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Stephen Mead: The Anonymity of the Big Picture

Image: Unsplash, downloaded ( 20.2.2022.

The Sacred Word

Can you find an old typewriter

whose keys have not been registered

with the government? Is there any terminal

available in some lab after hours, shutters down?

Get the picture, fax it but don't use real names.

These people are things, traced easily,

traced down through records & the resins,

the dates of paper, skin-porous.

Perhaps use gloves or blocks of news-cut letters

glued over Ministry hand-outs.

Perhaps the smuggling will go without mishap,

occur sidewalk-safe. Perhaps the words will be

street lamps lit bright, day-broad, with shadows,

only knowledge of ignorance, of getting caught

& what could happen then.

Word of mouth-----

You know the horror stories:

forced labor, mental wards, tons of medicine

unwanted, unneeded, tons of blows & too little food

for the untouchables violated by every possible method.

Still, what can you do-----

words tattooed on your breath, in your eyes,

words, a religion of several creeds throughout the blood,

the world of lovers - sacred, sacred - feeling that the other world

must change.

Conflicting Reports

The numbers which differ, the statistics so casual

on what are fatalities...

Lives, we should say & place the faces on billboards.

Lives, we should trace & say exactly who they were.

Where is in the newsprint, but what about history,

the stories of each nobody who certainly wasn't a blank?

Oh, Mr. President, Ms. Minister, Your Excellency

& Dear Sir/Madame, the times, the grenades

are too fast & the pages flip, flip on.

Oh globe, slow, show us gravity & what angels fly

off through the spinning ozone, the timeline axis,

the anonymity of the big picture.

Yes, give us the details in the reports

that hearts like waves continue to break over & over.

About the Author: A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. Since the 1990s he's been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online. He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather various links to his published poetry in one place.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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