Month: May 2007

Your Peaceful Existence

Your peaceful existence Comes in a colorful package that you buy And you become diffident of The no-name brands denouncing The dominant point of view That war is good, out there. In your package Comes educational material Justifying the building of weapons Under a veil of good morals and principles. Even you can shoot and kill Under the veil. No child is left behind All pledge allegiance All are given the freedom To shoot and kill And peace becomes the enemy, Driven out of the classroom, Arrested, suppressed. You pledged never to challenge The official view. You pledged never to question How many are killed in your name. You pledged never to look Outside your peaceful existence. There is no money to be made in peace. Aspiring peace leaders withdraw, Threatened of becoming martyrs, Their words distorted to rekindle the war effort. War leaders continue to get Airports, buildings, and freeways named for themselves. They continue to call peace the enemy. So, you say, war must be good, And looking the other way You return …

Self-Portrait, revised

Is this better? Self-Portrait Every morning, facing the mirror You feel like Dorian Gray who saw in his portrait The old, consumed man he was supposed to be. You have seen it before, The image you try to project, Blending in time, growth, and decay. Every morning you have a routine You perform magic And transform yourself into What you want to be. Every morning you select From a wardrobe blessed by fashion The clothes that you need To make you part of your world. Years spent making yourself up And today your mask presses Uncomfortably against your nature. The leaks in your mind Wet the plaster Of your mask, and it crumbles. You can’t find yourself in a magazine. The lost identity never was yours. Today, you start a new portrait Incorporating strange features from a night filled with dreams. You need to slow down, to let the colors blend Allow for experimentation. Paint Your true self, one trait at a time, Sometimes over another you tried and disliked. You call it, work in …

Poetry read at sl4db: Self-Portrait

A new feature of my blog: the poems I wrote for Spotlight for Dust Bunnies Monday nights. Yes, they usually are first drafts (or first and a half, or even second). One day all the revisions will magically appear. Self-Portrait Every morning you face the mirror And feel like Dorian Gray when he saw his portrait: The old, consumed man he was supposed to be. Why is it a shock? You have seen it before. Every morning you have a routine You perform magic And transform yourself into What you want to be. You select from your wardrobe The clothes that will give you the confidence You need to face the world. You spent years making yourself up And today you want out of your mask. Your mind is leaking, And your mask crumbles like wet plaster. You can’t find yourself in a fashion magazine. You have lost an identity that never was yours. You start to paint a new portrait Incorporating strange features. You need to slow down You need to learn, and allow …

The Daily Grind

In the cavernous food court Of their office building The men in gray find their daily food For the half hour, perhaps a whole hour They allow for lunch Between a phone call and the filling of a form Calculating precisely how long the path is to retirement. On plastic trays, they put hamburgers or ham sandwiches The occasional fries also A bottle, of juice, sliding dangerously Threatening to spill the whole tray If not caught by a spasm of hunched shoulders. From plastic chairs attached to plastic tables They occupy their tired minds With a strategic view of a TV on the wall Playing something they will soon forget. A man in black, the word SECURITY on his back, Walks by Making sure, in his silence They are happy and undisturbed. Oh, how they long for retirement As they adjust mentally their calculation Glancing at their watches Dreaming of doing what they want The enjoyment of the rest of their lives In the tranquility of a well-furnished living-room Free to choose from the day’s …