time slips from great to good, or from terrible to wors’ning down that entropic road we pay our toll from hot pavement toward dirt road endings
that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending life’s urge to organize is quite strong make amends, then share the booty’s blending
time slips from me to us, then from “you and i” to loving our valentine then seeks it’s mate on goes the prolific downward sending
that god, what god? the reflection quests, as the last winter snow’s still clinging that Holonic symbol, our family crest bears family blood from each upbringing
the urge to mate is as strong to hate, we blend, then split the winnings our Junior a mixed-sum of both then adds new moment’s vendings
time drives us from then to now, our final destination reaching tho’ next can never touch our lips
it’s law, Relativity speaking
that god, what god? the question begs, who should i tell him’s asking? our urge to love and to proliferate…
life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking
2nd law of thermodynamics
A Critique by Jendi Reiter
I was lucky to have had this poem selected for review by The Winning Writers, a respected site for amatuer poets with top writers as owners who run the site. Jendi Reiter is an excellent and respected poet in her own right.
Critique by Jendi Reiter
The form of this month’s provocative poem, “Entropy Road”, embodies its theme of order struggling to remain distinct from chaos. The headlong rush of syllables in the longer lines and the fragmentary, zigzag presentation of the poem’s argument give the poem a restless energy. Meanwhile, the “-ing” rhymes repeating in the first and third lines of every stanza, the refrain “that god, what god?” and the semi-regular meter attempt to corral that energy within a poetic framework.
Making the rhyming words present participles (verb forms, or nouns derived from them, ending in “-ing”) was an inspired choice. These words describe action in progress. Just as the stability that the narrator seeks is always a moving target, the concepts on which he depends to convey this argument will not stay put. Each rhyming line also ends on an unstressed syllable, which gives the poem an open-ended, unfinished cadence.
Entropy, of course, refers to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which basically states that the energy levels in an isolated system will tend toward equilibrium. Entropy has sometimes been described as a measurement of the disorder or randomness within a system. In the poem, as in popular usage, it symbolizes universal mortality and dissolution. If evolution drives organic life to ever-higher levels of self-organizing complexity, entropy is the opposite force, that which pulls down and breaks apart complex systems into nature’s simplest building blocks. It means that all material energy will ultimately spend itself and be unrecoverable.
As self-aware components of this dying system, how can we find the motivation to go on living, loving, procreating, and planning for the future? Which will win, our philosophical sense of futility or the inward compulsion to survive and create?
Perhaps no one wrote about entropy in this sense more powerfully than the 20th-century British poet Philip Larkin. A sample poem can be found here.
Larkin generally settles the question on the side of death, but Adams disagrees: “the urge to love is as strong to hate”. The life force has a fighting chance. Yet it is hampered by our inability to articulate a reason for hope. “that god, what god? the mirror asks, tone optimistic, while condescending”.Existentialist philosophers looked to the self to create meaning in a universe made absurd by death’s finality. The poem suggests that this answer is insufficient. The individual is merely part of the closed entropic system. He cannot inject it with new energy to reverse its decay.
There are positive, hopeful moments in “Entropy Road” but they come from outside philosophy and science. Whatever the intellect may say, instinct confirms that human connection and creativity are not futile. “time slips from me to us or, from you and i to loving/our valentine then seeks its mate/goes the prolific downward sending”. The opaque last phrase may have been chosen mainly to fit the rhyme scheme, but its vagueness felicitously makes it more symbolic than a specific description would have been. It called to my mind both the release of seed in copulation and the movement of the child through the birth canal, but other associations are possible, such as rains watering the earth to bring forth crops, or the descent of angels.
The birth of a child does seem like a miraculous creation ex nihilo, the opposite of entropy. First there were two, now there are three. “Holonic” is a word coined by 20th-century philosopher Arthur Koestler to express the observation that entities in biological and social systems are always interdependent, never completely self-sufficient units. This law of interconnection and symbiosis contrasts with entropy’s pull toward disconnection and stasis.
“our junior is the sum of both/but adds ‘new’ moment’s vendings”. Is “new” in quotes because the narrator’s intellectual side reminds him that this is not a real solution to the problem? On the human scale, parenthood may feel like a triumph over mortality, but on the level of the cosmos, it does not stave off the decay of the whole system, looked at in purely materialistic terms.
The poem ends by leaving the question open, a humility that rings true. Adams does not claim to decide whether the emotional or the scientific perspective on the human condition is correct. He suggests that it is really a question about the nature of the self, or perhaps its very existence. “that god, what god? the question begs, and who should i tell him’s asking?/an urge to love and proliferate…”
If pressed to define the self, Adams would emphasize the impulse to love and create, however blind that impulse is, over the scientific description of the individual as a collection of atoms arranged in a temporary order. He chooses the insider’s perspective over the outsider’s, life as it feels to us, rather than life as the scientists say it is. (After all, they too are part of the flawed system, not truly above it.) Yet the final line, “life’s sentence, and time’s unmasking”, expresses the fear that some trans-human perspective would prove us wrong; the joke of the universe is on us, after all. The dilemma brings us to the limits of reason, where some have found faith, and others merely the willpower to live without it.
held my breath too long it seems finest place was just a dream rose to the top jus’ like the cream
but virtuous… a lonely theme the lies are told through smiles they beam as curtains hide the actors scheme gag the truth or it will scream.
you are just one and they are a team wrinkled shirts will get the steam so money’s god, but god ain’t green while power wins, fine ass is reamed.
play or lose you finally gleam know the truth but go mainstream but every crack will find a seam times gettin’ bad when good’s extreme.
FACEBOOK IT.(A recent comment to friend’s Facebook post about America.)
America? Where is it anyway?
I had a dream that I grew up there, but when I woke up… oh shit!?! I lived in a foreign land that existed only in the minds of an ignorantly deluded multitude, but in the “pockets” of a few greedy intellectual snake charmers with some bizarre ideas; who manipulated us (through their control of the monetary supply-system which they did privately own yet had surreptitiously presented as one being Federally regulated/owned), by using their powerful political, deadly, and financial force to corrupt and control this so-called “AMERICA”‘s political morally bankrupt leaders years many before my birth.
After a cup of Java or two had really opened my eyes and re-started my brain I learned that they had used lies and manipulation to hypnotize the masses into believing that we were living in and freely participating in the affairs of an ethically righteous political Republic; and one whom God had somehow annointed as “policeman to the world” due to our extreme technologically advanced capability of forcing will on nearly every aspect of the world’s populations through intimidation, blackmail, and destruction.
Sad that I had only dreamt about America’s greatness instead of actually having existed in an honourable country espousing freedom for all who wished to FAIRLY and HONESTLY excel through individual effort, determination, and innovation like I had been indoctrinated to believe…
I retreated, to the only real and local environment that I truly felt I could trust and love… my family and a few close personal friends.
…Or, my Quest For The Holy Grail, which I eventually did find by spending a life of studious observation, sometimes deep serendipitous thought, gawdy mis-informed and unabashedly arrogant fun, a dash of inordinate happenstance, and then… by the most fortunately-unfortunate of Accidents…
It’s no secret to those who know me well that I’ve learned life’s greatest lessons with a kind of “ridiculous oppositional defiance”; with that line of thinking having been one of my life’s greatest teachers. Though I now bow to it as my master of destiny, I cannot recommend this course of study to the faint of heart, weak of mind, or anyone who CANNOT become completely convicted of it’s arrogant, self-righteous path of expectorating the most resistance between any two points in the continuum.
In other words, if you have to be brought to your knees and dragged kicking and screaming before some of life’s simplest concepts, then… you may be considered a candidate for my school of thought. Admittedly, there ought to be a better means to attaining wisdom. But as has been for me; NOT.
Self indulgent… yes. Self centered… definitely. Self defeating… mostly. Self aware… acutely. Self serving… without question. Selfish… morally bound by it, yet in a positive sense. Self-hatred… never and not even for an instant. Self-Actualized… I like to think so. Self motivated… once upon a time…
“WTF? Whoa… what happened Diggeratti? Why? I mean… your Dudeness, you kinda sound to me like you need to see a shrink. You don’t sound like the guy I once thought I knew.”
“You know what? You’re absolutely right. I mean, about that last part, but if there’s one thing I DO KNOW FOR CERTAIN, IT’S THAT I DO NOT NEED A SHRINK. Got it?”
For all of my known life I’ve searched for “the secret” to it… (that being, the secret oflife).
I have never divulged this story to anyone in it’s entirety, though perhaps I’ve shared small morsels to some close friends along the way; but only here and there and never enough for anyone to frame a complete picture of my personal Questforthat Holiestof Grails.
I can remember my fourth grade teacher calling my parents to request a parent-teacher conference because I was “the most argumentative boy she had ever had the displeasure of teaching.” She reasoned that I thought I knew more than she did, and that would just be the height of stupidity. Of course, she was right on all accounts.
But hey, did I let that stop me? “Uh-uhn. No sir, Not today Miss Smarty Pants. Not me. Nada. You can’t embarrass my little ole’ butt and expect to get by with it.”
Fourth grade was a rough year for me.
Looking back, it was the year I framed the questions, and then demanded answers. Yet, no answers were forthcoming. But still I weathered on…
Having grown up on… let’s just say… not the bright side of the road (a lower middle class blue collar too many kids neighborhood), and being a tad small for my age group, I HAD to learn how to defend myself amongst the sea of bullies and general fuck-wads of Louisville’s South End, while keeping the blood flowing inside my nose.
I mastered the art of “holier than thou” with double-edged insult and crafty innuendo, tough guy talk (but not too tough as to result in fisticuffs), and then finally making friends with the biggest and toughest guys so as to keep the multitude of snapping sharks at bay. Still, I was not immune to an ill-advised attempt at busting some ass myself, which generally resulted in my own busted ass. Yet, I drunk it all in and I learned something new every day.
But not the reason for my existence.
Somehow god smiled on me around high school and I became a high school sports star (distance running), bringing glory and fame to my hood and school and earning exalted status amongst the good guys and neer-do-wells alike. Life, all of the sudden got a tad simpler for me.
I run. I win. They love. All good.
Now, I wasn’t an “A” student at any point in my young life, preferring to glide instead of propel. Though from my earliest days I can remember, too many times some school person informed my parents that it was a bit unusual that I did not make straight A’s given my way-above-the fray IQ. On standardized tests I invariably scored in the 98-99 percentile while dragging home C’s and B’s on my report cards.
My parents, who were more than all-too ready to indulge me in whatever it was I might happen to desire at any moment, were extremely smart uneducated folks. They used logic and reason (and pots and pans) to argue their many disagreements over the pettiest of issues. They were never bitten by the bug of glutinous consumerism, and were just happy enough to love their children immensely, while still not setting the bar too high for them; I assume to somehow insure our future dog-eat-dog worldly success. It worked.
The moral of that story has to do with familial LOVE in it’s most raw, unconditional sense.
So… anyway, I had devised my own little secret quest by around 7th grade. That not-so-small idea was: that I was going to find out for certain what our/my purpose was on this here little-ole spinning ball of dirt sitting way-too-far away from billions of way bigger balls as to be arrogantly considered of any significance by even the most unreasonable of minds in all of mice and men.
Having spent 10 years attending Catholic School I was absolutely certain that they (Roman Catholicism) were so full of shit that even a little fourth grader couldn’t buy into their baloney ass stories. I mean, by fourth grade I had already surmised that getting into heaven simply meant winning the genetic lottery. No god of any denomination could be that stupid, I figured.
My questions became arguments with seemingly (at the time) much smarter people early on, but I wasn’t about to shut up until they told me the truth. They never did. Nor did I ever STFU… and I realized far too soon to be considered healthy for any young mind that “they” (conventional wisdom) hadn’t the slightest fucking clue. To be sure, I wanted some REAL answers!
But, that little hate-show of mine disappeared once I became a high school sports star. I was too busy buying into the BIG LIE because it was fun, exciting, sexually conducive to my screaming testosterone, and material worldly attractive as a MO-FO to a guy who grew up thinking that a new pair of white high top Chuck Taylors was the ultimate gift in all of heaven-kind. Possibilities were becoming boundless and I was soaking in the poison and drinking it up like a lap dog with a new doggie bone.
Then came College. The Life. The Audacity! I had more fun than fourteen barrels of monkeys and forty-two barrels of single barrel malt Bourbon Whiskey, any Kentucky boy’s drink of choice and one-upmanship. And, it was the mid-seventies so pot was collegiately legal as well. It seemed that the world was here to become my personal oyster, and I had the munchies.
Or was it?
Post College. The BIG BUY-IN to THE BIG LIE. Now here’s where there are men, and there are boys on our puny little thin crust of oxygenated Garden of Once-Upon-A-Time Eden, soon-to-be Sodom and Gomorrah. (Why I do love me some Biblical quotation and/or reference!). Which one did I want to be? Take a guess. Go on, git’ you one. Oh, I’m all man… babeeey!
For sure, at this point in life’s roulette wheel of fortune one can either JOIN or NOT JOIN. Not Joining will surely NOT get you the keys to the best and finest of anything. Better to JOIN if you’re in the least enthralled with power, pussy, money, fame, highly limited material items, world travel, bad golf on the finest green lawned courses, or all other humanly delusions of grandeur. Boy, I liked ’em all. If there had been a Facebook Page for them I could prove it to you right now, and they just might wish to then, “like” me back.
But then, I digress…
Some folks who caught my flash thought/think they knew/know who I was/am. I played my part like a virtuoso for them all to see and marvel about. And, I might just add in a bit of total narcissistic self-immersion, I marveled at my damn-self a bit too. Deep down in me I felt a growl. Buried under my own self-image of worldly greatness there still lay that little unfinished business of a secret quest. But, it by then had had gathered much dust.
Truth be known, when I first learned of it, I denied its existence completely, blocked it from my intellect, refused its admittance into my panopoly of raging-life-parties. Yet, I somehow felt it was always standing just outside my door, peering in my windows day and night. But, it dared never knock at my door! Denial.
After all, I was by then a star of my own astronomical proportions. Call me space man. But, please call me so we can figure out what it is you can do for me, OK? And guess what? Me being all that I could possibly be, there was likely a shit load that I could do for you too. Mutual astronomical greatness we were! The vaunted “Win-Win” in the solar system cliché ridden parlance of the day.
Now, it can also be said that in most “core value” ways I have never changed one single iota, nor would I have ever considered it as worthy of my almighty damn-self to do so. After all I had eclipsed Mt. Olympus and now was considered by a small group of people (me, myself, and I) to be of the very essence of the gods.
Tru-dat. But alas, it was NOT to be.
I rumpled feathers every step of the way up the ladder of ascension to material worldliness and ironical self-absorption. If it reeked “the best” or “most expensive” I was all in. If they said “no”, I demanded “yes”. Good was no longer acceptable. For I was all about GREATNESS.
During those heady times the elusive answer which I did faithfully seek since childhood remained elusive, yet it began to slide uneasily to the forefront of my mind and studies, as I read hundreds of books containing both new and ancient wisdom from every perspective on every subject. (Crazy enough, I did all this while driving many long hours almost every day in my profession for over 20 years).
I eventually came to the ultimate truth in an odd way; since not one book that I had read contained the answer (unless one considers “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” by Carl Sagan). That book stunned me to my core, and tied together various newer ideas in physics and philosophy. So then armed with Carl’s brainy wisdom, I eventually figured it all out for myself. But, still I wasn’t at all certain. It was just too simple.
Though it would be remiss of me not to mention that there had been a goddess driving my chariot during a near 20-year span of semi-marital bliss, it would also be imprudent and essentially wrong of me not to say that herein the first cracks began to show in my own majestic glorified godliness.
So… just when the gettin’ was gettin’ absolutely fabulous, the bottom sorta fell out. Plunge.
I had sunk to committing the most egregious crime most men seek out with an unworldly zestful appetite… adultery. Ungodly for sure. Un-Saintly, yes. Most un-Diggity, for certain.
On the surface infidelity may sound a bit trite to the accomplished reptile.
But here we had a man-god who had built his god-self-reputation out of all things pure unadulterated integrity. His own self-image was now rendered a literal a sham of the highest immoral degree. Having long since vanquished the various world religiosities as total and absolute frauds, I now had only to rely upon simple humanistic ethics.
Almost too sleazily human, I proffered.
Now un-deification of oneself requires a re-start of sorts, not to be confused with a do-over or a mulligan. Starting over from scratch. Ground fucking zero.
To further muddy my suddenly stormy world, I apparently was caught in the eye of a nasty hurri-karmic cyclical deluge of sorts. In fairly quick succession I weathered the deaths of my sweet (nonnie) grandmother, then my loving mother, and finally my always you-da-man dad. A personal tsunami of epic proportions. Fuck an el-Nino… this shit was bad. All wet and no place to hide.
And like a fine motor yacht that has been cut loose from its moors, I drifted out into a raging, foamy sea.
That world, the money-as-god-everything world from which I had laid the foundation for my existence, and then had built gold brick upon gold brick with my own golden sweat was nothing but a thinly veiled house of cards. It was THE BIG LIE.
The good news was that within these unfortunate events lay the definitive answer to my long sought after secret to my existence, which I immediately NOW understood all-too-well but all-too-late. I won’t say that I was elated, but I was way smarter and wiser than the fool I had left behind me.
That’s the secret. In the end your family is the most important reason for your living and being. Mine were now all dead, save my two “the real deal” better-than-me, wiser-older, childless sisters.
It seemed that almost every fool on the planet but me had known the simple secret, and all without knowing they knew it. It was just ALL TOO SIMPLE and all-too-humanistic.
But seriously, if one does consider science to be a revealing and enlightening subject, a cursory review of evolutionary history will belie my point over and over and over and over again. Read it and weep. Forget Deuteronomy. Learn the history of life.
Family. It’s what we live for, it’s what we die for, it’s what we strive for.Was I too little too late?
Suddenly, like some drunken riverboat gambler aimlessly pulling slots who haphazardly strikes THE BIG JACKPOT, I stumbled into an epiphanic episode of REAL TRUTH, that one which I had previously been loathe to avoid.
In fact, I was rather brought kicking and screaming into this ultimate reality bite (see above)… at almost fifty years of age; I was becoming a first time dad whether I liked it or not. At the time, I had rather not.
But then the very moment my newborn son was placed in my arms and our eyes connected I was forever lost then found by life’s highest order of it’s highest order of it’s highest order of all things sacred and TRUE and GOOD. Pure previously unfathomable, but now undeniable unconditional LOVE. I swooned. All of life’s past, present, and future shook me, rocked me to my very essence… oh my!
My purpose. My reason of reasons. Bang! Bow! Biff! Yeah! Oh yeah! YES. A primordial orgasm that gave its fiery commandments to me with my giddy consent… and like Moses I looked around for my tablet. And lo’ Brother and Sister, I sayeth unto you; god-life hath honoredeth me with the highest joy ever beknownst unto all of mankind. The heavens were exalted!