Three people walked by me this afternoon,
A lonely woman who paused to look deep in the river,
a father watching his little girl ride her tricycle, trying precariously to keep balance,
An old man confined to a wheelchair being pushed by his weary wife,
What is more than life,
What did I do in return?
I lit another cigarette and turned my head back to my phone.
Pausing to watch these people wander throughout the day rather than join them in this mysterious dance of life that surrounds us and seeps into our very being
A constructed chaos poured forth from the concrete crack called home
Oblivious to the Sunday morning folk inside the building they’ve gathered around
As those voices inside are oblivious to the worship of the ants spewing forth to collect crumbs of life left by those who also spew forth from their own schedules to meet once a week
Of the daily constant worship of the march of the ants.
And so we did our best to dress as Wes Anderson characters, urgently seeking to feel the whimsy of his magic in ours, urgently burning to find peace and beauty trapped somewhere, somewhere if only we could open ours eyes to see and our ears to hear, trapped somewhere deep within the despair entrenched into the very crevices of our hearts, subconsciously piled under the weight of words that the world we live in weary us with the daily thinking that we are the true masters of this world, not seeing the dichotomy we place stringently upon this world and the world we seek after, the other unworldly world of heaven on earth mixed not with sorrow of past life nor of words that force us to weep at the unexpected encounter of who we really are found at the bottom of cheap wine bottles and unsure hearts, but the unworldly other world found beneath steeples and spires on Sunday mornings as we wash away the week before, as we wash away last nights drunken revelries, as we wash away the academic bullshit of intellectual conversations peppered throughout our lives of the newest movies or music, of the time aged classics of Siddhartha and Kerouac, those conversations of theology and philosophy that we pretend make us important and we weirdly place as the highlight of life because we find meaning here, we find that we are only truly ourselves in deep conversations because the holiness of magic cannot be found in the shallow, and so we meet with impure hearts and minds after late night desperate fucks seeking the magic of another world, of another mind that is not our own, forgetting that at one time we were children and that the very feast of our souls was found glimmering from ours eyes, glimmering from the the early spring flowers and trees hidden deep within winter slumber, and somewhere we forgot to continue that astonishment and amazement, we forgot that we still have that capacity within ourselves to find that magic, that unwordly other world that we find so unwieldy, so we dress ourselves as Wes Anderson characters hopelessly wishing that the magic of our youth was more than just seeing the simple spring flowers or the winter trees deep in slumber.
We sat under the stars over the trickling-summer-dried-river and talked of the future as if we were the gods discoursing the plans of those creatures above and as they slowly spun around our heads we held on to each other tightly, hungrily, in this infinite moment of small moments everywhere, knowing that when the dawn breaks we would be separated by more than the distance of all those stars combined, and that the crumbs of our bodily feast would never be able to satisfy us again.
And so we smoked pot in a dingy two roommate bedroom, surrounded by the strangeness of Mac DeMarco stinginess with a Native American named Mason headed out to the Dakotas summer soon to learn the language of his fathers and a young Cornel West lookalike that the damn dog wouldn’t stop growling at, and other such oddities cast out by the cold cunt of America, the unliberated liberals of dives and dumps, for those whose graduation comes not from a degree but from the relentless reality of being discarded for being the unconventional lovers of life, the bitterness of young age oppression cast aside only by the smoke which fills our lungs and surrounds our stories, our small parts in this larger story of a Midwestern summer night, a community without hope grasping at the aftermath of the post-industrial, post-capitalist, post-modern small town with an underbelly of methuselahs of meth and hopelessness that poverty brings into being, so we smoked and drank our fill until we forgot even our names, we smoked and drank until nothing was left in the world except this small bedroom community that being outcasts brings, until the small town and the middle class that haunts our very breasts and breathe ceased to have any say into our lives, because we were the masters of this infinite moment of small bedrooms everywhere, we were the lords of life and the kings of summer, and no longer were the chains of modern American peasantry wrapped around our legs, no longer were the tortures of jobs and mundane necessities of being were brought into existence, so we took communion, the blood of Jesus out of wine boxes for all those before and all those after who will know only like us the tortures of bedroom closet hideaways and existential late night walks downtown in the cold freezing rain chain smoking cigarettes until our lungs could no longer scream in frustration, and we took in the cannabis body of Christ as the cannibals of our society take in the drugs of sugar and coffee and chemical food, we took it in hungrily as we were starved for life, as we the true junkys of Boroughsean madness can only know life by injecting it into our veins, we took communion for the salvation of all those like us in dingy two roommate bedrooms surrounded by the strangeness of Mac DeMarco stinginess.
And when we came of age, we had no war to fall in love with so instead we loved each other’s bodies, ravenously devouring the fruits of our desire, those raw ripening delectables before the deafening decay when all we hold dear has been divinely divorced from our age-sickness bodies, before the disease of life has become manifest in our dreams and we drown in that ever deepening ocean of doubt that shreds what faith in we had in each other, oblivious to the pain and darkness in each other’s heart that we could find if only we had been brave enough to walk hand in hand into the doorway of perception together, if only we had the courage to face who we really are, if only there had been a war for us to fall in love with.
If I hear one more person who didn’t grow up poor talk about poverty, I’m gonna lose it. I mean, I’m gonna smack someone real hard in the face and I’m a pacifist.
If I hear any more of these middle class assholes talking about poverty as if they are the expert (or, should I say, THE expert) on this subject, as if their window car expeditions into poor neighborhoods validate their limited experiences of poverty,
as if poverty is some sort of learned behavioral mindset that if you just tried harder you wouldn’t be so goddamn poor so you better pull yourself up by your own bootstraps or otherwise you’ll be nothing more than a piece of white trash shit and we won’t be surprised when you get busted for drugs or wind up in prison or even killed because we as the middle class seem to rejoice in this bloodthirsty sport of us verses them but only this time we create others out of the poor to keep them off the streets to keep our families safe,
if any of these don’t sound familiar then it seems to me that all the goodwill of the middle class amounts to nothing more than making them like us because if you are poor how can you lead a full life, how can you be happy if you let poverty rule you instead of suburbs and offices and fear of death (Or is it fear of life unaccustomed to comfort), how can you find beauty in the sunrise, how can you find meaning if you’ve never seen the ocean because you’ve never been able to afford to travel?
So become like us and we will show you the way, become converted to the limited mindset of middle class and you will truly know life, as if poverty is something more than lack of money…
So yeah, if you’ve never been hungry because you can’t afford to buy food or if you’ve never slept in your car because you didn’t have a place to sleep at night or if you’ve never done drugs because life is so painful and meaningless that it offers the only escape, then I don’t want to hear about how the poor are asking for it or have fallen into a welfare mentality because your expectations of the poor have entrapped them, when you offer them only one way out and that is to become like you until you’ve destroyed them, so unless you come to the table offering grace and conversation, then please, for the sake of my pacifism, shut the fuck up, because I can’t take it anymore.