Chicago - Sep. 22, 2017
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Chicagoetry: Ozymandias In High Definition

Ozymandias in High Definition

Yul Brynner in a black skirt
As Rameses II, Prince of Egypt, literally
And figuratively leaning into Edward G. Robinson,

Proffering a ring of gold from the tip of a spear
For some solid intelligence
On the slaves' Deliverer:

"You have a rat's ears and a ferret's nose."
Robinson, as Dathan: "To use in your service, son of Pharaoh."
Then later, in a black mourning gown

Finally surrendering to Charlton Heston
After ten plagues,
His own young son about to succumb.

The Greeks

Called him Ozymandias,
His fame renewed in a 19th-century poem
By Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Here: Ozymandias in 70 millimeter,
Revivified from stele and papyrus,
Styled perhaps on

The visage in Shelley's poem (which, some say,
Is his take on Napoleon): frown, wrinkled lip,
Cold sneer.

Now: Bryan Cranston
In goatee and pork pie hat, as
Drug Kingpin Walter White,

Narrating time-lapse film
Of lone and level sands
In New Mexico

With the famous poem:

"Look upon my work,
Ye mighty, and despair!"
Generation by generation,

The song remains
The same. What lasts
Of the fleeting glory of kings but

Wasteland boundless
And bare? Must we
Go over this again?!

Yet Pharaoh indeed transcends
Death. "By god,
There he is again!"

At another press conference
Between flags
In the War Room.

He keeps returning,
This Technicolor despot,
This digital hegemon, emperor

Of naught but
Mournfully repeated history.
He sneers, he preens, he ravages,

He falls.
Old a story as we know.
Bedazzled, who bows?

-

J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.



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Posted on August 15, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - 24 Hours With WYCC.
POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.


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