101414 silent sentinels

October 15, 2014


with an accidental elbow brush of intimacy
stranger leaving (if only temporary)
one desert for another
i see the shadows of my past appear
at last, like a mirage it spreads across
the landscape as thousands of silent sentinels
stand a vulnerable, judging watch, measuring loss
without eyes they see in a contorted agony
a mirror reflecting reality
where the steam punk civitas
of urbanizing chaos
trauma reigns supreme.

i live and love beneath the peaceful canopy
of a wakeful Joshua Tree dream.
do i…? Yes, i do. every day.

every time little boxes on the hillside
pass me by, we anthrogens desertify
supplanting farm, forest and prairie
until the inevitable landslide.  Buried

every time i see someone willingly
participate in the empty production
of more toward the endless destruction
of enough, country bleeding mortals
mining diamonds in the rough.

every time this system serves and
protects corporate profit over people
place and communities.
every time i inhale air too acrid to breathe
inside this twisted normality
i believe.

draw the parallels between these things
like a convex prison industrial complex
that confines and murders all who refuse
to fall back into the lines
that connect the space between
control and crime
tough love and abuse.

i seek the liminality
within the phrase of place

every time i see Her face
in various forms
standing her sad watch
one of many silent sentinels
mourning the roadside slaughter of her mate
at tire height
by unthinking, unsensing, unrespecting
unexperiencing machines
containing beings
who readily sacrifice
our souls to drive and ride
and drink our devastation, i cry
toward the courage she demonstrates
in solitary defiance as hordes of the
Enemy in their loose alliance pass her by
without so much as the momentary remorseful twinge
of a second look in the midst
of the constant casual threat
of a monster’s ball rolling
drunken gasoline crack pipe binge.  Broken

She resists with wings folded, no fists.
i see how she indignantly compares
the relentless flow of a self-destructing
economy to the forced-flat
two-dimensionality of a lovely
mutilated body splattered, becomes
our love lying shattered, more
with the desecrating roar of the passing teeth
mark on this floor in the mouth
of the concrete metal Beast
a Hell for each self
absorbed into its belly
never food enough
for its eternal Feast.

2014. it’s the year.
to live
to love and die
in the war i need to fight
without the chains of fear.
do i…? Yes, i do. every day
i think about suicide again
and decide instead
to persevere.

121812 single spark

October 7, 2014


my friend, I see you
as you walk so calmly amongst us
as if you were nothing more
than a simple guy with a smart strut
sliding between us
smooth as silk cuts through strands of smoke
searching.  I search, too.

I hear you
laugh as you take a joke
and file it away, for later
the same as I see the wheels in your rational head
twisting and turning, thoughtful dead
I feel the empty hunger in your heart
pumping and burning, and
I sense the doubtful blood in your veins
yielding to the yearning.

you are kind and gentle
to us, perfectly flawed
you are a good friend
to some, and we stand blind, in awe
but all it takes is just one, to me
no turning back, you embrace
what you’ve become

I am here to help you
realize what you’ve done
because i see you, in the dark
and in the moment that we meet
will be a single spark
so it’s with a heavy hand
and an open heart I offer you
fair warning and a fresh head start:

watch your back, monster
you might hide from others
but I see you for what you are
I know your victims, some survive
I see them in the skies at night
and I feel their scars

you won’t be the only one
stalking its prey, by night
and by day, any where, any way
might be the perfect time to strike

you won’t be the only one
calculating, cold, cautious of his choice:
vulnerable, accessible, lacking credibility
those without a voice
whose silent terror falls
with the cycles of the moon
because they put their trust in you

relish their fear
you will know it soon.
living too much in your brain
run away, hide, explain it all
the pain you cause
you will feel it, too

the moment when we meet again
we won’t be so lonely, because
you won’t be the only one
refusing to take, ‘no’ for an answer, anymore
I know exactly what it is about you I abhore
you’re nothing special, nothing unique
not talented, nor gifted
nothing, and no more.

Do you see me, now?
because i see you in the dark
and in the moment that we meet
will be a single spark
through the lens of history:
your life, your death
our one, and only mark.

031413 somewhere underneath

October 1, 2014


untold emotional pain,
silent existential strife
little to lose, much to gain
zoom out, pan on scene one to see
the terminally-infected tree of life:

suicide leaves fall and drift in the wind
from bare branches and snags that stand
dry, brown, brittle of premature end
as lonely silouhettes in the night
shivering violently in the breeze
breaking, socially estranged
objectified by fright

scene: cut, wrap, radicalize to fight the disease
while we still can, find the poisonous source
neutralize the threat by any means necessary,
up to — and including — by force

what’s the difference between
“preservation” and reservation
when life is struggling to survive
inside a scientist’s sterile petri dish
or a jar of civilized formaldehyde?
essentially, what’s the difference between
undead life and suicide?

scene two:  from black, fade back in
to a single leaf trying to hold on
sensitive to her toxic attachment
where everything feels so wrong
inside her head and her heart
comfort begs and tempts at first
but it comes undead
infected at the start

she shudders, slips and falls to earth
as we dig blind for truth down to its roots
we mine for pay-dirt somewhere underneath
these undead toxic fruits
but no one person caused her death
and no one person could have saved her
like a yellow bird blamed, we burden her
for taking her last breath…

zoom out from the leaf, cut and scene
to think about the tree: the branches, roots
the soil, air and water, and the other leaves
last but not least, try to see
the forest through the trees
in your response the next time someone asks,
“what’s with all the fuss?” because
the undead things that caused her death
are killing all of us…

on leadership, suicide and murder

December 3, 2011


Ilya Zhitomirskiy was, publicly, a bright, energetic, idealistic star. He did not fail.  Rather, the world he was working to change failed him:

In the wake of the passing this weekend of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the four founders of much-hyped open-source social network Diaspora, an unsettling conversation has begun within the tech community. Zhitomirskiy‘s death, rumored to be a suicide (sources close to CNN Money have confirmed but officially the cause is unknown), has ignited what many see as a much-needed and long-awaited dialogue in the industry: the mental health repercussions of the immense pressure and scrutiny—both internal and external—that young tech founders weather in their quest for the new American Dream.

quote from http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/11/16/ilya-zhitomirskiy-diaspora-suicide-speculation-depression-stress-anxiety/emphasis mine

Read the rest of this entry »

Canaries in the Cultural Mine: Suicide and Justice

November 14, 2010

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” -Krishnamurti

In my experience, few people doubt that when someone commits suicide, it means something was terribly wrong. However, too often we draw the conclusion that something was wrong with the person committing suicide. We often assume in the absence of information that the cause of the suicide was purely internal (e.g., psychological) rather than external (e.g., environmental; social or cultural). We also tend to label people who commit suicide as “selfish.” This assumption is often completely wrong.

In his essay, “Of collateral damage and roosting chickens…” Tim Wise uses the “Canary in the mine” analogy to describe how racism amongst the white working class actually does considerable damage to the welfare of white workers: Read the rest of this entry »