Hung Up and Washed Out

I am hung up on the news, 
even though I turned it off
several times today,
but it won’t go away,
someone else keeps turning 
it back on.

Nothing is black and white, 
the news is all in colour now,
apocalyptic visions, 
forests of coffins,
dogs of war are breeding
instant gore, violence
and harbingers of death
take my breath
away, a punch 
where my solar plexus used to be.
I can’t turn on, tune in, drop out
when I’m all washed out

with tears 
and fears 
for the future.

Kim M. Russell, 4th October 2022

Image by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Sanaa is our host for the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics this week, together with Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Generation. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of beat poetry and only a few of the beat poets appeal to me. But I am determined to give this prompt my best shot.

Sanaa has given us a brief explanation of the Beat Generation, some of which I was aware, particularly the exploration of the ‘human condition’ and its darker subjects.

So, I will try to write in the style of the Beat Generation and, as Sanaa says, pour out the first thing that comes to mind and let the words take me forward.

44 thoughts on “Hung Up and Washed Out

  1. This is incredibly poignant, Kim! I feel you here, especially this part; “apocalyptic visions, forests of coffins, dogs of war are breeding instant gore, violence and harbingers of death take my breath away,” sigh.. yes.. these are terrifying times we are living in. Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate with the fear of the future with all the bad news of doom and gloom. I mostly don’t watch tv anymore; just read the news on my phone on some days to know what is going on. But it can be depressing, yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This snaps something in place — no wonder the Beats came along at the same time as Elvis. Teenagers felt empowered. Isn’t our first immature response to the world’s difficulty a resentful retreat into sullen indulgence (“turn on, tune in, drop out”)? Adults have to watch the news & raise kids & pay mortgages & write poetry. I heard a recording once of Alan Ginsberg trying to sing Blake’s Songs of Innocence. It was like a 5 year old singing Shubert leiden. Poets, don’t quit your day job. You treat the challenge like lifting a strip of rotted steak in tongs, holding it some distance from our nose: Yeah, the news is bad, but the beat response was juvenile indulgence. The gates of Awe don’t lead to Motorhead cirrhosis. Sorry for the riff of a response.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I so agree with you! I’m so tired of the rhetoric… the end of days is nigh, bla-bla-bla. I watch enough news to stay informed. I found if I read the articles, there is less emotional strain than watching it all unfold on the news. Your poem touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

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