Tuesday, March 1, 2011

As The Earth Quakes

The world won’t hold still for a minute and that’s not a bad thing if you’ve been living in much of Africa and Asia uncertain each day about surviving the next. While some of us quibble about broken narratives or fragmented routines we are witnessing the ten days that shook the planet, then another and another.

Permanence has always been an illusion; a construct we lull ourselves to sleep with. If, by accident, you live near the top of the heap you call it order, stability, tradition. If you’re on the bottom you heave and surge until tectonic plates shift.

At home Republicans are intoxicated, all strut and swagger, driving the country recklessly under the influence. They are running drunk with scissors shredding their bogeyman, government. They have overthrown FDR. Now they want the clock wound back a hundred years or more. Let the ground rumble under their feet and in their overeach may their plug be pulled.

Artists live with flux. They see around corners. When the unknown arrives disguised as ugly they see through it. They call it possibility or permission. They dare it or praise it or find its mirror. They prepare us for overthrow. They issue us letters of transit from here to there.

6.5 in New Zealand at Christ's Church
(of all places)
with rubble in Benghazi.
Oil up. Dow down. Humpty’s dumped.
Topsy’s been turvied. Seismic changes on the map.
A tsunami of people deconstruct the square.
Street vendor’s finger on the Richter scale.

Republicans drinking caffeinated Koch.
retrofit to lassaiz-faire. Unions brought to rubble.
Wisconsin is in Illinois. Arizona shoots to kill.
Texas at the O.K. Corral.

I’m hearing Woody Guthrie, America singing
Blues, Whitman’s yawp, made for you and me,
ain’t nobody going to turn us around.
New anthems heard
from the statehouse in Madison
to the shores of Tripoli.

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