Poets Against War continues the tradition of socially engaged poetry by creating venues for poetry as a voice against war, tyranny and oppression.
The Carma Bums
Los Angeles, Ca./Atlanta, Ga.
The Carma Bums are M. Lane Bruner, S.A. Griffin, Doug Knott, Mike M. Mollett & Scott Wannberg - a poetry/performance ensemble born out of the counterculture miasma of the 1980's Hollywood/Los Angeles art punk & performance scene. The Carma Bums are poets who have a desire to speak to others on a human level as experience, bop and heart. Like the healer poet of New Jersey, William Carlos Williams, they believe in the poem as news, music and in this case, protest. In their time they have travelled extensively throughout the western U.S. and Canada inside of their 1959 Cadillac & 1966 GMC bus. On the road, they were often joined by giggling Goddess of word, Ellyn Maybe. All the members reside in the Los Angeles area except for M. Lane Bruner, who is a professor of rhetoric & communication theory in Atlanta, Ga. The Bums are not slam poets, never were - different critter. They do not believe in the poem as competitive sport, only mortification. This poem is a group piece created specifically for the Poets Against The War website using email. The Carma Bums are words without end...
Theme Song For The Movie of the World News : An Eerie Elegy (The Revenge of the Vending Machines & The Hotdogs of War)
somewhere just before the end of this fractured film of ours long before the blind off-track bettors declare the winners of the three legged horse race long before the apocalyptic think tanks lurch blindly forward in the final strut of we don’t remember what we were over the glowing desert with brave new stolen languages free to reap & mine the bittersweet nuclear harvest of blood and oil and sugar-souls that got liberated
even before the bastard bite of history calls home the false rewards the bounty hunters of glory come ready to rock all powered up all right but repeatedly stalled at the gate
it was a beautiful blaze in shattered baskets of chaos that lit our way to see us through the afterglow of fetid victory like Sodom & Gomorrah now you know we’re just acting positive to say that (don’t look back) Oh, stink me! We are a happy atomic pillar of love stumbling piecemeal into the ancient heat of frankincense and myrrh
over there, on the field of battle modern muted verses of epic spear-throwers split the artless air full of ticking gusts and empty promises their wild history never told stuttering into bomb-deaf ears from undisclosed locations while nuclear winds of niggling network news sweep clean the antediluvian hands of time’s up! those hands hanging in the air like so much plenty dirty laundry racing against the crusading world of news networks washed red, white and blue with subliminal pornographic x-tra-hi nipplefocus chic - I mean ABC the happiest place on earth NBC just another stock exchange of information Generally Electric CBS (well, not all the time, but just generally) & CNN & TBN, etc., etc., etc…
the cosmos has misplaced its parking ticket and there is no validation available at this time the violated cosmos cries out once again for the ice-blue Krishna moment : Eve & Adam apple & snake big bang & ethereal boom licking clean the radioactive rib of victory
strip teasing reality TV enticing the swelling prick & womb of interest anticipating the fateful ending wrestling with the awful results of the stupid truth in the unforgiving photo finish flash where the impatient ticket holders shuffle uneasily while history takes inventory of the next recipient strange love holocaust
Who will win? Who helps Who control Who?
together, gripped in shrouds of mortal mud we were the horse and empire riders of HummVee/SUV & ATV - we had a good run, running the last fake races with them again, we thought it was real, but we learned that angels of fate angels of mercy angels hovering over other angels looking over our shoulders at the angels of death angels in the Texas out&oilfields; our better angels of Lincoln’s tomb and even the angels of a merciful war & peace who may or may not be accountable or even available where the dead rest dreaming transpersonally hammered into ethereal sentience by everything they never understood or spoke of while the spirit gives back to itself, mirrors like a river said Hegel on his toilet, what once it was at the camp of forgotten holy warriors on fool’s errands where no one is anyone really anymore except Buddha-face, who is looking backward at all our immigrant fantasies chanting about how to get it cheap, and real, as our real dreams lay abandoned in pieces all about us slim hope broken & blowing away like the desert sand we capture vanishing with our pawnshop Salvador Dali melto-hands
we must buy gas masks, and safety, and lots of duct tape for a safer world right now! GET IT?!! (we had to buy what we were directed to buy into at any price) OR ELSE!
forget having a good time - Goddamned humanity! what the hell’s it all good for anyway?
Hey buddy, could you spare some peace for the change? Hey sister, would you sell away our blood for a rich shot? Hey friend, do you hear the clarion call hip-hop forever may we be blessed? Can I grope you? I am a needy society!
some sound track thank you fevers tongue unruly continents of wounded bones that claim they can hold a tune no one can dance to I can’t, and I’m glad
the monster makes perfect sense as certainty compels the converted over the cliff Gods & Generals driven by protesters along with their signs of mad cowboy disease the new Romans thundering again into the born-again wilderness sent there by God, to learn their lessons again over the edge
when we lose our way we take our useless tickets home left in a drawer with the rest of what we've lost we do it for you who are what we were yesterday who have never won their right mind honestly
half-life time spits inane love songs from the abyss of the stomach a strange file indeed over an Internet of sincere liars while at the see thru internment camp for fleas at Guantanamo elephant audience demands something better than dogs for best friends
meanwhile, back at the oasis the best music of all is late in showing up with its weary resume attached to its sad but sacred heart but it does arrive
stop and listen
it is what you have been waiting to hear all your life and its really good news! we are more than we would have been. otherwise, we’ll all get up tomorrow with our new, sandy-desert-colored faces with tank parts for arms and missile legs mortar recall night vision and transformer everything
in time we suck in our enemies with sweet justice for all and they become every good old-timey Republic Western we ever saw with John Wayne Tom Mix Hoppy & Roy, Trigger & Silver & hey Lone Ranger, don’t forget Tonto, Kemosabe as we Hi Yo & AWAAAYYYYY!!!!
happy trails to you, whoever you are… until we meet again in our sad agrarian nowhere in our present rapture here in Camp Heaven as the movie flickers away
Vaya con Dios my darlings…
framed one frame at a time
2003 The Carma Bums – Los Angeles/Atlanta M. Lane Bruner, S.A. Griffin, Doug Knott, Mike M. Mollett & Scott Wannberg