Solidarity

The grass is no greener on the other side,
no matter what they say
& stomachs like ours can’t digest it anyway.

Whether we’re more poster-children
for just another trend
we’re still just children.

I guess that’s why its so easy to hate
& why black & white look better than grey.

But easy doesn’t leave a trace,
can’t keep that fear at bay…

not one of us is exempt.

Whatever consequence
you want to call god or
karma or claim as the fault of others,

only we can face the danger of freedom;
only we can fight the terror of existence,

but I cannot do it alone.

So

will you join me?

This is how we live now (if you were born after 1984)

Expensive mistakes made to wait
for the cancelled screening of lost futures.

                            Never mind,
just watch the trailer;

sentence brought forward for bad behaviour,
particular particulates chosen
                            for both air & water.

Which method of suicide would you like?

No need for haste,
we have a decade to waste first,
                            & anyway
the decision was already taken
from us.

We just failed to notice.

                ****

Desperate times & desperate measures,
insanity as reflex against insanity;

                            a litany
of clichés & new prescriptions
for yet more medication.

Don't question
the efficacy, or the necessity
or the cause,

just take what you're given & be grateful
someone is pretending to listen.

This is how our problems are solved now…

                ****

Pull out the roots & the flower wont grow,
just like weeds won't;
                            to consider
weeds to be as beautiful as flowers,
is to consider the power of words
to change the world.

To hold contradictory thoughts,
                            is to survive
& thrive, like weeds become flowers.

To speak of flowers is to disappear
into the ideas of others but this
is consistent with the insistence that
                            nothing can be
new until it's too late:

words no longer matter on the page.

Now only screens change the world
& dreams are as useless as a pearl necklace,
draped around the neck.

                ****

Those of us for whom the drugs don't work
are told to focus
                on the small things
& ignore the world dying
all around us.

So:

crouch down to a round, purple flower,
notice the green-tipped wing of a butterfly
upon it.

Reach for the phone as reflex
                to take a photograph,
& watch as

the butterfly
flickers away…

King Panic

With so many questions lacking answers
& too many others
lacking comfort,
as days slip past us
faster & faster:

once again King Panic* wins.

Thin layer of foil beneath the skin**,
& as if in a dream
wind contributes to the scene:

the rain hard & wild against the window,
& the Sun fleeing the grey sky
as tired eyes
shrink from the fading light.

Sullen shudders of self-awareness &
the contemplation
of desperate measures.

Sensing this, the
tachhyonic voltage between us
prompts you to ask:

“What’s wrong?”
& though
I fail to convey it to you
through speech,
language is not all that we need
for us both to believe
that the other understands:

the calm of your hand against my neck
slowly
returns me,
& the questions no longer matter:

without an answer
there can be no question to begin with.

* Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams – Sylvia Plath
** Leaving the Atocha Station – Ben Lerner