“Social Medium,” “The Practice of Late Stage Capitalism” and “The Green Coin”

Issue 52 by H. R. Harper

“Social Medium,” “The Practice of Late Stage Capitalism” and “The Green Coin”

Social Medium

I walk paths near my home

And think about breaking language

In pieces.  I think about the shards

Scattered by will and hunger

Because so much has been lost.

And losing is still the wound that promises.

I walk to claim a promise.  And to perform

The last spark.  But there

Is no text to try to name it in.

We share the same energy from what soon is dead

But cannot, will not, hear what’s said.

Yet, I’ve no speech to catapult

To the generations or over

The failing framework of my threescore and ten.

Scraping by utter will and the hunger

Cavalcade of words that can never be

Googled.  There is no “like” button.

No platform and processing speed

To hold you.  I can’t hold you.

And I am so sorry we are lost to each other.

Pathetic hands want to reclaim “heart”

With the standard model and theory

Of everything.             But I’ve lost the threads

Of explanation.           No collection of

Logic holds sway.  It leaks.

The Golden Rule speaks         to deep space.

Entropy speeds up the code.

In a microcosm I see my steps

On the trail slow too. I force my feet to

Tred the simulated phonemes of earth.

A song plays in the background. Backslash

The dead link. My only echo to reach you.

The Practice of Late Stage Capitalism

In the world where we have replaced

presence for performance,

where the captured, posted and liked image

steels through our limbs and sinews,

and late-stage capitalism limits

what the eyes may choose;

three particles from stars already dead

pick your Facebook headshot.

Ah, the metrics of clarion calls!

I yearn for you to hear me!

I guess I am more a crack on the spectrum

than a Cassandra.        Look at where trees limn

the heavens.                For fuck sake,

look at how seed surrenders to the larger life.

For fuck sake,             allow me to remember how

the world was

before the poison chill of any numerary needle of grace

scattered original blessings in the glass garden,

then pulled the rhizome prank

to monetize dark matters.

Let’s say God is in your face.

Free me from all algorithms

by knocking three times on the Tree of Life and

an anima of what’s left.  God is dead,

that’s old news.   Make the New Dad proud!

The standard model

invents space.  Invents you,

the earth of rich and infinite zeros, ones,

then plants an emptiness in the cloud.

Repeat this 20 minutes every day.

The Green Coin

it's happened... we flip it through a dark path of product placement and algorithms’ pornography where the young disinterestedly wank and wait for nothing left to fall in their laps.

what i knew has no legs, and so it stormed no barricades, got filed.  i see the neo-communards impatient with my stare and so disallowed they step away.  their weight has primacy over air, the center topples a three dimensional mandala,  and there is no joy in the residual formula of this rabid shelf life of drained desire. the desires of impedance.  bloodletting returns and the circuits quit before any number of high noons.  rain rusts itself.

crusty cassandra becomes a welcome paper rolled to slap the dog-blood snout as though discipline itself could raise a new song,  hard luck hotels and schools uniformly loosen from the bowels of the city on the hill, the slippery slopes, the shadow under a bushel.

regularity where girls cut themselves off and on the arms, pull out their eyebrows and credit cards, slow pitch, plucky but underemployed.

regularity where boys face a jury of fractal peers, rejoinders upset, run away, rest and return in gonadal imitation, atavistic and copyrighted.

my youthful dreams and indiscretions both fell too short.  my sense of an ending frankly corrodes.  i might have wanted the abraham lincoln brigade, but instead saw trotskyites trash maoists in late sun at kerkoff…and then studied for finals with the Australian criminal in the occupied buildings.  sendero oscuro.

pivoting in this protection you have in your even hands, pinpricks through the syntax and asymmetry with which to track the crossing of the sun, shadowlands caught in what looks like amber, the golden mean pragmatic to say the least.

what angel is not a terrible prayer, a matter of timing, a trust pocketed like a magician’s green coin.  the symptom of a season of facts.  the hermit hides peas under walnut shells.

be my silent guests.  nice shoes.  the dizziness of hybrids. we left you absolutely nothing, and nothing absolute.

ribbons for the third place finish or tied for honorable mention.  Águila o Sol.

About the Author

H. R. Harper

H.R. Harper was a creative writing major at UCLA studying under Jascha Kessler and Calvin Bedient, and he then studied in the Ph.D. program in English at UCLA, without finishing. A gay son of a fundamentalist minister, a recovering addict, and a practitioner of Dzoghen meditation, he writes to understand, heal and resolve the curious limits and contradictions of consciousness. Although writing poetry over the last few decades, H.R. Harper has only now sought to publish these poems and will have a poem published in the 2021 Summer-Fall issue of Prospect.