IF A TREE FALLS

•December 21, 2014 • 1 Comment

pagan tree

IF A TREE FALLS..

“If a tree falls in the forest and no-one’s around,

Does it make a sound as it hits the ground?”

The old Zen Masters used to ask this famous

 enigmatic question whenever Desperate Seekers came bothering them for Enlightenment.

Now Zen Buddhism has the virtue of being one of the very few religions with a Sense of Humour (otherwise only the Sufi’s spring to mind) and it is of course a Trick Question, being basically unanswerable and was designed merely to stretch the rational, logical thought processes to breaking point. Upon the synapses collapse the brain is said to be in a state ready to accept the new “Enlightenment” Imprint.

Asking questions that can’t be answered were known

as KOAN‘s and these were a well honed and 

effective weapon in the Zen-Master’s

Intellectual Armoury.

Yet, being the Fool I am, I once set out to answer

that very Question, and against all expectations,

I actually got something of a Result.

Of course, some people might demur that; as the Participants in this Inquiry were both “young and foolish” and also said to have been “tripping” on the local magic mushrooms at the time, the results might be said to be merely annecdotal, or at best, “Inconclusive”.

But as you will come to see, this may be a good thing. For, like the exact moment of the Death of Schroedinger’s Cat, there are some things, perhaps,

that it is best not to know.

mountain view

The Tale starts one far-away, long-ago sunny, Sunday afternoon; me and my Personal Assistant of the time,

(a lovely lass if somewhat moody) were wandering innocently around the countryside, high as kites and free as birds, when I spotted a precariously tottering tree on the side of a creek bed.

It had long since died, and the creek’s running water had exposed its gnarled roots from the red, volcanic soil.

Merely putting my hand upon the trunk

caused it to creak alarmingly.

I must have been in a Zen-Buddhist frame of mind, because I immediately thought of the old zen koan,

on falling trees.

“If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it,

does it make a sound?” I intoned solemnly.

“You pompous humbug,” declared my PA fondly, puffing a cigarette as she sat calmly in a pool of waist deep water.

Then I had a Eureka moment!

Ha!” I declared, “Now is the perfect opportunity

to solve this Age-Old Conundrum!”

For, despite the fact that we were both naked, my personal assistant still carried upon her person a large cassette tape-recorder, with which to capture any stray words of wisdom I might happen to sprout. (Yes, despite her nakedness she still took her secretarial duties seriously. She wasn’t just some floozy I picked up off the streets, you know! [Actually I found her in a Pawn Shop pawning a wedding ring. But I digress]..)

Now this was the Pre-Digital Age children, the Dawn of Time! Somewhere’s round the Eighties as I recall, so I’m talking about a recording device about the size of a Weet-Bix packet that ran on eight D-size batteries and recorded in mono. Yes, it was the audio technology equivilent of papyrus, but nontheless, it would suit my purpose.

So we flipped the tape over, set it to record and left it nestled at the base of the tree, whilst we wandered off in search of a cool pool in which to swim. It was a gusty day, I thought, surely the tree was due to meet its demise. We would return at sunset on our way back to the car and collect the cassette. Once home I could study the tape at my leisure and analyse the results.

Perhaps I could publish a Paper on the data I collected.

Or so I planned.

fallen tree

What with one distraction and another, we tarried longer than we had intended wandering the lovely countryside, and so it was already darkening rapidly as we retraced our footsteps, and my assistant was getting cold and crabby.

One tree looked pretty much like another in the deepening gloom and for some time I splashed and stumbled fruitlessly along the creek bank, poking into spider-infested nooks and crannies, whilst my assistant whined about the lack of clothes and cigarettes and the need to return to the car to drive somewhere and buy some.

Eventually I located the cassette-player by dint of standing on it after stumbling across the now fallen tree and cracking the cheap, plastic case in the process which caused the tape to unspool rapidly growing in a Gordian tangle. Losing my balance, I shrieked loudly as the cassette-player and I slid down the bank into the shallows.

If you fell over a tree in the forest and I wasn’t here to hear, do you think you’d make a sound?” sniggered my disrespectful Personal Assistant.

Ignoring this, I gathered the remains of my Dignity and the cassette player and carried them both back to the car. Irritated by her lack of sympathy for my plight, I determined, as I got dressed again, to overcome this minor setback

and continue with my Research.

So I took the tape home, deconstructed the casing, patiently reassembled and untangled the tape, dried it out and labouriously re-fitted it into a new case. Finally, after

much tinkering, I was able to play the “franken-tape” successfully on my home stereo-system

and analyse the results.

nightB&W

Well, as I said, the results were somewhat inconclusive,

but I have narrowed it down to one of two possibilities:

Either:

(a) Trees scream like wounded Banshees as they die; or

(b) The dip in the creek did something weird to the tape, because the whole thing was filled with a terrible garbled screaming, like something out of Lovecraft‘s most eldritch, hideous nightmare.

Terrible, terrible sounds, flaying every frequency in the human audio range and beyond. Imagine dogs being boiled alive while hellish, rusty, un-oiled earth-moving equipment is screeing and clanking and grinding and vibrating as it backs over a herd of pigs again and again…

So I have hidden these foul sounds away from human ears, put the tape away under lock and key in a metal box buried in a disused firing range and never played it again to a living soul, not even my Personal Assistant, though she asked to hear it many times.

For like I said before, there are perhaps some things Man is not meant to know.

No, nor Woman neither.

sundown-tree

***

Loan jpig

***

??!!

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Artist,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an ordained Minister of the Church of the Universe

AND the Church of Spiritual Humanists.

If sighted do not approach. Notify the appropriate Authorities

and secure your possesions.

***

GRIM READING

•December 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Book review:

GRIM READING

rev reading

GRIMOIRES- A History of Magic Books”

by Owen Davies (Oxford Uni Press 2009)

A book of magic is also a magical book”

A Grimoire is in essence a grammar of magic, that is to say, it is literally a spell-book, teaching the ABC’s of magical procedure. It’s foreboding name hints at the contents lurking within.

While most of the spells, rituals & charms that have comprised the human magical tradition have traditionally been passed down orally, nontheless the grimoire also has a long tradition. The urge to commit magical knowledge to writing goes back to the cuniform clay tablets of ancient Sumer, and continues to this day with the mass publication of pulp primers for teen wannabe-wiccans and ambitious, go-getting third world hustlers.

As Davies observes, it has never been easier to acquire these “forbidden” texts. In an Age where child pornography and instructions for making plastic explosives or amphetamines are readily accessible via the glories of the Internet, mere books of “Occult” knowledge seem quaint and innocuous. Yet once upon a time, the mere possession of many of the texts here mentioned would have been enough to condemn you to the stake and a fiery end.

Why did the medieval Christian Church fear such books? Essentially it was a matter of Power and magical control. Religion and Magic are essentially the same Thing. Religion is merely the State taking control of the magical process for its own ends. 

This can perhaps be seen most clearly with the Roman State religion, essentially organised Paganism, with the State appointing priests to conduct religious rituals on the State’s behalf. The Romans consistently banned and punished ‘renegade’ cults and free-lance magicians who operated for the benefit of mere individuals. Even Astrologers were frequently banished in purges, the state religious apparatus wishing to keep control of all augaries and prognostications. Don’t want any Alternate Realities popping up do we? The seriousness with which the Romans viewed signs and augaries can be seen in my essay, Ravens, Riots and Rome, at

http://reverendhellfire.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/ravensriots-and-rome-astrological-political-prediction/

*

The Christian religion, after having been adopted by Constantine, became heir to the Roman state religion and its practices.

Most of the more famous (or infamous) renaissance and enlightenment era Grimoires give themselves an origin myth, creating a dubious heritage laying claim to great antiquity to enhance the authority of the book’s claims. Most of these claims upon examination have proved to be spurious. Yet much of the content of these grimoires does indeed have an ancient lineage. Grimoires tend to be hotch-potch collections from different sources, and these sources often derive back to the ancient world.

Davies traces the European grimoire traditions back to the age of the Ptolemies and the library of Alexandria. There a great cultural cross-fertilization took place, between Egyptian, Greek, Jewish and Chaldean traditions. The Gnostic cults grew out of this milleau, and later had great influence on both European and Arabic magical thinking.

Its interesting also to read in this book how another great cross-fertilization of magical traditions occurred in the new world, when black slaves mixed European occult traditions with their own African traditions. The bizarre, top-hatted figure of Baron Samedi in Voodoo perhaps best symbolises this mixing of traditions.

Cthulhu Fa'tagn

Who knows what the Grimoires of tomorrow will look like. Perhaps some indication can be drawn from the little history of the Necronomicon, or, as it is sometimes called, “The Book of the Names of the Dead”.

Originally, of course, the Necronomicon did not exist at all, except as a figment of horror-novelist H.P. Lovecraft’s unspeakably lurid imagination. Fragmentary excerpts appeared in his Cthulu Mythos related short stories. Like the best of his stories, the “horror” of these excerpts lay largely in what was not said. That expressive trail of dots fading off…

In time Lovecraft’s acolytes added to the Mythos, with further references to the non-existent book. Of course interested readers often asked after the book that did not exist.

Like some unbending economic law, demand created supply and eventually, sometime in the seventies

 as I recall, someone called Simon, put out “the first published edition of the Necronomicon since Olaus Wormius.” Of course, it was a magnificent hoax.

(I suspect that old prankster Anton Wilson, or one of his cronies, was behind this amusing fraud) . Interestingly much of this text was apparently based on recent archeological finds in Sumer, now modern Iraq. Translated cuniform rituals from archaic tablets

and temples and so forth.

So now naïve young people can order the Necronomicon over the internet and invoke once more the ancient Sumerian Gods, who have lain neglected in the desert dust all these millenia. Hopefully they will be appropriately grateful for the attention.

The Moral seems to be:

All Grimoires are forgeries, and all of them are real.

Don’t you know its Magic?

book crop

*

well wisher Jpig

*

Reverend Redrum

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

It was that or get a job.

*

LITERATURE MEETS ART

•December 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment



rev reading

Literature Meets Art

*

Back in those times when I was young

and on the hunt for a Girlfriend,

I must admit, I partly assessed

Potential Candidates by the books

that they had read.

*

This is during the preliminary skirmishing,

you understand, the stage

when you’re still sizing each other up,

say..about the time that you’re first allowed

into her bedroom as a Visitor,

sitting there ‘casually’ on the bed

while she looks for those shoes,

or whatever damn thing it is

she’s purported to have lost/

*

/Flashback here to Lily on one such Occasion,

a romantic candle-lit dinner in her room,

With good ole Lil’ on her hands and knees,

poking around with her head under the bed

for twenty minutes or so,

looking for money or pot or something

whilst waving her butt in the air

at me the whole time,

 to give me, I guess, ample opportunity

to contemplate the evening’s possibilities..

*

..Damn that’s a distracting Flashback/

*

..but to return to the Poem in Hand,

and indeed the Point in Question,

this being a Meditation on the relationship

of Literature to Love,

and indeed, in a wider sense,

the relationship between Art and Life Itself,

it should be related at this point,

that it was a different story with Mz Helle.

*

Now Lily might have had an admirable Posterior,

but her reading choices were Trash

and from this fact alone I knew

that we were never destined

to have an enduring relationship.

Mz Helle‘s bed-side reading material,

on the other hand, was Perfect.

*

As I perched on the edge of her mattress

and went thru the stack of books

on her bedside table,

while she was off in the bathroom

depositing another sedimentary layer of eyeliner,

I found myself seriously impressed

with her taste. All the Counter Cultural Greats were there;

Burroughs, Thompson, Kerouac,

Bukowski, P.K. Dick and all the rest,

No doubt about it,

she passed my Literacy test

so I didn’t object when she moved in two days later

and we ended up living together for three years.

*

We went to the Library many times.

elephant girl

Eventually though, I realised something about her.

She never read books all the way through.

The whole time we were together,

the only book she ever actually finished

was “Kentucky Ham“, an extremely short novel

in a large font by William Burroughs Junior,

an  amphetamine addict with a

 notoriously impaired attention span.

*

When I questioned her about this,

she admitted that it was true;

she just couldn’t maintain the Concentration

to read something all the way through.

*

And when I asked about the stack of books

on her bed-side table when we met,

she admitted also that, no,

she hadn’t read those either, yet.

*

In fact, she confessed,

she basically kept those titles in her Boudoir

to impress guys; she had

a weakness for Bohemian Boys

and knew our tastes.

*

So in the end I have to admit,

my Literature was no match for her Art,

while Life and Love merely rubber-necked

from the sidelines and laughed at our posturing.

*

And the moral of this story is probably this;

“You can’t judge a Lover

by the Cover.”

shelves

*****

stowawayRED

***

redrum detail framed

The late Reverend Hellfire was a practising

Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc., and

an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe.

His tombstone bore only the words;

“One Less Joker in the Pack”

***

FUTILITY AND OTHER FRIENDS

•November 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

REV WALKS ON WATER CROPlight miast

Futility And Other Friends

And what to do when only Sadness remains,

when the conversations lose their meaning

and Bitterness smiles smugly

from across the room.

I avoid his eyes, of course,

but I can feel him watching me anyway,

catch him smirking, “I told you so,” in the mirror.

*

Yes what to do

when the Party’s over and only Sadness still remains,

while Friendship ended up leaving early

and crashing at some body else’s place.

And mute Irritability clatters platters

too loudly in the kitchen,

like the shallow prattle of strangers

exchanging banalities for Christmas.

While all you want to do is go Home,

but, just like your car keys,

you’re no longer exactly sure

where that might be.

*

So then Soldier.

What to do when only Sadness remains,

chain-smoking cigarettes, carving

the names of lost lovers in the kitchen table,

leaving neat autographs of her lips in lipstick

on the edge of crystal glasses?

Take her home with you.

Just take her home, get drunk

and take the Bitch to Bed,

and in the morning when you wake

she will have gone,

all that will be left will be the faintest imprint

of her head on the pillow,

and the ghost of her scent in the air.

*

Rev wishes you a merry solstciefLAME

*****

lets roll Jpig

***

nov flyer single

***

SaintHellfireWtitle

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an ordained Minister of several shadowy cults

whose legal structure was drawn up as a tax dodge.

Oh well..

***

PROFESSIONAL HELP

•November 23, 2014 • 2 Comments

psych help 3

Professional Help

*

I told my Psychiatrist the other day

just how much I hated the Human Race.

*

(Present company excluded of course,

oh Faithful Followers and Facebook Friends!)

*

But the rest of Humanity in its Generality

I disposed of in a concise, pithy and

invective-laden statement,

delivered with a passionate intensity derived

from an utter conviction borne

of years of close observation..

*

To my surprise, instead of registering

shock or dismay, he burst out

into great gales

of gut-wrenching laughter.

*

Eventually the Doctor’s mirth subsided somewhat,

and, grinning like a Cheshire Cat,

he asked me for the reasons for my

intense disenchantment.

*

So I attempted to explain my stance

but I could tell he wasn’t really concentrating,

he was still too busy chuckling to himself

over my little Jeremiad.

*

Indeed, the rest of the Session that day

ended up being a total write-off,

due to his periodically breaking down

into ‘inappropriate laughter’

at the recollection of my outburst.

*

Concerned he wasn’t treating my Problem

with the Gravitas it deserved,

I attempted to convince him

of the sincerity of my convictions..

*

“Please Doctor,” I said, “It’s a serious problem!

I tell you, if it wasn’t for the powerful Drugs

I have to take every-single-day, why,

I’d probably be out on the street with a shotgun

right now, blasting away at random strangers,

just to relieve all the awful Pressure

building up in my head.”

*

Oh sure, he nodded and said, “Hmmm”,

in vague agreement, as if he understood,

but I’m not really sure he even heard what I said.

The Doctor was lost, deep in his own thoughts.

*

At this point I started thinking

about terminating our session.

It wasn’t like I particularly needed

to see a psychiatrist today. I wasn’t feeling

that depressed. Really,

I was just there to future-proof my Pension.

(Don’t want anyone getting the misapprehension

that I’m cured or rehabilitated or something.)

*

So I collected my shopping list of prescriptions,

and departed. As I looked back through the door,

I could see that he’d taken off his glasses

to dab at his eyes with a handkerchief,

as he composed himself for his next client.

psych help5

I bought an orange juice to wash down

a couple of the deadly, but legally-approved,

‘scheduled’ narcotic-tablets he gave me

for the terrible pain in my Spleen,

and went and sat down under a tree,

to await my medications’

soothing, soporific waves of calm.

*

A Magpie was singing on a branch above,

a gorgeous, cascading, liquid burble.

I fed the songster bits of cake,

and watched it squabble with a water dragon

over the crumbs.

-Magpie

It was an idyllic scene,

but I found my thoughts repeatedly

turning back to the Doctor.

I felt kind of worried about him.

*

Frankly, I’m still concerned.

I think he may need

Professional Help.

psych help 2

***

roadtripJpigRED

***

*****************************

The KURILPA POETS present;

“COMB THE SKY”

Cathoel Jorss; the Moon and her Priestess

their last Word-Happening for 2014,

2pm Sunday 30th November.

91 Cordelia Street,West End

Feature Poet; Cathoel  Jorss

Mystery Musician;

Matt Barnes

Unsuspected Artist; 

Zel

MC; Reverend Hellfire

OPEN MIC sessions* free food & drink* onsite free parking*

Pay $5 at the door and pay no more

see kurilpapoets.wordpress.com  for details.

Figures ZEL

******************************

***

reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists

AND the Church of the Universe.

“If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the pulpit.”

***

Return of the Parrot Party

•November 16, 2014 • 2 Comments

Too hot for brain function in BrisVegas today. The town is still in G20 shutdown but no-one told the parrots and the Reverend’s backyard has been the scene of hard-partying wildlife.

Accordingly we present this (reworked) Celebration

of the Seasonal Cycles, noting in passing that said cycles seem to be drifting, as the Big Gum Tree at the centre of today’s poem is flowering a month or so earlier than it usually does, after the driest Winter hereabouts on record.

Hey G20 Bigwigs! While you’re here..How about turning off

the airconditioning for an hour or so prior to discussing that

Climate-Change thingie and see how you go?

Parrpt Party

Parrot Party

It’s Summer Solstice – the Silly Season,

when the Sun turns the town into an asylum.

And today in my back yard, what is more,

there’s Parrot Party Pandemonium!

*

Yes, high on sugar in the branches above,

a profusion of drunken parrots

squabble and screech,

dangling upside down as they stretch to reach,

River-gum blossoms loaded with fermented nectar

to fuel their feathered debauchery.

The brightly coloured, tipsy birds

strut and stumble and argue

loudly. Bad-tempered bastards,

they make poor drunks.

Below the ground is littered

with broken branches, petals, pollen, feathers, leaves..

the detritus of their Debauch.

*

Meanwhile, next door, as it happens,

the young humans are partying hard,

some end-of-year barbecue

in their back yard.

High on fermented hops

they babble and shriek

as young children run wild amongst them.

The women, colourful as parrots

in their bright lipstick and summer dresses

strut and stumble and screech,

their laughter high and brittle.

The men sound a bellicose bass note,

as they bullshit and bellow and belch.

Loudspeakers blare stridently cheerful music.

Plastic cups and paper plates,

crumpled napkins and empty bottles

litter the lawn,

the detritus of their debauch.

*

The afternoon progresses,

already tomorrow’s hangover for many

starts to loom, but for now

both parties are getting louder and drunker

as the sunset approaches. Indeed,

as the Volume swells to a Crescendo,

the two parties, human and parrot

seem to merge and mingle

into a single auditory cacophony

erupting all around me,

and I can no longer tell which is which.

*

But at last the Charming Evening comes,

and the parrots pack up and push off

to find some perch to sleep it off.

The humans’ party too winds down

and the guests depart in a slamming of car doors,

drunkenly driving off in shiny cars

to unknown destinations.

flying_fox feeding blossoms

But even now there is no Peace for the Poet,

oh gentle reader,

for now the flying-foxes come out to play,

the twilight sky fills with their silhouettes.

They circle,

then they descend and swoop

to party in the very same flowering tree,

and sip the same sweet, fermented nectar.

Soon their drunken screechings

and the leathery flapping of wings

will fill the night.

I lie there listening to them,

their drunken boasts,

the sodden arguments,

the leering come-ons..

I tell you, these drunks are all the same,

I don’t care what species they come from.

*

But I don’t really mind the jolly sound

of the flocks of madly gossiping parrots

zooming noisily through the air by day,

or the flop-flapping flying-foxes,

tumbling and squealing in the trees at night.

Their comical gurgling arguments make me laugh,

it’s all part of a sultry Summer night in Brisburg,

the twilight sky would be empty without

their dark wheeling forms up there

silhouetted against the shining sheet of darkening silver..

*

And it’s ‘silly season’, Summer Solstice,

it’s too hot to do anything else.

So let’s do as the bats and parrots do,

and we’ll all go and get drunk too!

flying fox syd harbour

***

QLD-dontshootbats

***

proof jpig

***

Rev wishes you a merry solstciefLAME

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

“Poetry communicates before it is understood”    -T.S.Eliot

***

AND NO PHONE RINGS {REDIAL}

•November 9, 2014 • 4 Comments

As black helicopters drone continuously overhead, and the trial Police State for G20 gets under way (G20 is just a practice run, you understand, a trial run before they install the real thing. Work out who’s likely to cause a problem in the future, etc.) we turn our minds for relief to more innocent pursuits,

and redial a classic sermon..

monkey and i pad in bath

And No Phone Rings {Redial}

Friends,

are you being driven Insane by the importunate badgerings of Telemarketers?

Are you bothered by sales pitches from total strangers who can’t even pronounce your name correctly, or worse, who have the total arrogance to address you by your first name in a familiar and unwarranted manner even though you’ve never been introduced?

Do they pick with fiendish precision those inconvenient moments when Life is at its most hectic, to try and sell you products or services you never ever even thought about yet alone wanted to buy?

Isn’t there something infinitely irritating about dropping everything and racing to the phone on the off-chance it might be important, only to find it’s just another shill with a poor command of the English language wasting yet more of your precious, diminishing time. (Or, worse, some arrogant little snot-nosed, twenty-something, white-bread shit-head, wanna-be-yuppie with an attitude problem. {probably sells bad meth to his “friends” in his spare time}).

But fear not there is HOPE!

Oh yes, Brothers and Sisters, I used to be as you are.

How I used to grind my teeth as I slammed down the phone on yet another of these ubiquitous pests. But I have found a CURE, oh yes, and now,

why, I look forward to their calls.

phone operators2

Like many another great Advance in human development (Newton and his apple spring to mind), my final solution to the telemarketing problem came about by accident.

I was standing outside the corner shoppe, yakking to a couple of friends, when the phone in the public phone booth started to ring. (Yes, there are still a few left. Telstra hasn’t totally removed

all of them yet, the penny-pinching bastards.)

Curious, I walked over and lifted the receiver.

Hello?,” I said politely.

I want to talk to Sherryl!” a bad-tempered female voice snapped out at me.

There was something about the tone of her voice that made my skin crawl with immediate indignation.

Certainly,” I replied pleasantly, who shall I say is calling?”

It’s Karen of course!” she snapped out at me

like the claws of an angry crab.

One moment please,” I purred,

and putting my hand over the mouthpiece, I hummed a little tune

and silently counted to twenty-three.

Hello,” I said, “Karen?.. Are you still there?

Look, I’m sorry but Sherryl doesn’t want to talk to you.”

WHAT?!” she shouted, shocked I suppose.

Yes,” I continued, “She says she’s really angry at you for what you did

and she doesn’t want to talk to you anymore.”

WHAT?!” she repeated.

Yes,” I said smoothly, “she says you’ll understand.”

WHO IS THIS??” she screamed.

You know who I am lady,” I said, and hung up.

It was a great day for Humanity.

I had invented the “The Reverse Crank Call”.

phone operators

Who amongst us, as a child or a youth, hasn’t known the innocent joys of the Crank Phonecall. Certainly it was a familiar feature in my own childhood days.

It’s not stalking if you only do it to each victim once, we reasoned, and it brought us children so much joy.

{If nothing else the crank call can be psychologically justified

as a harmless channel for humanity’s natural

streak of cruelty,

you know, like football or roller-derby.}

From a “Harmless Diversion” on hot summer nights

when there was nothing much else to do,

the form developed further.

In the Sixties, Acid-head stoners turned it into a surrealist artform; the Yippies turned it into a political tool. Later I knew some cyber-punk types,

 who took the Form serious too

Now..Alas! In these days of constant Surveillance and Monitoring, a Camera on every corner,

a Trace on every Call,

the Authoritarian tracking of all known forms of communication,

and increasingly humourless, kill-joy laws & functionaries,

all extolled as necessary tools of Control in the fight against

Whatever it is We’re at War with this Week, yes now alas

the Art of the Crank Phonecall has almost died,

and the World is a sadder place for it.

"..I'm going to hang up now"

“..I’m going to hang up now”

Hence the Beauty of the Reverse Crank Call.

They called YOU, after all,

without permission, consent or request.

Yes, lets not forget who the REAL Victim is here, your Honour.

phone

Had a bad day but too Civilized to kick the Cat?

Here’s where those annoying Telemarketing Calls

at Dinner Time can come in handy.

Now you can Vent your spleen, but do it Creatively.

Don’t shout at the poor fools.
That just raises your blood pressure,

and puts your humours out of balance.

Parody, Irony & Satire are your weapons.

A good laugh your goal.

It’s all very Zen, don’t you think?

*

Sometimes I’ll pretend that I’m Stupid

(well, stupider than I actually am)

and that I just can’t understand.

Sometimes I pretend I’m in love with them

and I wanna hold their hand.

(That really creeps them out!)

Sometimes I pretend I Haff a Vurrrst ach-cent zzunn zey du

undt ve vallow in mutual misincomprehension!

Quite often I merely like to try and Break their Spirit

and convince them to quit their Demeaning Jobs.

Like that call I had today..

"..so what colour and how long have you been wearing them?"

“..so what colour and how long have you been wearing them?”

Hi *****,” said White-Bread Boy,

all Friendly & Familiar, addressing me by a name

he could only have got from a pirated databank,

This is Adam..How are you today?”

Well, Adam, I guess I’m doing fine. I mean,

at least I’m better off than you are.”

What do you mean?” he said, sounding a little anxious.

*

Well Adam,” I explained patiently, “I’m not working

in a call-centre am I?..”

“ahh..”,

“What happened,” I taunted,” couldn’t you get a real job?”

What do you mean?” he repeated, sounding hurt.

You know.. a real job..making something

or growing something,

or even providing a Service..you know,

something that actually helps people,

like an ambulance driver, or a nurse or a farmer. Hell!

Even a humble cleaner is more useful than you.

I mean, think about it, what do you do?

You bother strangers with a dodgy product

that no-one wants or needs or asked for!

Gee.. I’ll bet your family are really disappointed in you.

I bet you never thought you’d

end up like this back in high school. No,

back then you probably had hopes and DREAMS!

Bet that Girl you secretly loved would laugh at you now!”

*

“BUT ITS NOT TOO LATE ADAM!

Leave now! Change your Life! Get up now out of your seat

and leave the building! Don’t look back Adam! DO IT NOW!”

I had gradually started raising my voice

during my diatribe,

till by the end of my rant I was practically screaming;

RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

RUN ADAM! OH PLEASE FOR GOD’S SAKE RUN!

SAVE YOURSELF!! AAAaaaarrghh!!…”

I abruptly stopped screaming, paused,

took a deep breathe, then asked quietly,

Adam..are you still there?”

*

But he had gone.

phone abandoned

I was exhausted after my little performance, but it was worth it for it’s cathartic effect in dispelling the day’s tensions

and frustrations. Plus it had given my Personal Assistant

some much needed amusement.

And Adam, I felt, had learnt a valuable lesson too.

I leant back in my chair, feeling satisfied with my days work,

picturing Adam in my mind’s eye,

running forever down the city streets

throwing his hands out to the sky,

a little crazed perhaps, but Free I tell you ! Free!

And I could see my own Future opening out

before me, filled with purpose and drive.

I pictured myself cutting a swathe thru

the Telemarketing industry,

picking off phone-drones like Adam one by one.

I pictured deserted offices with rows of unattended cubicles,

phones dangling off the hook, the faint static of dial tones

in the subliminal background.

I pictured a hush falling

over a quiet and peaceful Land..

*

And no phone rings.


phon board

***

G20 fun jpigRED

***

REV WALKS ON WATER CROPlight miast

The Reverend Hellfire is a practicing Performance Poet

the President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity

and an ordained Minister of the Church of  the Universe

AND the Church Of Spiritual Humanism.

“Walks on the Water/ Flys thru the Air,

Hasn’t a Hope/  Hasn’t a Care.”

***

 
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