Sunday, November 6, 2016
Phantasmagoria (A Composition of familiar impoverished themes)
(A Composition of familiar impoverished themes)
In the sun’s burning heat, you need to blink a lot, lest you burn your eyes out of your head. At night, or twilight your eyes can enjoy a life of luxury, so I’ve learned in my travels, in particular to heated countries! While in Vietnam, 1971, the heat boiled your skin, melted the white and black troops away faster than butter; in comparison, for the Vietnamese, to them it was like sugar in coffee. Poor they may be, and poor they were, but they were not like us Americans sleeping off our malaria, crawling with different sorts of parasites to each hair on every cranny of our bodies. Poverty has its rewards, deliberately induced by necessity. Shameful, those shirking poor devils, who had little to look forward to, and us GI’s shivering with fits because of drugs. And Haiti, 1986, was like that same heat, when it got hot, the air was horrible to breath. As it was in India in 1998, they had to carry me to a café, put me under a fan, it was 117 F, my legs melted like ice by a furnace; the air full of staleness, it weakens the heart. Back in Haiti, we all ate mostly from or tinned foods we brought over with us ourselves. For most people up in the hill country lived in thatched huts, food was questionable, even the fish from the streams were per near bone dry of strength (skeletonized). Somewhat like those folks in Cambodia who lived in huts on poles made of bamboo along the riversides and fronts, and on manmade levees, who fished through a hole of their floors into the river, cooked the raw fish they caught right then and there in a pan, with a few coals to heat them. Back to Haiti, it’s hard for an American to invent happiness up in those desolate hills without a mission, utterly improbable for Americans, the setting didn’t lend itself. Yet the Haitian finds time to smile. You walk about you’ll see, hitherto throughout the depths of the hill top forests, the Haitian appears stagnated, bemused by sleeping sickness, all due to chronic poverty, but they smile a lot. Ye, they had a mayor, and a tax collector, we can’t live without them can we! At night one could hear the Voodoo drums. Here no one had boots, children barefoot, playing with toys made out of tin cans, bent this way and that way, to make a toy car or a figure of a truck; you would think like Cicero (47 B.C.) who was exiled from Rome for eighteen-months, who actually got fed up with life, who had lived among the rich and powerful, you would think these folks too, would be fed up with life. Not so! Like the poor in India who eat garbage off the top strata’s of trash piles, along with the trailing dogs, in Deli in particular in Deli, by the five star hotels, they want to live another day too. And in Cairo, Egypt, many a disparaged women, scorned by poverty and their husbands, left to fend for themselves by their disliking spouses, sleep on bridges, and under bridges (I’ve tried to talk to them), with a covering of a cardboard box, infant in hand, begging for change; the heroes of tomorrow, who are going to change the World Order for Allah, have no time for them: they are the mighty, freedom fighters, fighting to imprison the world, tomorrow, for Allah, a god who needs help. I’ve had a front row seat for this phantasmagoria of poverty, worldwide. It brings to mind these primitives, who are kept primitive, lest they wise up and bring down—the establishment, they are not totally spent, as they’ve tramped across the days and years of their lives! And more marvelous still, actually imagining or pretending so, to look forward to a better day, perchance, tomorrow. These ingenious warriors of poverty, await a wormholes to show up in space to bring them to their dreamland, or win the jackpot!
They all live thus, as do many Americans, who have been set apart into poverty, live thus, tirelessly, waving for a brighter day: depressed to the point of undeclared nausea, yet still waiting, breathing in that hot heated air, between glittering reflections …! Yes, they all sit on an ember broken off of the sun: just waiting, and waiting...
Note: the author brings out six countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, India, even America, and mostly Haiti, Haiti being the poorest in his eyes of those countries he’s been to, and he has been to 56-countries.