Wise Words with Bruce Wise


 

The Chinese Social Credit System
          by Lu “Reed ABCs” Wei

The Chinese Social Credit System recently began,
its technologic, mass-surveillance, human-network scan.
Designed to monitor 1.4 billion citizens,
it is designed to measure everyone’s trust-worthiness.

Already millions that the government black-listed can’t
book flights or buy high-speed train tickets; they’re unqualified.
Its mission is to raise awareness of integrity,
so Communists can rank each individual’s xinyong (信用).

If one does anything that’s wrong, whatever it might be,
jaywalking, cheating, talking, speeding, breaking any law,
one’s credit score will drop, as will access to better things,
like hospitals and public transport, gyms, et cetera.

The socially advantaged people really like the cards,
the bright and green cards are a hit with those who keep their guards,
especi’lly those who like the perks in pilot programs on:
Coerce with quality control—it’s good in the long run.

Lu “Reed ABCs” is a poet of China.

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His Flying Car
          by Cebu Awis Deser

Kyxz Mendiola tested his Koncepto Milenya,
his flying car, which can rise 6 kilometres in all,
and travels 60 some kilometres up at its peak;
he launched his strange car in Batangas, Philippines, this week.
Like some black-spider helicopter with gigantic legs,
each with its own propellor turning on its eight straight legs,
it stirred the dust around the people watching it arise,
like some strange sci-fi creature hovering above their eyes.
Its maiden flight September 23rd was not that long—
ten minutes, ah—but Monsoon Manghut happily is gone.

Cebu Awis Deser is a poet fond of the Philippines.

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On the Execution of Breaker Morant (1864-1902)
          by Walibee Scrude
          “When blame, reproach, and worldlings’ scorn/ On every side are met…”
              —Harry Morant, At Last

Caught for retaliating for the death of his confrères,
he was court-martialed for the massacre of prisoners,
as well as for the murder of a German minister,
that drover, horseman, poet, military officer,
“the Breaker,” Harry H. Morant, and executed for
those actions that took place back in the Second Boer War.
The controversy of those deaths continues to this day.
Was he unfairly targetted, a warning on display?
or rightfully dispatched for his behavior in the field—
that mix of horror, honour, onus that such conflicts yield.

The Tasman
          by Walibee Scrude
          “He countered each encounter.”
              —R. Lee Ubicwedas

The thing that most amazed me looking at that tattoed dude
was just how hard he looked in his defiant attitude.
His opposition was complete, his truculence was real,
and yet I couldn’t help but feel he was content—that heel.
He wasn’t oversensitive; he gave a brave defense;
and yet it seemed as if his longing for the joust was dense.
How could he be antagonistic yet so satisfied?
so obviously put upon, and still be gratified?
He stood up to whatever others threw at him—that man.
He was a stream-lined devil, maniac Tasmanian.

 

John Cornforth (1917-2013)
          by Walibee Scrude

The passing of John Warcup Cornforth largely was ignored;
his work in chemistry was hardly what would be adored.
Investigating enzymes catalysing changes in
organic compounds wouldn’t likely cause much of a din,
nor would his microchemical manipulations bring
the kind of accolades that notoriety might wring.
Developing and making, for the first time, oxazole,
was like his biosynthesizing some cholesterol.
But though his work in androgenic hormones wasn’t cool,
it’s better than the stupid things in newscasts as a rule.

Walibee Scrude is a poet of Australia. John Cornforth was an Australian-British chemist, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975.

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Waseem A Malla
          by Red Was Iceblue

He leans against a giant abstract painting on the wall,
in brown and white—Waseem A Malla—arms crossed, casual.
He’s dressed in sandals, blue jeans, plaid shirt, and grave countenance,
a poet of Kashmir, his poetry, a fountain’s dance,
inspired by the Urdu poetry from which he draws—
Ali, Ghalib, Rumi, Shakir, Faiz, and Faraaz—
as far as I can tell, a gorgeous canvas, like the art
that rises over him, like as a hurricane upstart,
a grand vanilla/chocolate concoction’s paint released,
inscrutable, but beautiful, like so much from the East.

 

Bombs on Gaza by Alex Lilly
          by Red Was Iceblue

Before his painting Bombs on Gaza—Alex Lilly stands,
dressed all in black, shirt, shoes and pants, behind his back—his hands.
It stretches eighteen feet and rises seven-and-a-half—
the gray and black smoke billowing in terrifying fact
above the buildings lit at night in cataclysmic drear.
He is so near to it, it seems, this graphic engineer,
who turns his head off to the right and doesn’t look at it.
Perhaps it has already taken toll, this ghastly pit.
His cheek-boned stare, beneath his short-cropped hair, is spare and lean—
yon Cassius—he hangs upon a wall, like Halloween.

Red Was Iceblue is a poet and art critic of the present era. He writes on Modernist, Postmodernist and New Millennialist paintings, sculpture, and design. His taste is askew, as skewed, or screwed up, as some of the art he reviews. Among his likes are Pop Art, Op Art, and Pop Tarts.

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A Critic Speaks
          by Redewi Albescu

His wife, in a car, accidentally killed four; but she,
although it was her fault, did not pay criminally for ‘t;
because of Adrian Păunescu’s links to government.
What proof is there? The trial’s over. They were all corrupt.
It’s not at all impartial—justice in România.
Just question Adrian Păunescu. Question Adrian.
He was a poet, organizer of folk festivals,
a politician, and newspaperman who had no balls.
He was an opportunist, and a communist to boot.
He was România’s glib rhymer, and a frightened rat,
his back against the fence, his trousers wet with urine too.
He glorified Ceauşescu. Say what? What was he to do?
Some say he was protected by the secret…dread…police.
What would you do? Fight the indoctri-Nation? Really? Please.

 

O, România
          by Redewi Albescu

You wonder do I really love România. I do.
I cannot help myself. It is so beautiful and true.
Not in the way that some ideal places are, but real.
It’s something deep within my bones. It’s something that I feel.
I love România. I want to be right next to it…
forever, never letting it leave me alone. No shit.
Whenever sunlight shines upon its lovely, rolling hills,
I feel warm all over. It is one of life’s great thrills.
You wonder just how this can be. You bear it, oh. You go.
You wonder do I really love România. I know.

Redewi Albescu is a poet of România. Adrian Păunescu (1943-2010) was a poet of Romania.

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Near Greece
          by ‘Ercules ‘Edibwa

I saw him looking o’er the hills like as a giant god
who oversees the beauty of his lovely curving sod;
so must it have been in the olden times in ancient Greece,
when mighty forces loomed about the rides of war and peace.
He gazed with arrogance and pride upon Arcadia,
o, lofty lord of lively love, the north barbarian,
the tribes beyond România and Macedonia,
as far off as the wide swath of Mesopotamia.
Those godly powers fill my mind these thousand years beyond.
I daren’t avert my gaze lest those grand images be gone.

‘Ercules ‘Edibwa is a poet fond of Greece. His favourite Greek figure is Hercules. He lives on a lane off of the rugged road of Hercules.

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David Hilbert on Hermann Minkowski (1864-1909)
          by Euclidrew Base

O, since my student years he was my best, most trusted friend,
supporting me with all his loyal depth…until the end.
Our science, which we loved above all else, brought us to each,
and seemed to us a garden full of flowers in our reach.
We joyed to look for hidden paths and new perspectives that
appealed to our sense of beauty. O, we loved its plat.
When one showed what he found, he’d show the other one as well,
and we would marvel over it. O, yes, our joy was real.
He was for me that rarest gift that heaven can bestow,
and I am grateful to have owned his gift so long. O so.

Euclidrew Base is a poet of mathematics. Minkowski worked on the geometry of numbers, number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity.

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I Saw Him
          Scubie Dew Lear

I saw him on the cellphone—this old man was playing three.
O, he was playing, really whaling, knick knack on his knee.
He seemed so serious, intriguing with his knock knick knack,
that I was shocked to find him locked into a paddy whack.
He gave a dog a bone, who sat there, waiting for its toss;
and he came rolling home upon the sauté of a sauce.
I tried to understand him—this old man was playing four.
O, he was playing, really whaling, knick knack on his door.
He seemed so serious, intriguing with his knick knock knack,
that I was shocked to find him here and there and coming back.

Scubie Dew Lear is a poet of nonsense verse. To this day, he vividly recalls the nursery rhymes of his childhood.

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He Stood
          by E. Dauber Sluice

He stood like as a heron near a pebble on the beach.
He saw a newt on it move quickly; it was out of reach.
He turned his jaundiced eye up to the sun high overhead
in hopes to grasp its raise upon the moist and sandy bed.
He felt the gravity of the vast situation’s curse,
but did not sigh or try to grab waves of the universe.
He simply looked about at other bathers at the scene,
then sat upon the spread-out tow’l to catch the passing breeze.
No soul came by to give him any consolation there,
and so he simply stretched out, o, into the open air.

 

At One Point
          by E. Dauber Sluice

It was a lovely afternoon, the room, clean, neat and small.
He stood beside a mustard couch, excited for a call.
Above, two pictures, black and white, were hanging on the wall.
His eyes were narrow squints, like Eros’ arrows darting gall.
He noticed the two pillows, where he stood up straight and tall;
they both were scarlet with gold circles, curlicues and small.
He leaned upon a falling fleshy plush pink waterfall,
which spread out wide, a rushing tide of flushing folderol.
He felt he’d reached the pinnacle of some great mountain stall,
but he was only at one point on this rotating ball.

E. Dauber Sluice is a poet of inlets and outlest, of penstocks and floodgates.

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Daze and Nights, Indie Chem-Lab
          by Red Was Iceblue

I saw it in the cosmos pass—galactic energy—
a brilliant sweep of colour circling bright synergy.
The sunny yellow splashing round with orange touched with red,
and there a green and shimmering snake sailing straight ahead,
propelling, shooting, hurtling through blue vibrating rings,
a vibrant viper penetrating ecstasies of kings.
And in the b(l)ack, the dribbling pink beside the blobs of blue,
from where it comes…eternity…I see…it’s coming through.
I turn around and find behind me T J Edson’s dab—
amazing, brazen, crazy, daze…big night’s indie chem lab.

 

On a Picture of Karen Kraco
          by Red Was Iceblue

How beautiful they all are, standing, sitting, lying there,
upon the beach, but out of reach, out in the open air,
in short pants, speedos, and bikinis, some with sandals on,
the sunlight over all the trees, the lake and sandy lawn.
But closer, sitting on a skateboard, in darker shaded clothes,
a figure clad in black backpack looks out upon all those.
In shirt and jeans, gray colourings, and baseball cap as well,
the figure, lotus cross-legged, gazes out upon the swell,
much clearer, and in focus, in the middle of the scene,
like Seurat at La Grande Jatte on a Sunday, pondering.

Red Was Iceblue is a poet of Modernist and Postmodernist art. Even his name is like an abstract painting.

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He Still Recalls
          by Cal Wes Ubideer
          for Keith Garrett

He still recalls that Yorba Linda school upon a hill,
a neigbourhood of streets and houses, quiet, peaceful, still.
It was so beautiful—no crowded streets or boulevards—
there were no sirens wailing and there were no honking cars.

He still remembers playing at that school upon the hill,
the silly games, the thrilling fun, before time’s rolling spill.
It was so beautiful—o, those surrounding hills he saw—
but nothing can remain the same; change is eternal law.

He still records the people that he knew back then and there,
though some of them are gone and some of them still linger…Where?
He watched his fellows run—those days they ran out with the sun—
but they are gone, all scattered now; they will not come again.

Cal Wes Ubideer is a poet of California. He remembers eating cereal and shaving in the stop-and-go traffice enroute to his job, when he worked in downtown Los Angeles.

 

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