Abstract Magazine International | A Distant Planet Full of Walls and Words for Walls by J.J. Steinfeld
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A Distant Planet Full of Walls and Words for Walls by J.J. Steinfeld

29 Sep 2017, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: “Hollywood Light in a Brooklyn Alley” by David Conison, @panopticonison


The Earthling traveled
to a distant planet full of walls
a rather long interplanetary
journey but it was a slow life
and worth going that distance
through time and space.
After the initial acclimatization
the walls started to preoccupy
the recently arrived Earthling
who began to tap at a nearby wall
then a little harder soon much harder
and amazingly, miraculously
the first wall started to crumble
and he thought of Joshua
and the Battle of Jericho
walls tumbling in the memory
of a childhood Biblical story
and in his mind he heard a gospel singer
singing “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”
and he sang along in the silence of space
but that was ancient history
and he was caught in a walled present
tapping at walls one after another.
Wall after wall on this distant planet
crumbled, fell, became debris
both literarily and symbolically
for the Earthling still thought
in Earth terms and the memory of words.
The Earthling counted the walls
he had undone
for no other reason
than he felt walled in, confined
a hundred times worse
than on Earth:
five, ten, fifty walls
the first day,
fifty more the second day
and every day after that
for the first month
the first year
the first decade
and after a while all the Earthling
could think of was returning home
his thoughts discursive and almost
beyond sense
searching for the tallest wall
dreaming about the smallest wall
the words of walls, walled language
the words for wall,
the Earthling thought,
were walls in themselves
so on and on and on
a world of walled thoughts
and the Earthling prayed
to the gods of walls
to return him to his beloved Earth
but no one responded
and the Earthling resumed
tapping at the distant planet’s walls
wondering if he had travelled
to Heaven or to Hell
the walls of thinking
even in the silence of space
more numerous than ever.

About the author:

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published eighteen books, including Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions), and Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions). Over fifty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States, including the full-length plays The Franz Kafka Therapy SessionThe Golden Age of Monsters, and A Television-Watching Artist, and the one-act plays Godot’s Leafless Tree, The Waiting Ends, A Question of Eternity, The Entrance-or-Not Barroom, The Word-Lover, Laugh for Sanity, Back to BackMore Than Money, Imaginative Drinking, In a Washroom of a Prestigious Art Gallery, A Play of Disbelief, and Memory Sounds.

Art: Hollywood Light in a Brooklyn Alley by David Conison, @panopticonison

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