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Postmodern Village
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The Dark Heart of the Pun
by E.W. Wilder

Bean Newton turns uncharacteristically nostalgic here, giving the lie to the idea that postmodernism is somehow immune to sentiment. Note the political outrage at a world bathed in oil. With our current oil wars and right wing activists insisting that there is controversy over global warming, it is hard to forget that in 1992, from when this poem dates, we were already immersed in the first oil war and that global warming had been accepted science for some years.

With the political being the personal, Newton reminds us that outrage is a sentiment too, and one that can be home-grown, not just astro-turfed in by partisan shills spewing talk radio hate.

Bean Seed Oil
by Bean Newton

Strangely, suddenly, I smell chocolate.
This reminds me of the yellowed jugs
of used oil that hung around my grandpa's barn.
It reminds me of the silver quintessence
of the fog, the way it rolls all beyond and into
mystery, or maybe Mel
Tormé.
This is the essence, also, of Christmas.
But maybe the hog-wild voodoo child of my interior don't,
know that X-mas is the reason for all things slick
and gloss-i-fied. And God,
on the 8th day, made marketing.
This fog is not a marketing ploy. It is easier
to dazzle than it is to obscure.
This fog is imagination overtime, produce
of aesthetic infusion, an electron dance
on the back of your uvula, your medulla, or
maybe just your head. It carves
out distance between sine and cosine,
particle and wave. It uncreates
the skyline and turns it into
spiritus mundi—things felt not
scene, the aural silhouette of Nick Danger
smacking sidelong into a building.
It's like chocolate in no conceivable way
except the pure and utter coincidence of the cross—
the way oil became part of my childhood, dirty
oil, used oil, undisposed of oil, oil congealing
into wet cake-mix at the bottom of a crusty,
plastic jug.
Only this the mind engenders. Only this.