Tag Archives: self-righteousness

Today at Shoneys I observed

Today at Shoneys I observed
the lemmings at the breakfast bar:
fresh scrubbed from church and
sanctified, their patience thin,
their manner rude.

And that seemed odd;
for were I bound
to meet my maker, in his house,
I’d tread a little softer,
thinking my acts subject
to review.

And if just come from said review
I’d tread my way much softer still,
remembering how far I fell short
compared to those whose sacrifice
kept them from standing
in that line,
dressed up for show,
dressed up to dine.

But I missed services today;
in fact, I have no formal date
each week to meet with the Divine.
So I was quite content to wait
while the waitstaff was crucified
by those whose righteousness
was clear to anyone who looked.

I waited, while my food was cooked,
my coffee poured, my water filled,
by poorly paid and harried staff
who dared not find my eye, and laugh
with me about the peacock crowd
who thought themselves so fine and proud
that their time was worth more than that
of these, their servants, who like me
did not hear from the pulpitry
this morning that they should be shamed
to fill their mouths with holy names
while their hands grasped at mammon’s chains.

I waited, ate my food, and paid.
For all the difference it made,
I left a larger tip than those
who came in their best Sunday clothes.

22 May 2005

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The Shelter of Righteousness

What good was in the world has gone,
if we proclaim, with innocence,
that justice has escaped our grasp,
while our hands show no sign of fight
and, at the end of stiffened arms
held at our sides, are soft and smooth.

And if those cloaks with which we hide
ourselves from other seeking eyes
do not after long years of wear
reveal at least a trace of mud,
perhaps it does no good to claim
our journey long and filled with strife.

Our eyes, that show no signs of stress
from endless nights by candle flame,
but still reflect an inner calm,
their focus fixed upon ourselves —
how dare we claim to see the prize
that others seek as merely dross.

With honeyed tongues, we speak of pain
as if it were a passing whim;
and would say it miraculous,
an intervention of the gods,
that our great struggle for the right
to live as we choose has found its end.

How smug and righteous we’ve become,
to think the universe so small
that it will measure its success
by how our fickle fortunes fall.
If we would claim all but us wrong,
what good was in the world has gone.

05 FEB 2005

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Don’t Believe the Hype

The world is suffering and pain
or so the Buddhists say
but with control of mind and flesh
for some, it goes away

Not for the tree, or rock or mouse
does this travail desist;
nay, ’tis for man, and man alone,
the top dog on the list

For man deserves a better fate
than to compete, and die;
and thus, all man’s misguided myths
are built upon a lie.

The lie is whispered in our cribs:
that this world is our toy,
and that each field of grass is less
than one grand girl or boy

And so we use, abuse and waste
our time upon this earth.
Instead of finding balance,
giving back, we make it worse.

How did we get here? And what for?
These questions, our tales say,
end in the right of human might
that does not see the play

of life and death in which we’re cast
where we believe our press
and act in spite of natural law
that teaches, more or less

That every thing that lives requires
the death of other things,
and in the end will make an end
of pawns, as well as kings

This suffering we dwell upon
disturbs us each, because
we think ourselves, mankind, exempt
from nature’s violent flaws.

And so, we ponder future states
where all is just and fair
instead of realizing that
we are already there.

This world was not conceived for man
to do with as he please;
his grand appearance made less ripple
than a passing breeze.

To think your kind has rights to more
than any other type
is just misguided myth, not fact.
Please, don’t believe the hype.

04 AUG 2004

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All Things Zero

What is the point to the great war
that we have waged three thousand years?
Have we discovered any more
than better ways to produce gears?

The revolution that gave birth
to so-called luxury and ease —
has our great process on been worth
renouncing evolution? Please

Tell me the path we’ve named as right
that names us, humans, beyond laws
with which we learned to walk upright
and claimed as gods our noble cause:

To take for just ourselves, by right,
the entire world without remorse;
to judge what lives and what should die
and from the gods except our course.

To prove our story is not false,
the one that tells us we are kings,
we’ll turn the world to a death waltz
and put an end to living things

But those that live include us, too;
At this war’s end, we, the great hero,
must kill ourselves to see it through.
The end score – us, one, all things, zero.

03 AUG 2004

after reading Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, again

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Instruction to Fertilize

If I hurl vitriolic gobs of hate-filled angst
at the speed of aborted thought
down the ink-blood edge of an angry pen;
take as my heroes those
who defined life as the bitter sentence
terminated with the punctuation
of death by misadventure;
hold up as great art
the misanthropic, grotesque
and deliberately misunderstood –
sex-as-violence-as-power-as-reality …
if that is the depth of my understanding,
the thumbnail
on the whole of everything there is to know
that I swear
is the end all and be all of knowledge;
if the only tones of voice I know
are the pitiful scream, the pathetic whimper
and the cruel mad homicidal howl,
am I an artist, a poet, a Musician?
Or am I just another mongrel drone,
discouraged by my own impotence but unwilling
to invest the effort necessary to grow beyond appearances,
clawing desparately at a piece of society’s entrail
wrapped in a sugar coating of shit,
because I refuse the possibility
of a rose?

Your angst is not new.
Your mediocre nihilism is not exciting or stimulating.
Your voice does not carry a tune,
speak to the world,
or resonate with the gods,
no matter how bloody you make their hands.

It is crap.

Don’t make it into a sandwich
and pretend that it is satisfying.

Fertilize a garden, instead.

15 OCT 2002

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