April 17: Pop culture

The polite fiction; Soda


The polite fiction

We are good: except when someone deserves short shrift;
we do not judge: except when the evidence is convincing enough;
there is no purpose to life beyond belief: I believe in what I see
I believe in what I was told was real – I believe
that half of me is a scheming cesspit that can take all the blame,
and those wily feelings so chaotic, they’re possibly the root of evil—
a devil whispered in my ear that I’ve got to do this thing,
I’m penitent, but don’t deserve damnation;
got to ignore them, got to drown in coffee in the mornings,
and kick start my night with alcohol—
anything to ignore the misunderstood and the crazy around me,
those who carry a taint and want to infect me: it’s all
in the video games, it’s all in roleplaying; it’s all in the whispers,
they keep giving me these urges – and I’m not like those degenerates,
shooting and always in a vicious cycle of drugs, prison, drugs, prison…
so everyone says and I believe it, because
nothing else makes sense… I’m a builder, I’m creative
but it seems to me that everything has already been done at least once…

Once, I read somewhere that our virtues were crystal clear, always were,
but sometimes I waver and stop to think about you other people:
I was taught that no harm should be done to one another, but the loophole
is that I can when it is obviously right – isn’t that the way of it? you’re
wrong, I’m right – so shut up and listen, save your soul and get rid of all
these misguided fictions – just trust me when I say I know, I’ve been
down that road; so I keep telling myself, but I don’t know why, sometimes
I wince – I might not be a barbarian from medieval times, killing
at a whim and illiterate, so easily manipulated, but… sometimes I suspect
that what goes on here is not all that different…
our motto is that we’re all free to get that happiness we want, but it seems
to me that we thrive on misery – I take my cue from everyone else,
all you have to do is keep smiling and pretend, because this is
what we call the peak of civilization,
it’s the apex of our existence – we have everything we could possibly want,
technology does our bidding and we get our kicks easily enough—
what need have I of envy, when I can just take it away? I have a right,
we all have a right to pursue our happiness…

Happiness is something none of you ever achieve, though; I have to say
sometimes I think that something’s wrong, when our heroes
are abusers, fanatics and failures – so shallow that we love hating them,
and the legends are those who dodged that bullet and still stand strong,
and art? art is about who can make it the simplest, ugliest and most violent—
shock is the elixir of living in the moment, and I feel so confused sometimes
because they keep saying that what we are is something to be afraid of,
but all I see is that it’s something we love to indulge decadently—
and I don’t understand: you abhor fantasy, yet you watch reality TV
and think that you’ve escaped the traps of your treacherous mind;
isn’t what I’ve been told right? you don’t need emotions, they say, but
all of you drink in petty conflict like the water of life; everything is so
dramatic, yet empathy is a sign of weakness – something is wrong,
and I keep searching for answers that will satisfy:
we used to have the Great Chain of Being, but disillusionment
sped us up into glorious Enlightenment – but none of that explains
the whispers in my head, why all of you are so crazy; I think
maybe reality is not something I can keep believing…

I believe in few things after all this turmoil: I believe, for instance,
that love conquers all – and just look at its body count, I have to agree
but there’s still that incessant flood of terrifying feelings gushing in me—
I was listening to Sinatra’s crooning in a café, reading Shakespeare
and hoping that I would start understanding the human condition; I know
that I’m not to blame, after all: it was my parents, society, school and
everyone else that keeps making mistakes – I feel in my gut that
what I say is better, but for some reason not many agree with me…
they’re all delusional, primitives compared to my imperfect superiority—
but damn, those voices keep screaming and spitting vile things at me—
maybe I just need a reboot, some legal drugs to forgive and forget
and I’ll curl up and watch a documentary – as long as
it’s real, as long as I know what’s going on
it all makes sense when I think of my purpose: except,
I don’t quite fit, I’m not quite that pretty – I don’t have the objects
to back me up, oh, I think maybe I’m the one going crazy—
why can’t any of you tell me what’s happening? it’s not that
difficult to figure out: all of you go through the same damn thing…

But those things, I’ve realized no one wants to talk about it, really—
what if they are right, what if the voices are the ones that have my answers?
maybe I should stop, maybe I need help – but I know better,
I have it all under control… I live in the right and my morals are clear;
some of you don’t deserve my time, but I wish this weren’t a lonely feeling,
this floundering in what’s real and what these feelings mean – am I
really evil, or have we all been missing something?
the articles keep saying I need to communicate, but they never say how
my case is always more confusing, though I’ve been told it’s supposed
to be simple – we’re all blessed with individuality, but I sure do wish someone
shared my head sometimes so they could tell me that no, I’m not crazy, I’m
just like everyone else: that all of this will make sense, but I might as well wish
I were a movie star and the president to boot; sometimes I think I want
people waiting on me like they do in the restaurants, but somehow I know
even that’s not going to cut it – the voices tell me something filthy, they tell me
that the fantasies, my guilty pleasures, give me what I want; and I try being callous,
like I should, but the twisted things we think about – they make me cringe inside…
maybe I’m just more sensitive? …or maybe we all live in a giant lie…


April 17, 2014

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a reed in black water, ruffled
meditation interrupted by shivers
soda fizzing, blending with
the white noise… the soda
is cool on her forehead, she thinks
of what it’s good for: she drinks
and tries to feel the goodness,
happiness, family perfection
but out in the dark night on a bench
alone and staring at the streetlamp,
the grass, the lamp, the road, the lamp
she sees nothing of that…
she wavers and walks to the docks
to watch the dark water ripple softly
the thrum of buses crossing the bridge
vibrating into her thoughts, she
is interrupted by an emotion:
the city diving into nightlife
brief noise of disco permeating,
distorting as cars go by one by one
yet she… feels it, at last
the soda high: she’s connected
and significant
down there
a thin reed, wavering
at the edge of the docks…


April 17, 2014

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