Thursday, June 30, 2016

Suggestions for Being an Ally

Pretend you have been invited to someone's house.
for Dinner. When you arrive, knock on the door,
wait to be invited in. Don't kick in the door , even when
expected, and demand them to explain the forks. Or
the food. To say, "That really looks amazing! May I
ask if you'd be willing to describe it to me, please?"...

That is polite. "What the hell's that? Don't you got any real
food? Do you have pizza wherever it is you come from?"
is not. Don't be an ass. In fact, forget the inside of the house
for now; forget even the front door, stay outside, quietly.
Just take a minute and look around, observe, witness
what their immediate country looked like. certain trees

they, or someone, planted; those gardens, tendrils tended
into vines and green after green after more green; more
life from this simple work with the soil.  Next, houses,
all around tree-lined streets that lead to businesses, big
and small: bakeries and sidewalk cafes next to the street
markets; friendly neighbors on their way home from work,

maybe the other way around; or maybe they were leaving
for the cinema, the theater, the outside world, universities
in America. Feel the life that was here, before civil wars
and western munitions; drones that taught children to fear
blue skies; death by approximations made half a world
away.  Victory by assumption. Destroyed cities and survivors targeted when they want to go somewhere safer, like
where you come from-- that place of confident rooftops
where blue skies & sunny days are taken for granted. Not
cities shown in media as if they were built like that, all
fallen; the refugees suspected of being the very killers

they want to flee from. If you want to be a good ally, don't just ok
demand the bombs to stop; then open your safe homes.
Share meals, feed hearts, indulge their polite questions,
be generous as they would be, were their houses still
there, and they had any food. If you want to be an ally
ask if they have anything they want to share, then listen...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How to Set Up Your Relapse

Believe you are immune after
all these years, damn invulnerable
if you do say so, yourself. Yes.

Believe that lightning won't strike
the bold while they're in motion;
misunderstand the limits of prayer.

Walk through dangerous places
inside your head after 11 at night,
when nothing is a good idea;

forget bad thoughts aren't friends.
Remember good times. Miss the taste
of a poison that wasn't your story;

wonder if... wonder maybe if only
this wasn't this and you weren't
you and everything was different;

consider the drink. Lose count
of the reasons why not. Believe
you're invulnerable, bold; a man

of reason and prayer and Yes.
Forget your own story. Celebrate
resentments. Consider the drink.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Disabled Body, My Car

One almost interchangeable with the other;
when either isn't working, the other suffers.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Philosophy Smack-Down

I’m not being obsessive,
but it was, by my rough estimate,
the two thousand, seven hundred and eighty-fifth time
That someone tried to console me, assuring,

                                    “That which doesn’t kill you
                                    will make you stronger!”

That- to use a philosophically rough,
and nitrogen-rich technical term- is bullshit!

You know that man that said it?
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche…
And you know what else?
he’s dead. And what killed him,
took its damn time. He died, raving,
ravaged, bankrupt, with syphilis,
which, at no time, made him stronger.

Furthermore, when he died? I bet
he had some explaining to do
regarding another of his famous quotes:
                                    “God is dead”
which he said to the one Supreme Being least likely
to see it as clever metaphor or precocious outburst.
I like to think of Nietzsche, standing at the Gates of Heaven ,
and the first words he hears after, “Yeah… don’t unpack, Fred…”
are “Hey Nietszche? Who Da God? WHO DA GOD NOW, BITCH?”

Given this historical context,
maybe that which doesn’t kill me…simply missed?
Maybe it was on a mission of reconnaissance,
testing weak spots, reporting back to a main force,
waiting for night…

Or, maybe that which doesn’t kill me,
knows all it has to do is wound me,
and let blood-loss and exhaustion
do the work for it… and then it can make
a trophy out of my skull.

Or maybe that which doesn’t kill me is a sadist.
And thinks, “Why stop after just one beating?”
until I start to like it. So maybe that which doesn’t kill me
makes me a prime candidate for spiritual Stockholm Syndrome?
There is a good chance that which does kill me
is vast… unknowable… that it doesn’t intend to kill me
any more than I count amoeba casualties
while stomping through rain puddles…

…that’s the one that really scares me.

Maybe all I have is that that which didn’t kill me… was yesterday;
and that which isn’t killing me…is today;
and that which won’t kill me tomorrow
is a giant Hello Kitty, and no,
I don’t want to talk about it.

Perhaps that which doesn’t kill me—
through accident, bad aim, circumstances,
or dumb luck simply doesn’t kill me.
And the “only makes me stronger” part?

That… is all up to me.