Rhythms:  Cultural Cocaine & The Naked Sleuth in the Abstract

Source. Pexels. Josh Hild, Photographer

by LJ Frank




in the center of the room the knowledge rests


before the light from clerestory windows

the Sleuth sat down and lit the single wick soy candle

a journal in repose on a hardwood table

he began to read pages of words in inky quiet

written as if instilled with ancient proverbs 

paragraphs of situational meanings

beginning with and the oceans moved inland

a new orthodoxy of fundamentalism appeared

dressed in shepherd’s clothing

but, the libido of competition conflicted with cooperation

hallowed prayers whispered from empty pews

the Song of Sirens drifted down from the rafters

deception dripped from the communion cup

of a crimson shaded pulpit


sweet tasting molasses like dark thick honey

hardens and sticks in the wanting throat

and clogs the arteries and veins…  

while the milk of truth is unable to wash it down

the nose breathes seeking clarity of consciousness 

and a person in a wing back chair advises 

it may be cultural cocaine


and self-proclaimed authorities

with a chiaroscuro boldness

filmed in a digital masquerade

cover their loins of intolerance

declare that love and loathe begin with the same letter

and the best counsel the listeners know

is that which offers the optional clause of escape

located in fine print at the bottom of the page

footnoted in one’s numerically coded birth record

conspiracies are easily manipulated   

is Franz Kafka alive and in hiding?


all affectations are bad, suggested Don Quixote

what did Miguel de Cervantes really know

when disorder is the order of the day

and the wearer of the black cloth

sits on the Highest of Judicial Courts

with ears attune to the static of white noise

figures diaphanous in movement

can a battle rage when out of the supply of human flesh?

and the true believer knows the camera lens is omnipresent

the recorded voice is a blend of ego and stage direction

spatial is up close and personal

where does one look for certainty?


the sound of a sitar is an allegory of non-violence

the Mahatma nods from a previous century

crossed words are no longer a Times puzzle

and a Post correspondent has lost her voice

silhouettes of past liaisons in the governors’ mansions

with misplaced ankle strapped heels

and bracelets with a dominant’s keys

Street Fashion sold to the silent bidder

in the waving mists of the Shadow Docket

does anyone recall Andy Warhol

and images of a soup can conscience


will the supply of acronyms escape the infatuation

consequence is no longer a game of chance

perhaps a dictionary might help to assuage feelings

like the multivolume Oxford on the reference shelf

to be eyed manually without access to an Internet

for the sake of a sensual encounter

intellectual erections are involuntary salutes

while kneeling in prayer to a God unknown

and to strip away the tunic of superficial dignity

exhibitionism and voyeurism retain

a special awareness of their wholeness

but who is watching whom?

an invitation to a discretionary Meetup

in the age of technological techniques in technicolor

can’t you see, window dressing offers no privacy


and complicit with the plagues of viruses

snap shots are altered for the sake of the absolutist

and memories are selectively induced for the penitent

as disinformation morphs into a charted algorithm

while Right lawyers and politicians speak from the teeth

contracts of abuse have a distinguished history

regardless of class or affiliation 

to win is the deity of bloodlust

just another name for the flower petals of Capitalism –

as human like figures urinate in the mouth of the Republic

a delicious defilement of the esophagus

infusion is an aphrodisiacal arrangement with power

and At Will means you don’t exist unless under agreement

from a higher ruling between Master and Servant


modified behavior suggests another Walden’s Pond

but a Dogma waiting in the Wing births a childless hero

the Universe finds itself in conflict with a Matrix

thou shall have no others before “thē”

all is hearsay unless directly observed

as my mind is my own Sacred Canon

while Thomas Paine’s body remains missing

now who shall speak for the blind

still, the patriotic crowd sees a modern enlightenment 

but redemption is lost in the City of God

as an ancient mariner of the heart suffers

and a few souls lean forward to hear

his final saliva hued question –

“Eloi, Eloi, lama Sabachthani?”


and the Naked Sleuth in the Abstract

with gentle hands closes the journal

and with a deep exhale snuffs out the candle

while a cathedral bell tolls somewhere in the distance.