Monthly Archives: February 2017

Second Book In The Works

I am happy to announce that I have begun writing my second book. Last year I self-published The Intimacy of Communication: A Spiritual Encounter via CreateSpace, and I am using CreateSpace for book number two.

Nervous Lethargy is a collection of poetry from 2000 through today. Some of the poems have appeared here on Sharp Left Turns, but many have not. Still determining what to include and how to arrange them.

I’m excited about the process, and I want to thank my brother Tom Trebswether for “strongly suggesting” I publish a book of poems. More info to follow as I move through the process.

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Core Beliefs

Core Beliefs

my therapist says overthinking
can be a defense mechanism

overthinking can be
a defense mechanism

overthinking can be
an unfenced metaphorical prison

it’s not my fault
my therapist says

confessional poems
can be used against me

my therapist runs a mom & pop
Oedipal arrangements shop

with thirty-one flavors
of oral fixation lollipops

overthinking can be
a dense intellectual prism

a defense mechanism
defense mechanism

anxiety is a preexisting
human condition

paid for by a
state institution

my therapist ties
Freudian slip knots

to agoraphobics flying
kites in parking lots

it’s not my fault
it’s not my fault

I don’t believe
it’s not my fault

my therapist is the reason
I’m in touch with my feelings

c b snoad
2-13-17

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Cynic-In-Chief

Many of us are familiar with the definition of a cynic. Disillusioned by “politics as usual,” cynical Americans don’t trust Washington insiders to work for the common good.

This is not how the Ancient Greeks defined the term. According to Robin Hard, translator of Diogenes the Cynic: Sayings and Anecdotes (2012), the word is attributed to a philosopher named Diogenes who lived from approximately 412 to 323 BC. “Cynic” roughly translated means “dog.”

Diogenes gave up his possessions for the life of a beggar to show that true happiness is possible only when humans satisfy their basic needs in simple ways. Material wealth, he argued while shamelessly displaying his half-naked body in public, bankrupts the soul.

The father of the contemporary performance artist, Diogenes strived for the virtuous life, challenging social conventions by shocking citizens out of their stupor. He famously carried a lit lamp through Athens in the middle of the afternoon, looking for (but never finding) a man committed to the truth. In an act of civil disobedience, he walked into the theater as crowds poured out, forging his own path against the herd.

In the final chapter of Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity (2014), Maurizio Lazzarato discusses Michel Foucault’s belief in the revolutionary potential of the original Cynics’ way of life. Foucault valorizes the Ancient Greek principle of parrhesia, or truth-telling. A citizen who stood up in the assembly to speak difficult truths risked his credibility, his very life, in the name of democracy. Cynics risked their lives every day in the streets to save the souls of their misguided brothers and sisters.

What is the status of truth in the era of alternative facts? Conservatives have accused liberals of championing relativism for decades, but when philosophers argue that Truth is socially constructed they aren’t suggesting that nothing is true anymore.

Today a Republican president and his inner circle are flat out lying.

An important story the liberal media refuses to report: Diogenes’ top adviser, Kellyannopoulos of Jersey, spoke to supporters outside the assembly shortly after his death and said that the number of people who attended his funeral was twice the amount of those who mourned the death of Socrates.

“Amazing crowds, tremendous crowds,” she said.

Too bad we don’t have aerial shots—or any shots—of the ceremony.

The Reign of Trump begs for spectacular displays of outrage. I agree with Lazzarato that we need to cultivate new ways of being in the world as economic forces beyond our control condemn more and more global citizens to a sub-human existence.

But how do we overcome cynicism to summon the moral strength of the Cynics? How can we be sure that images of our dissent won’t be co-opted and sold as prepackaged lifestyle choices?

“He will not divide us. He will not divide us.” Actor Shia LaBeouf and his comrades have been chanting this slogan outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens since the day Trump took office. They plan to have at least one person repeat the refrain into a webcam all day every day for the next four years. Is this the start of a movement bigger than ourselves? A call to arms for brave truth-tellers to stand up and follow each other on social media?

Will the revolution be live-streamed across all compatible devices?

I admire Lazzarato’s poetic sensibilities, but is romanticizing the archetype of the eccentric street prophet all we have left? Am I entitled only to an esoteric, navel-gazing revolution in my corner of the internet because collective political action is no longer possible? Does holding up clever signs or publishing obscure blogs challenge the constitutionality of Trump’s hastily produced executive orders?

He wasn’t on Facebook but Diogenes had a huge public profile. He’s seen as the first cosmopolitan philosopher, a mystic roaming from city to city in the hustle and bustle of daily life, shouting his worldview at people more interested in Ancient Memes than ethics.

What if Diogenes believed he was really more dog than man?

To “figure out what the hell is going on,” Trump has banned all pagans and pantheists from entering America against the flow of the crowd. Diogenes wasn’t Christian after all.

The president doesn’t really want to be president. He wants to build walls and promote the “bigly-ness” of his brand name. He wants to stir the passions of God-fearing Americans longing for a sense of security that no longer exists. He would rather pout over perceived personal slights than listen to the so-called expertise of five-star generals.

Anointed by the Resentful, Maligned and Dispossessed, the leader of the free world doesn’t believe in the rule of law. He disrespects federal judges on Twitter and insults congressional leaders of his own party (also on Twitter).

Donald J. Trump is the democratically selected winner of the Cynic-in-Chief sweepstakes. Against the common good, he’s the executive seducer of a reality-show circus in which his hubris is the main attraction for a mass of cynics who require more and more spectacle to conceal the truth of their (political) impotence.

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Star 69

phone-sex

the luscious lull that seeps through cellphone ear
zero-one zero-one
floating off Robotic Tonsil
up in throughout buzz-hum Fiber-Optic veins
running beneath these Sacred States—
I’ve called you
automated-voice-woman-drone
I need phone service missing dial-tone
or cable TV all fuzzed out
(I desire CNN this instant I must be informed this instant)
or demand faster internet access the Porn too slow to come
I need help now
you tell me press 1 for this or 2 for that then 5 for a repeat
submissive shit I follow
touch-toning my way to Digital Gratification
hungry for your binary-sex-speak
your zero-one zero-one sweet-nothing-vibes
I want to drop my khaki shorts & spread for you
have test-tube psychopath-introvert
(I’m not afraid are you afraid)
The first auto-child of Truth & Silicone
a sin-less pile of junk with no Unconscious Mind
but automated voice-woman-drone
I’ve called you
& you’ve like a Plastic Cock Tease placed me on hold
promising a representative will be with me shortly
my call as always important
my Satisfaction as always Guaranteed

c b snoad
published in Lynx Eye (spring 2002)
edit 2-5-17

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Full Of Lit

Normal Common Everyday Joe

There really is no point to this poem
I will never be a famous poet
You shouldn’t read this on an empty stomach
The whole thing’s full of lit

I worked hard to perfect this poem
The first draft made more sense
Famous poet is an oxymoron
The government pays me to think and sit

I won’t sign my name to this poem
It belongs to you and me
This poem implies poems should have a point
Poets don’t touch enough tits

c b snoad
draft 7-24-03
edit 2-4-17

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Guilty As Bard

Confessions of a 21st Century Poet

I am moved by what the untrained call average ordinary bland; this gives me power

I see further into the THING of things than he who lives as just a thing

I am psycho-sexual & manic-electric

I dream when awake & sleep the whole day through

There is no unsaying of a said saying yes I’ve tried

I pray not to any god but believe in what the Mind cannot contain

I write because the Soul is Beautiful I know It is Beautiful You are Beautiful but together we tend to fuck things up from a place of love

This is not a Poem or a Story you are disappointed it is the Truth

I refrain from close contact with others; it is detrimental to my feelings

Now let me set this straight: I never make anything up in my Compositions—that which occurs in my Mind will transfer from Eye Ear Nose Throat Skin etc. into yours it will be a Real Experience & as far as we know it: the Truth is TRUTH

Some people (when stressed) consume the external i.e. bottle red meat pill &/or sexual appendage; I (though often lured by the above) just drift into thought & go

What you see here right now is not what I intended; to see my best art first find me dreaming second split my skull third wet your lips & last ENJOY

(Occasionally time floats off me)

I’ve done my fair share of reading (with the eyes) though mostly I just receive (through the Soul)

Words in certain arrangements structures & syllable links erect me this may be perverse

Refer to me please in the first person

Doctors listen to my Poems for the Message

Face it: you’re bored now go back to DOT COM TV VIDEO GAME CELL PHONE—I am ancient analog & full of bad news everybody already knows but is powerless to change because people have to eat & shit there’s no such thing as a free revolution no way on god’s green earth because god has been from the beginning under the weather

c b snoad
draft 4-21-02
edit 2-3-17

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Performance Fart

poem-prose (elmhurst college may 8 two-thousand-one)

the jivey retro-girl w/ magic glasses
sunny sandpaper skin
glitter lips & pure invisible sex-joy vibes
speaks my name

it is time

skittish numb-legged
from plastic ass-warmed chair
& strolling squeaky nikes
up to dim-lit desk on poet-stage mind-display
i rise among the masses
cough-clearing thick-lined mucus-muck obstructing breath-beat-tube
(a swallow a prayer a glance cross room)
eyes the eyes billions in excess
focused on the shining holy-apex of my un-virgin essence
disillusioned devils waiting heaven from my sin-stained lips
waiting knowledge beauty bullshit-fancies
waiting poem-prose-proclamations pronto

i flutter

dizzy in the silent nakedness of thought
till high & mighty muse envelops my brain
& blows & blows & blows

i am ready

first crisp crazy bright-hued line
tumbles free-fall
down out my face into air mixed w/ stink & unseen gunk
(college perfume-germs)
striking lobes of aching audience-receivers not yet sure

next line the next flows in groove
bold beats molded into tangible truths
metric diagrams of pain & pleasure

ART—living breathing climbing over tuned-in body-pods
taking seat by punch/potato-chip stand
listening to its own naughty neon notes
enlightened among the mental-drool of awe-gripped faces
brain-full skulls amused in vocal-bursts of blow of wail

i am it
for once this nanosecond am real am full of me
yet somehow just a figment-speck of overactive poetic imagination
a 3D imposter-cartoon
pretending to be me
(it numbs me i’m confused i do not care)

out of the dolled up carcass-shield my soul flashed before these
god-sick human-drones who cry my tears
but have not eye enough to empty out emotive-waste
i just don’t care

i am a necessity

they idea-fuck me
grown-up cock-eyed boys & nipple-horny girls
deprived of the total teenage orgasm
platonic professors
who as twenty-something infants sold their souls for adjunct PhDs
& the book-bogged smarties
who scribble-translate their every heady word
recording A-plus pin-point decibel-maps of every arrant lecture-fart

the wobbly world falls off its puny stick
we land upside-down dirty
inverted in the flesh drift-away-minded

i am done

back to my lonely spot among the crowd back to the nonsense run-on un-poetic drab of the everyday push towards nothing my soul absorbing claps of hands & yells of throats i am simply me again shy-slouched poet-boy insane dreaming of a poem-prose about this massive manic night for all to know & feel as truth

c b snoad
published in Lynx Eye (spring 2002)
edit 2-2-17

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