Rebirth of Reason


Deck of Cards: a Courtesan's Book of Illusions
by Jeanine Ring

Is their Emperor so obvious,
and transparent, all their lies?
...that our virtue's only violence
and despair in poor disguise?
Are you a young, grey-eyed philosopher?
an Atalanta of the pen?
In search of art's emporium
amidst streets of artless men.

I assume you cry for better
than their layout for your life?
If you ask for independence
you will not make Mother, Wife,
slave of men, and maid of children
born to breed and polish chains.
Else than Kinder, Kueche, and Kirche,
any price commits no pains.

I do hope you're not so stulted
to seek safety in the state;
call it welfare, call it service,
call it bribes, or call it bait.
You will slowly be digested in the
belly of the beast.
If you have to sell your soul
please demand something, at the least.

Think your safety's in success?
You'll get a job, you'll got it made?
But each moment for next moment's
but a madness on parade.
You will strive as one possessed
to pile your possessions high.
Then at last, atop your mountain,
you will die.

While they say the crafts and industry
care a fig leaf for success;
if we mean by that, 'production',
Mr. Babbitt could care less.
He will count your craft as competent
when you put that "I" in "Team".
For the ducat of the dominant,
one demand:
                    "displace your dream".

So start up in your own commerce,
set up shop, and own your own?
Well, to this, I say, 'good fortune'
(if you're rich before you're grown).
You had best preserve a family
to begin your own support.
But I don't think that's so likely where
their morals are the court.

Fly to groves of academia?
Once a monolith was made,
but I sadly think those olive trees
no longer offer shade.
You will toil in their vineyards,
your vocation turned career.
What your spirit seeks in freedom...
"Seldom Taught or Tenured Here".

There are alter institutions,
they keep house to left and right.
But aristocrats or democrats,
in the end the choice is slight.
For no matter their persuasion
they will keep you, party line.
Any words they pay to hear
they will possess as they define.

Ain't it Mister Libertarian, in his purest Liberty,
Friend, I know your statue well,
and she says, "freedom isn't free".
So you caught your corporation;
you commanded quite a price!
But we won't see you at market,
any time soon,
                       choosing twice.

Would you spur your soul to protest?
Join the heroes?
                          Storm the gate?
You can climb atop that barricade,
but it won't support your weight.
They will feel that flame in freedom,
you will shame and steal to live,
for they own the world,
our oligarchs,
and your life is
theirs to give.

Well, we've slain our aristocracy,
and the convents, closed their doors,
and I do not doubt the justice, nor the reasons,
for those wars.
But there's little care for learning
in our oligarchs obtuse,
and with nine-to-five men leisure
merits less and little use.

So, are you a soul of intellect?
Does your artistry cry:
                                  "Time!" ?
Then I fear your lines may follow
like the meter of this rhyme.
For they'll only forgive freedom,
allow art, if they've no choice,
but if you would sing their sonnets
they will have to leave you voice.

Cast from Crete to San Francisco,
there has always been one place,
shore of refuge, for intelligence
in half this human race.
We are still so neolithic
in this nanotechnic age.
Yet the love of wisdom lives,
if it can love upon the stage.

So get up with your discretion;
strap on scabbards, buckle arms,
vary voices, find your footsteps
gather stores, and string your charms.
Learn a higher mathematics,
strike a chord, and let her ring!
Contra tales, it's no invention
if Sophia learns to sing.

You may doubt I own my boldness
in this flourish of attire.
But it's most who call that passion,
      and never taste its fire.
Oh, they hollar and they hesitate,
where I am not afraid.
And, yet they presume I doubt
these more than choices I have made.

To condemn my calculations,
yet exalt in enterprise.
To wear any colors asked for,
and yet dream these clothes disguise.
I am social all in passing;
as I stand, I stand alone.
     'stand forth!',
you damned hypocrites,
with your lives you call your own.

Now, it's been a span of months
though it has seemed a swirl of years.
No, my overeducation does not quite requite all tears.
Yet, where I was blindly walking,
I am now forestanding proud.
I will wear this skein of starlight,
to my goddess, as my shroud.

Quite a frigid muse is History,
but as I read,
                     the truth is hard:
we have shuffled up the deck,
yet we have never changed a card.
I have cried for liberation,
I have tried to change this plan.
But we're round
            and round
               and round
and we are back where we began.

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