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corlitta Dec 2018
I took a deep breath
and looked at the leaves falling
it's like watching you go deeper into this
And I just let you be

I felt motionless and bare
The end was looking at me straight in the eye
And I just couldn't even drop a tear
I know, I am, I am not me

Was it a dream?
The beating of my heart felt surreal
You were supposed to be only in my mind
Everything was fine until it has been too much

Perhaps we find it serene
Like no reality would ever feel as free
As if the sun rises in the west and sets in the east
How impossible it was that no one can grudge

We both winked at the truth
The comfort of deceiving ourselves
These shouldn't have gone too far
We're too complex to be living in a world of our own

Here lies the unspoken words
Of our own little universe that made things costless
And the little galaxies we've wrongly made
Only to know at the end, I am alone
I cloud my mind
with thoughts of You
as I drive myself out of
and sometimes into

a crime of one
a conspiracy of two
one was in love
the other was too

this love was arbitrary
t'was asserted by both
this love was ordinary
a relation that quotes

the names of You and I
and of how we're meant to be,
how we were not to try,
and of how we'll always be.

nothing was really asserted
nothing is really true
it was just from me to myself
and how I'll always love You

and so I cloud my mind
with thoughts of You
to remind me of sanity
to deprive Me of truth.
you and i
A thud at my window!
An unseen moment was let go
For there I sat on a throne
Which bore an ephemeral glow.

(Though it soon had been heard:
Our mother's hand not in the least, is arbitrary
For she weaves such a gossamer web
That connects through all things contradictory.)

And so I rose above my windowsill
And found, a soft bird perched hither,
So close to this ragged forest
Brave—I thought—she;

She waited for an eye, so it seemed,
To meet with her's—indefinitely
Though it took an eternity for me being there,
The next gaze she stole and flew away from me.

A meaning I saw with no boundaries
For an incoherent silence was answered upon,
Like the yearning of a wave to find a shore
Only then, to retreat back to the sea.
Steve Page Jan 26
ordinary is arbitrary
different is normal
fitting in means invisible
so avoid the conformal

distinct gets you noticed
so who wants to be equal
I'd rather be original
than anybody's sequel

you are of more value
when socially unacceptable
blending in is deadly
out of step is pref'rable

so when stuck in a crowd
decide what's more valuable
will you run with the herd
or dance to the eternal
We value conformity and fitting in too highly, yet continue to crave affirmation.
Eva Aloezos Jul 2018
Race is an illusion,
a baseless scare tactic
constructed by the U.E

Race is a color that blossomed into an idea,
then wilted into a shameless concept

Our world leaders began to warp, uglify, and stretch race
until it was born in the form of;
a ladder of arbitrary social hierchy

each day the sun burns in pain, as he gazes down on us humans,
so brainwashed and toxic
the moon has lost her mystique and desire,
because the ratio of harmony to mayhem is alarming

let us all recite a curse,
to the ill-intentioned idea that brutalized millions:
“Race”
Jonathan Oct 2018
That got your attention
Didn't it?
Even though I am a stranger
Who couldn't possibly know it to be true
And worth is subjective
Arbitrary
Those who know you would disagree
And point out your merits
And you would weigh yourself
To realise that not all parts are equal
Who am I to say such things?

And yet you take the time to read it
Reread, incase you misread
In reading you contemplate it's truth
You are my puppet, and me your puppeteer
How could you be such a sheep!

Why are you amused?
Why does insult carry more meaning than praise?

It's easy to hurt.
Sticks and stones may break your bones
But words can make you think you deserved it.
We are social beings and so
We look for validation
But insult stands out
It leaves a branded mark in our brains
And so we spotlight it
Unfairly
Unjustly

It's easy to be sad.
But it's fulfilling to be happy.
Being positive is hard
But it's worth it in the end.

How could I possibly know?
I couldn't.
But I do.
And soon you will too.

What are you doing now?





You are reading!

Now you are smiling.
You're Wonderful



Inspired by Dennis Willis's "You Are a Hallucination"

Sticks and stones line borrowed from xkcd's comic.
https://xkcd.com/1216/
Erik McKee Apr 2018
In that arbitrary sunrise can be seen the fruits of my labor:

A washed out painting of a deranged panic beast,
The ashen limbs of a salivating curse fire, obsessed with trinkets,
An elliptical cycle of recurring memory that plagues me~and it's a Face.  

But for whom was I laboring, if not for the quotient of society?

Is it right to plague me with worries of another's love,
Or to expect me to spike that love across the court of romance,?
Does it give you something to work with, something to remember Me by, or is it enough to break your spirit with my callousness?

I'm sure you'll remember that, because I do, and I'm like stone.

A pair of sea-blue eyes; a swimming pool.

Unnatural facade~
Not a mirage, but still unpalatable
Clean, but unsavory
My humor like chlorine ~ absolute poison.
Holly M Feb 2018
the tune had been haunting
london for weeks past,
but when the lights went out,
they went out fast.

none of us thought
those days would end.
the music would always be there
anytime we needed a friend.

the sweetness of the soprano;
sprinkled over a sultry saxophone;
the steady heartbeat of an upright bass;
titillating trumpets tooting a tune.

the raven-haired lady: the envy of the room;
the men could only dream
of being so lucky.
the ladies could only scream,
hoping to catch the tall dark stranger's eye.
at the end of the night,
we all sang a whiskey lullaby.

but the wind blew cold-
it made us shiver.
the band packed up their magic.
the soprano ran off with the tall dark stranger.
all alone and without home,
the raven-haired lady blew her mind out,
nowhere left to roam.

nights became weeks and weeks became months.
our throats were perpetually plugged with lumps.
it's hard to say how meaningful it can be-
the touch something can have,
no matter how seemingly arbitrary-
until it is gone with the wind.
Special anti stupid squad,
Special anti useless squad,
Special anti buffoonery squad,
Special anti senseless squad;

Getting out of hand,
Daily harassments,
Of people of state,
Existing, but just barely,

Brazen extortion,
Shameless shakedowns,
Illegal raids,
Accidental discharge!

The super highway is lit,
Keyboard warriors are miffed,
Cyber mercenaries want blood,
Digital overlords call for war!

But vagabonds in power care less,
They demonstrate total disconnect,
Throwing around meaningless platitudes,
And high sounding refrains;

But why so many?
Arbitrary creation of demonic units,
Specialising in delivering sorrow,
To ordinary folks in the streets;

Why not ask yourselves,
Reasons the youth are agitated,
Why not make diligent inquiry,
Into rise in criminality;

The answers are not on the moon,
Look around you,
And see the gulf,
Between rich and poor;

A country that boasts,
Of the richest persons on the black continent,
Male or female,
Champions the poverty comity of nations;

Therein lay the solution,
Return to the people,
Their stolen past, present and future,
And see if need be for your SPECIALS.
Only coming to light ever more increasingly, are the heinous acts of poorly trained and mentally deficient police officers of the  Nigerian Police Force special units created to fight armed robbery and cultism. These sadists have now been exposed by citizen reporters to be bloodthirsty, greedy extortionists that arbitrarily raid young men that have tattoos or wear dreadlocks. The discomforting silence of powers that be lends credence to speculations that the rogue officers have backers in high places. Now it is left for ordinary folks to negotiate their existence by giving fire-for-fire or simply bring lame ducks to be picked off at will. ACTION!
Third Eye Candy Dec 2018
Nothing is simple now… and nothing ever was.
But i recall the majesty of my naivete’
and linger in the triumphant fog of my illusions
as a young man of almost a Minute.
Be that, as it may.
i am not among the Mockingjays
nor the calendars of arbitrary
Days.
I am the eclipse of insincere Living.
i blot out the None.

with blueberries from an indigo
Genesis: i stain my sky with every unbelievable Promise -
my Calculus can muster. My Love in tow.
I gather at the edgeless mist
of my Identity and etch the core
of my consecrated cacophonies
into the bones of dead whales like Scrimshaw
for deep kids.

And that's It.
Jayesh Nov 2018
I've heard this story
The whereabouts of it, I still can’t recall
Whether from sacred scripture
Or stolen from the mouths of outsiders
Yet, despite my ailing nerve,
I do recall the tale itself

It began as most others did
In the eyes of a character
Like any other, yet somehow unique
Perhaps it was in his honest peculiarity
Or in how he would gaze out into the open
Searching for certain aspects
Hidden from those uninvited
Quite like a masked gala

He thought on topics most considered trivial
Or couldn't fathom to their relevance
Yet, to him, it was much the opposite
He cared not for the what and where
Instead focusing on the how and why;
Aspects much more involved
Filled with effort others simply avoided
However, it was amongst these wanderings
Where he began to truly feel
Just how alone he was in them

It may have been an arbitrary matter,
Especially considering his own foci
Yet, despite all he thought and felt
It lay there, forever present;
Quite the uninvited guest
To the gala he held so dear

It wasn’t simple solitude
In the dramatic musings of one considered so young
Instead, it felt akin to an old friend;
A ghost to the past he hadn't partaken in
A simple irony, one which wasn't lost to him;
Finding companionship with an emotion
Holding anything but
A thought which would elicit a whispery smile from him
In the dead of night

It was a condition he told none of
Hesitant to take advantage of others' kindness
Even if they wouldn't have perceived it thus
And while some may have considered it
Immature pride, or even stubborn regard
It was different to him
Almost as if a trait he held dear

Through the stories told, in all ages past
Many cherished his saga
A journey of discovery and novelty
Yet none knew of the man himself
His achievements acting as a veil to a fractured interior
And if you asked him
His spirit wandering in the midst of his old books and apparatus
He would smile, in that same whispery way,
Saying he would have it no other way
Lawrence Hall Sep 2018
A calendar knows little of a day,
Of any day; its arbitrary squares
Mark seasons as they amble on their way
From holy Advent ‘til the harvest fairs

When summer’s crops, all red and gold and blue
Along with piglets, ducks, some well-fed hens
Are carted squeaking, squealing, creaking to
Saint Michael’s fields in the Anglian fens

Old Father William lifts a pint (no less!)
With farmers selling cows and chicks and corn
For he is merry too, and quick to bless
The laboring marsh-folk on this autumn morn

Earth, sky, and air mark seasons as they fall,
And soon comes Martinmas, joyfully, for all
Chesterton, in ancient Huntingdonshire (only those who know not God claim that Hunts is but a division of Cambridgeshire), is the home of my de Beauville / Beauville / Beville / Bevil ancestors.  

St. Michael’s Church was built ca. 1295 and contains several memorials to the Bevilles and the tomb of William Beville, +1487.  I do not know if there was ever any bit of land designated as “Saint Michael’s Fields”; I wrote that in for the sake of an autumn fair.
Andrew Jan 2018
You see me as the bacteria
And yourself as the antibiotic
I see you across the cafeteria
Acting psychotic
Because of what I find ******
You treat me like I'm toxic
But you're seen as normal
So I hide beneath the coral
To avoid your aggression
That will teach me a lesson
About correctly guessing
Where your fists will go next
You tell me I want it like ***
This is your way to flex
To show you have an edge
You single out the marginalized
There's no way you'll hedge
When you have harm in your eyes
And then use charm as a disguise
To make me cry over spilt milk
Because I am not of your ilk
For I am as soft as silk
Like the sheets I want to roll in with you
Instead you shoved my face into poo
As my ***** grew

I think of killing myself
With my gun
When I think of filling myself
With your ***
While pretending I'm your son
And swallowing you like gum
Those are my ideas of fun
Yours is to tell me to run
From your intensely penetrating fists
That make me regret my penetrating wish
As you brandish the weapon
From the movie Inception
That launches you into my dreams
Giving my thoughts a singular theme
As my mouth continually screams
I was born on the wrong team

You wanted to exhibit your power
In this seemingly arbitrary hour
So you broke my nose
To show off for your hoes
An off the cuff
Attempt to be tough
But I found it deeply affecting
When I could feel your hatred injecting
Making me wonder if I'd ever be free
After I saw the only ending I could see

You move to strike me again
This time I have my mac 10
That I brought to school
For a one sided duel
You changed the trajectory of my life
By changing the trajectory of my bullets
You taught me about strife
You taught me how power is the coolest
You taught me to move on to your friends
Their lives I must remember to end
This is the message I'm choosing to send
When they sat back and watched the hate
Like it was 1938
I lost my sympathy
After being treated differently
And gained a ruthless anger
That turned me into a stranger
So I let the automatic gun spray
Faster than they could pray
For their hoots and hollers
I shoot their collars
Creating shade in the halls
That I make when they fall
The feeling goes to my *****
I become strangely intoxicated
By the death of those who hated
So I go back to your dead body
And do what you felt was so naughty
And now there is no one even around for you to tell
That I ****** your corpse while you watched from Hell
Chapter One — In the Woods

For all I know, I could be in a dream right now, no beginnings, no once upon a time, no long long ago; and perhaps no endings, no happily ever after, no the-end, and no non-arbitrary answer to the question. Of course, no one wants to read that, no one wants to be told that all they’ve ever believed in is a lie, what it is in the end, is what it was in the beginning, hopeless.

Everything is trivial, at least at the moment, at least that’s what I feel, well, I am who I am, is that not correct, or am I suppose to be someone else, or feel like someone else, the other I do not understand, the other I do not care for or about, the other I would never want to be, or the other that embodies, mimics, and mocks, all the sources and ends to my yielding to the scorns of life. No, I am only ME. That’s all I will be. Except, at the moment, and as abruptly as it may seem, at the moment- I do not know who I am.

Chapter Two — The Girl

Sitting in the subway, taking a stroll around the lake, all that time away from actually writing, your entire purpose of existence will-not rush to your mind-but simply all make sense.
Whether or not that is actually constructive is again, trivial at the moment. Whether or not the fact that the absentmindedness afterwards undermines all that insightfulness that had came before it makes the entire conversation unworthy of being discussed by its entirety, is not important, or just not interesting enough for me to ignore the fact that I am, at this very moment, running through a endless territory of barely anything other than stripes of forests away from the occasional darkness that most would call night.
If there were anything beyond the soft grip of the crisp emerald fields of molds and fungus, the soft shower of the gleaming silver moonlight, the tanning hides of the shading elms, an occasional joy of a little wilder beast, and the deadly silence, it is not within my sight, and I must be heading towards it. Yes, there must be something else.
Something beyond this stillness, this stock-still, never fleeting moment in time; there must be an end that is not an end for all this seeking of the seeker. There must be a meaning in all the seemingly meaningless continuation of a standstill.
There must be a gift, a present, well just a difference, to be the spark in the storyline, but what is it? I could guess, but that’s expectation.
Expectation, the tail of the tale you will be chasing after that exists not, because, all that you would have believed in only exist within your mind.
Anyway,

The Tree

One of my branches caught beneath the cape, and scratched at her ankle. I shook, and she did too, but only so slightly. Perhaps it was the wind, well, for me, but for her, I would rather, it was the instinct sensing of pain, or may be just a itch. Whatever it was, it was to be felt; she felt it, and so did I.
She did not, however, respond in anyway, and quietly she passed on. This is a disappointment to me, sadly. Actually, it was more than that, I felt a downing of emotions, from the curiosity of a child to the most slight, yet the most intimate pinch at the heart, a sharp pain.
What did I expect, was she to stop and grant me a part in her story, in the flight of the has-been worldly, and leave everything behind.
Have I forgotten, once more, that I am a tree, the ultimate metaphor for permanence? Even at that, the fact that I cannot move is not the question, what should be asked is what more could be there for a tree; yes, will I always remain, when all have passed on, the response as always, is probably yes.
What is there then, to all this, why do I still remain? As a tree, where did I get a hope that there is a hope, and what exactly is this hope. Perhaps I just always tell myself to wait and see, yes, maybe that is it. I’ll wait and see.
I turn around, or I just turns my attention back around, expecting to see her vanishing into the distance, however, she had not yet passed me. This time, one of my other branches caught at the cape, threatening to tear off the shield, I tried to stop them, but again, I cannot move. As she defends, the instrument of disguise, also known as the mask, almost yields, and unveils the mystery.
She quickly stations it back in place, nonetheless, although my appearance is as still as stillness can be, with my quick wits, I stole a look beneath the golden disguise, and I was surprised, yet not so much as I was delighted.
She was gifted with a natural pureness in her features, plain, yet, upright, proud, and inherently, and elegantly innocent. The nobleness draws the most fear, shame, and sorrow.
If I could, I would, lower down my gaze, and the crown-how ironic-of my tree, not in admiration, but in shame, the despicable, inevitable taunts of my conscience.
It is only now, that I have noticed as she had passed my way, that there is another player in this game, another character in this story. On her shoulder, sits the stereotypical shape of a petite and bright star. The light, lights my veiled blush of humiliation; she seems even more innocent, even more careless and naive, even more happy.
What is it, what is she smiling about; what is she thinking about?
YES, WHAT IS SHE THINKING ABOUT?

The Star

Well, I am her, so I would, or just, I should know.
The dreadful thing is, her identity is still a mystery; it doesn’t matter how close you gets to her, whether or not she is a princess, a ordinary farm girl, a boring city child, a dangerous assassin, or whatever she is, doesn’t just suddenly hop out in the clear for you. However, you can still sense from the baseline of our so called humanity, the little insanity our souls call intuition, an indecipherable comfort of our inner most consciousness, and subconsciousness.
I can see my own reflection from the back of her mask, funny how I can’t still see Her. Does it matter if I see myself, if all that’s ever going to change is my consciousness. Perhaps not, perhaps all I need was a sense of being, a sense of existence, to feel that extra undecipherable sense of bliss by mere proximity, I am with her, feels her existence, and that is all I needed.
Written some time in 2012.
Just a Man Jul 2018
Everything, and everyone has a price; however, most bills are overdue. I have put myself in every situation necessary to gain opportunities. To those opportunities, I throw in a bid. To those bids, I place an unmeasured but respectable effort. This bill is still due. The ladder will be climbed. The plateau will be reached: Gaining and assigning costs. Sadly, where I cannot help but stumble, and never collect, I tread. As I walk, the soppy mud pulls down at my heals. There is no exit aside from the direction I came.

This is Pursuit.

I can name heroes, such as Alvin C York, who gave up the pen and took up a rifle, leading 100’s of men through respect and fear. I read that he was a teacher that volunteered for the first World War and captured over 130 men single handed. I can work canned equations that will tell me the declining chances as the hours near closing in my office that my phone will ring. I can cite tax regulation in context to a very defined, specialized and rarely referenced subject matter. I can draw on these lessons the way a craftsman draws his tool belt; I cannot explain hours spent or define with any reason one subject matter.

This is Woman.

Far more time is wasted than spent, yet somewhere, somehow, collected. I’ve spent on the perfect screens to distract myself from this fact alone. Most men do not chase a dream they have not experienced; ignorance is bliss. Within men that try, dressing as casual as one can afford and resting their beaten hands on electronic controllers, one may find a survivor. This man will climb blindly, because he has only ever know spending. He will spend blood, sweat, tears and time to never be vulnerable. The act of collecting becomes nothing more than the means to spending, and he will never let be.

This is Myself.

I have turned off the news. I have separated ways with those that need to surpass trivial, arbitrary hurdles. I will spend down on screens no longer. I have stopped broadcasting the news. I can feel myself exiting society. Like many men before me, I have begun to pack my bags for checkout. There is no blame. There is no hate. There is no expectation. Dreams. Goals. Responsibilities. A man cannot live on food and shelter alone. He cannot pick up discarded pieces of society that are not worth their weight. This man cannot die for anyone that would not live for him.

This is My Decree.

Signed,

Without Notoriety
Mary McCray Apr 3
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 3, 2019)

“Not all those who wander are lost.” -- J. R. R. Tolkien

I was an office temp for many years when I was young. All the companies: Kelly girls, Manpower, Adecco. I took innumerable tests in typing, word processing, spreadsheets.

The worst job was at a sales office for home siding. I logged complaints all day on the phone about faulty siding.

I worked at a construction site in Los Angeles, a new middle-class ghetto they were building on the Howard Hughes air strip. I worked in a trailer and had to wait until lunch break to walk a block to the bathroom in the new library.

There was one warehouse I worked in that had mice so employed a full-time cat to work alongside us. The cat left dead mice everywhere. I was always cold there.

A lot of places I was replacing someone on vacation, someone the office assumed was indispensable but there was never anything for me to do there but read. I wrote a lot of letters to pen pals and friends. Email hadn’t been invented yet. Sometimes I’d walk memos around the office. Nobody ever invited me to meetings. Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes it comes true and you end up sitting in endless meetings.

In one swanky office I prepared orders in triplicate on a typewriter. I kept messing up and having to start over. Eventually I started to enjoy this. It was a medical lab and was convinced they were doing animal testing so I left after a week.

One of my early jobs was as a receptionist in a war machine company. My contact there asked me to do “computer work” (as it was called then) but I didn’t know how to use a mac or a mouse. My contact called my agency to complain about sending out “girls without basic skills.” My agency told me not to worry about it, the war company was just trying to scam us all by paying for a receptionist to do “computer work.” So they stuck me at the switchboard up front where I found bomb-threat instructions taped under the desk.

I worked at a design store and learned a program called Word Perfect. I started typing and printing the letters to my friends. The St. Louis owner was trying to sell the company to a rich Los Angeles couple. Once, a young *** designer I admired called and referred to me as “the girl up front with the glasses.” I immediately went out and got contact lenses. Before I left, I bought a desk and a chair they were selling. Years later, I sold the desk to an Amish couple in Lititz, PA, but I still have the chair.

I once worked for a cheap couple running a plastic mold factory. The man was paranoid, cheap and houvering and I said I wouldn’t stay past two weeks. They asked me to train a new temp and I said okay. The new temp also found the owner to be paranoid, cheap and houvering and so declared to me she wouldn’t stay past the week either. She confided in me she had gotten drunk and slept with someone and was worried she was pregnant. She was freaking out because she was going through a divorce and already had two kids. I told her about the day-after-pill which she had never heard of. I don’t know if it worked because I never used it myself and I never saw her again after that to follow up.

At another office I did nothing at the front desk for three weeks, bored and reading all the Thomas Covenant novels. I would take my lunch break under a big tree to continue reading the Thomas Covenant novels.

I worked for months at a credit card company reading books and letting in visitors through the locked glass door. Week after week, the receptionist would call in sick. One young blonde woman would give me filing work. She was telling me all about her wedding she was planning which sounded pretty fun and it made me want to plan a wedding too. After a few weeks she asked me what my father did. I said he was a computer programmer. She replied that my dad sounded like somebody her dad would beat up. I was too shocked by the rudeness to say dismissively, “I seriously doubt that.” (For one, my dad wasn’t always a computer programmer.) When it became clear the woman I was replacing had abandoned her job, they asked me if I wanted to stay on. I said no, that I was moving to New York City. I wasn’t  (but I did eventually).

Some places “kept me on” like the mortgage underwriters in St. Louis. That office had permanent wood partitions between the desks, waist-high and a pretty, slight woman training to join the FBI. She fainted one day by the copier. It was there that I told my first successful joke ever. Our boss was a part-time Baptist minister and we loved him because he was able to inspire us during times of low morale. One day we saw a bug buzzing above us in a light fixture.  Before I even thought about it I said, “I guess you could say he finally saw the light.” Everybody laughed a lot and I turned bright red. I wrote my essay to Sarah Lawrence College there after hours at the one desk with a typewriter. My boss and I got laid off the same day. He helped me carry my things out to my car.

I worked at a large food company in White Plains, NY. I often came home with boxes of giveaway Capri Sun in damaged boxes. I helped a blind woman fill out her checks. She was really grouchy and I wasn’t allowed to pet her service dog. She had dusty junk all over her desk but she couldn’t see it to make it tidy. I realized then that she would never be able to use a stack of desk junk as a to-do list...because she couldn’t see it. You can’t to-do what you can’t see and how we all probably take this fact for granted with our piles of desk junk. Years later I had the same thought about to-do lists burned in phones or computer files.

They also “kept me on” at the Yonkers construction company. I was there for years. The British woman next to me was not my boss but she ordered me around a lot. She told me I looked like an old 1940s actress I had never heard of who always wore her hair in her face. I was annoyed by this compliment because when I looked the actress up on the Internet I could see it wasn’t true. At the time, everyone was just getting on the Internet and I was already addicted to eBay. I would leave meetings in the middle for three minute at a time to ****** items with my competitive late-second bids. It was my first job with email too, and I emailed many letters to all my friends all day long. One elderly man there thought it was funny to give me cigars (which I smoked socially at the time) and told me unsavory ****** facts to shock me. I thought he was harmless and funny and his attempts to unsettle me misguided because I had already grown up with two older brothers who were smelly and hellbent on unsettling me. Later the man started dating and seemed happier and I met his very nice older girlfriend at one of the laborious, day-long Christmas parties our Italian owners threw every year. Months later his girlfriend was murdered in her garage by her estranged husband. Most of the office left to go to her funeral and I felt very bad for him.

And they kept me on at the Indian arts school in Santa Fe. I loved every day I spent there, walking the halls looking at student art. I had never seen so many beautiful faces in one place. One teacher there confided in me about her troubles and I tried to be Oprah. She ended up having to take out a restraining order against a man she met online. At the trial, the man tried to attack the female judge and she awarded the teacher the longest restraining order ever awarded in Santa Fe: 100 years. He broke the restraining order one day on campus and we were all scared about where he was and if he had a gun. All around the school were rolling hills and yellow blooming chamisa and we found tarantulas in the parking lot. I was there almost a full school year until I moved away.

I was once a temp in a nursing temp office that had large oak desks and big leather chairs. The office was empty except for one other woman. The boss was on vacation and she spent all our time complaining about what an *** he was and how mistreated the nurses were. I remember feeling uncomfortable in the leather chair. The boss, who I never met, called me one day to tell me he had fired her and that I should know she was threatening to come back with a gun. When I called the agency they laughed it off. I told them I wouldn’t go back.

My favorite temp job was at a firefighting academy in rural Massachusetts. I edited training manuals along with two other temps. It was very interesting work. The academy was in the middle of the woods, down beautiful winding roads with old rock walls. Driving to work I would listen to TLC and Luther Vandross. And whenever I hear Vandross sing I still think of the Massachusetts woods. When I left, they let me have a t-shirt and I wore it for years. One of the trainers had a son who was a firefighter who asked me out on a date. I said I was moving to New York City (this time it was true) and not interested in a relationship. He insisted the date would be just as friends. He took me to Boston’s North End and we ate gnocchi while he told me how he didn’t believe it was right to hit women. This comment alarmed me. He then took me to a highrise, skyview bar downtown where he proceeded to **** my fingers. I thought about Gregg Allman and Cher’s first date where Gregg Allman ****** Cher’s fingers and how now Cher and I had something in common: the disappointment of having one’s fingers ******. My scary date didn’t want to take me home and I was living with my brother at the time, so I told him my brother was crazy and if I didn’t get back by ten o’clock my brother would freak out like a motherf&#$er. That part wasn’t true...but it worked. I made it home.

I used to be deathly afraid of talking to strangers on the phone. I used to be bored out of my mind watching the clock. I used to wish I were friends with many of the interesting people walking past my desk.

When I look back on all this and where I’ve been, it seems so random, meandering through offices in so many different cities. But it wasn’t entropy or arbitrary. I was always working on the same thing.

I was a writer.
Prompt:Write a meandering poem that takes its time to get to its point.
Like a psychotic docent in the wilderness,
I will not speak in perfect Ciceronian cadences.
I draw my voice from a much deeper cistern,
Preferring the jittery synaptic archive,
So sublimely unfiltered, random and profane.
And though I am sequestered now,
Confined within the walls of a gated, golf-coursed,
Over-55 lunatic asylum (for Active Seniors I am told),
I remain oddly puerile,
Remarkably refreshed and unfettered.  
My institutionalization self-imposed,
Purposed for my own serenity, and also the safety of others.
Yet I abide, surprisingly emancipated and frisky.
I may not have found the peace I seek,
But the quiet has mercifully come at last.

The nexus of inner and outer space is context for my story.
I was born either in Brooklyn, New York or Shungopavi, Arizona,
More of intervention divine than census data.
Shungopavi: a designated place for tribal statistical purposes.
Shungopavi: an ovine abbatoir and shaman’s cloister.
The Hopi: my mother’s people, a state of mind and grace,
Deftly landlocked, so cunningly circumscribed,
By both interior and outer Navajo boundaries.
The Navajo: a coyote trickster people; a nation of sheep thieves,
Hornswoggled and landlocked themselves,
Subsumed within three of the so-called Four Corners:
A 3/4ths compromise and covenant,
Pickled in firewater, swaddled in fine print,
A veritable swindle concocted back when the USA
Had Manifest Destiny & mayhem on its mind.

The United States: once a pubescent synthesis of blood and thunder,
A bold caboodle of trooper spit and polish, unwashed brawlers, Scouts and      
Pathfinders, mountain men, numb-nut ne'er-do-wells,
Buffalo Bills & big-balled individualists, infected, insane with greed.
According to the Gospel of His Holiness Saint Zinn,
A People’s’ History of the United States: essentially state-sponsored terrorism,
A LAND RUSH grabocracy, orchestrated, blessed and anointed,
By a succession of Potomac sharks, Great White Fascist Fathers,
Far-Away-on-the Bay, the Bay we call The Chesapeake.
All demented national patriarchs craving lebensraum for God and country.
The USA: a 50-state Leviathan today, a nation jury-rigged,
Out of railroad ties, steel rails and baling wire,
Forged by a litany of lies, rapaciousness and ******,
And jaw-torn chunks of terra firma,
Bites both large and small out of our well-****** Native American ***.

Or culo, as in va’a fare in culo (literally "go do it in the ***")
Which Italian Americans pronounce as fongool.
The language center of my brain,
My sub-cortical Broca’s region,
So fraught with such semantic misfires,
And autonomic linguistic seizures,
Compel acknowledgement of a father’s contribution,
To both the gene pool and the genocide.
Columbus Day:  a conspicuously absent holiday out here in Indian Country.
No festivals or Fifth Avenue parades.
No excuse for ethnic hoopla. No guinea feast. No cannoli. No tarantella.
No excuse to not get drunk and not **** your sister-in-law.
Emphatically a day for prayer and contemplation,
A day of infamy like Pearl Harbor and 9/11,
October 12, 1492: not a discovery; an invasion.

Growing up in Brooklyn, things were always different for me,
Different in some sort of redskin/****/****--
Choose Your Favorite Ethnic Slur-sort of way.
The American Way: dehumanization for fun and profit.
Melting *** anonymity and denial of complicity with evil.
But this is no time to bring up America’s sordid past,
Or, a personal pet peeve: Indian Sovereignty.
For Uncle Sam and his minions, an ever-widening, conveniently flexible concept,
Not a commandment or law,
Not really a treaty or a compact,
Or even a business deal.  Let’s get real:
It was not even much in the way of a guideline.
Just some kind of an advisory, a bulletin or newsletter,
Could it merely have been a free-floating suggestion?
Yes, that’s it exactly: a suggestion.

Over and under halcyon American skies,
Over and around those majestic purple mountain peaks,
Those trapped in poetic amber waves of wheat and oats,
Corn and barley, wheat shredded and puffed,
Corn flaked and milled, Wheat Chex and Wheaties, oats that are little Os;
Kix and Trix, Fiber One, and Kashi-Go-Lean, Lucky Charms and matso *****,
Kreplach and kishka,
Polenta and risotto.
Our cantaloupe and squash patch,
Our fruited prairie plain, our delicate ecological Eden,
In balance and harmony with nature, as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce instructs:
“These white devils are not going to,
Stop ****** and killing, cheating and eating us,
Until they have the whole ******* enchilada.
I’m talking about ‘from sea to shining sea.’”

“I fight no more forever,” Babaloo.
So I must steer this clunky keelboat of discovery,
Back to the main channel of my sad and starry demented river.
My warpath is personal but not historical.
It is my brain’s own convoluted cognitive process I cannot saavy.
Whatever biochemical or—as I suspect more each day—
Whatever bio-mechanical protocols govern my identity,
My weltanschauung: my world-view, as sprechen by proto-Nazis;
Putz philosophers of the 17th, 18th & 19th century.
The German intelligentsia: what a cavalcade of maniacal *******!
Why is this Jew unsurprised these Zarathustra-fueled Übermenschen . . .
Be it the Kaiser--Caesar in Deutsch--Bismarck, ******, or,
Even that Euro-*****,  Angela Merkel . . . Why am I not surprised these Huns,
Get global grab-*** on the sauerbraten cabeza every few generations?
To be, or not to be the ***** bullgoose loony: GOTT.

Biomechanical protocols govern my identity and are implanted while I sleep.
My brain--my weak and weary CPU--is replenished, my discs defragmented.
A suite of magnetic and optical white rooms, cleansed free of contaminants,
Gun mounts & lifeboat stations manned and ready,
Standing at attention and saluting British snap-style,
Snap-to and heel click, ramrod straight and cheerful: “Ready for duty, Sir.”
My mind is ravenous, lusting for something, anything to process.
Any memory or image, lyric or construct,
Be they short-term dailies or deeply imprinted.
Fixations archived one and all in deep storage time and space.
Memories, some subconscious, most vaporous;
Others--the scary ones—eidetic: frighteningly detailed and extraordinarily vivid.
Precise cognitive transcripts; recollected so richly rife and fresh.
Visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory reloads:
Queued up and increasingly re-experienced.

The bio-data of six decades: it’s all there.
People, countless, places and things cataloged.
Every event, joy and trauma enveloped from within or,
Accessed externally from biomechanical storage devices.
The random access memory of a lifetime,
Read and recollected from cerebral repositories and vaults,
All the while the entire greedy process overseen,
Over-driven by that all-subservient British bat-man,
Rummaging through the data in batches small and large,
Internal and external drives working in seamless syncopation,
Self-referential, at times paradoxical or infinitely looped.
“Cogito ergo sum."
Descartes stripped it down to the basics but there’s more to the story:
Thinking about thinking.
A curse and minefield for the cerebral:  metacognition.

No, it is not the fact that thought exists,
Or even the thoughts themselves.
But the information technology of thought that baffles me,
As adaptive and profound as any evolution posited by Darwin,
Beyond the wetware in my skull, an entirely new operating system.
My mental and cultural landscape are becoming one.
Machines are connecting the two.
It’s what I am and what I am becoming.
Once more for emphasis:
It is the information technology of who I am.
It is the operating system of my mental and cultural landscape.
It is the machinery connecting the two.
This is the central point of this narrative:
Metacognition--your superego’s yenta Cassandra,
Screaming, screaming in your psychic ear, your good ear:

“LISTEN:  The machines are taking over, taking you over.
Your identity and train of thought are repeatedly hijacked,
Switched off the main line onto spurs and tangents,
Only marginally connected or not at all.
(Incoming TEXT from my editor: “Lighten Up, Giuseppi!”)
Reminding me again that most in my audience,
Rarely get past the comic page. All righty then: think Calvin & Hobbes.
John Calvin, a precocious and adventurous six-year old boy,
Subject to flights of 16th Century French theological fancy.
Thomas Hobbes, a sardonic anthropomorphic tiger from 17th Century England,
Mumbling about life being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Taken together--their antics and shenanigans--their relationship to each other,
Remind us of our dual nature; explore for us broad issues like public education;
The economy, environmentalism & the Global ****** Thermometer;
Not to mention the numerous flaws of opinion polls.



And again my editor TEXTS me, reminds me again: “LIGHTEN UP!”
Consoling me:  “Even Shakespeare had to play to the groundlings.”
The groundlings, AKA: The Rabble.
Yes. Even the ******* Bard, even Willie the Shake,
Had to contend with a decidedly lowbrow copse of carrion.
Oh yes, the groundlings, a carrion herd, a flying flock of carrion seagulls,
Carrion crow, carrion-feeders one and all,
And let’s throw Sheryl Crow into the mix while we’re at it:
“Hit it! This ain't no disco. And it ain't no country club either, this is L.A.”  

                  Send "All I Wanna Do" Ringtone to your Cell              

Once more, I digress.
The Rabble:  an amorphous, gelatinous Jabba the Hutt of commonality.
The Rabble: drunk, debauched & lawless.
Too *****-delicious to stop Bill & Hilary from thinking about tomorrow;
Too Paul McCartney My Love Does it Good to think twice.

The Roman Saturnalia: a weeklong **** fest.
The Saturnalia: originally a pagan kink-fest in honor of the deity Saturn.
Dovetailing nicely with the advent of the Christian era,
With a project started by Il Capo di Tutti Capi,
One of the early popes, co-opting the Roman calendar between 17 and 25 December,
Putting the finishing touches on the Jesus myth.
For Brooklyn Hopi-***-Jew baby boomers like me,
Saturnalia manifested itself as Disco Fever,
Unpleasant years of electrolysis, scrunched ***** in tight polyester
For Roman plebeians, for the great unwashed citizenry of Rome,
Saturnalia was just a great big Italian wedding:
A true family blowout and once-in-a-lifetime ego-trip for Dad,
The father of the bride, Vito Corleone, Don for A Day:
“Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,
And so do I! Funicula, Funiculi!”

America: love it or leave it; my country right or wrong.
Sure, we were citizens of Rome,
But any Joe Josephus spending the night under a Tiber bridge,
Or sleeping off a three day drunk some afternoon,
Up in the Coliseum bleachers, the cheap seats, out beyond the monuments,
The original three monuments in the old stadium,
Standing out in fair territory out in center field,
Those three stone slabs honoring Gehrig, Huggins, and Babe.
Yes, in the house that Ruth built--Home of the Bronx Bombers--***?
Any Joe Josephus knows:  Roman citizenship doesn’t do too much for you,
Except get you paxed, taxed & drafted into the Legion.
For us the Roman lifestyle was HIND-*** humble.
We plebeians drew our grandeur by association with Empire.
Very few Romans and certainly only those of the patrician class lived high,
High on the hog, enjoying a worldly extravaganza, like—whom do we both know?

Okay, let’s say Laurence Olivier as Crassus in Spartacus.
Come on, you saw Spartacus fifteen ******* times.
Remember Crassus?
Crassus: that ***** twisted **** trying to get his freak on with,
Tony Curtis in a sunken marble tub?
We plebes led lives of quiet *****-scratching desperation,
A bunch of would-be legionnaires, diseased half the time,
Paid in salt tablets or baccala, salted codfish soaked yellow in olive oil.
Stiffs we used to call them on New Year’s Eve in Brooklyn.
Let’s face it: we were hyenas eating someone else’s ****,
Stage-door jackals, Juvenal-come-late-lies, a mob of moronic mook boneheads
Bought off with bread & circuses and Reality TV.
Each night, dished up a wide variety of lowbrow Elizabethan-era entertainments.  
We contemplate an evening on the town, downtown—
(cue Petula Clark/Send "Downtown" Ringtone to your Cell)

On any given London night, to wit:  mummers, jugglers, bear & bull baiters.
How about dog & **** fighters, quoits & skittles, alehouses & brothels?
In short, somewhere, anywhere else,
Anywhere other than down along the Thames,
At Bankside in Southwark, down in the Globe Theater mosh pit,
Slugging it out with the groundlings whose only interest,
In the performance is the choreography of swordplay and stale ****** puns.
Meanwhile, Hugh Fennyman--probably a fellow Jew,
An English Renaissance Bugsy Siegel or Mickey Cohen—
Meanwhile Fennyman, the local mob boss is getting his ya-yas,
Roasting the feet of my text-messaging editor, Philip Henslowe.
Poor and pathetic Henslowe, works on commission, always scrounging,
But a true patron of my craft, a gentleman of infinite jest and patience,
Spiritual subsistence, and every now and then a good meal at some,
Sawdust joint with oyster shells, and a Prufrockian silk purse of T.S. Eliot gold.

Poor, pathetic Henslowe, trussed up by Fennyman,
His editorial feet in what looks like a Japanese hibachi.
Henslowe’s feet to the fire--feet to the fire—get it?
A catchy phrase whose derivation conjures up,
A grotesque yet vivid image of torture,
An exquisite insight into how such phrases ingress the idiom,
Not to mention a scene once witnessed at a secret Romanian CIA prison,
I’d been ordered to Bucharest not long after 9/11,
Handling the rendition and torture of Habib Ghazzawy,

An entirely innocent falafel maker from Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens.
Shock the Monkey: it’s what we do. GOTO:
Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey/
(HQ music video) - YouTube//
www.youtube.com/
Poor, pathetic, ******-on Henslowe.


Fennyman :  (his avarice is whet by something Philly screams out about a new script)  "A play takes time. Find actors; Rehearsals. Let's say open in three weeks. That's--what--five hundred groundlings at tuppence each, in addition four hundred groundlings tuppence each, in addition four hundred backsides at three pence--a penny extra for a cushion, call it two hundred cushions, say two performances for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?"
Jacobean Tweet, John (1580-1684) Webster:  “I saw him kissing her bubbies.”

It’s Geoffrey Rush, channeling Henslowe again,
My editor, a singed smoking madman now,
Feet in an ice bucket, instructing me once more:
“Lighten things up, you know . . .
Comedy, love and a bit with a dog.”
I digress again and return to Hopi Land, back to my shaman-monastic abattoir,
That Zen Center in downtown Shungopavi.
At the Tribal Enrolment Office I make my case for a Certificate of Indian Blood,
Called a CIB by the Natives and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The BIA:  representing gold & uranium miners, cattle and sheep ranchers,
Sodbusters & homesteaders; railroaders and dam builders since 1824.
Just in time for Andrew Jackson, another false friend of Native America,
Just before Old Hickory, one of many Democratic Party hypocrites and scoundrels,
Gives the FONGOOL, up the CULO go ahead.
Hey Andy, I’ve got your Jacksonian democracy: Hanging!
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) mission is to:   "… enhance the quality of life, to promote economic opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. What’s that in the fine print?  Uncle Sammy holds “the trust assets of American Indians.”

Here’s a ******* tip, Geronimo: if he trusted you,
It would ALL belong to you.
To you and The People.
But it’s all fork-tongued white *******.
If true, Indian sovereignty would cease to be a sick one-liner,
Cease to be a blunt force punch line, more of,
King Leopold’s 19th Century stand-up comedy schtick,
Leo Presents: The **** of the Congo.
La Belgique mission civilisatrice—
That’s what French speakers called Uncle Leo’s imperial public policy,
Bringing the gift of civilization to central Africa.
Like Manifest Destiny in America, it had a nice colonial ring to it.
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent,
Allotted by Providence for the free development,
Of our yearly multiplying millions.”  John L. O'Sullivan, 1845

Our civilizing mission or manifest destiny:
Either/or, a catchy turn of phrase;
Not unlike another ironic euphemism and semantic subterfuge:
The Pacification of the West; Pacification?
Hardly: decidedly not too peaceful for Cochise & Tonto.
Meanwhile, Madonna is cash rich but disrespected Evita poor,
To wit: A ****** on the Rocks (throwing in a byte or 2 of Da Vinci Code).
Meanwhile, Miss Ciccone denied her golden totem *****.
They snubbed that little guinea ****, didn’t they?
Snubbed her, robbed her rotten.
Evita, her magnum opus, right up there with . . .
Her SNL Wayne’s World skit:
“Get a load of the unit on that guy.”
Or, that infamous MTV Music Video Awards stunt,
That classic ***** Lip-Lock with Britney Spears.

How could I not see that Oscar snubola as prime evidence?
It was just another stunning case of American anti-Italian racial animus.
Anyone familiar with Noam Chomsky would see it,
Must view it in the same context as the Sacco & Vanzetti case,
Or, that arbitrary lynching of 9 Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891,
To cite just two instances of anti-Italian judicial reach & mob violence,
Much like what happened to my cousin Dominic,
Gang-***** by the Harlem Globetrotters, in their locker room during halftime,
While he working for Abe Saperstein back in 1952.
Dom was doing advance for Abe, supporting creation of The Washington Generals:
A permanent stable of hoop dream patsies and foils,
Named for the ever freewheeling, glad-handing, backslapping,
Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SCAEF), himself,
Namely General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man they liked,
And called IKE: quite possibly a crypto Jew from Abilene.

Of course, Harry Truman was my first Great White Fascist Father,
Back in 1946, when I first opened my eyes, hung up there,
High above, looking down from the adobe wall.
Surveying the entire circular kiva,
I had the best seat in the house.
Don’t let it be said my Spider Grandmother or Hopi Corn Mother,
Did not want me looking around at things,
Discovering what made me special.
Didn’t divine intervention play a significant part of my creation?
Knowing Mamma Mia and Nonna were Deities,
Gave me an edge later on the streets of Brooklyn.
The Cradleboard: was there ever a more divinely inspired gift to human curiosity? The Cradleboard: a perfect vantage point, an infant’s early grasp,
Of life harmonious, suspended between Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Simply put: the Hopi should be running our ******* public schools.

But it was IKE with whom I first associated,
Associated with the concept 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I liked IKE. Who didn’t?
What was not to like?
He won the ******* war, didn’t he?
And he wasn’t one of those crazy **** John Birchers,
Way out there, on the far right lunatic Republican fringe,
Was he? (It seems odd and nearly impossible to believe in 2013,
That there was once a time in our Boomer lives,
When the extreme right wing of the Republican Party
Was viewed by the FBI as an actual threat to American democracy.)
Understand: it was at a time when The FBI,
Had little ideological baggage,
But a great appetite for secrets,
The insuppressible Jay Edgar doing his thang.

IKE: of whom we grew so, oh-so Fifties fond.
Good old reliable, Nathan Shaking IKE:
He’d been fixed, hadn’t he? Had had the psychic snip.
Snipped as a West Point cadet & parade ground martinet.
Which made IKE a good man to have in a pinch,
Especially when crucial policy direction was way above his pay grade.
Cousin Dom was Saperstein’s bagman, bribing out the opposition,
Which came mainly from religious and patriotic organizations,
Viewing the bogus white sports franchise as obscene.
The Washington Generals, Saperstein’s new team would have but one opponent,
And one sole mission: to serve as the **** of endless jokes and sight gags for—
Negroes.  To play the chronic fools of--
Negroes.  To be chronically humiliated and insulted by—
Negroes.  To run up and down the boards all night, being outran by—
Negroes.  Not to mention having to wear baggy silk shorts.



Meadowlark Lemon:  “Yeah, Charlie, we ***** that grease-ball Dominic; we shagged his guinea mouth and culo rotten.”  

(interviewed in his Scottsdale, AZ winter residence in 2003 by former ESPN commentator Charlie Steiner, Malverne High School, Class of ’67.)
                                                        
  ­                                                                 ­                 
IKE, briefed on the issue by higher-ups, quickly got behind the idea.
The Harlem Globetrotters were to exist, and continue to exist,
Are sustained financially by Illuminati sponsors,
For one reason and one reason only:
To serve elite interests that the ***** be kept down and subservient,
That the minstrel show be perpetuated,
A policy surviving the elaborate window dressing of the civil rights movement, Affirmative action, and our first Uncle Tom president.
Case in point:  Charles Barkley, Dennis Rodman & Metta World Peace Artest.
Cha-cha-cha changing again:  I am Robert Allen Zimmermann,
A whiny, skinny Jew, ****** and rolling in from Minnesota,
Arrested, obviously a vagrant, caught strolling around his tony Jersey enclave,
Having moved on up the list, the A-list, a special invitation-only,
Yom Kippur Passover Seder:  Next Year in Jerusalem, Babaloo!

I take ownership of all my autonomic and conditioned reflexes;
Each personal neural arc and pathway,
All shenanigans & shellackings,
Or blunt force cognitive traumas.
It’s all percolating nicely now, thank you,
In kitchen counter earthen crockery:
Random access memory: a slow-cook crockpot,
Bubbling through my psychic sieve.
My memories seem only remotely familiar,
Distant and vague, at times unreal:
An alien hybrid databank accessed accidently on purpose;
Flaky science sustains and monitors my nervous system.
And leads us to an overwhelming question:
Is it true that John Dillinger’s ******* is in the Smithsonian Museum?
Enquiring minds want to know, Kemosabe!

“Any last words, *******?” TWEETS Adam Smith.
Postmortem cyber-graffiti, an epitaph carved in space;
Last words, so singular and simple,
Across the universal great divide,
Frisbee-d, like a Pleistocene Kubrick bone,
Tossed randomly into space,
Morphing into a gyroscopic space station.
Mr. Smith, a calypso capitalist, and me,
Me, the Poet Laureate of the United States and Adam;
Who, I didn’t know from Adam.
But we tripped the light fantastic,
We boogied the Protestant Work Ethic,
To the tune of that old Scotch-Presbyterian favorite,
Variations of a 5-point Calvinist theme: Total Depravity; Election; Particular Redemption; Irresistible Grace; & Perseverance of the Saints.

Mr. Smith, the author of An Inquiry into the Nature
& Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),
One of the best-known, intellectual rationales for:
Free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism,
The latter term a euphemism for Social Darwinism.
Prior to 1764, Calvinists in France were called Huguenots,
A persecuted religious majority . . . is that possible?
A persecuted majority of Edict of Nantes repute.
Adam Smith, likely of French Huguenot Jewish ancestry himself,
Reminds me that it is my principal plus interest giving me my daily gluten.
And don’t think the irony escapes me now,
A realization that it has taken me nearly all my life to see again,
What I once saw so vividly as a child, way back when.
Before I put away childish things, including the following sentiment:
“All I need is the air that I breathe.”

  Send "The Air That I Breathe" Ringtone to your Cell  

The Hippies were right, of course.
The Hollies had it all figured out.
With the answer, as usual, right there in the lyrics.
But you were lucky if you were listening.
There was a time before I embraced,
The other “legendary” economists:
The inexorable Marx,
The savage society of Veblen,
The heresies we know so well of Keynes.
I was a child.
And when I was a child, I spake as a child—
Grazie mille, King James—
I understood as a child; I thought as a child.
But when I became a man I jumped on the bus with the band,
Hopped on the irresistible bandwagon of Adam Smith.

Smith:  “Any last words, *******?”
Okay, you were right: man is rationally self-interested.
Grazie tanto, Scotch Enlightenment,
An intellectual movement driven by,
An alliance of Calvinists and Illuminati,
Freemasons and Johnny Walker Black.
Talk about an irresistible bandwagon:
Smith, the gloomy Malthus, and David Ricardo,
Another Jew boy born in London, England,
Third of 17 children of a Sephardic family of Portuguese origin,
Who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic.
******* Jews!
Like everything shrewd, sane and practical in this world,
WE also invented the concept:  FOLLOW THE MONEY.

The lyrics: if you were really listening, you’d get it:
Respiration keeps one sufficiently busy,
Just breathing free can be a full-time job,
Especially when--borrowing a phrase from British cricketers—,
One contemplates the sorry state of the wicket.
Now that I am gainfully superannuated,
Pensioned off the employment radar screen.
Oft I go there into the wild ebon yonder,
Wandering the brain cloud at will.
My journey indulges curiosity, creativity and deceit.
I free range the sticky wicket,
I have no particular place to go.
Snagging some random fact or factoid,
A stop & go rural postal route,
Jumping on and off the brain cloud.

Just sampling really,
But every now and then, gorging myself,
At some information super smorgasbord,
At a Good Samaritan Rest Stop,
I ponder my own frazzled neurology,
When I was a child—
Before I learned the grim economic facts of life and Judaism,
Before I learned Hebrew,
Before my laissez-faire Bar Mitzvah lessons,
Under the rabbinical tutelage of Rebbe Kahane--
I knew what every clever child knows about life:
The surfing itself is the destination.
Accessing RAM--random access memory—
On a strictly need to know basis.
RAM:  a pretty good name for consciousness these days.

If I were an Asimov or Sir Arthur (Sri Lankabhimanya) Clarke,
I’d get freaky now, riffing on Terminators, Time Travel and Cyborgs.
But this is truth not science fiction.
Nevertheless, someone had better,
Come up with another name for cyborg.
Some other name for a critter,
Composed of both biological and artificial parts?
Parts-is-parts--be they electronic, mechanical or robotic.
But after a lifetime of science fiction media,
After a steady media diet, rife with dystopian technology nightmares,
Is anyone likely to admit to being a cyborg?
Since I always give credit where credit is due,
I acknowledge that cyborg was a term coined in 1960,
By Manfred Clynes & Nathan S. Kline and,
Used to identify a self-regulating human-machine system in outer space.

Five years later D. S. Halacy's: Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman,
Featured an introduction, which spoke of:  “… a new frontier, that was not,
Merely space, but more profoundly, the relationship between inner space,
And outer space; a bridge, i.e., between mind and matter.”
So, by definition, a cyborg defined is an organism with,
Technology-enhanced abilities: an antenna array,
Replacing what was once sentient and human.
My glands, once in control of metabolism and emotions,
Have been replaced by several servomechanisms.
I am biomechanical and gluttonous.
Soaking up and breathing out the atmosphere,
My Baby Boom experience of six decades,
Homogenized and homespun, feedback looped,
Endlessly networked through predigested mass media,
Culture as demographically targeted content.

This must have something to do with my own metamorphosis.
I think of Gregor Samsa, a Kafkaesque character if there ever was one.
And though we share common traits,
My evolutionary progress surpasses and transcends his.
Samsa--Phylum and Class--was, after all, an insect.
Nonetheless, I remain a changeling.
Have I not seen many stages of growth?
Each a painful metamorphic cycle,
From exquisite first egg,
Through caterpillar’s appetite & squirm.
To phlegmatic bliss and pupa quietude,
I unfold my wings in a rush of Van Gogh palette,
Color, texture, movement and grace, lift off, flapping in flight.
My eyes have witnessed wondrous transformations,
My experience, nouveau riche and distinctly self-referential;
For the most part unspecific & longitudinally pedestrian.

Yes, something has happened to me along the way.
I am no longer certain of my identity as a human being.
Time and technology has altered my basic wiring diagram.
I suspect the sophisticated gadgets and tools,
I’ve been using to shape & make sense of my environment,
Have reared up and turned around on me.
My tools have reshaped my brain & central nervous system.
Remaking me as something simultaneously more and less human.
The electronic toys and tools I once so lovingly embraced,
Have turned unpredictable and rabid,
Their bite penetrating my skin and septic now, a cluster of implanted sensors,
Content: currency made increasingly more valuable as time passes,
Served up by and serving the interests of a pervasively predatory 1%.
And the rest of us: the so-called 99%?
No longer human; simply put by both Howards--Beale & Zinn--

Humanoid.
Eve Aug 18
“What do you do in life?” they ask
A struggle rises yet once again
And my eyes yearn for an answer
What should I say? How should I reply?
Their gazes pierce into my flesh
They do not see the blood
But I do
They do not feel the pain
But I do
“Are you married?” They ask
There I stand before them both dressed and naked
There I stand before them for the autopsy
There I face them without an answer to utter
The escape seems impossible to find
I know there should be something
Something I say
There is nothing
Only gazes and no words
“Do you still study? Did you find a job yet?”
They do not shut up, their mouths open and never close
Their so-called good intentions are venom I have to swallow
“Please don’t think we are nosy, we only wish the best for you”

*******
Their lips form a smile thinking they can hide behind
Thinking they can fool me
They shamelessly stay fixed to the ground
Their feet are now roots of poison to the very earth they stand upon
“We don’t have any other businesses to attend”
“By all means, take all the time you need”
****, they are not going anywhere
They do not go anywhere
Even if they do go somewhere, they are always there
They are everywhere
Their questions are everywhere
What do I do in life?
“Yes, what do you do in life?”
I live
“That is not an answer. We all live in life”
Isn’t living a task to do?
“No, it is arbitrary” they say
“What do you DO in life?” the question comes once again
Their minds do not fathom the depth of my world
Their ears hear what they want to hear
Their eyes see what they want to see
Their wish is for an answer to satisfy them
But they won’t have satisfaction
Never
Not from me
“You are old enough to be married, what’s taking this long?”
They are relentless, that I give them
Their life is a square made of hundreds of years old boundaries
I turn my head now, maybe there is a way out I missed before
Only to see more flocking
Others want to witness the autopsy
They are curious as well
Their questions are my torment
Their gazes are bullets heading my direction
I wear no bullet proof vest
One hit after the other
The bullets keep on coming
Can they not see my fall?
Can they not see my body on the ground?
I look up only to find the answer
I am still standing before them
What is on the ground is not my body
What is on the ground is not my body
What is on the ground is not my body
My body is there with them
On the ground lie the rest of me
A broken shield, a stuttering voice and a fading shadow
Varshini Jul 2018
Most days, you're not a woman developer,
you're a developer.
You work just as hard,
You (try to) talk just as fast
You keep your feelings under the surface (barely)

Actually, scratch that
You're always a woman developer.
you're just so used to internalizing these habits
Trying to have confidence in your skills
despite the impostor syndrome pulling you down each time slowly, like quicksand
Trying to make up for the confidence you never had
compared to someone who always had it all
Trying to not cry in the kitchen because god who
is allowed to have feelings
Trying not to talk about men who made you uncomfortable because oh my god

for the fact that people call women overreacting
most men seem to make every little statement about them, have you noticed?
oh wow, isn't this just reverse sexism?
oh wow, can I even talk to women?

Being so vocal about being queer and Indian but if you make
one noise
one sound
one phrase
about your experience as a woman
because in such welcoming company you subconsciously thought why not

You let down your guard
But
There goes the shattered glass as the topic of gender-based discrimination is finally broached
There goes the thing nobody ever talks about
There starts the debate you did not want to participate in

"Oh wow you're so harsh to these guys"
"We were just slamming what they were doing, you slammed their actual personality wow"
"I just said they sounded like a brogrammer"
"sure if you say so"
"Isn't that just an arbitrary description"

How do you explain
How do you describe every nuanced experience about
Every male in your life
who have been exactly like this to you
How do you explain the light discrimination
The harsh discrimination
The systemic problem as a whole

How can you condense all this into a workplace environment talk
Where you don't usually talk about this?
Where you don't know if you can actually talk about this
Where you know that you ultimately don't want to talk about this
cuz how can you explain these feelings that they can never understand

You shut up and move on with coding.
But inside, you're conflicted with ideas of presentations to express the fact, or never speak about this again
Because in the end,
You're just a developer, not a woman developer to them.
(Disclaimer: This does not talk about nb people because the main context involved a woman and a man and about their interactions, do not mean to erase nb peeps ily)
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