In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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Love not Hate

Maybe it’s because I was born in 1960. Or maybe it’s because of the two daughters marching beside me. Or the feeling I’ve always had that I was born too late or too early, caught in this in-between generation that is marked by unearned, random prosperity for me and the rest of the privileged–but not for far too many, not for my daughters’ futures.
 
I cried ten steps into this morning’s march.
 
It overwhelmed me to see so many marchers. Far too often I feel isolated, my ear attuned to the horror more than the hope. I burrow in the belief that it’s me, just me. No one else truly aches knowing how much hate and fear destroy. That it’s horrifyingly dangerous to normalize unabashed, outright lies–a constant stream of provable lies. Fatal.
 
Even in post-apocalyptic dystopian Cormack McCarthy worlds of brutally savage survival, we must take care of one another, no matter what. And this should expose me as the fraud I am, touting pithy little graduate school cool catchphrase, club affiliations like the post-human age subscribers or the three-cheers-for-robots-taking-over-the-world meet-up. Truth is, I believe in the Renaissance and that the human capacity to create is greater than its capacity to destroy. If only we…


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Stench Of Discontent


The noise keeps me awake, 

And the static on the TV 

I don’t know how to turn on 

Let alone turn off.

 
The vibrations trip me up,

Topple me as I walk and think,

Make my knuckles swell,

Ache to type the arthritic words.

 
There’s more too, like the faces,

Eyes wrung in red rashes,

Stench like piss and rum from

Dirty denim and leaky shoes.

 
Don’t sit in my breathing space;

You’re money’s no good here.

Turn up the air and open the door.

Nod off your head twisted neck, go.
 

And I cringe and shake in despair,

Fight off the crusts of anger flung

Face off in my corner here, where?

The door, the door, where’s the door?


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Revolution: Ten for Today

Millions will march and fight for freedom, from oppression, from patriarchy, one million women march. I will bring my daughters, and they will know what sacrifice they must make for freedom in this country. Or they will prepare to move out of the country. 

Fight or flight, isn’t that the way of things? After the election, my first instinct was flight. That’s often my way. I never really flee physically, but I leave mentally. I thought about getting my children out of here, college in Canada or France. Thank God for duel citizenship. Just make them grow in a place where women are not objects of hate and self-loathing. Give them promise.

But for me, well, I could close the blinds, darken the room, better to light up my screen to make the words burn into my eyes. Make every word count. Quit my outside job, so I can hole up and never see them, those who ain’t woke, as my daughter would say.

She, one of my two woke daughters, likes San Francisco as a college choice. She wants to be with like-minded folks. We are a bastion of expansive values: free love, not your father’s love, expansion not contraction, possibility not improbability. They would have us roped and tethered to their poles.

I grew up in the shadows of revolution. Missed the big love by a half decade or so. But I have inherited the capital of my foremothers, my powerful free-lovers and Black Power fist pumpers. When love and revolution permeated culture by necessity, a newly emerging consciousness that the status quo needed cracking open–wide. Let the dragons loose.

So many false starts with the Bernie revolution and the 99%’ers before him. So many apathetic revolts that you could hardly classify them as disturbances, more like gastric distress. But the country has turned to the darkness of dictatorial capitalism and extremism. The pussy puppet believes he runs a show. Reality tv via the White House.

And we joke and rage and prod each other with vitriol still. The attacks and protests, where will they collide and start the conflagration. I’ve got my gas can ready. 

Image: tanya-cuba-kgb-revolution (pixabay)


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Post Politics: April Fools…Still? (Ten For Today)


August 3, 2016
 
You–

Where do I begin? Are you for real? You know the clear sign of adulthood is recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses, limitations and possibilities. Children believe they can do anything, fly to the moon with just their will and hands flapping, grow a cape and avenge their slights against school yard bullies. But adults know the difference between fantasy and reality. Not you.
 
Some say you know exactly what you’re doing. Others say you yourself have no idea what will come out of your mouth until you say it. My dear mother in law is like that–no editing filter from brain to mouth. It comes from a hyperactive attention deficit disorder, lack of impulse control and other causes. I’m no doctor. I’m just an observer. But she, at least, understands where she belongs, what makes her most effective as mother, friend, cook, caretaker and citizen. She knows her shortcomings and does not decide to become a surgeon or insist she can be one just because she believes her surgeons are not doing enough for her cancer and heart condition.
 
But you, ‘man’, own everything you do, say and believe, and expect others to do the same. You’re not a citizen of the world, just yours. The rest of us are all visitors to your world. They used to diagnose people like you as insane monomaniacal threats, curable only by electroshock therapy.
 
But that’s you. Somehow you have inserted yourself into every corner of the planet. The causes of your rise are plenty, but the time for analysis and disbelief are long past. Now the question is what will be done with you by the half of the nation that thinks, cares and clings to a worn, battered, torn and flaking democracy, but a democracy at last.
 
I am confident thoughtful people with conscience will do the right thing. Those lost in hope, dreams and fantasies, those longing for brutal fathers as a result of their own overriding fears, indomitable past or cultural patriarchal indoctrination will see themselves in you or not see you at all for the sake of something, something to help them bear the weight of the malaise and downright horror of their existence.
 
Whatever happens, madman (not to defame the ill) or pretender, I have hope that reason and goodness will prevail by the forceful intentions and actions of people who care, love and hope in humanity.