Monday, May 25, 2015

memorial day essay

They Uphold and Protect Our Freedom.
They are Heroes.
Happy Memorial Day.
In which we memorialize the living and the dead alike.
There’s little distinction between our collective national commendation and extolling on one hand of Armed People abroad and our excoriation and indifference towards them at home on our other hand. Both treatments live in our use of that little word Hero. Our Armed People are Heroes more than we, because, in our stories, they have gone out into the world, and encountered death, and returned changed. That change real or imagined is tragic in a personal sense, because in this story where they are Heroes, they are no longer of us. We can extoll them but we can’t understand them.
As tragic, more tragic, differently tragic, is the source in our souls of this ongoing personal need to sacrifice our children to Heroism: we feel enslaved, perceive ourselves as inescapably burdened. The common cycle of economic debt is embraced by a people who have come to view themselves as indebted to the larger society for their very existence: if we are to be so much as fed, clothed, loved, we must EARN it, and this might be a positive value if the earning were possible. But nothing is asked of us, other than to competitively succeed over our brothers, and nothing is given to us but with the demand that we do what is asked of us.
We have no freedom to search, abroad or in ourselves, for the witches, the talking animals, for the Ogres of Death which would grind our bones to a heroic rebirth. We have no freedom. We have no time. We are Working.
Enter the Armed People, who accept a higher call. Who march as god’s own soldiers, armored with our Ideology, who march right out of our lives onto the pages of Grimm’s Be All You Can Be commercials. Once gone from our sight, they embody the freedom and action and triumph of will, the Puritan Strength of our ancestors courses through them, and through them we revolt in our spirits against the Oppressors and Evils of the world, and through them we are made Free.
And if they return?  How should we meet their eyes?
If they have done all our hearts have demanded, their eyes will shame us with knowledge and strength we were too timid to embrace. They were never really like us at all, or they would not have left, or we would have gone too.
If they meet our eyes as equals, more horrible. Did they fail? Were they undeserving? Was there never really a chance, no higher thing for them to find or become? Did we risk them for nothing? Did we cower at home from nothing?
Better they should not return.
No wonder we most revere the dead.
Their Ultimate Sacrifice:
Our Ultimate Sacrifice.
May the smoke of our offerings please them in Heaven.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Itinerary

Spend a year attending to the taste of things
Such as sunsets on a cold morning
or the red of a policeman's gun
or waiting with one's hands empty

At the end of the year ask how tastes an apple
if sharp or blue or like a number

develop sensitivity to sour bliss and smooth hopeful desire and
simple things like gravel underfoot
at the beginning of the road away from home

Sunday, June 1, 2014

grow up and throw away your toys
the motor blowers screaming on a sunday morning
hunched clowns puffing their cheeks to move a pile of grass
forgetting how to kick it
put the gas into another rocket maybe
the moon
 for your 75 year old neighbor who doesn't leave her house much
let the grass grow or
cut it with a scythe
keep the computers, tell your aunt
on another continent
you had a tough day
send her photos of the woods
your visit with the neighbor
who pointed out a jack-in-the-pulpit
why not
but
stop screaming
don't buy another rifle
from the back of that comic book
x-ray scope
guaranteed to kill a sleeping
elephant
it's ok
everything is ok
will be ok
you are forgiven
roll in the hay
with everyone
and leave alone
permission
from a mountain of moles
stamping your ok ass good to go
take hands
take lands
some of the crops are for the bugs
some for the sheep
some for you
rum is for special occasions
as are fireworks

Sunday, May 4, 2014

education

the presentation of philosophy when I tried college: linear, progressive, foundational, proscripted.
"first learn the greeks; later, the renaissance; later still modernists, so on."

a progression of gates and allowances: you wouldn't understand this yet, first learn what inspired it...

and that isn't wholly wrong- foundations help.

But how about, "here is someone modern and accessible, dynamic and relevant... King, Rohrty, Barthes, whoever... "

read it. when you don't understand something, ask questions, do research, and leave class understanding more than when you came in.   Learning is an endless rabit hole, you'll never fill in all the gaps, just have at it and there you go.

Prismatic holographic education.

I'd have preferred it.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Today I've had an exaltation of errours
lapping blood in the den
exploding grossly
strangling me sans glee sans pity
because it is in her nature to strangle
and exalt in bursting
she has strangled
because it is my nature to err
I have strangled in my bed
my own self
a sort of autoerotic failure
squeezing out the chances
so to joy in the blank unconscious moment
where I explode into
a world without bridges (all burnt)
sans friends
sans cash
sans every tie to yesterday
then, free to bursting
step into the day

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why sleep?

Tomorrow is a charging bull
a coming storm
a terrifying thing.
Hide from it, under blankets, turn off lights
perhaps this time
you can avoid it.
too much is behind
lost
beckett lived when I lived
but never met me
nor wrote me
nor of me nor to me
and his death i missed
in all languages

what is the word for
that
for this
for just lost, recently, not recently, but too recently, too quickly
what wondering
squint for it, the proper word
won't help but
squint
see
other words for
waiting wanting waltzing
dance into songs
some recent
some long
longed for
Ancient Roman songs
all Ancient Rome is gone
but remembered
is it remembered? In a dream of songs.
lost songs hummed in a field
heard by bees
echoing in the earth
in ruined structures
ruined meadows
empty hives

the lenape
still alive
speak umi
now
what words are those
never speak to me
my name
never of me
my name
not here
where I am
where they lived
but here
where I am
and they live

not in my carrot patch
the lenape
the chickasaw
but in this place
many are
and have been
and are gone
and are not gone
this turtle that does not swim
but waits

I have a book of photos
with no names
family I never saw but
can see
who
never saw me
spoke me
did not conceive me
though they did indeed
conceive me
as they wandered like moses
from coast to coast
of this turtle
but never saw paradise

did they shed tears
looking over new lands
Are tears for what's
behind
for wondering?
Where could you have stopped, have stayed
in the desert
ceased wandering
and not missed
so much