In this post I talk about capitalism, war, world poverty, globalization, pretty girls, evolution, paranoid delusions, snow, and not wanting to be alive anymore. These were written between Halloween and the present day, and my personal satisfaction differs with each one. I'm particularly fond of Global Giants, The Lizard and the Sparrow, and Snow, but let me know what you think. As always, these can all be found on the blog as God intended them.
With a piece in your ear
and a hole in your head,
your feelings fall out onto the ground.
You’re a suit with no face,
fingers without feeling.
Money moves you like a demented monkey mashing its cymbals together
to the detriment of everyone else.
A wind-up toy ringing up a three thousand dollar suit
to convince the world you’re worth it.
You held a banquet to feed the poor on Saturday,
yet you smack them with an open palm on Monday.
You wonder, incredulous, how can a man be so cruel as to kill a child
although the gold around your wife’s skeletal wrist was wrought from the hands of a boy in one of Senegal’s mines.
You go to church on Sunday
and on Monday you shake hands with the devil Himself.
A man sits in the shell of his temple,
his prayers and hope obliterated by might of man,
The candles lit in memory of lost love
melted to wax which drips like blood from the altar to the dirt.
The incense now is lost in the breeze,
The air smells of blasted stone and mortar.
He weeps as he watches
the iron birds take flight.
In his soul he knows that the foreigners are devils,
for who else should seek to destroy
a place so close to the heavens?
Love is Rich, Love is Poor
The American woman cries
as her Vietnamese family asks her for money.
Her tears leak through her fingers ringed with gold,
her nails polished pink,
and she cries that it’s impossible for her to help.
They bring her gifts she cannot accept
and ask for things she is not willing to give.
She is here for the first time, here to visit;
she is in shock.
She is from another place where things are different -
people don’t touch, people don’t feel.
There the ones who ask for help are beggars in the street;
here it is closer, the suffering and sadness is one with the love and emotion.
Though they are materially poor,
the family’s love for its daughter is rich.
The master curses to himself as he removes his servant’s shackles;
the empire is thwarted and withdrawals tanks and troops from its colony as its flags burn in the sky;
the corporation is opening a new location in a land that won’t recognize an invasion of golden arches and colorful windows.
The executive steps off the helicopter and sinks his foot into the rich mud beneath him
and a legion of poor swarm around him to shine his shoes,
thankful for any penny thrown their way.
Government turns a blind eye to the crimes committed in the boundary.
Bankers who balance the wealth of the world watch blindly
in the name of national product and progress,
structural adjustment plans and privatization.
They steal and destroy and rape and murder,
but their hands stay pure and white.
They clean the blood from beneath their fingernails with a sharpened knife nightly,
then go to bed with their wives who cry when they hear of starving children in China.
In the morning they drink coffee and read the paper,
glancing over sob stories about a factory collapse in Latin America,
or a sweatshop fire in Southeast Asia,
an oil spill in a far away sea.
The rich men check their watches and throw away their breakfast.
It’s time to go to work.
I saw your red hair across the street and ran
through traffic to catch you.
I followed you to watch your hips move and maybe
catch a whiff of your sweater.
I walked as fast as I could but you
You escaped my reach and I
lost you to the wind.
You stepped through a door that closed behind your back
and you were never seen again.
The Lizard and the Sparrow
beneath the feathered frocks of birds.
Gouging teeth become pecking beaks and claws give way to flight.
The great birds of prey are raptors still today.
Monkey has become man.
The fingers that once figured
with rock and wheel and fire now fiddle
with watches and warheads.
The aggression once used to scream and scare and bite and beat our foes
is now dispersed in the air as clouds of sarin gas and phosphorous.
When the world is blackened earth and tainted water, and the fissures open up to consume our cities,
when the sky is stitched with missile streams over a backdrop of suffocating atmosphere,
we’ll look to Heaven for answers.
(How did we become this? What would our ancestors think? Is there any hope for us now?)
But none will come.
Just as the mighty tyrannosaurus rex became the unassuming sparrow,
God is nothing now but particles in the air.
What is this phantom fear in my extremities?
What is this pressure on my chest?
Why do I shiver uncontrollably when I imagine a man
in my room at night, wielding a knife?
I sit up and shake,
stand up and pace,
but the dread weighs me down.
I haven’t tried to explain it and couldn’t if I wanted to;
how do you tell someone that you think you’re losing your mind?
The nausea, the paranoia, the delusions, the pain -
which is most convincing?
All I want is for someone to be scared for me,
so the anxiety falls not on my shoulders,
but on their minds.
Is there anything more lovely than
a neighborhood draped in snow?
A woman fights to free her car from the ice
as she yells to her children not to jump into the powder, though they disobey her with enthusiastic immediacy.
A delivery driver braves icy roads and knee-high drifts to deliver bags of sandwiches to a college blonde in thick-rimmed glasses and pajama bottoms
who was too cold and too tired to head to the store herself.
A prepubescent boy clears the sidewalk in front of his house, eager to get the job done so that he may join his friends on the white hill behind their school,
as his younger brother defiantly throws his shovel to the ground and collapses on his back, waving his arms up and down and his legs in and out.
A man smokes a cigarette and pulls his dog along on a leash,
watching a stray cat dart silently across the street, balanced precariously on a thin layer of hardened ice atop the accumulation.
Flurries swim through the branches of a tree, crackling as they meet the crisp, dried surface of its resilient leaves.
From a rooftop heavy icy drops of water fall onto a metal signboard, producing a drumbeat that keeps time with the second hand on a wristwatch.
It’s the kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed,
or feel grief for those in the street with no bed besides the cold, no warmth besides their blood.
It’s the kind of weather that you can lose yourself in, watching from inside,
or get lost in, unable to navigate the blizzard.
The drifts could pile up above our heads
and I would be content to sit here by my window and watch the snow bury us.
when I say I have nothing to wake up for tomorrow morning,
it does not mean I am free of appointments and obligations,
that I see no point in living
or getting out of bed
because I have nothing to look forward to.