An Arguable Truth

A Silly Pursuit

I don’t want to change the world. I think it is a silly pursuit.
I just want options. You know. In lieu of a philosophical discussions.
We could just agree on the definition of the world within freedom.

As having many options.

And if you tax land, regardless of what it does,
then you have made living on it simply and free
an illegality. When every human has the right
to a free and quiet life in the country.

That is what I believe.
Options are the medicine I would feed this sick nation.

We did not decide this government so it could sit on top of the land
and divy it up back to us as soon as we pay a percentage of its worth.

I don’t want to change the world. I just want to add to it.

A Sherwood of sorts.
A path. A way of life.
A place where everything society says you earn between nine to five
is simply part of an environment. Paid for by not being a villain. Mostly.

Food. Water. Shelter.

And what you do with the rest of the day is yours.
Hard work is hard work is hard work.
It’s a choice you have to make.

It is clearly not something every human was cut out to do.

Sending us all out on the interstate at the same time headed the same way.
Is causing massive pile-ups, and cheapening life.
Interactions in abundance. Seeing people by the hundreds. Thousands.
Hard to believe each one has a name, and parents, and pets waiting at home.

When you encounter so many faces out there. When you’re never alone.
Who cares who you crush on your evening commute. What is it to you?

Just trying to get home from work after a long day.

There just aren’t a lot of options to get somewhere as quickly as possible.
Without running into a million others who have the same sensible thought as you.
We need options. I’m not talking about putting in an extra lane.
There has to be a place. A quiet life in the country.

Somewhere
the only way to get there
is the long way.

A Blade with Two Edges #OldPoems

The mind, consciousness itself, a blade with two edges,
sharp on both sides, forged in the mind. We all bear scars.
Marks. Places we were harmed, injured, cut deeply by thoughts, words.
Invisible weapons first learned turned inward, toward, threatening the self.
How many missing flesh, comforts, throw the burden off from hands, their swords,
tools trashed, forgotten and lost, because strength comes with cost, a price, hefty, sure.

But full with worth.

Bravery.
Courage.
Carrying heavy weapons.
Sore-handed. Tired. One trapped in the mind.
Invisible to any eye. It can not be seen seeing.
Slicing both directions, out and in, and we feel mostly in, it is all we have.

Ourselves.
And consciousness carves us up like a roast,
a sacrifice, dinner, like a fat gluttonous ego.
This sword makes it thinner. Drops weight.
Extrapolate hate in a lengthy, long, red
dissections of selfishness, greed, bad
and its wavering boundary against good,
not to be attacked.
But understood.

The mind brandished this weapon, pounded in imperfection until it is gone,
buried too deep to be seen, felt, still in notches, chips in steel, iron, handles wrapped
in palms and fingers gripped. Consciousness. Awakeness. Aware. Staring. Keen.

Our own heads lend us this sword.
The world knows the shape.
So the world supplies a sheath.
Help against the pain of lugging sharp brains,
a place to shush it in and let go,
a shape fit for the great idiotic weapon of ego.
So we can carry it. Keep walking. Moving. Growing.

Even if it’s slowly.

Born Ready

Nobody here was born ready. None of us came equipped,
or hit the ground running. Yet, you are here. I want to ask a question.
But I would like to invoke God first. Hey. You old God. Why is anybody afraid to die?
That’s why we all came here today. Isn’t it. The promise in baptism. Eternal life.
You don’t have to say it, I am too, so I’ll say it for you. I’m afraid.
Of what I feel. When I look at that child. I confess. I am terrified of true love.
That is how I know it is real. How I know to recognize it. Same as you. Old God.
Now that I think about it. Being in the presence of a higher power.
I know no greater terror.
And I just used a lot of words to say I am afraid of a baby.
That one. No teeth. No claws. Relatively small. Barely any hair.
Can’t move too well, or stand, or on his own, go anywhere.
He smells like purity. Right up until he doesn’t.
Only eats one thing, too much, and spits up.
And cries like a tomcat with a little juicy smile
sandwiched between his cheeks. You old God.

You did all this, I mean the miles that sit of great slippery glittery stepping stone
only eyes can step on, that big sopping wet lake, and the amount of land it takes
to call bodies of water like that lakes. And the scariest thing in the world
to me is that little precious lump right there?
Really buried the hook in that one, didn’t you.
It took every second of this much time for me to realize
just what we’re so afraid of losing to make us yearn this much for something
like making an eternal living. I see it, in his eyes.
How much it means, to us, to see our children baptized.

This love.
Wakes us up.
Like a splash of cold water.
Like becoming a father.
For the first time.
Nobody here was ready for it.
Not one of us came equipped to be a parent.
And yet, here we are.

What else is there to be afraid of?

Staples

Thanks to Staples my manuscript is published (lol). It’s kind of amazing, books by athletes, politicians, celebrities, are published all the time. But a lifelong writer, keeping journals since I was ten (yes I have them all, maybe a two foot stack altogether) who can talk about politics, God, art, acting, farming, life and death and everything in-between without even being heckled or argued with (seriously check my posts, no one says a word, that’s rare) is rejected constantly, and treated like desiring publication is just not accessible for me, told I’m not doing enough, to wait a little longer, until I’m a little older.

I don’t know what you think about the world we live in. But when we’re tracking down teenagers who can throw a ball or take a hit, or sing every note except for one steadily and with good tone, that’s the society we get. Our writers and poets are like raccoons we say are encroaching on our city spaces, though to them, they’ve always been here. And we’re the new ones. And we leave amazing things outside in the trash.

Well, I’m a real writer, I’ve only been left scraps to feed my work, and still, I’m changing the world, one farm, one show, one job, one conversation at a time.

Eh, I’m not mad about it. I’ve been doing this so long, I can’t stop. I may be the last real writer left. Get mad at me college professors and professional chefs, but I don’t believe you’d write if no one paid you to do it. Just my belief. But I would suffer, I would steal writing time at the end of eleven hour work days laboring, I would die to put my voice on paper. On stages. On television sets and in movie theaters.

I would go to Staples and have polite, fake conversation with the guy who works there because he saw the title and thought it was interesting, and called me and Ashley hippies. I’ll even forgive that. Because it meant someone read even just a handful of words I put down. They brought them back up and breathed life into them.

I want publication in that sense. And I’ve realized, I actually don’t need an industry that doesn’t really seem to enjoy literature the same way I do anyway. Doesn’t really seem to enjoy it at all. But hey, that’s the world you get when your stars play glorified fetch or only know how to barely smile into a camera.

I’ll just be over here. Ordering copies of my books from Staples, filling up journals with shit just to see what it will compost into.

I’m your writer. Maybe the last one ever.

Don’t let me pass by unrecognized just because I never made the football team.

Five Fingered Hand

Renaissance Man.
Je ne sais pas qui je suis. J’aimerais essayer
a thousand things to see if one will stick.
Did men lack basic self esteem during the renaissance?
Were they unwarrantedly narcissistic and bold?
Did they also only tell forward thinking lies.
I only lie the word yes so I can make it a lie a little less.
By having done it.

Renaissance man.

Another way to say yes sir or yes ma’am.
Someone who forewent dabbling.
Who plies the word yes for a living.
Even though the correct word is no.

Jack of all trades.
A layman unencumbered.
Means my days are numbered.
One through seven stuck on repeat.
I’m up on my feet. About the same time as the sun.
Every morning. Clouds be damned. Rain be warned.

There’s still one five fingered hand
a well rounded worker
a renaissance man
left to the specialized world.

Better Business

Freedom is the simple recognition that your neighbor will inevitably have to be offered all the same rights as you.

You only sacrifice a freedom, if say, it’s for something that negates the freedom of another individual.

The simple answer is, if you would hate to have something done to you, you are called to sacrifice doing it to others.

Straight, white, “normal” people want the right to gender identify, they just don’t get challenged on it as much. But we do, and we take it for granted. You don’t have to respect your neighbor’s identification. No one can make you. But your neighbor, whomever he or she or however they identify is, probably works, and probably has money, and probably has network connections.

You respect how they identify, you call them how they prefer to be called, because selfishly, greedily, connivingly, they are valuable. And people who get along with more people are going to be better at business. End of story.
They’re going to get more out of life.

Say you hate someone over their skin color when it’s really your own lack of self esteem. But eventually, they’re going to receive every right you have been offered. Including the justified right to hate you right back.

Prejudice, racism, sexism, I’m not sure these things are inherently so bad as they are stupid. They’ve been cursing and tackling civilizations for millennia, while we crucify and martyr anyone who dares recognize the value our economies ignore.

And that is the value of love.
One sided consideration that never asks to be reciprocated.

It may not make you wealthy, but it will make you impervious to poverty.

And I wish I could hand you loftier reasoning, but if nothing else, trust that black kid, that person you don’t know how to call, people who don’t speak enough of your language to know how to call you, have money in their pockets. Value to their person. Probably spend it here and there, when and where they feel invited, welcome, and free.

Conservatism isn’t dying.
Natural causes are revealing it was never in our nature.
We’ve never been a conservative creature.

If we were, we’d have gone down with the trees, and never learned to stand upright. If we were conservative, there wouldn’t be this much diversity in our species.

In fact, one could argue, that if homo sapiens had been a more conservative animal in the past, we’d all still be black.

No matter how you look at your neighbors, exercise no right you would not also extend to them.
Because in the end,
it will come back for you.

Not because it is right.
It really is just better business.

The Billionaire

Have you ever had a billion anything? Let alone dollars with unquestionable, government-insured value. Once you get enough money to feed a single generation of your family, you start squirreling away nest eggs for your grand kids to make omelets with later on, and their kids, and so on. No one has a billion dollars. Not even the humans in the world who do. You see, there’s this funny thing about money. It actually all exists in a state of perpetual gambling.

It’s an investment, you see, because if there were to be some hiccup in society, I’m not sure how far paper money will take you. It requires a lot of institutions to be in place to funnel all of us to be so dependent on one form of trivial, flighty currency. Never before has it been like this. Never.

Salt used to be money. Grass. People even. Never flimsy green printed paper. There are shepherding policies all throughout our government that keep us herded onto this singular commercial token. First off, taxes. Can only be paid in dollars. Though value has infinite forms. No matter your trade, your content, your product, your crop, before you pay the debt you owe to society you will have to convert it all through greasy means into our economic system’s sole currency. And you will lose out in the translation. You always do. In fact. You’ll be taxed for the sales transactions you were forced to commit in order to exchange that little morsel of prized value you wrought from life and effort. My time is money. Why am I not invited to offer two weeks of labor to pay any tax debt I owe. Why can I not grow food, are there not welfare programs in place to provide food to people in need? I have land. You know. You’ll see where we’ve paid taxes on it as long as it’s been in my family. I could grow you some food, or build some housing you could offer, or I could show up with a shovel and give two weeks of labor.
A couple grand worth by my own math.

The things we don’t question. It’s not on accident.

My dream is a different form of economic thinking for the rural areas of America, and the world as a whole. An agrarian, barter based system where we are only bound by our mutual need as a community. You have to know the creeks that part your land don’t end where your property line is. You’re not being a good person, or a good neighbor, by considering having a formal relationship with the people living and farming in the area around you. That’s called common sense. We could do half the work we are putting on our government if we intentionally built communal and agricultural infrastructure in our local areas.

National, global issues, they’re like advanced courses you only take once you’re near the end of your major. They’re not for everyone. Most people only want a basic, general understanding of what it takes to be alive, to sustain any substantial, generally happy life over time. The prime focus of any person should not extend further than fifty or so miles out from where they live. Where they’re rooted. Water systems. Growing seasons. Sustainable agriculture. Barter-based local businesses. Education. Recreation.

Then, when our lists are marked off, the chores are done, we can sit on our porches and fail to imagine a thing left to do. We light our pipes. Cross our legs.

Rock back, and ask, so what’s been going on with Kanye West?

Hobbled

Sticks and stones can break your bones. And words.
Well. That’s why we invented them in the first place.
Language was a splint we strapped tight against our shin,
because sometimes you have to be hobbled before you can be fixed.
And words. Well. They started outpouring once we induced vomiting with them.
Talking tears in the eyes dry heaves and moaning.
Language. Communication. Grammar. Literature. Exposition. Creation.
We made up our own emotional placebo.
Words. Like medicine. Evolved by means of so much misunderstanding,
misguided, miscommunication. Medieval poets placing leeches
on feverous people and selling them absolution for their souls.

The language was basic. Primeval. To us, most times, looks evil.
Everything absent context typically does.
We just don’t see life clearly until we’re clinging to it dearly.
And words let us do that. On our own time and not the world’s.
We think. Plan ahead. Wrack our minds. Break our legs.
So that when they come for us. Sticks and stones in hand.
We’ll say your words can no longer hurt me.
Anymore than I already have.

A Thousand Lakes

The grass comes up so green. No thing here wants for water.
The mud goes down for feet. They’ll drink all summer.
Their roots will run deep. Scorched earth in black cattle trails
washed all around and throughout the trees. Seriously.
Ground as black as coal. Framed by fields of emerald.
Horse and buggy hugging the shoulder and the driver must be getting wet.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cup out front just barely see their breath
join the fog in the air. They were once newborns. Foal legs unfold and tremble.
They’ll grow old and get winded and these good Amish will relinquish
their ancient technology into the earth. Not today though.
Ninety seven minutes from home. And the barn.
The familiar stall. The straw. And the dusty pile of hay.
That good sweet oat mule grain. Seed of something green.
Drinking deep. In the land of a thousand lakes
and short tempered rivers.

Where the grass doesn’t want for anything.

Voiceless

Their eyes speak volumes.
Eyelashes turned up way too loud.
Milky white bleeds over onto the pupil.
That is how you know he can’t see you.
That. And the way his ears follow you across the room.
Which. When there’s animals in it. Is called a barn.

Little ones three to a stall.
No matter how small.
One of them
has to be
biggest.

What a perk. They let you eat first. She leaves two other pails just for us.
An orange and white tabby tearing at a frozen bird some other thing tried to eat yesterday. Reindeers wore their antlers bare. And I didn’t know, they don’t need so much water.
Because reindeer eat snow. And geese hiss like snakes. And donkeys crow.
The music mules make makes me believe this animal understands sympathy. And guilt.

The low. The rising raspy bellow. The arched head bowed down.
Salt peppered hay speckled crown. Makes me want to feed him again.

He knows this.

You know, it really isn’t voiceless.
Just because I don’t speak the language.

But when we listen through our eyes
we always strike some understanding.