RETURN OF THE UGLY AMERICAN

•August 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

RETURN OF THE UGLY AMERICAN

*

The Ugly American is back again.

*

Hell, He was never really gone!

He was just out the back in the locker room

snorting cocaine and grabbing some pussy.

Now He’s back to make America Great again,

just like the Good Old Days,

when wetbacks picked the lettuce

and niggers knew their place.

The Atom bombs are being polished

for the Parades,

(All true Presidents love a Parade)

Hell, we may have to set off

one or two just to remind people

that we’ve got them.

But don’t worry,

any damage will be strictly collateral.

Meanwhile, we’re bringing back Coal again,

clean, beautiful Coal.

And Nicotine.

amazing, wonderful Nicotine.

we’re bringing that back too,

and all the wonderful people that work

in those, wonderful, wonderful American industries.

Soon we’ll have smoke-filled rooms

to make decisions in again,

whilst hefty-breasted blonds massage our necks.

How can other Peoples know how Great you are

if you’re not smoking a big cigar?

That’s why we have to invade Cuba again

so Fidel won’t keep laughing at us

with his big, 12 inch Habano Grandes.

If John Wayne was back from the Dead

he’d tell you so himself; God gave the Atom Bomb

and Tobacco to America for a reason;

to grow rich and prosper

and possess many slaves,

sorry, I meant interns.

Come! Let us become like Mormons

and have many Trophy Wives and Golf Courses!

Las Vegas glows beckoning on the Horizon

like an Alien beacon,

the Desert hums with radio-activity.

Now a Prophet has come to cut a Deal.

Wearing the many gold chains and woven hair-piece

of the successful Merchant,

He leads us Westward

towards the poisoned Sea

and bids us lay down

by it’s bitter waters

for Evermore.

Truly, we are all His Apprentices.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a Human Heuristics expert, currently employed by the ASIO Psy-Ops Department to explore the potential of using Clinical Depression as a weapon of Mass Destruction. In his spare time he writes poems about dinosaurs and cats.

***

Advertisements

A LUMP OF LEAD (redux)

•July 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Sunday Sermons is proud to reprint this classic screed from the award winning Reverend Hellfire..


A LUMP OF LEAD

*

I was watching an amusing expose the other evening, by the esteemed Media Watch (Australian television’s foremost paragon of Investigative Journalism) as they revealed the vested interests financing the dubiously named Australian Environmental Foundation. This supposedly “independent” Environmental think-tank and lobby group has been muddying the scientific waters in various public debates on a number of environmental issues over recent years, from Climate Change to genetic crops.

Small wonder then, that we learn its major sponsors include an American climate-change sceptic group and Monsanto.

To me the “science” of such “scientists” working for groups like the AEF, is about as valid as the “science” of those Chinese scientists who came out during the Cultural Revolution with the Little Red Book in one hand and swore with a straight face that Mao-Tse Tung thought was responsible for their stunning advances in Nuclear physics. (It’s true! I still have the clippings somewhere).

As I was watching this expose, I noticed that by curious coin-cidence, this dodgy “environmental” lobby group was located on the very same street in Melbourne’s busy commercial district as the environment-hating, land-raping Multi-National Mining Company that I myself once worked for. And as I made this astounding connection, I found myself once again remembering the Man with the Lump of Lead on his desk.

Our story takes place many years ago, back at the beginning of the Eighties. I was working at night as a humble cleaner, deep in the guts of a mighty skyscraper that was owned by the afore-mentioned Multi-National Mining Company (who shall remain nameless. {I’m not launching a class action after all, I’m just telling a story}).

We cleaners would fan out through the building, each of us allotted several floors to clean by ourselves, so that I rarely saw anyone else except at “smoko” down in the basement. Unless of course the executives were getting drunk again on the top floor, but usually the building was empty. I soon had my own work routine established for maximum efficiency, which allowed me plenty of time to investigate what people actually did there during the day. I was mainly curious and bored I guess, but as a good Anarchist I also felt I should always keep my eyes open whenever dealing with the Enemy.

For whatever reason, I soon found my attention drawn irresistibly to one desk in particular.

Now one of my tasks was to dust the desks, and a difficult task it was too, because most of the desks were pretty Cluttered. There’d be files everywhere, and papers and pens and people would personalise their desks with plants & photos and toys and doodads and nick nacks all collecting dust & crumbs.

But on one floor there was this one desk that was always spotless. And empty. Aside from the phone in the middle, there were only ever two objects on that desk. On the left hand side he had a big lump of lead, the size of my fist.

On the right hand side he had a picture of his family, all smiling like they were the happiest family in the world.

The Lump of Lead and the Family Photo.

That was it.

Intrigued I resolved to look into the matter. Oh but he was careful! He always put his files away at night and did a lot of shredding, but a man shall have no Secrets from his God or his Cleaner!

My first clue came from the articles that he regularly cut out of all those magazines and papers that he tossed into the bin. Checking back issues of said magazines later at the local Library soon informed me where his interests lay. Other clues soon followed. No-one shreds everything.

It seems that this particular floor was a subsection of the Mighty Mining Company’s many interests, and it dealt specifically with Lead, that heavy, malleable and quite toxic metal. So this office is the hub organising the digging, selling and promotion of this heavy metal.

Now at this particular time the public campaign to have Lead removed from petrol was moving inexorably to a successful conclusion. It had originally been added to help engines run smoother, but the result was an ominous build up of this toxic element in our urban environments. Scientists and environmental campaigners united to have Lead removed from petrol and by this time it was clear that it was going to happen. Everyone knew it. The petrol companies knew it, these people digging up Lead knew it, it was just a matter of time.

Nonetheless, Company policy, I discovered, was to draw out the public debate, indeed the whole legislative process for as long as possible in order to continue making profits while giving kids in inner-city areas brain damage.

To reiterate; The company knew about the health effects of putting lead in petrol, they knew it was going to be phased out soon, but they were still fighting a rear-guard holding action to maximise profits for as long as possible.

The sole task, I discovered, of the executive who sat at that desk, was to read through the various media publications. Then whenever anyone said anything unfavourable about Lead in petrol, his job was to write a counter letter extolling its virtues. Sometimes he wrote as an Expert. Sometimes he wrote as a “private citizen”.

I never actually met him but I’ve often thought about that man and his job and his empty desk, with the photo of his family on one side and the lump of lead on the other. Did he never make the Connection, I wondered, between his Life and his Work? Did he never put the two in the scales and weigh that lump of Lead against his Family? Personal Wealth against Societal Health?

Or perhaps this desktop tableau represented some sort of symbolic compromise in his mind. Something like: “For my family’s future(holds up photo) I will keep doing this horrible thing!” (holds up lump of Lead, breaks down weeping).

But however you look at it, there was something terribly Ironic about that lump of Lead.

Well, time moves on. I left that job and drifted off to another city. The battle to remove Lead from petrol was won long ago, and as the years go by the contamination levels of this toxic metal in our urban environment are slowly receding. The Company, of course, survived this financial setback. There are still many other uses for Lead, after all.

But the struggle to remove lead from Petrol is Ancient History now, and largely forgotten. The Environmental issue of the moment that grips the Public Discourse is the great Climate Change Debate.

That there is debate at all may appear strange. The science, after all, seems clear. You dump millions of years of stored carbon into the atmosphere all at once then of course your going to have a resulting effect. The question is merely, how much of an effect?

Yet the Climate Change “Sceptics” remain firm in their strident Denial. Whats more, they trumpet that they have “Scientists” too. The Public, peering into the muddied waters, are confused; Which Frankenstein-in-a-white-labcoat should they believe? A “scientist” wouldn’t lie would they? Meanwhile the coal keeps burning and the stacks keep pouring smoke into the sky..

As for me, I know what I believe.

I believe that somewhere in an office in a skyscraper in the busy commercial part of town, there’s a man sitting at a desk cutting articles out of the newspapers, and writing long, authoritative “Letters to the Editor.”

And perhaps he has a lump of Coal on his desk,

and maybe a picture of his family.

***

***

***

etc..

***

Attack of the Killer Trees!

•July 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

ATTACK OF THE KILLER TREES

*

The Christmas Tree tried to kill me!

It’s True! I swear it!

As I lay there peacefully on the floor

innocently practising my Yoga,

it suddenly attacked,

unexpected as a terrorist,

toppling on top of me

driving with deadly force

the shiny metal star at the tree’s tip

straight for the base of my throat

as the branches lashed my face and torso

with savage force.

*

I lay stunned, like a Mouse

that had been whacked by a broom

(the broom was full we must assume

of shards of broken glass)

*

Oh yes, I could see the mocking Headlines,

as I lay there, pinned to the floor,

like a rat beneath a house-cat’s claw.

(to continue the rodent metaphor)

Sub-editors gleefully playing with puns

like “Killer Tree Floors Father”,

and the readers snickering as they eat their toast,

making jokes about needing “Christmas armour”

No, they wouldn’t be able

to help themselves,

and my Life’s Work would end as a Joke,

or at best, a Cautionary Tale.

*

Later, reviewing the “Crime Scene”

where my Daughter, the budding Criminologist,

had, somewhat prematurely,

chalked my outline on the carpet

amongst the debris and detritus,

it struck me that superstitious folk

might take this Incident as a Bad Omen,

or a Portent perhaps, that hostile Psychic Forces

were turning their malign powers against me.

*

Myself, I merely took it as a Sign,

that it was way past time

to take the old Christmas Tree down

and put the tinsel & baubles away

back in the back of the cupboard.

After all, it was July.

***


***

Come see the Reverend Hellfire and Friends sonic experiments
***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

 an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

and Winner of the 2017 Paul Sherman Community Poetry Award.

***

SUGAR & SPITE

•July 16, 2017 • Leave a Comment

SUGAR & SPITE

*

Once upon a time, in Far-off days,

Teenage Jealousy could corrode your guts like

Sugar in a petrol tank,

sweet Fuel for futile acts

of petty spite.

*

These days of course we’re taught

to keep a lid on our emotions,

and every petrol cap now has a lock.

Perhaps that’s why Road-Rage

is all the rage instead and we

just take it out on total Strangers.

*

But I decided that doing that every day

is just driving a dump truck

down a dead end street.

Sooner or later you will hit a Wall.

Don’t think you can blithely take

your Emotional Baggage out for a drive

and then dump it by the side of the Highway

either.

Its Anti-Social to Litter

for one thing and besides,

what if two or three of that Litter survive?

Then the next thing you know you’ve got

Feral Emotions prowling through the undergrowth,

lurking under bridges and overpasses

like a Facebook Troll and

pouncing on anything brainless that twitters.

*

Keep going like that you’ll end up

as some sad, elderly Loner in a boarding-house,

leaking bitter acids all over the carpet

like an old, discarded car battery.

After that it’s just a short,

trip by tow-truck to the wrecking yard

and people picking over the carcass on Weekends

to see if there’s any of your vital organs

worth recycling.

Or  you’ll sit there rusting amongst

the other hollowed, burnt out bombs,

until some Junior Jihaddis

keen for a Terminal Joy Ride,

spot your Potential and take you home

to work on you in the garage out the back

till you’re re-tooled into a suitable Vehicle

for the transport of Contentious Materials.

*

It’s no wonder some people never learn to drive,

instead rely on Public Transport all their lives

and leave their travelling needs

in smooth, Professional hands.

Yes, Relationships can travel rocky roads,

perhaps it’s best to let Sub-contractors extract

any Emotions secreted by their glands,

whenever some social lubrication is needed

to grease the wheels of their Career..

or prove that they’re a Man.

ENVOI

And if these rear-view reflections,

dear Reader, are driving you to the Drink,

don’t worry, there’s always a bottle-shop open

somewhere nearby here, I think.

****

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of the Universe

AND the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

Will you miss him when he’s gone?

***

LUCIFER & Double SQUAREY Special!

•July 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

From the darkest sub-levels of the Reverend Hellfire’s Historical Archives, Sunday Sermons’ is proud to retrieve, disinfect and present the very first poem ever published by the Rev!*

LUCIFER

*

I am the fallen

Star of the Morning,

I am the wind flung

leaf from the Tree,

the last tower standing

of a castle of stone.

For I am the Loner

the Wastes only Wanderer,

Eternally spurned,

God’s humility burned

its brand on the first petal

of the Flower of Youth.

*

***

*Authors footnote. This poem appeared in my high schools’ annual magazine when I was about 14. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I was “asked to leave” said Educational facility shortly thereafter.

Something about being a bad influence?..

Anyhoo, at the time I was into reading poets like Swinburne and Shelley and listening to Black Sabbath and David Bowie,

all whilst diligently neglecting my homework.

From an historical perspective it would be another 15 years before a teen sub-culture called Goth arose, so clearly I was ahead of my time.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a kind and saintly man,

despite all appearances to the contrary, who rescues  injured animals and maintains a fondness for Outsiders, Outcasts and the Insane. Writing poems of great Grace and Sensitivity, it’s generally best not to bother him

before 10am.

Actually you should probably make that 11am.

***

TWITTER-VERSE :) :) :)

•July 2, 2017 • 2 Comments

TWITTER VERSE

*

I wrote a twitter-verse poem

in emoticons

but alas just like a Haiku

it wasn’t very long,

so next I wrote it as a Novel

though I limited the chapters

to the maximum allowable,

(two-hundred-forty characters).

Made lots of money,

but not enough for greed,

and most of my twitter “readers”

couldn’t really read

so I cut and pasted music

and called it a song,

(some said I plagiarised

my lawyers proved them wrong)

Facebook/Forums, then took up my cause

and advertising algorithms

almost without pause

(terms & conditions; spot the hidden clause)

Viral explosion broadcast the Meme

a Cable Drama Series

used it as their Theme

Translated B4 lunch into twenty-three languages,

(I hadn’t even had time to make me some sandwichs!)

including a version in Braille for the Blind

and of course for the Deaf

there’s a version in Sign.

It made me want to laugh

it made me want to scream,

all I’d ever really said, was

Merrily, merrily, merrily,..

Life is but a Dream!

But the Public builds you Up

and the Public knocks you Down

and I had to find a way that I’d not

end up as their Clown,

and the biggest Twitter Bully

was anxious for his Crown!

I needed a distraction,

a shiny Object, bright,

to keep the Audience laughing,

while I exited “stage-right”.

So when invited by the White House

to meet up, “Man to Man”

I made sure I had an electric buzzer

hidden in my hand.

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is..

you know.. that guy..look it up yourself.

What am I? Wikipedia?

***

THERAPEUTIC MODEL

•June 25, 2017 • Leave a Comment

THERAPEUTIC MODEL

*

As a Psychiatric Nurse I found

my job was not to Cure or Care

but to Contain,

Manage, Control & of course Restrain,

with the tongue-numb drugs

and electrodes strapped

and zapped to the twitching brain,

use Science to beat down bad behaviour

& punish patients for being Insane.

*

Today they don’t call it Punishment,

that doesn’t sound at all Humane!

Experts speak in language therapeutic,

use terms like “Aversion Therapy”

or something in that strain..

*

Gone the bad old brutal days of boots and clubs

today we can reduce their brain down to a stub

with surgical precision,

insert electrodes into the incision,

hack, jack & piggy-back the neural network

to operate by remote control

the perfect model citizen.

No need now for anxiety

no need to hyper-ventilate

soon all of your decisions

will be made by the Welfare State.

***

***

***

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised 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.

He also ran.

***