Before Bohemia (and Aristocracy)

An ode to the creative youth, searching for identity; their trials and tribulations, which are mine, and yours, and perhaps everyone's - but most especially the bleeding hearts' and artists'.

When we were avant-garde,

the world was simply ours

slow moments inside fast days

leaving our impressions

making what is special.

Experiential sight lines running

like an experimental paint job

to whose colour families we all belong


mes amis,

But us most shocking of those aggregations;

while the masses drip down

we writhe in variations,

Our cultures teeming with the rhythm

of the repressed and the restrained

which isn't really so much a rhythm, as it is

a hum

a buzz

a whisper,

The tempo: the offspring of goods production

defies the triangular maths,

and the Dadaist methods that God employs to

prank us, while She laughs.

Reform, reform, reform,

echo in the weary heart, and weather-worn

lonely, giddy, gloating, too -

bashful of the lazy things

that the modernists do.

And given the trouble, as it presents

itself to those who bother to have

an ideal,

the mind of the pacifist, forever tormented

by intrinsic-to-our-nature Wrong - and, Right -

and the possibility of evil.

Hypocrites were we, the days 

we stood like Saints

cowered like animals,

the very ebb and flow of the forsaken

ran in us,

the very greatest shame of the mistaken

humiliated us

and humbled, too, to the just and holy cause of

trails that connect, with love and loss and memory

energy above us; below us; within us,

abstracting us; replicating us,

uniting us; recycling us,

We paid no heed to those tangible things,

their statement; being, obsolete

we paid no heed to those other tangible things

and their uses; being, significant, it seems

To me now

in the cool, yet fatally characterless breeze 

of post-youth - 

the place where our fires have been tamed and

our colours, washed out

Wizened, perhaps, by a different breed of beautiful

like watered-down ink or pastel

on yellowed parchment-paper.

It was an energy that took us,

amplified our souls so that

they spilled so noisily across the canvas of our zone

that the roar of it could deafen the faith of the norm

and it was, all but a gentle "Pop!" in the galactic static

that leaps and falls a millionfold

to the power of that, which is much too great to count,

bleeding all that is into all that was and all that will be,

to the power of that, which is much too great to see.

Still, in secret resides the fire

Still I dance to the roar, for now and then

we are children, again.

And I recall

how everything was compelling

how never we were absolved

of the demanding peaks and rests of time

dependent on our resolve,

epitomizing a freedom we scarcely understood

with no alternative model, to which we could compare

our own rights, repression, and restraint

so resourcelessly defining, "fair".

Yet forever innocent in the eyes of those or them

who sing the songs of our hearts, and rage,

Forever foolish in the minds of whom or what attempts

to sketch the map of our parameters, and fails.

Now consequences to the treatment differ

of what is simple

and what is hard

for we were wired, young, and tired

relentlessly off-guard

and as such, gold, in nighttime glow

crazy youth, those precious shards

for we were striking, stylish, dead

when we were avant-garde.

The End

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