Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And Another

Okay, this one is one of my best.  I have been sitting on it in hopes that I would find a bigger market to publish it, but, I think I would rather publish it here.


Carry out these words like more
victims of the plague, they're
just dead weight, just symbols.
"Bring out your dead,"
I said.  "Bring out your dead."
Apathetic, every day, ordinary,
Maybe that's survival, not thinking,
not feeling, just going about the day.
Take away
the meaning and they're just words,
abstractions, ideas at best.
They're not real.

A plane crash, where no one
lived so
no one knows what
the Hell actually happened.
The families remorse
but for the rest of us it's just
images on TV,
it's too bad, but we feel glad
about ourselves, then apathy,
then nothingness.
"Just words," I remind myself.
"They're just words."

Bring out your dead.
Starving kids on the streets
in America, in Africa,
Asia, Europe,
and at work I hear people
complain if their burrito isn't
made exactly right, if the chicken
is a little burnt,
if we're out of that salsa
they really like, so we
throw the old one way, a new one
is made, they're still not happy
but there are still starving people
in all parts of the world.
They die and are buried in mass graves.

Words, ideas, communication.
Close my eyes
and it's a blank page.
People getting shot in the streets,
rapes, robberies,
broken hearts, celebrity inbreeding,
divorce, stolen memories,
lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies...
Wrong place, wrong time,
victim of circumstance,
or more likely bad choices.
They were always good kids.
White collar, blue collar, no collar.
Men in orange jumpsuits,
addicts who needed help,
paying back their debts
they supposedly owe,
picking up trash
on the side of the street, broken
women on the street corner, people
praying in church.  The faces
all just blend together, become
universalized into symbols,
words on a page, which
I can choose to ignore,
not read, not hear, not get
anything out of.
Abstractions, nothingness.
Bring out your dead.

Going to work to support three kids
and a deadbeat
passed out in a gutter somewhere,
she leaves those kids
in the one-bedroom apartment,
with the meth addict downstairs,
making his poison,
blowing up the place.
She drives home from
serving coffee to drunks
all night, hearing Akron's symphony
of sirens, not thinking twice,
coming home
to the burnt out remains.

I put down the weekly paper,
turn off the TV, close
the browser, click onto a new website.
They're just words.
I wasn't there so I don't know,
I don't have to know.
It's not burned into my memory
so that I can't sleep at night.
I don't have to make sense
of the senseless.
Maybe it doesn't all fit together,
make sense, but maybe that's a
part of the plan.  Maybe there is no plan,
no higher power, nothing, just
what we attribute to air
to make ourselves feel secure.
I don't know much
and feel even less.
Bring out your dead.

in a cancer ward with his daughter
looking down
from her mother's arms,
she's too young
to understand the incomprehensible,
he's too young to die
but tell that to God.  He'll
smirk and disappear,
finding someone else's life to ruin
to benefit some tyrannical cosmic plan.
It's always the victim's fault anyways.
maybe it's cigarette smoke or
other bad choices, maybe it's
genetics, maybe just bad luck.

I take away the meaning.
I tell myself, they're just letters
strung together, between spaces.
Symbols, abstractions,
nothingness --
I wish that was true.

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