Daily Archives: July 31, 2015

An Explanation

This one-note-struck
of all my recent talk
about my rage and sorrow
at how humans suborn
all the machinations of Evil
and take each other for pawns
to be moved at will
in games huge and tiny
can be grating, I know.
It grates on me as well.
I wake up raw most days
and on the other days it’s not long
before I am drawn to picking at
the new scabs and nearly-healed scars
of my previous wounds.  
I have them always on my mind.
I feel them festering and itching on my skin.
I taste them, dark and sour, in my mouth.

You don’t know how much I would prefer
to speak only of my garden 
filled with midsummer close-to-ripeness,
or of hours of simplicity watching my cat,
or of the peace in lying with my love
long hours in a just-enough-room bed.
I speak of these things often in my head;
I feel them often in my skin;
I long for them to be all that’s in my mouth.

But all that daily joy
quickly fails and swiftly pales 
when I move from acknowledging it
in the moment I feel it to using it
to hide from what looms Beyond.
I have a voice, not for me,
but for others. I was not born
to talk to myself. It falls to me
to speak, even if it is poor speech,
even if it is faltering, even when it’s
Wrong —  a bad tack taken
in a run toward Right — how will I know
unless I take it and hear it and choose
the correction?  So I speak and speak
on all that roiling cloud of Evil out there,
over the hill, coming toward me,
toward us all. I speak of those 
it has already taken, of those 
fighting not to be swallowed.
I speak of it always in my head.
I feel it raising the hair on my skin.
I long to one day put its taste out of my mouth.


The Manifest Destiny Game

Get up and get dressed,
leave the house,

set out for the next town,
the next state,

the next country, the next
civilized world.

You’re sick of the games
they play here and

it’s time to go.

The game being played here
is called “Button your lip
until we tap you to speak.”

The game you want to play is called
“Leave me alone for a while until
I’m ready to join in.”

You don’t know
where they play it
but you’ll kill to get there,
kill to stay there,
kill to win that game.

If you end up somewhere
where no one’s playing it
you’ll start it yourself.
Everybody there already
better play or else.  

Or else what,
says one of the natives
of the place you do end up.

Button your lip
until I tell you to speak,
you tell him. And you

button it for him when 
he won’t.  

You groan it out loud
and you don’t care who hears:

Goddamn savages, 
primitives, beasts blocking
the playing field.
Why are you still here? I’m ready
to join in, and it’s

not your game anymore. It’s
not your play. It’s not
yours.