Physician, Heal Thyself

for Jim Morrison, who I very liberally paraphrase and augment: Why are songs and poems important? Because songs and poems are the basis by which culture is passed from generation to generation. No one sits at their child’s bedside and reads them War and Peace; they teach in rhyme, in meter, in short works. In the building blocks of culture.

There is no spokesperson for your generation;
it is a hoax that you want to believe —
that someone else will speak for you,
explain those crazy thoughts of yours
that keep you awake late in the night
questioning first, your sanity,
then next, the sanity of those who judge sanity.

There is no great role model for your age;
just another media frenzy led by old, tired sharks
who want to find a way to package
some elixir of youth, then age you before your time
and hook you on the stuff, too.

There is no voice crying out from the wild,
no magic bullet or single dosage
no seer sage poet priest politician messiah.

There is just you.

And the dreams you don’t express.
And the others you let speak for you.

Throw away your radio,
your Billboard and Rolling Stone,
your solid gold subscription
to someone else’s Top Ten List.

Speak your own words.
Speak your own mind.
Teach yourself how.

20 JUL 2004

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