Here is a thing
that is not a poem, not a song.
Call it a jeremiad
or a crazy man’s despair;
dismiss it as you will, it’s just as well
you don’t go mad along with the writer.
But it needs to be said: there are golden people,
there have always been golden people
who have allowed you
to see their gold, if not its source,
and the light around it creates the illusion
that you might join them if only you can get yours.
They’ve convinced you that someone is keeping you from it,
because the notion of “enough for all”
isn’t useful to those interested
in consolidating the power they’ve taken from you.
The golden people believe it’s in their best interest
to make you hate someone else for robbing you.
Your battling each other is their best defense
against your sudden awakening to the truth.
You don’t need a conspiracy theory
to explain this — just look around.
Some have, some have not.
Those who have, keep;
those who do not have
do not know they likely never will.
Occasionally (to maintain the fiction)
someone who doesn’t have will be allowed a taste —
all it takes is a lottery number, a great throwing arm,
a singing voice that pleases the greatest number of you.
They know just how to market it
to let you think you can get some too —
hard work, they say, hard work
will do it and anyone can rise;
but it’s not anyone who rises.
It’s those allowed to rise who do,
and those allowed to rise learn how to keep
the little they’re allowed to keep.
Meanwhile you think yourself peaceful,
when the tooth and nail are in fact your daily bread.
Your job is made to leave you jealous and striving.
Your leisure is a stunted ration of your small time here
and when you come home to cradle that son or daughter,
you whisper that it will be better for them —
but it likely will not be,
because all that gold
will blind them as swiftly
as it blinded you.
Everyone thinks they’ll be rich someday.
Everyone thinks it’ll be better someday
even as the oil runs out,
as the seas lift from their beds,
as the bridges fall sooner rather than later,
as the whirlwind is twirling a noose over our necks.
Some of you still think love
will make it better,
but when the poorest of you
have more than most of the world
and you still call yourself poor
in the face of all that misery,
you are going to be fooled again and again
into believing that love will win.
Love cannot win
in the long sunset of this age.
We have exhausted ourselves,
and love is nothing more than a gesture now.
You’ll still sit back and say it was better once.
You’ll imagine a time when love was enough.
But love has never been enough
to conquer this illness;
what’s always been needed
is a terrifying justice.
Gaia is preparing
terrifying justice —
the swiping of her mighty hand across us,
as if we were (and we are)
gnats full of blood
who cannot rouse themselves to fly.
If you want a golden age,
get rid of the gold before you.
Ahead of that sweeping hand,
you will have to learn to fly for your life,
and land in something new.
It will not be called America.
If when you land you want to try love,
then by all means try it —
but do not expect it to grow in this soil
so full of gold, and blood, and lies;
a cleansing fire.