How Foreign and Cold

By Richard Lee Fulgham

About the author:  It has been the privilege of the Subversify staff to know Richard Fulgham for a number of years as an active member of the writing community.  He is a humble man, with a dry, quick wit, and a very accomplished writer.  He has a published novel, available through Amazon Press, entitled “The Hogs of Cold Harbor: The Civil War Saga of Private Johnny Hess, CSA”.    The story, written through the eyes of a young confederate soldier, impressed author Norman Mailer so much, he commented “This book is a discovery. It gave me so close a sense of what it was like to be a Confederate soldier in the Civil War that I began to think of my own army experience. Old fears old excitements, even memories of my old equipment, and with it all, vivid as the sound of gunfire, came the smell of battle in the air of the book. I loved reading The Hogs of Cold Harbor. I was in the Civil War on the Southern side. That is no small education for a Northerner like me.”   Richard is an education for anyone who reads his work.  He is a master story teller,  who also, when the mood arises, writes some very diverse and passionate poetry.  We hope that Richard will share more with us in the future.

 

How foreign and cold . . . .
The voice, a distant voice, a Lady in Time!
Fifty, sixty miles distant . . .
She says, “I am madness and you may flirt with me.”

He waits for more, uncertain, afraid,

She says, “I am the moon,
I will answer your questions,

His nervousness worsens, he shudders,
His thoughts are crystals,
They fall and shatter, splintered,
But sparkling, blinding. . .
The voice, her voice, it says,
“I am your fear . . . I am your pulse.
Have you questions?”

He talks at last, Yes, Yes,
I have questions, madness, moon or fear.
“Shall I be consumed by comets?”

The voice, the lady’s distant voice, She answers, she is sad,
She is soft,
“You shall not be consumed by comets;
—You shall not be consumed by comets.”
Another question, one other question, he asks,
And the voice, the lady in time,
Says, yes, yes, you may ask many questions,
This is why I’ve come,
Through wires and machines,
Through space and time
Through magic and sorcery,

And he asks the question, the terrible question,
“Will I die in the moonlit nighttime horror?”
She pauses. . . but
‘No, you shall not die in the moonlit nighttime horror.”
You shall not die in the moonlit nighttime horror.”

He is strengthened, he is joyful!
He is empowered and ablaze!
He screams defiance!
And into the machine,
the magical wand,
He says, “Then I am immortal!”

The lady in time,
The voice through space,
She transmits warming energies,
She transmits calming forces,
“But no,” she says, “You are not immortal.”
“Then I am mad?”
“No,” she says, “You are not mad.”
“Then why do I flirt with comets and moons?
Why do I talk to fears?”

The lady in time,
She waits till he is wondering,
She waits till he is questioning,
“‘Who are you, mysterious lady,
And why do you come to me in this strange form,
A voice, fifty, sixy miles distant?”
She has a final answer,
“I am Minerva. . . I spoke to Jason . . .
I spoke to Ulysses . . .
I spoke to Paris . . . . Now I speak to you.”

He waits in terror,
He waits in the blackest night of his fear,
And she, that lady, the woman in time, says
“we shall journey, you and I.
We shall fight gargoyles and dragons. The ship is prepared.
The crew is waiting.
Come. Come now. You must come tonight.”

And the angry man– he’d been warned —
his doctors had warned him . . . .
He left with her that night!

5 Comments on “How Foreign and Cold”

  1. Thank you, Richard, for your contribution. The romantic, at times, seems to fall away in the struggles of current issues, but the current fluxes, changes and falls away, while the romantic and the vision of art remains eternal. Minerva battled the gods of war. In a world of constant conflict, this may seem like madness, but her spirit represents hope and hope is a necessary element of progress.

  2. I hope my small contribution interested a few readers, if didn’t give them someone like themselves, just as angry inside — even hallucinatory. Mostly, however, I want to say I’m mind blown by your new magazine! I had no idea it was so well written, witty and worthwhile. And relevant. (Don’t you love alliteration?) Maybe we can work together on making this one of the finest online magazines representing the first real literary movement of the 21st Century.
    Having lived through the last half of the 20th Century, I feel like Solzhenitizen must feel having lived through the gulag. I mean, it was one hell of a century! Social scientists report that well over 100,000,000 (one hundred million!) people were either outright killed by their governments or forced to fight wars in which they got killed. I hope the 21st is little easier on us poor little pigs, as the governments see us. But I digress . . . I’ll be contacting you with new material, if it’s okay. You two are genius, as I’ve known for over a decade. You’ve created something very important here and I want to be part of it . . . . Thanks for giving me a chance to test the waters. You know I wrote for national magazines throughout the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Here’s my chance again. I’ll try to live up to your standards and somehow find a nexus between myself and the brave new generation of thinkers reading your appropriately named “Subversify Magazine”. Meanwhile, Karla — meanwhile, Mitch — come with me and HOWL WITH THE WOLVES!

  3. Richard, I have only to say, I love this poem. Truly. And look forward to more from you here. I’m tickled to death that you are joining in. Can I HOWL WITH THE WOLVES too?

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