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

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.

ON-Poetry Presents “Jupiter Rising” by David James Parr

Jupiter

We inaugurate our ON-Poetry column featuring the second video from the new book by David James Parr – PERSONAL TRAINING: poetry & exercise tips

The video-poem “Jupiter Rising” is read by the author and shot around various locations in NYC. PERSONAL TRAINING is now available on Amazon and Kindle. Please enjoy here below both the video and the poem.

Enjoy the video Courtesy of David James Parr Fiction Official Youtube

Jupiter Rising

David James Parr
The book is available now on Amazon and Kindle.

Steady as my glass that just fell off of the table—

don’t worry it wasn’t full—

and what phase of the moon are we in now?

which tide just got pulled?

Today I felt all bitter and fucked up

like a poem by Dorothy Parker

brittle on the outside

but fragile at the core

They say Jupiter is visible tonight

but I can’t see it through all this rain

On 9th Avenue the boys are cruising one another

            and they’re all starting to look the same.

So Jupiter is rising high 

in the cloudy sky tonight

Michaelangelo must have spilled his paints again

leaving us this pearly drop of light.

Today I felt like a Henry James heroine

crafty and unfulfilled

dreaming of a perfect match

                                    in a rudely imperfect world.

In my back pocket I have a business card

from—I think his name was Ed?

He works in technology

but I didn’t hear a word he said.

I was only thinking how the way he held his glass was sort of like

the way you held my wrist in the movie theatre

stroking up and down as if I might break

stroking up and down as if I might purr.

Tonight I felt like a French film star

leaving by the back door

I’d tell you la raison porquoi

                        but then again, what for?

Can you see Jupiter from where you sleep?

Can you see it from his bed?

In my back pocket I have a business card 

—I’m sure his name was Ed.

Today I felt like a ballad by Adele 

all bittersweet and corny

distraught and crying out your name

            yet deep down just plain horny.

Jupiter is visible again tonight 

impersonating a star

like a drag queen on a good night

think we could get there by car?

And how long before it twirls around?

Blinking its big red eye

How long before it rolls back over?

to a completely different sky.

About the Author

David James Parr
David James Parr lensed by Shushu Chen

Writer David James Parr was born on a cul-de-sac in suburban Ohio and grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he learned how to spell “cul-de-sac” and to mispronounce “rural”, respectively. He is the author of the novels Violet Peaks and Beauty Marksas well as the collection How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps: Stories. His title story How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps was chosen by Michael Cunningham (The Hours) as one of the Top 10 Stories in The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest, and is included in the anthology The Best Gay Stories of 2017. David’s story Mata Hari was also selected in 2015 as one of the winners of The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest. David’s plays Slap & TickleAlbee Damned and Pluto Is Listening have been produced all across the U.S. including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Provincetown and St. Petersburg, and his play Mimi at The 44th Parallel was a Top 10 Finalist in The Austin Film Festival’s 2019 Playwriting Competition. His fiction has appeared in Saints + SinnersMosaic and Feminisms. His play Eleanor Rigby Is Waiting was made into a film which premiered at the 2019 Manhattan Film Festival, winning Best Independent Feature.

Personal Training: Poetry & Exercise Tips

David James Parr

Don’t hold a grudge. Mold one instead, into the form of non-fat erotic, neurotic and quixotic poetry and exercise tips by our Staff Writer and Contributor, Award-Winning Author and Playwright, David James Parr. February is gone but Love & Eroticism are still in the air. This March, Creative Pois-On is “On Stage”, exploring the storytelling of Broadway and the theater, but also of all of the passion, the courage, and the fearlessness that it takes to go on the stage of our own life, conquering the demons of any stage fright, to live as the protagonists of the most truthful idea that we have of ourselves. And that’s what “Personal Training: poetry & exercise tips”, does. With this brand-new poetry collection, David James Parr takes us behind the scenes of the creation of the man and the artist he is today, in the middle of the most feral and yet lovingly human ‘stage fright’ of his earlier years in New York City. A coming of age story, from the warm-up to the toughest training that it takes to get rid of the life that we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

Enjoy these excerpts from the book – and to read more please CLICK HERE

David James Parr
David James Parr, “warming up”.

“The Warm-Up”

“Here it comes
all hips and zipper
Here he comes
all Jack-the-Ripper

Stand upright
Feet shoulder-width apart
Don’t think of his shoulders
Nor their width

Keep arms at sides
Don’t think of his arms
Nor his sides

Reach up towards sky
Arching back
Don’t think of his back
Nor its arch

Here he comes
all torso and swagger
Here he comes
All cloak and dagger

Hold position for 60 seconds
Breathing normally
Don’t think of his breathing
Nor what was once normal”

David James Parr
David James Parr, “like Wolf and Plath and Hemingway”

“Like Woolf and Plath and Hemingway”

“One by one we all run away
like Woolf and Plath
and Hemingway.

Some leave notes,
some leave crumbs,
some dots to connect one by one.

You can read between the lines
but first you have to plant the vines,
and hear the words: “You’re mine.”

You’re told you’re in a quiet mood,
you’re told to change your attitude,
then you hear this word:
unglued.

The Poetry Collection Cover Book


And then comes that day
when you realize: You may.
Like Woolf and Plath
and Hemingway.

To run away may seem a child’s game,
to such a death you can attach your name,
and look what happens: instant fame.

But are they forgotten with the book?
Downward all eyes would look,
when realizing what they took.

To disappear, a fleeting thought.
Would you like forever just to rot?
Um, well, no
Maybe not.

Still their brains I’d like to pick away.
Can’t we all just have brunch Sunday?
Woolf and Plath
and Hemingway.

Is it that we’ve all been fooled?
Did they give all they should?
Or was it only what they could?

You wake again, and yes, the sky.
Another night has passed on by,
his arm around you: a total lie.

The quiet begs you to stay.
Should you leave?  Who can say?
Not Woolf nor Plath
nor Hemingway.

Your eyes thirst for sleep,
you want the silence, you want the deep,
the dark, the stillness
there you’ll keep.

He announces that it’s morning time
If you trust his eyes, you might be fine.
Again, he whispers:  “You are mine.”

Like this, you keep it all at bay.
It’s been set on time delay.
Like Woolf and Plath
and Hemingway.”

David James Parr
David James Parr – Lensed by Shushu Chen

Writer David James Parr was born on a cul-de-sac in suburban Ohio and grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he learned how to spell “cul-de-sac” and to mispronounce “rural”, respectively. He is the author of the novels Violet Peaks and Beauty Marksas well as the collection How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps: Stories. His title story How To Survive Overwhelming Loss & Loneliness in 5 Easy Steps was chosen by Michael Cunningham (The Hours) as one of the Top 10 Stories in The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest, and is included in the anthology The Best Gay Stories of 2017. David’s story Mata Hari was also selected in 2015 as one of the winners of The Tennessee Williams Fiction contest. David’s plays Slap & TickleAlbee Damned and Pluto Is Listening have been produced all across the U.S. including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Provincetown and St. Petersburg, and his play Mimi at The 44th Parallel was a Top 10 Finalist in The Austin Film Festival’s 2019 Playwriting Competition. His fiction has appeared in Saints + SinnersMosaic and Feminisms. His play Eleanor Rigby Is Waiting was made into a film which premiered at the 2019 Manhattan Film Festival, winning Best Independent Feature.

Please stalk David further at:
Facebook: David James Parr Fiction
Instagram: DavidJamesParr
Twitter: @ParrFiction