At the Corner of Anxiety and Disrespect

This age is one with an abundance of anxiety and a shortage of respect.

Much of our anxiety comes from having more choices available to us than humans are wired to be able to handle. Our lack of respect seems to then come from how we narrow the choices available to us through willfully ignoring (or misunderstanding) others.


The library was that first place 
That I could find most anything: 
At age eleven, eyes gone wide, 
At what new wonders it would bring -- 

We could but only take (of course)  
A few things out on any day; 
Although it seemed to hold the world, 
To get it piece-wise was the way 

That we could get it. Slowly, then, 
The pictures would develop, as 
We read, imagined, learned, and grew. 
Like when I wanted to hear jazz: 

The headphones on, one at a time, 
I heard the songs I read about 
And felt the imperfections of 
The medium, but had no doubt 

That what I heard was real, and true. 
Connected then to history 
By all the work it took to hear 
Those things available to me 

But gradually, laborious. 
Right now, I could hear any song 
That's ever been recorded, but 
I listen less, and not for long, 

For we're not limited to what 
We've paid for, or we can check out: 
The songs are all there for our ears 
But where to start, or where about  

Is overwhelming. We employ 
Then social markers, to denote 
The things we will consume instead: 
The same way that we think, and vote. 

There is an 'us', there is a 'them' -- 
This reasserts the borders that 
We long to have; and so we live 
An inch deep and a mile 

Fat

Our Daily Echelons

Within our daily echelons, we may
Go wandering from where we really are:
For though love starts in fantasy,
It isn't meant to really end that way.

But all this isolation has begot
A whirl of nothings, dressed up as the world
That people fight and die for, everyday,
Not knowing that the cure contains

The rot

A Community

We raised our hands in a forest of words,
We stretched out our arms in a gesture of light;
We welcomed the dirt, and the bugs, and the birds,
And brought depth and width, along with the height.

As time tumbled forward, community rose,
And we all together were more than each one;
What we lacked in drama, we had in repose,
And stood not ashamed to be under the sun.

The soil of recrimination is poor,
And nothing can grow when we plant among blames:
But much is accomplished where modesty dwells
And lives in our actions, as well as our aims.

A World of Words

When you live, solely, in a world of words,
 imagination loses its grounding,
 and truth becomes ulcerous.

Words are things, but they are not the same
 as the things they are meant to signify;
 just as saying, "I will pay you back on time"
 doesn't mean that we will.

So whatever we think we know strictly from words
 should come with this caution:
 hearsay is unreliable, as is readwrote.

Truth is not a monopoly; no mortal --
 or group of mortals -- has
 sufficient experience to own it,
 no matter what they tell you.

spiraling, again

 the world is full of hatred 
 and people lined in rows 
 to tear apart all others 
(and that's just how it goes) 

 and oh how great we think we are 
(with such thoughts we are filled) 
 we're not like those subhumans  
 who we have lately killed 

 oh evil evil everywhere 
 to fight it's so inviting --  
(we dreamt of beauty once and calm 
 but how is *that* exciting?) 

 the rage of those denying 
 that they have any part 
 of all our modern rancor 
 can kind of break the heart 

 the spiraling of violence 
 the echo coming back 
 the one more day of mourning 
 and then the

 fade to black

men are meant to break

men are meant to break, and so we break them, 
a practice crossing time, and place, and caste; 
men are meant to die, and so we kill them, 
they're built for moments, violence, not to last 

boys are born destructive, angry, reckless, 
and this we can exploit, increasing yields --  
men are meant to break, and so we break them, 
on streets, in jails, at jobs, on 

battlefields