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  • Richard Tattoni

Lord Alfred Tennyson vs. Camelot



Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the most important poet of the Victorian period. There were many sleepless nights when reading Idylls of the King (before studying heavy metal vs. punk and the post-grunge era and living through the history of post-grunge; and blasting my eardrums, until I couldn't hear the tribal drums of neighbours pounding on my door to turn the music down). Along came The Lady of Shalott (No time hath she to sport and play) and I obsessively read the poem over and over, finding hidden meanings and pondering the mad existence of Baltimore Ravens and Edgar Allan Poe. Loving this poem


as a pretty long narrative poem, I'd realize the height of the Victorian Age and I'd realize the curse was cast before mellowing out to Bob Dylan as the times changed and I would have to write or perish as a timid, mild mannered reporter. Reading from The Lady of Shalott, tightly spinning wildly in my mind, but it wasn't really until after I would stop masturbating before my naked writing took any semblance. I had many thoughts to share, long before Stephen King was writing about JFK and alternative history, but after John Junior ended the media parade and killer circus and the Decline of the American Empire as we would know it. Extremes undeniably can lead to decline, before a person, place or thing can make itself great again. And what about heaven on earth? We heard it between our ears and the hip music of everyday life, beats making sound, positive and negative emotions stirring feelings like magic that not even Merlin or the Orlando Magic could feel. You can't actually hear your heartbeat until you've listened to music from the soul. Growing up was tough, working odd jobs and wanting to make money as a teenager. I'd work odd jobs at Little Caesars, grocery stores and hardware stores, turning to key-cutting after bad advice and never really understanding the truth as a boy king on a quest to learn life. (Read Very Bad Deeds: Confessions Of A Locksmith for more). You can't always see the truth. Sometimes invisible to the eye, but believed through radio frequency or Internet signal when Lionheart Leaks -- and joy released itself in odd forms (almost real) and extremely embarrassing.


But I wasn't a radio personality, just the King of Lionheart Inc.™ and not a self-proclaimed king of media. I was a writer writing, whether writing about modern Camelot before the Decline of the American Empire or writing or reading to amuse myself (although currently reading Naked Lunch and not hungry enough to make the next book Becoming China's Bitch -- so I better read slow and enjoy what's left of the Beat Generation). When discovering a punk band's plans to make more Naked Lunch material, it sounded like a bad idea, but great way to continue the legacy started by the pioneers of hardcore subculture. Did The Shadows Of Camelot go overlooked by mainstream media? Not really, the poem (see below) really sucked and no different than Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues underground (and probably only ready by Bob Dylan). Poetry doesn't always make sense, but what's it actually about?


No headphones, Jack? Jack Kerouac was probably writing instead of listening to music and I don't know if he ever wrote about Camelot. I've never read 11/22/63 by Stephen King and seriously wonder what he would think about reading Beyond The Blue Kite. I've wondered if my debut novel will redeem itself with other kings or cause debates (whether the book is dark fiction or really just unsuitable hardcore drama).


While sometimes guilty of falling into the trap of writing to amuse myself, I've written to make a real difference. I've written to better understand life and grasp the meaning of what's difficult to fully understand. But sorry, I haven't fully understood weather and don't want to jump inside the climate change ring. It's only been important when there was light rain outside but voices told you it was raining cats and dogs outside or another summer ended and you couldn't remember the weather from last summer or you've experienced mind-altering periods of delusional impairment with scattered feelings of remorse (don't call me 911, but you might have needed some help). William S. Burroughs once wrote that "a paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on." That was a half true statement, because if the ghost of JFK was hunting you down and you were paranoid that you were going to be next, you should've gotten help. Help won't knock on your door (unless you've played loud music, then you'll be helped to turn down your stereo because it's happened to me. I found help and it wasn't helpful). I wrote The Shadows Of Camelot based on facts and I wrote the poem because of deep interest in topics of history and dramatic verse. (It's worth nothing but your attention or lack of praise).

THE SHADOWS OF CAMELOT

i

One summer day we were drunk

Hearing the news start to creep,

Hearing his aeroplane had sunk,

And how he would forever sleep,

For he fell in water of blue,

There dies the American son

On a day to always miss you.

Has death really won

And has it just begun?

Where did John Kennedy go?

Why didn’t time travel slow?

ii

For me three limes in a drink

Drop like the blues and grief

Of a tragedy never to think,

Of a death, without relief,

We hurt to painfully part.

Under a dim light of lunar,

A total eclipse of my heart;

As John’s life was junior

From past steps so heavy,

And, days living bright,

Looking for a ‘63 Chevy,

Like there’s a war to fight.

For John had a common peace,

Unlike the hits from shots

At a Dad, with a brother to cease,

You’re in our hearts and thoughts.

For where did John Kennedy go?

Why didn’t time travel slow?

iii

One angel lives with others,

There with the water abound,

Together to last with lovers

And exist below the ground;

To travel days forever free,

To march with Uncle Rob

In an endless, timeless sea,

Sinking, you made me sob.

For seeking power of late

Such faceless and tired tears,

Such a mourning, fragile state:

Nineteen-sixty and eight years,

Now we’ll see a peaceful crime.

Those images do kneel in appeal

While a stopwatch passes time

In a godly place of feel,

Transfiguring a bar to church,

Drawing lush eyes to be blind,

Forming crowds closer to lurch,

Timing news travels to unwind.

And, there is me, in the heat,

I’m fitted for passing to bed

Beyond a backwards beat,

Over a eulogy from Ted --

Where did little Johnny go?

Why can’t time travel slow?

iv

The water greeted him unknown,

As a page of history was torn

From a show all but alone,

I awake to a sleepy morn,

Yesterday John was born.

Where did John Kennedy go?

Why didn’t time travel slow?

Perhaps, we'll never know.

I wrote this years ago to say

“John Junior has gone away.”


Believing in my talent happened over the summer and signing a publishing contract. That was when the dream turned real, but I've always known All The World's A Stage Of Consciousness and a matter of interpretation. People get put off by politics because it pretends to be real -- real in the sense of true. It's realy just theater. Dust in the wind was something I learned from watching the end of Gladiator (and the movie glamorized Italian history) and Shakespeare In Love taught me a valuable lesson (about how to hate Shakespeare and watch the plays instead of emulate his writing for fun). Over the summer, I turned into a true poet and wrote the final draft to The Legend Of The Wicked Path (originally Footpath).

THE LEGEND OF THE WICKED PATH

Below the ankle I could feel a sensation,

Almost sensual and drunk

As I stumbled on a tree trunk,

Mumbling curses of aggravation.

Bumbling around the forest late into the night,

I was lost behind a shrub and softwood.

I saw the Lady of the Night who stood,

She beamed silent rays of light.

I looked far left and noticed a dark trail,

I looked far right to see bats in flight,

And an injured deer blinded by Her sight.

Could ahead of me be the Holy Grail?

I walked and walked for unearthly hours,

It was my imitation but Her creation.

I began to fly like ancient aviation

Searching for Mother Nature's powers.

Jesus, my eyes burned as the sun came up

And I looked for Camelot ahead of me,

But there was just a river and tree

Beside Mother Nature's empty cup.

I was thirsty, fearfully holding my knife

And looking around in every direction.

I sat down under lonely protection.

She was the creator of life.

Silently, I realized forbidden paths of sensation

And fascinating leaves of dark red,

And all-embracing discourse unsaid

All were in Her forest of creation.

I grabbed the cup and I filled it up all the way.

I knew I’d taken a wrong turn along the path.

Ready to submit to Nature's almighty wrath,

I drank the water turning blackish grey.

The dirty water was disgusting like a toxic ale

And everything started to spin like mad.

I was feeling so sick and I hurt so bad,

After choosing the wrong Holy Grail.


#Camelot #Tennyson #King #poetry #writing #path #dreams #shadows #Jack #JFK #extreme #empire #history #sound #consciousness

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