Hochglanzfotos / glossy faces

Hochglanzfotos

Hochglanzfotos
von den letzten Hopi-Indianern
Hochglanzfenster
auf die Skyline der Zukunft
Hochglanzgesichter
ohne einen Schatten von Tod

das glitzernde Fest
über dem Abgrund
ist noch nicht ausverkauft

Christina Egan © 1990


glossy faces

glossy faces
framed by paper
framed by screens
framed by windows

painted faces
painted bodies
images of desires
images of images

sculpted and painted
masks and totems
with unseeing eyes
swarming around me

a mass of masks
each one an island
drifting in an ocean
of mute music

of flashing messages
clashing messages
fake facts
fake names

glossy faces
perfected
imperishable
and just so happy!

Christina Egan © 2018


While the second poem comes from a world of mobile devices and social media, the first one was written in 1989 or 1990, when computers (personal computers) where gradually being introduced and the internet (worldwide web) was only being invented. I must have been thinking of television and cinema, magazines and newspapers, posters perhaps or record covers…

Captivity

I.

looking through the lofty glass door
I feel the faint sun on my forehead

I press my hands against the glaze of ice
I grasp the slender handle to crack it

I must lean out of it
I must step out of it

into the sparkling garden below me
into the buzzing street beyond it

I must follow the clouds to the edge of the land
I must follow the winds to the edge of the earth

 

II.

Iron railing in brick wall, like a gate without lock, with view onto green riverbank.tomorrow I will open my eyes
as if I saw the sun for the first time

tomorrow I will get up and go
as if my steps were guided and guarded

I will step out of my mind
into someone else’s mind

I will step out of my eyes
into someone else’s eyes

then I shall touch beauty
then I shall taste life

 

III.

Heavy rusty gate, decorated with swirls, with keys in lock.the summer was short
and long was the winter

I witnessed neither
I looked upon bricks

that was when I realised
how glaring lamps are and how bland

how pages are made of paper
and screens stay stubbornly flat

that was when I faded
from a flag to a shadow

I chewed on the bare bread of hope
turning sweet on my tongue

Christina Egan © 2012

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2018 / 2014.

free-range (mails and messages)

Same text again, set as if written by a typewriter and framed as if forming a computer screen.

free-range


mails and messages and more moving across the screen with
flashing offers and tickers with freshly baked news and
more mails and messages from fresh friends and flickering
fake facts and friends’ fake faces and fake friends’ faces
and updated offers with mute music and lyrics of true love
for globalised consumers and certified free-range chickens
in the multiple-award multilateral information gain game
and upgraded offers of true love and reminders to join in
the flash mob on times square please click here to request
your rights and download the rest of the revolution now


Christina Egan © 2017

gedichte über blumen

gedichte über blumen

Buds and fresh leaves on top of shoots above a parkein jeder blumenkranz
ein jedes sommerlied

jede hochgemute knospe
ja jeder nadelfeine halm

ist eine kriegserklärung
an den krieg

Close-up of poppy flower with dew or rain on it, above other red, orange, purple, and white flowers.

eine nichtigkeitserklärung
des nichts

eine liebeserklärung
an die liebe

an alle
ans all

Christina Egan © 2014

Photographs: Christina Egan © 2014 / 2016.


My insistence on writing poems about flowers is a reaction to Bertolt Brecht’s often-quoted suggestion that a conversation about trees borders on criminal negligence because it is silent about atrocities. In the poem An die Nachgeborenen from the 1930’s he exclaims:

“Was sind das für Zeiten, wo
Ein Gespräch über Bäume fast ein Verbrechen ist
Weil es ein Schweigen über so viele Untaten einschließt!”

Brecht’s idea is  startling and ingenious; but I hold that all praise of a flower or a bud is a praise of life and peace: ‘a declaration of war / against War… a declaration of love / to Love.’

Also, if you have read a few of my poems, you will have noticed that they do not describe flowers and trees alone, but use them as images for human life and joy, suffering and death. ‘Poems about flowers’ has 35 words — but amongst them are ‘nothingness’ and ‘the universe’!

The Tea Turned Cold – VII

Please note the seventh part of an essay at POLITICS .

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

VII.

There are many impressive novels about humble women’s lives in former times, written both at the time and since, written by both women and men. Thomas Hardy’s Tess, a farmhand, toils in the field as if in a chain gang; Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, a seamstress, languishes at the workshop into the night; Claire Etcherellli’s Elise, a factory worker, rushes and sweats at the conveyor belt.

They all get exploited; they all get exhausted. Yet none of these women seems to wash any sheets by hand on top of that; none of them is seen heaving pots of stew around; none of them does as much as sweeping the floor of her dwelling. When a girl has a baby, someone has to care for it, but no one seems to boil and mash food or soak and scrub linen for it. It all gets done by itself.

It all gets done magically. It all gets done in the wings. The never-ending chores are performed by invisible girls and women; by hands which get worn over the years without ever receiving a penny in return; by hands presumably too busy to drink the cup of tea turning cold in the cup.

Read more here.

Woman with apron filling plates with roast and many different vegetables.Woman worker “during her “time off”:
“not working”  while cooking
&”not working” while writing.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2015.

The Tea Turned Cold – VI

Please note the sixth part of an essay at POLITICS .

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

VI.

We squeeze ourselves against the walls rather than driving the elephant out of the room. We keep patching broken china together or replacing it rather than acknowledging the existence of the elephant.

This is the early 21st century, and women all over the world, including all Western countries, are de facto second-class citizens. Most women – with or without children – live in servitude through domestic labour, while declaring themselves free from all shackles. Most women – whether poor or rich – are left behind men from childhood onwards, while deluding themselves that they possess equal opportunities.

Why is a housewife officially a housewife and stays so all her life, while an unemployed nurse is a nurse, a retired cleaner is a cleaner, and a sick teacher a teacher? Does the nurse not give her child dinner any more? Does the cleaner not clean her own home any more? Does the teacher not change her bed any more? Have they not all been homemakers besides their paid employment? Why is this simple fact denied? Why are homemakers derided, and any homemaking also?

Read more here.

Yellow teapot, full teacup, and jar of tea, in front of lettuce and herbs in little pots.Homemade herbal tea from the garden.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.

The Tea Turned Cold – V

Please note the fifth part of an essay at POLITICS .

The Tea Turned Cold in the Cup,

or, Why Women’s Work is No Work

V.

When we read that many millions of young children in developing countries have to toil for their living, we are outraged; and when we learn that teenage boys often continue in forced labour while girls are usually forced into marriage, our outrage increases. However, we officially stop counting the child brides as child workers – because they ‘only’ do chores in their ‘own’ homes.

This policy of the International Labour Organization has been branded ‘insulting’ and ‘nonsensical’ by campaigner Stephen Lewis. We have learned to identify child marriage as child abuse; yet we have failed to identify domestic chores as child labour.

When we hear that in many regions of the world, girls must walk for hours to fetch water or firewood, so that they arrive at school late or exhausted, we do not fool ourselves for a moment about their ‘equal opportunities’, even where those are granted by law or where schooling is free.

Read more here.

Plate with shredded cabbage and carrots across slices of meat and a little tower of firm mashed potatoes.A towering achievement:
Sauerkraut with pork and mashed potatoes.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2016.