Bus Stops Are Places, Too

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write anything creative. Even now, I’m typing, deleting, retyping, fretting over whether I start my sentences with too many vowels, and generally not feeling a huge vibe to write. Mayhaps, it’s just the creaking writing bones, the flabby muscles crying out myriad curses. All I know is, right now, generating even five sentences in this paragraph is a chore. There, I did it.

For the better part of a year, I think I’ve been dwindling intellectually, creatively, and spiritually. Most days, I just feel as if I’m a gear in a machine, one that serves no real useful purpose except in some sort of quirked out Rube Goldberg monstrosity. I think a Rube Goldberg Machine is a very fitting metaphor for society: perform a simple task but do it in such a inefficient, complicated, and baffling method that you’re just amused with the small job it accomplished. Well, you say as a bureaucratic twat cracks a knee up your nose, at least I got a demonstration of mechanics.

Consider for yourself. Agree? Disagree?

I’ve been in a depressive mood for almost two weeks. It’s the usual melange of feeling alienated, low energy, and no real drive to do much more than what I do most days, which is not much. I work, eat, internet, sleep, and that’s mostly it except for a standing Thursday invitation and the rare Saturday night out. So yeah, I’m in rut and that is a huge factor.

Also, let’s be honest,, since El DuCheeto took office, it’s been one nightmare after another. So Jerry Falwell’s son and a member of the Amway scam family are in charge of education? Fantastic! Privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? Tier the Internet? Our lives becoming the mutant, bastardized incorporation of The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, and Brave New World? Even if these are things that never come to fruition, the idea of living on this sort of knife edge can make anyone loony.

And I’ve been a card non-carrying member of the Loony Society since lunchtime. Take a seat and enjoy the performance art.

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Note on the title: I apparently have taken the New Order method of naming posts. Enjoy!

Poem: Mistanthropy

6 BILLION PEOPLE CAN’T BE WRONG
I often find myself a-broodin’:
What’s so great ’bout being human.
Standing homo-sapient and tall
Is nothing really great at all.

We’re really just a load of bores,
No longer walking on all fours;
Who murder animals for our feasts,
But say that monkeys are lower beasts;

Using religion to kill the sinners
And also serve them up for dinners;
We think that we’re the higher species
Because we no longer fling our feces.

To all that, I say, “Just go and die.
Humanity is just another lie.”
It’s a way of puffing up our chest,
Make believing we’re the best.

Intolerance, suffering, and pain
Are merely scars for what we’ve gained.
Then we give carte blanche to maiming
As long as it’s the enemy we’re blaming.

We poison the atmosphere as we pleases
And inject white rabbits with our diseases.
We buy more guns than we need.
We vote for idiots and let them lead.

On battlefields, we’re completely useless:
Only death, injuries and all the mess.
Maybe someday, we’ll get it right.
No one’ll get hurt when there’s a fight.

And a good clue that we’re really dumb:
We learned to make a nuclear bomb.
Unnerving that we have the compulsion
To fiddle around with our own expulsion

Yes, if we use it, it’ll be the end.
No more leaders, followers, my friend.
And Mother Earth we’ll no longer encroach.
That’ll be left up to the cockroach.


1 IN 6 BILLION: A REBUTTAL
I guess I was being a bit mean.
It’s not all bad as a human bein’.
There’s art and sex, hockey too,
Laughter, children, and Doctor Who.

We wrote the book of love and compassion.
We’ll even put up with new French fashion.
Some of us are really nice people.
It almost makes up for all the evil.

We can also learn to save the Earth.
And treasure each other, for what it’s worth.
But no more positives into which I can delve,
It’s 36 bad lines against a count of 12.

 

Election Day Eve: Let America Be America Again.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Langston Hughes
“Let America Be America Again”