The Shadow Game
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The Shadow Game, the earliest poem in the series, composed in 1972 by a nineteen-year-old James Domine, is a dark metaphor for contemporary society viewed through a chronological kaleidoscope of technological and mythological imagery. The Shadow Game is structured in the form of an epic comprising four parts each exploring different aspects of a metaphysical theme. The technique of cascading groups of lines is employed to give a visual sense of flow, an aid to rhythmic accent and emphasis of key words. A secret, systematic substratum of syllabic phonemes motivated by significant numerological resonances surreptitiously embedded in the linear structure of the text lends the narrative certain specific sonic undertones of an unconscious oracular stream of prophetic revelation.
The Preamble serves the dramatic function of an opening scene, setting the stage for what is to come by confronting us with the main concern of the poem; iconoclastic establishment of an absolute doctrine of social order in a savagely native world of violence and degradation symbolized as city streets by night.
The Revelation exposes forces of vice and decadence as purveyed by media legions in an orchestrated technological manipulation aimed at social control via maintenance of order by exploitation of basic needs. Pseudo religious language is used to depict the nefarious nature of this conspiracy.
The Pantheon is a mosaic of mythological imagery that combines to form a many-layered collage of historical antecedents which taken all together are the complex underpinnings of The Shadow Game. Universal concepts of immortality, worship, ritual, and their contemporary expressions are exposed and juxtaposed, revealing the labyrinth of streams beneath the workings of the subconscious mind.
The Coven extrapolates a synthetically derivative message by comparing and contrasting terminology of mystical origin through a cosmic filter, a prismatic morass of conceptually obscure dogma, the meaning of which is willfully concealed from all except the initiated.
The poem ends with purposefully with a Benediction to exorcise and finally to dispel the malevolence of demonic influences that seek to possess and control the minds of humanity. It admonishes and exhorts the reader to remember the reality of their own uniqueness, and to become refreshed in the awareness of the inherent natural value and worthiness of the gift of life itself as distinguished from the vacant illusory deceptions played out in The Shadow Game.