Brave New World 

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series.

Brave New World 

the village elders

summoned all the villagers to come to

a meeting a the city hall

it was a compulsory meeting

no excuse would be accepted


the meeting chamber in city hall

wasn’t large enough to hold us all

there was no place

for the beds of the infirm

were all forced into the narrow corridors

leading to the speaker’s dais

those who didn’t find the chamber

were scorned


it was time for the village to let go

of more if its old ways

to come into the future

in fact the elders felt it was time

for us to go beyond the future

to make a bold step

into what couldn’t be imagined

there was some laughter

some outrage

some still fuming over the use of light at night

they weren’t willing to sit still

for such moose shines from our elders

the past was still good enough for them

why should we be forced to beyond the present

the elders smiled peacefully

while one of them read the edict

those who felt scorned

would have to get over it

those who had pie enough

would have to share it

those who disliked lighted strip bars

would be blinded


the list went on and on

after each inch into the future

there would be some applause

sometimes people would jump up

swearing and shouting

about how unfair this all was

and make their way out of the chamber

clambering over the beds of the infirm

pushing babies out of the way

in general acting like assholes

there was nothing that could be done

to hold down the price of moose meat

no way to replace

the depleted stocks of the sea

we were faced with harsh times

these hard measures were what was called for


there would be no more green

one less colour to worry about

would save time and money

there would be no more death

and no more birth

things would have to come to

a full stop so we could take full stock

so we could catch our breath

before this plunge into the future

a step that would take us beyond time

into a shuddering unimaginable level of existence


we would have to stop being human forms

be transformed into light or sound

the choice was an individual one

we were assigned numbers

as each number was called

one of us would step forward

to meeting the new millennium

Going back to some of these pieces is visiting a history I’ve forgotten – there is that sense of deja vu and sometimes a bit of amazement at where these pieces traveled. Some were incomplete, more like notes to be refined. This is one of those mystery pieces.

There are echoes of Kafka & Huxley in this one. The compulsory meeting that presents ideas as opposed to actual actions. How are the villagers to move on to the future? I enjoy the opposing views – those who want to remain in the concrete of what they know verses those who want change. This sense that the future holds some sort of golden age of better lives.

The blinding of those who object to the use of light is one of those classic compromises – be careful of what you wish for because that wish may fulfilled in a way you’ll regret. I also keep working on the mythos of the the Village – the sacred nature of strip bars. Then solutions that make no sense – banning the colour green – I was thinking of Woody Allen’s Bananas when the dictator issues his set of demands & rules.

By the end the piece has become a science fiction utopia of bodiless entities stepping from what to what?

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

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