Another sort of topical poem.  I'm on a Ravenna Diagram allegorical roll.  You, cher lecteur, are meant to look beneath the surface, as well as surf the surface.  For example : "prose Popeye" is a pun for the Greek rhetorical term prosopopeia.  A very old thing in poetry... in culture generally.  "Personification."  Archaic, prehistoric, in fact.  You put on a mask (persona) in order to represent something very hard to picture.  An absent Presence.  So the idea here is that fanaticism has a very weak or corrupted "picture" of the Good, the Divine, the Holy, the Person.  So they attack ancient religions they know nothing about.  ISIS, for example (so ironically, the ancient Egyptian goddess...).  What is your "picture" of God?  We are all imperfect, many of us suffering from various mental distortions... so this might affect the image in our minds.  I think of Jesus in the Gospels saying "You must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God.  For these little ones always behold the face of their Father who is in heaven..."  Think of the adoration of children for the image of that which they need & love.  This is a psychological insight, you might say... to which my silly "prose Popeye" is pointing.


O big zebra-striped cicada
with the Air Force wings
found adrift this morning
in Sophie’s baby-purple wading

pool – can I identify with you?
Or maybe only your husk
was left behind.  Ask
Jonah in his whale, or Zarathustra

in his Cyrus-shade (serene
weatherman).  Inquire
of the Yezidi-martyrs
on their mountain.  Savage scene

of human inhumanity
today.  The mimic-men
love Mickey Mouse – then
spool to hate such levity;

they kill what they deny (themselves)
persecuting poor Me
in the name of purity –
pure folly (petty peevish dwarves).

I’ll circulate the prose Popeye
instead.  A sailor-sketch
of Pappy in his ketch
(the Pope, perhaps?).  Only the sigh

of Peacock Angel – delicate thread,
goldfinch trompette marine...
yet you sense what I mean :
bright Joan – ah! – surfing from the dead.


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