by products

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else

the 7th sibylline utterance of the new millennium

the gods demanded sacrifice,
and so we offered

it’s not like anyone
was using it
that much

for what you can’t destroy,
you still can
lock away

we do that now, in every manner
those words can
be stretched

and how we torture words, to make it
seem as though we mean the
things we say;

but we do not. at least we do not live
the values we espouse, nor do
we really want to

and spiders – there are spiders in the halls,
the webs are everywhere —
we call our hate self-love,
and turn our self-love into
candy-coated knives

with power comes
nobody’s peter parker;
the price is right, but we
have got no barker

the song of houston, but
how will i know?
we stowaway what we should never

the bars slam shut, because we
close them down;
don’t know your name, you’re just
some damned pronoun

the skittish horse may try
to flee the pen;
but hunted down they are,

when semiotics tells us to,
we stop and genuflect:
the dog-whistles that really
guide our lives —

the empty hallways do not mean
that all the ghosts have left;
the blood is in the pipes,
not in the water

and the pipes

go everywhere