Arise (etc.) by Alan J. Blaustein
I can raise the red flag, red and black,
Shout avante populo out loud,
Join the singing chanting righteous crowd,
And seize my ride on anarchism’s back.
Those who see the world for what it is,
Can quite quickly go insane,
All too much, the misery like rain,
And was this also mine or only his?
Spread across the broken in my life,
I laid my concept of the time,
As cerebrated circuses in rhyme,
Parsing out varieties of strife.
I could say in prose but I like verse,
Whatever once was bad these days is even worse.
@2014 Alan J. Blaustein
Bio: I no longer have a copy of Poetry News, a mimeographed magazine that published a tiny poem of mine when I was seventeen in 1967. I wrote on and off through various crises throughout the late 1960s and 1970s with no success, and in the 1980s I was involved in the East Village poetry scene of the time and published in several collective publications, know as What Happens Next.
By 1990, I felt that I had run out of poetic steam, to borrow a phrase from something of Breton’s. I had already written mass-market paperbacks, and in September 1990 I started to work for Mixed Media Enterprises. I wrote and edited various publications for the client publisher.
Poetry came to mind intermittently until October 2012, when I heard the pentameter again. I prefer formal poetry, taking Ezra Pound’s dictum that “when poetry moves too far from music, it rots,” but I will write free verse if the idea, inspiration or whatever strictly calls for it. Real poetry is about language, first of all.