Tagged peaksjournal

Gabriel, The Civil Rights Lawyer’s Tale

by Mark Kodama


Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from the Birmingham Jail

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw

Prologue:

The Advocate

Gabriel, a civil rights lawyer, gazed out the window. His brown face wore an easy confident smile. His black leather suitcase carried his file for a case he had in Las Vegas. A gold cross pendant hung from his neck and lay against his black turtleneck sweater. His black mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes. He wore a gray flannel suit without a tie.

Bus Driver: Let us listen to stories of heroes,
And their solitary quests for justice.
Of moral men of law courageous.
Their fights against their racist foes,
And the bitter harvest bigotry sows.

Nelson Mandela and Thurgood Marshall,
Lincoln and Cicero, great lawyers all,
Gandhi and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP
Lawyers are central to our being free.
Oh, fair voiced Calliope,
Favor us with epic poetry.”

Gabriel: Because of their high positions
But not their competence,
They made wrong decisions,
With absolute confidence.
To acquiesce to it,
Is to accept it.

I’m a trial lawyer with little renown,
I take cases, most mundane, some profound.
I do well but I am not a fount of gold
The meaning of my work is of most import I’m told.
I cannot win every case I must confess;

But I’m clever, work hard and do my best.
My enemies are smart and work hard too.
It would be easy if they weren’t shooting at you.
I know the local judges, lawyers and rules.
I survived the intellectual hazing of law school.

If you do not know the rules of evidence,
Your client may have a dire consequence.
When trying your case, present it with style.

Be friendly but serious and wear a confident smile.
Present your opening and closing emotionally
And appeal to the jurors logically.
Ethos, pathos and logos are our tools of the trade,
The rules of rhetoric that Aristotle made.
The great Roman lawyer Cicero used to say:
Movere, docere and delectare.

Be a master of rhetoric,
An expert in courtroom politics,
Speak to jurors in words they understand
With the lofty ideas of leaders grand.
Be a student of the mind
And someone that cares,
And I think you will find
You will have a certain flair.

Laws are made and enforced by men
And it is up to them to administer them.
And it is up to men you see,
To make justice a reality.
Justice is only an idea,
That must be fought for.”


Book Review: Behold

Behold, Rikke Delhi

PJ Review Score: 4/5

3: 🙂
4: 😊
5: 😲 


Overview

Rikke Dehli is a Danish author of Behold, a poetry collection filled with free verse poetry published in November of 2017. Behold is Rikke Dehli’s first published poetry collection.

The cover art is unique and simplistic. It’s a good representation of the poems that can be found within the book itself.

Analysis

Before delving into this book, it’s important to be aware of several artistic elements that Rikke Dehli employed. First, the book is made up entirely of free verse poems. Each poem has it’s own personality, as far as structure goes. No poem is structured the same in this book. As far as structure goes, there is no pattern. You may be able to say that the pattern here is that there is no pattern. Picture a canvas in which the artist lets the brush lead, instead of her leading the brush. Rikke Dehli’s poems are written in this way.

Further adding to the lack of pattern and doing away with convention, Rikke Dehli boldly omitted titles. She makes a note of this, insisting that readers simply ignore the convention. The reasoning behind the decision to omit poem titles is left entirely up to the reader.

At this point, if you’re a traditionalist, then you’re probably cringing. As a traditionalist, I was not sure what to think. I read through each poem rather quickly, learning to ignore the lack of titles and structure. Once I did, I noticed that Rikke Dehli’s decision was, perhaps, full of symbolism. Instead of interpreting each poem individually, it’s important to read all the poems as a holistic piece.

It’s clear that Rikke Dehli believes in the significance of personal interpretations. She doesn’t want the reader to be bogged down by details that would imply certain meanings, such as the titles of poems. She wants the reader to dive into Behold, and resurface with their own unique thoughts about each poem.

Behold is a holistic poetry collection that delves into the human experience, from the perspective of a young adult female. Each poem tackles the complex emotions of heartache, loss, and love. The poems lack any clear resolutions, which further echoes the realities of the human emotional experience. Take, for example, this poem on the back cover:

“Your lips strike me as poisonous
So I kiss them even harder
They taste so familiar
In the worst possible way.
The taste rings up the echo of someone else
Inside me
And I try my best to pretend
I don’t hear a sound. ”

Critique

Behold is an interesting read, to say the least. If you’re an avid poetry collector who collects unique poems, then I would recommend adding Behold to your collection. However, Behold can also be enjoyed by anyone who is a lover of art, and freedom of expression. You can purchase it through Amazon.


Engaging Reads:

Las Vegas Tales I

Sid Delicious: The Poet’s Prologue

The Summer Day

Andrew Marvell to His Coy Mistress,

“The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.”


by Mark Kodama


The air brakes hissed and the bus slowly backed into reverse.  As the bus driver left the terminal you could feel the bump as the bus left parking lot onto the main street before entering the freeway.  Although it was just after sun-up, many vehicles were already on the road.

We drove north in traffic on Interstate 101 by the white cylinder-shaped thirteen-story Capitol Records Building at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The wide eight-lane freeway was packed with trucks, buses and cars moving in both directions.  Motorcycle riders daringly sped by between the slow moving vehicles.

The iconic 44-foot-tall white Hollywood sign stretched across Mount Lee for all to see and Hollywood mansions dotted the hillside. White buildings divided by the straight wide tree-lined boulevards crowded either side of the highway jammed with trucks, SUVs, and cars, all impatiently making their way to their destinations. A gray haze hung over the city as the vehicles crawled north.   


The Bus Driver:

T.S. Elliot and little soubrette,

Sing us your songs of romance in sonnet,

Take a chance on us and open your hearts.

Show us your poetry; show us your art.

Oh, lovely Erato, muse from above,

Please infuse their little poems with love.

The Poet:

I am a Bohemian poet with no name,

Laboring alone for the love of the game

What I most desire, I most disdain –

Approval of others, fortune and fame.

I dream of writing the world’s greatest play –

Something significant with something to say:

To extol the height of human achievement,

To probe the depths of the human condition.

But many compromises must be made,

Investors, actors, stage hands must be paid.

My work ends not with the death of the tsarina,

But with the expected deus ex machina.

And surely you must know that I jest.

A happy ending – that’s what the herd likes best.

In real life, all denouements end the same

By ceremonial disposal of one’s last remains.

I wink at those who know and laugh at the rest.

So here is my poem, for your review,

If you dislike it – this is America – you can sue.


NEXT: The Poet’s Tale