Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I have a head that's mazy with the mythic,
and even though I know that Kurt Cobain
was aware he was producing music
with a degenerate ethic,
I can't forget his entrapment.

There is a special kind of glow that flows
from the ones who are fully aware
that the rhythm in their movement
and the message in their attunement
will never reach their audience,
who say the ways they can't communicate
and get mistaken for cynics
when all they really want is for their
simple cryptic to be
interpreted literally.

I think they're all like us,
falling into darkness because
the light we grew by as saplings
was a pollutant
and as grass shoots through the cobblestones,
the smoke clears
and we can see through it.

As we sort through the soot
caused by our upbringing,
sift shadows from true vision
and attempt our own
intergenerational transmission
I find myself more entangled
in the same kinds of binds
that puff up simple observations
and twist intimates
into clashing titans.

I wish to resist the mythic,
but even as I act humble,
I wind up caught up in it.
Not that I feel like an archetype,
but more like I have to fight
to keep them off my mind.

Hunter haunts me exactly the same way
Horatio Alger appeared to him--
in fever dreams where the meaning
is that I am in danger of repeating
the rotten lie at the core
of our collective identity,
and my attempts to illuminate its shortcomings
will leave me as deeply misunderstood
as Jay Gatsby.

Except that I can stop it if I just remain nameless.

This, too, is entrapment.
Accept the offer to be another flower in the garden,
and eventually you are plowed under,
fertilizer for another season's perfect roses--
never to go to seed
and never to leave an impression in memory.

To see something wrong and refuse to do anything
is an act of cowardice,
and to ignore injustice in order to avoid
the perversion of your message is also
to surrender innocence--the choice, then
is whether violence will be abetted
or voices corrupted,
and we can only trust-fall into darkness
unless we choose to trust
those smoky shadows we spent our lives
fighting by gaslight.

Can we settle for shadow-puppet theater,
casting nonliteral musings as naive ramblings,
or will we leave a lasting legacy
of nonsense nursery rhymes that accidentally
got taken literally?

Come as we are with all apologies for pennyroyal tea?
Or face fear and loathing until our ignoble end,
living out a grim prescription
that started with
"Load up on guns & bring your friends"?

What I see in the gulf that lies between our positions
is a chasm that I think both of us have ventured into,
and as we divine its depths, we must be careful
to show everyone what's inside without assuming
that they don't already possess the transformative aspects
we picked up from our journey into it.

If there is a communication I've been laboring
to word correctly during lapses when
literal language collapses,
it's just this--it is better to be silent
as a politic
that to draw attention to
a voice
that you wish was silent.

As long as we scream into the dark as a collective choir,
we will implode the mythic impositions
that neutered the prophets of preceding generations.
Only the messianic image constructed by simplistic opponents
can really stand against us,
so the only way to save ourselves
is to amplify other people's voices
and refuse to reduce ourselves
to the tilted axis of single-world-image atlases.
Instead, we should stand as siblings,
"Here there be dragons!"
and spread our wings.

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