Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"Us"

A poem I wrote several months ago, today seems relevant.

“Us”

I asked, is America dead?
An endearing, weary smile: the republic is old, without faith.
Her skin pale, sullied by time.
Once blue eyes, now dulled gray, stared across the bitter valley.
Her mouth opened, closed.
She shook her head; blond hair whispered—
—its reflection bleached, lifeless.
The words, stark:
We’ve grown callous.
A silver tear shimmered beneath an eye.
Without empathy, love, without truth.
And her words uncovered a world darkened with hate, by lies,
Crumbling with despair.
Dying with a whisper and a rattle beneath the blue and uncaring sky.
Its eulogy littered with noble ideas, broken promises, false morality, distraction.
Self-importance, greed.
Fear.
Fear designed for pillage, isolation.
Destruction.
When I looked at my friend she was still, silent.
Her eyes now empty, sightless.
Her nobility, love, empathy, turned to ash for an undeserving world.
A world drifting to destruction.
Whimpering when it should scream,
Sitting when it should stand,
Accepting when it should demand,
Dying when it should live.
A world dying of its own heaviness,
Its hate, its anger.
Dying from misuse, from lies, from apathy, from avarice.
A world dying without hope.
A world dying without hope!
Without empathy, without love, without truth, without goodness.
A world destroyed with fear.
Our fear—
Yours and mine.
You and me. 
Us.

              --Ben Boulden

Monday, June 04, 2018

Thrift Shop Book Covers: "A Good Place to Hide" and "A Bad Day in the Bahamas"

A Good Place to Hide, by Alan Cullimore, was published as a paperback original by Tor in 1988, which is the very edition that caught my eye. The cover is a coolly 1980s art deco riff with both an inviting and frightening appeal. The artist: Unknown (to me at least).

The opening paragraph:

For the past five weeks Harry Foster had been living in an efficiency apartment in the Sea Drift Motel
A Bad Day in the Bahamas, by Alan Cullimore, was published as a paperback original by Tor in 1989, which is the very edition that caught my eye. The cover, while not nearly as good as that adorning A Good Place to Hide, is vivid in that 1980’s manner with flashing blues, greens and oranges. The artist: Unknown (to me at least).
The opening paragraph:

Harry Foster sat on the most deserted beach, idly pitching pebbles into the clear, calm waters.
As far as I can tell, Alan Cullimore’s oevre is represented by the two novels above. Both were published within a four month period: September 1988 to January 1989. I read the second, A Bad Day in the Bahamas as a teenager and have fond memories reading it across a few summer afternoons.