purgatory time in which we are living. And so envisioning the prescient beginning of our golden era, I let that adolescent of 2002 in his “roaring twenties” respond to my anxiety of this current 2020 and give me hope, and possibly give it to the reader, that purgatory mode is about to collapse. If this is ground zero all over again, let’s turn it into an infinite circle of enlightenment.

AMEN
2002/2020

Books

by Tommaso Cartia

KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO FREEDOM
FREEDOM LEADS TO SOLITUDE.

There is just freedom of reprinted thoughts,
of partisan words
of non-debatable debates.
There is a vile terrorism bombarding the unknown
a wall of obscurantism
feverishly patched up every day
not to let a drop of truth shine through.
It is there where from a crack on the wall
a glimpse of light filters
that I dive
inebriated by the quench of Truth
soaked up in a rainstorm of Mystery
a sweet prisoner of Knowledge
of Reason, of Love.
I’m a researcher of liquefying principles
archeologist and funambulist
over the cut of this wall
conceptual space
I travel, I abandon.
I try to escape this towering inferno
this cold war’s flying arsenals
these weapons of mass distractions
this incessant restoration of walls of dogmatism.

I am the empire at the end of the decadence
prophet of a world that has stopped being prophetical
I know I can still burn
my body can still be put at stake
my words can be put at stake
at the ground zero of our involution
on disheartening altars
where the web-masters
preach the way
and humiliate differences
and sacrifice intellects.
Can the freedom in my words
sound like pain and punishment?
Can I be extinguished
Can I be banished and vanished
inside of this mass that needs to be leaven
bulked and fed and poisoned
with apathetic resignation?

From the inside of this mass’ wall
Let’s continue to conduct heat
Let’s continue to conduct Knowledge
Let’s continue to conduct Love
Let’s push for a change of status
Let us be

FREE

Free to say that we can’t change, choose, control, or recolor the skin we are born in, and the sexuality we are born with. That we can’t believe in imposed absolute dogmas that are in fact nothing but relative. Let us have the freedom to discover our own sense of the Absolute, instead of that being cut, edit, banalized, and repackaged for us on plastic bibles. And let us have access to all the books and grant back to the messiahs their historical sense. Let us overturn the hegemony of autarchic patriarchs and let’s land powers also in women’s and in multicolored hands. Let us rephrase this inaccurate paradox:

… we are all equals …

… let the different be equals to the equals and the equals to the different …

I pray, that the act of Love would be granted and permitted to everybody.
I pray, for the end of racial and sexual crusades and of cultural exterminations.
I pray, for the Truth, not to be hidden behind beautiful lies.
I pray to Know, I pray to Love, I pray to Breathe, I pray to Live.

AMEN.

About the Author

THE STORYTELLER WHO CONNECTS THE DOTS OF ARTS & CULTURE

Tommaso Cartia is a NYC-based writer, journalist, published author, media specialist, and publicist with a decade of experience in media communications, publishing, and the entertainment business, in the US as well as in Italy. Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Creative Pois-On, Tommaso is the mind and the pen behind Storytelier,the editorial project by Creative Pois-On. He has a successful track record in designing brilliant interviews that narrate beautiful stories. Among the celebrities, he had the chance to interview, Writer Erica Jong, Writer Michael Cunningham, Actress Gina Lollobrigida, and Valeria Golino, Director Michael Apted, to name a few.  He is also the founder of the editorial project The Digital Poet – To Live Dreams, To Dream Of Lives and author of the lyrical memoir Reincarnazione Sentimentale, Italy, 2014.


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