Saturday, January 5, 2013
It was as if they were in a cage whose door might as well have been wide open, for they could not escape. Nothing outside the cage had any significance, for nothing else existed any more. They stayed in the cage, estranged from everything except the cage, without so much as a flicker of desire for anything outside the bars. It would have been peculiar—indeed impossible—to break out into a place with neither reality nor significance. Absolutely impossible. Inside the cage, in which they had been born and in which they would die, the only tolerable framework of experience was the real, which amounted to an irresistible instinct to act so that things should have significance. Only if things had significance could one breathe, and suffer. It was as though there was an understanding between things and the silent dead that it should be so, for the habit of acting so that things should be significant had become a human instinct, and a seemingly eternal one. Life was the important thing, and the real was part of the instinct that gave life some slight meaning. The instinct did not try to imagine what might lie beyond the real, because there was nothing beyond it. Nothing significant. The door stayed open and the cage became more and more painful in its reality, which was significant for countless reasons and in countless ways.
We have never left the age of the slave traders.
--Raoul Vaneigem (translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith)
two thousand zero zero
I remember millennial
if no one else does
how at twelve ten a m
we’d sung 1999
had kissed everyone
once the skinny
the gravel road
in the dark
on every side
to my friend’s toyota
and turned the radio on
the world burn
and I was so
to know that
would go on
street art utopia)
Ballad of the Poors
Someday (again) (soon) (I hope) the POORS
will delete our invisible shackles.
The POORS will stop filling our mouths
with cocks and peppermints and high fructose
corn syrup, and our brain cells will be light
again, like hummingbirds.
Someday the POORS, the ninety-nine percent, someday
we’ll all make breakfast for each other on a
Tuesday afternoon. The Christian POORS will love
the Gay POORS and all the colors of POORS
Will make Dyonisian love with each other until
there is no more whiteness anywhere but
Olive oil or Sandpaper or whatever and whatever
until color is just another adjective we barely
Even use. Someday the POORS will realize
that coffee tastes better to us, and toilet paper
Feels better to us, and movies are more
magical to us, and fucking feels ten times better
When you’re hungry and exhausted and afraid
of who might come in. Someday when Jesus is back
The Christians will all repent and be saved
and the Angels will spread their rainbow wings
Over even the most shameful Republican tapping
his foot in the dirtiest public restroom stall.
Someday when the POORS stop believing in money
they’ll recognize Jesus again in the language
itself/in the language of their children instead
of the language of their Oppressor.
Someday when the POORS stop believing in money
they’ll recognize again the voices of the Prophets
In spite of the hate-speech of the slack-jawed monkey
puppets sleeping the skyscrapers and sleeping in the cubicles!
Someday each POOR will reach out her fingers
and lead the Oppressors by their ties into the barbeque-
scented dusk of anti-ownership, and we’ll all get high
along the pure brown sandy beaches of Vieques
and Pittsburgh and everywhere and wherever.
The poem will end
Okay--I didn't mean to be that melodramatic
I mean there are always road accidents
They won't leave the dance floor tonight
Even if I start reading Das Capital out loud
So there is love--and it collapses
Under the mercy of production
You stood there--angry and fragile
Out of childhood fear
And the Marxists' failures
Which is almost the saddest thing you know
"I stood waiting" "for some minutes" "in this very" "alive darkness—"
"the air so vibrant," "the trees awake" "There were flowers," "mixed
grasses," "growing lower" "in the dark," "& I was relieved" "to be
near them" "after so much time" "where nothing grew" "Then" "I heard a
song" "faint & blurred," "a slow song" "I heard it" "as if through
walls" "As if" "there were a room" "next to where I stood" "& someone,"
"a man," "sang inside of it" "The tune was sad," "& attracting"
"I approached it—" "where its source seemed to be—" "& it moved away
from me" "just a" "short distance" "This happened twice" "Then I
understood" "I was to follow it:" "& so it led me—" "through deep
woods" "& clearings," "for" "a long while" "The voice sang" "the
same melody" "over" "& over" "mournful" "& intimate" "in a language"
"I didn't recognize—" "or didn't think I did:" "it was hard to" "hear
the words—" "Till at last we" "reached a meadow" "where the song"
"ceased to sound," "pale & empty" "with trees around it" "Then I
sank to" "the ground" "& fell asleep for" "a long time" "But when I
awoke" "of course" "it was dark"