Tag Archives: Janus

Prometheus Modernized; Rosa Parks as Grand Theft Deity.

Scott Jones,

Two Sundays ago we sat expounding poetic waxings in my living room and while we spoke on a range of varied topics there was one specifically that stood out to me; the idea of modernizing gods and mythos. A week later I had the inspiration of Paul Ekman, with all of his faces, being some form of a modernized Janus and this morning I had the inspiration of something far more intense.

As you know Sunday, March 7th, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march marked as Bloody SundayThis morning Amanda and I were catching up on last night’s Daily Show and both of us were really quite moved by the interview with congressman John Lewis.

While Lewis spoke of his time as a youth in the south and shared the stories of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks I was struck, overcome, confounded by a poetic feeling that truly confused my senses as if I was truly being inspired in the sense of this poem appeared to literally be breathed (spired) into (in-) me from elsewhere and I knew this woman…

http://www.biography.com/people/rosa-parks-9433715/videos/rosa-parks-legacy-15821379604

…must be our Prometheus.
Rosa Parks; Prometheus Modernized.

And she reaches a black hand
through the ash and grasps
the roots and trunk of a centuries
aged olive tree; bent at hips
and tree tip to flame ignites
the leaves and branches –

now fire as foliage and raising
the torch of a colossal olive
branch she twists into a flaming
centrifugal force and hurricanes
the gods approaching, the gods
closing in, falling in – she spins.

Her fists clasping the whirling bark
and branch of an enkindled
and coruscating olive tree; she
vortexes a capital H-E-R
HERicane collapsing concentric,
conflagration, circles of gods in piles at her feet.

Grand Theft Deity…

She dives from Olympus terminal
velocity unheard, blurred
and muffled by her sonic booms.
Careening back, cratering the Alabama
Earth beneath her feet and sits…
She keeps the fire     safe.

She hides the flames in her
resting feet. Tinder
and kindling a blaze within
her heart
febrifuged beneath her
bobby pinned hat and whispers…

All people have
earned their grip
upon this torch
.”

And straightening herself
her posture as perfect,
as confident, as the human
form is built for she knows
so from, and for, bones
and muscles are the tools

that straighten her spine.
Knowing only sinews
and joints thrust chins
upward; knowing the
blades beneath her skin
pull back her shoulders.

Knowing only vertebrae
that turns her head;
knowing only lateral
and superior rectus
muscles to be turning
her eyes – to meet his.

And knowing – it is the
brachioradialis muscle
that forms his fists;
knowing his vocal cords
and tongue are what
forms his mouth to say…

Get up… Get up now…
Get to the back 
of the fucking bus NOW!.

Her eyes close a composed
moment and resting blink
she knows his skin color
did not clench those teeth and fists;
she knows her skin color
did not part her lips; the fire her skin

encases is what breathed
(deeper than the reflection
of facing mirrors)
and respired breathless
into the blazing, historically
echoing inferno, that spoke…

“No.”

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