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Poetry by Christian Thomas 

Christian Thomas delves into the uncomfortable aspects of humanity, perception, and spiritual angst.  Primarily in existential terms, Thomas addresses the immediate human condition, free of minced words.  But his pieces are also touching... 



excerpts taken from his published books: 

Looking Into Rock N Roll (1980) and Carnival of the Faceless Crowd (1990)

and his earlier work:

From One Head To Another (1972)




© 1990/1980  Christian Thomas


On a day-to-day basis nearly all of us spend most of our time coping with the mundane vicissitudes of reality---those people, events, and urgent circumstances that cannot be avoided.


Art, literature, movies, religion, and other acts of imagination provide occasional relief from life's insistent demands; but these forms of escape are temporary.  The majority of us, whether by unwitting device or the accident of birth, continually find our feet planted in the terra firma of existence.


It is the negative tone of this cosmic predicament---this predominance of pragmatic necessity that demands attention to the point of diminished spiritual awareness---from which the contemporary philosophy of Existentialism emerged...On the purely existential level from which he [Man] can find no escape, the story of man is merely an epic farce of an aimless creature meandering off into the invisibility of some imagined noble destiny...


- Christian Thomas, 1990 in Windermere, Florida





from Carnival of the Faceless Crowd (1990)


The Darling Lark


Pollyannas may paint the world in light

And try to reason away the dark of night:

But none can deny or hope to prevent

The doleful songs sounding within each tent

To and from which we languidly wander,

Back and forth, from here to yonder,

With ever a curious but cautious eye.

Suddenly a barker shouts out a cry

That calls our attention to a weathered sign

Of a cosmic bird of universal design.

We pay the fee, and with an occasional remark,

Enter the tent and find the Darling Lark.

Daybreak greets the Darling Lark;

Nightfall ends her day.

And all the things that make her smile

Take that smile away.

          She sings to the dawn each morning;

          She sings to the moon every night.

          Though her world abounds with wonder,

          Still it is hidden from her sight

          By mistaking misfortune and sorrow,

          By living in yesterday and tomorrow.

          She knows the truth in words unspoken,

          Knows every love a heart gets broken.

          She spends her hours anticipating an end

          To absence and all on which it may depend.

          She hopes her dreams are not abating,

          Hopes another Darling Lark is waiting;

          But she ponders the image till there's nothing left

          Save the name.

          Just the same.

Daybreak greets the Darling Lark;

Nightfall ends her day.

And all the things that make her smile

Take that smile away.




The Dovetail Ruse


          "Make way! Make way! Make way for a parade of charade.

          Make way for the optical abuse of the Dovetail Ruse.

          Prepare to be warped into aberration.

          Just open a newspaper and you turn it loose --

          The Dovetail Ruse.

          It's a train without a caboose,

          And it goes on and on and on and on.

          It'll put the chains, chains, chains,

          Chains of illusion on you --

          The Dovetail Ruse.

          It's off the wall, ooo-oo, off the wall.

          There's method to madness and reason for rhyme,

          But no earthly excuse for the Dovetail Ruse.

          Just turn on the tube and give it some juice --

          The Dovetail Ruse.

          It's a train without a caboose.

          Don't try to stop it 'cause it's no use;

          Ain't nothin' gonna stop the Dovetail Ruse,

          And it goes on and on and on and on.

          It'll put the chain, chains, chain,

          Chains of illusion on you --

          The Dovetail Ruse.

          It's off the wall, ooo-oo, off the wall.

          Reality's there under the mask you wear.

          Reality's there behind the scenes in the magazines.


          Adoration of the mirror --

          The Dovetail Ruse.

          No early excuse for the optical abuse

          Of the Dovetail Ruse, ooo-oo, it's off the wall."


An uncomfortable silence envelops the crowd,

But quickly disrupts into shouts of denial,

For few will admit they were ever beguiled

By the printed word or a slick televised smile.

So adamantly do we cling to our misconceptions

And the decisions we let our apathy decide,

That we angrily denounce the Ruse's deceptions,

Till at length we push and shove our way outside.





from "The Strangest Place On Earth" in The Carnival of the Faceless Crowd


Our departure from this show is swift; its images smother us.

Soon we find ourselves nearing the tent of the Gypsy, mother of

Melpomone and Nightclimber. Lost in  thought, we trudge along,

A study in suppressed dread, a crowd of victims, a misfit throng.

All of a sudden there is commotion, whispers, questioning glances.

Swiftly through the restive crowd the muscle-bound geek advances;

And people slowly recede, like skin parting behind a razor blade.

He stops in front of the Gypsy's tent, strong, bold, unafraid,

And in an angry voice calls to her and bids that she come outside.

Bony, long-nailed fingers appear and pull the curtains open wide.

Then the Gypsy steps into the light: a wrinkled old woman, small,

Bent, witch-like, dressed in black beneath a long, draping shawl. 

One could see the malice in her eyes, sense the devil in her smile.

A grim interminable silence falls over the crowd, and all the while

The geek stands foursquare with the Gypsy, transfixed in her gaze.

A horrid tension fills the air that tells of dark and evil days.

From somewhere far behind us comes that low whine of the calliope

Chipping and chiseling at the concrete silence of total inactivity.

Then it stops. And as the strain of the moment rises and peaks,

The geek takes a step forward, and in a beseeching voice, speaks:

"Tell me, Gypsy, tell me why you put your curse on me.

For surely it's your curse that continually defeats me.

Continually visits grief, disaster, and misery upon me.

The mere fact that I lack detailed features depletes me,

Cheats me of distinction, dignity, and self-worth.

This startling absence of identity was not happenstance,

Not something chanced upon me by the accident of birth.

It was you, you who deemed my life an unpardonable offense

To be summarily punished and publicly mocked and jeered.

You who took away my face and left me inadequate, empty,

Powerless against an unnatural world, cleverly engineered

For suffering and self-destruction. Every joy and luxury --

As small and infrequent as they are -- is choked lifeless

By a smothering darkness and leaves a void that is my soul.

My undefined existence thrusts me downward into a recess

So deep and black that it prevents even the most miniscule

Ray of truth from entering my life, and doubt is the measure

By which all things are proven. I am a spectacle of none!

I am high mockery personified! And my greatest displeasure

Is the crowd, for the larger the crowd that more I am alone.

At times I disguise myself with masks and gay dissimulation;

But my efforts defeat my purposes, and soon I am found out.

And what of human kindness, the last refuge of desperation?

It is to be shunned, pitied, and maliciously talked about.

When I look at the world all I see are giant webs of fear,

Tapestries of misery and pain and lies that shift and swell.

Insidiously wicked deeds eclipse whatever good may appear

And acid-etch in my mind vividly grotesque pictures of hell.

For me there is  no hope for better days, brighter tomorrows.

No confident moment or mirrored reflection life can grant me.

Only the hosts of the past, with whom I share old sorrows,

Haunt my future as they haunt me now until you disenchant me."


Somewhere in the woods outside the Carnival and lone wolf howls.

With piercing eyes the Gypsy steps toward the geek and scowls,

Saying, "Poor, tortured geek. You're so mistaken, so deluded.

You talk as if your fate was designed, you destiny concluded.

You choose to blame me for your troubles, and with conviction

But I am not the cause of your miserable unjustified affliction.

Because of my evil appearance you think I am the one to blame

For your facelessness, your 'curse', as you say. All the same,

I'm not the one who curse you -- though it's easy in your disdain

To think that I did. I am but a vessel molded by what I contain;

And since I am filled with everyone's hatred, scorn, and rabid

Fearfulness, my outward appearance is like wise ugly and horrid --

Thus easy to blame and easy to hate. Evil lives as evil dwells,

To the point that you believe Ii am capable of curse and spells!

Thought I wish I could, I can't. But, oh, how you misconstrue!

How easily you twist each situation, distort your point of view!

You bend everything till it suits you and justifies your misery.

And finding no single cause for your grief, you blame it on me.

Sad, pitiful geek. Can't you see that you are your own tormentor,

That your steadfast pessimism is what keeps you boiling in horror

And is what truly decides your future and explains your past.

For all you have to do is believe it is so, and so it is. Alas,

It's not the world that has failed you. You have failed yourself.

And yet there's one thing that has you fooled above all else:

Where you look and what you find -- that things you choose to see --

Does not truly signify, but describes a slyly disguised reality.

Your wounded vision shuts out everything beautiful and bright

And cheats you of available wonder. You live in perpetual night.
Wondering why there's no comfort or rely, when uncompromisingly

Your narrow perceptions lengthen each day into protracted agony.

You build yourself a prison by fitting your windows with bars,

And this is turn unwittingly steals the sparkle form the stars.

Worse still, you think your faceless anonymity is meaningless,

When it's your show here at the Carnival that gives you purpose,

That thrusts inescapable reason upon you. Grievously existing

In lament is like crying in a dark room with no one listening.

You might as well try to unwind a tornado or stop a hurricane

For all the good it will do. You must learn to accept the pain

And spiritual loss of this cosmic display of misrepresentation.

Cling to what might be, for imagination is your only salvation.

Refuse to be overcome by bitterness and cool blind indifference --

Callous apathy is a festering sore in our collective essence.

Stand valiant against the tide of mindless mongols who commit

Avoidable misery. Strive to prevent misery; don't perpetuate it.

Unattempted happiness hides the world's marvels from your eyes,

Weaves illusions, and conceals your true identity in a disguise.

Above all, don't withhold the necessary truth. Lies beget fear,

Hatred, suspicion. The choice is yours, for it all stops here.

In the end, you either condemn yourself to hell or save yourself.

And unless you heed what I say there will never be anything else.

This is the only way to get rid of your curse, the only solution.

For I am the voice of conscience, the voice of mortal retribution!"





from Looking Into Rock N Roll (1980)

(illustrations from the book)


Wrong To Be Lonely



It's right to take your lover

   And hold him tight

It's right to spend the evening

   And want to stay the night

But, baby, it's wrong to be lonely


It's wrong to curse the sun

   When gray clouds are above you

It's wrong to be alone

   When needed by the one who loves you

Yeah, baby, it's wrong to be lonely


Sometimes the loneliness of an endless night

   Makes the stars seem to move out of view

When what is really moving away

   Is something deep inside of you


It's right to want the future

   That holds your dreams

And it's right that some of those

   Should come apart at the seams

But, baby, it's wrong to be lonely


It's wrong to make a prison

   Of a room with an unlocked door

It's wrong to stay adrift at sea

   And never swim to shore

Yeah, baby, it's wrong to be lonely


Sometimes the loneliness of an endless night

   Makes the stars seem to move out of view

When what is really moving away

   Is something deep inside of you


It's right to need space

   But wrong to be lonely

Wrong to be lonely









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