Aside

laced foundations

a friend once told me his school was built on a landfill
eventually turning so caustic, he had to vacate
and i thought “but aren’t they all?”

under god, indivisible we preach
a history constructed on loaded shot guns
and broken sums

a land pummeled with inequality,
capsized by cannonballs, sown imperceptibly
with the thieves of righteous tears

and how soon has
the symphony of passion
deluded our fibers

how soon have we forgotten
the glimmer of freedom once nascent
in puddles of blood, that it
was never hinged upon rhetoric

how soon our vision has purged
as we raise proud slabs of marble to the cityscape
hiding thoughtfully arranged vermin

we have forgotten what this all costs

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I would only believe in a god who could dance.

I would only believe in a god who could dance.

“I would only believe in a god who could dance. And when I saw my devil I found him serious, thorough, profound, and solemn: it was the spirit of gravity—through him all things fall. Not by wrath does one kill but by laughter. Come, let us kill the spirit of gravity!”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

to politico

At what point did you forget about human beings, and exchange our lives and hearts for chess pieces? What’s the endpoint of a bill’s cycle? What legacy are you leaving for the world? I’m pleading you to ask. Tell me, at the end of the day–will you ever be something greater than your own ego? Have you truly been a force of good in the world?

You may be a ‘public servant.’ You may use rhetoric to justify your innards–but as my dad always tells me, “you can’t lie to yourself.” I want to know how you feel, lying in your bed every night. Given the benefit of the doubt, maybe you count your blessings. You’re blessed with a lot of things. Money, good looks, charisma, power, success, respect….. So that means you’re doing this whole living thing correctly, right? You’ve conquered the world’s struggles and emerge victorious. With the privilege of winning comes notoriety and spotlight, and therein lies influence. You tell yourself you’re one of the good ones. You’ll use your high-stake influence to make the world safer and brighter. The republicans, democrats, tea party, lobbyists, them–they can’t be allowed to gain power. They’re derisive. These people will let the world crumble; it’s your duty to hold office and thwart them. You–a watchdog, a beacon. Ignoring its wormy lineage, you let slip those slimy words: “for the greater good.”

I’m not asking you to be superman. I’m asking you to be honest, just once. You don’t know average Joe. You whizzed past him when you graduated summa cum laude. You don’t know the pungency of anger, fresh after discovering your brother’s death in combat. You don’t know how helpless, me, a nineteen year old girl feels when the the president of the united states will not recognize that the calculated murder of 1.5 million Armenians is genocide. You don’t know reality anymore, nor will you return. You know game theory. Maybe once, these sorrows sharpened you, but that’s all been shrouded. You’re blurry with delusions. Hidden in polar ideals. Bandaged with $20 bills, the ones which still endorse Andrew ‘Trail of Tears’ Jackson.

I’m asking you to think about purpose. Think about Ozymandias, king of kings, known only for being forgotten. Think about why 1.5 million deaths is more than a statistic. Think about the vast sums flowing over your desk and pay attention to the cracks of our roots.

Be something more than a placeholder, please.

 

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“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.” JD Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

ad infinitum, odysseus

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i want to understand the
perpetuation of hatred,
beyond earth’s tremble
 
from my blurred vantage
i say sin is cyclical, we
sift through numbers
like a sailor thirsty for land
drowning in faith
starving for home;
 
one day arriving,
to a singular soul,
leaking subterraneous
and surreptitious,
from mirrors and retraction.
 
maybe verity can quench us
shaking, shifting with wonder
but darkness only tells riddles
 
and while zarathustra speaks
so history goes and
as i’ve so tritely heard
“we’ve had it all along”

Quote

“he said the gr…

“he said the great presence
that permitted everything and transmuted it
in poetry was passion
passion was genius and he praised movement and invention

I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t

you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write”

From WS Merwin’s Berryman