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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/18/21

Audio: Three Hawkins Sonnets read by Marianna Iannaccone

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John Hawkins
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Poetry should be heard; it's music, at heart. One of the best things about rap music is the welcome return it makes to the oral tradition of engaging the ear, instead of the eyes. It's poetry; it's music.

My quest this year is to write a sonnet per day (on average), so that by year's end I'll have compiled 365 sonnets.

Marianna Iannacone, scholar and curator of the John Florio Journal, has pleasantly agreed to read a few of my sonnets. Her voice is a wonderful complement to the concept I intended to achieve and execute with these sonnets. Won't you come along and lend me your ears for a few minutes?

Sonnet: The Meaning of History

by John Kendall Hawkins


In the next iteration of our fires --

flames built high on distant beaches in vain,

where men rip up men, cast their bones to pyres

in orgiastic rituals of pain --

there'll be no Helen, no swift ships to sea.

We'll say let them have her, beauty doesn't last

Who'd give up HBO or C.O.D.

for some feminine ideal from the past?

The new horse will be shiny, inviting,

Air BnB will features its machine-

made precision, folks will smile, reciting

Homer's Iliad, and enact a scene.

Boffo Greeks plop from the horse's poop chute,

when Achilles shows up in a zoot suit.

Sonnet: Second Fiddle Blues

by John Kendall Hawkins


Ol' Nero was fiddling again beneath

the moon, falling Pax Americana

in the background, and Copacabana

marimba gourds were shaking their hen's teeth,

as if in celebration of how rare

it is to find a good empire these days

with fire insurance and fireworks displays,

when the known world began to disappear.

This time round the tycoons make their escape

through hatches booby birds made in the mud

of Heraclitus's drained river, blood

is all that remains from Mother Earth's rape.

The experiment just didn't work out;

should have stayed in Eden -- without a doubt.

Sonnet: A Love Poem

by John Kendall Hawkins


Nobody says "love" very much any more,

unless it's entombed in hipster snark

that circles the "soul" like Brecht's penny shark

meant to make you feel like some window whore --

the what-became-of defenestration

of the babe tossed out with the bath water

into Brueghel's arms, a bonny daughter

borne of immaculate penetration.

Maybe I'm the only one without "love,"

lost since the clowns were shot from the "canon" --

Mighty Whitey besieged by Frantz Fanon --

the high-rise tumbler when push came to shove.

No one knows my Romantic gravity,

my "love" as a splattered depravity.

(Article changed on Jul 18, 2021 at 8:52 PM EDT)

(Article changed on Jul 19, 2021 at 8:38 AM EDT)

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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