Bridges, IV

Others build bridges, but not ever the herd

with their in-group echo-chamb’ring, products preferred,

for they settle in camps where no “others” have stirred

their placid (soft acid-ic) “we’re just fine” words

to themselves; yet true speech only ever occurred

without armor, or assertion: it uproots, conferred

upon sages simplicity, freedom, and hemlock,

for true speech militates against the sought wedlock

of herding and asserting, and siph’ning the gridlock

out from the graceless homogenized face

smoth’ring place.

 

I remember long, long before this searching exile

(scouting requires memory-food without guile)

the crash and screech of steel wheels on the tracks, scattering birds, felt rare

in the suburbs of youth; the crowding forest made room for them, would amusedly stare

at the clearing they forced: they were but dangerous machines whose function

was to allow the children to flatten coins on them with the conjunction

of the meteors clocking through atop the tightrope steel

and the world’s lowest highwire, sloughing-off each heel

of boys braving fatal endlessness, daredevil-style.

The risk only made one taller, but still seemed worthwhile.

The bully living on the corner would look out his window

and stare with curiosity, jealousy; but as a man won’t

upkeep this habit, and we’ll go drinking together,

insult, bruise one another, embrace, laugh, and relax

and leave, shaking our heads, smiling, walking home along the tracks.

 

Pour on this: bleach;

the crash and screech

migrate for each,

eventually,

inward; so seek

escapes to breathe;

the buzz and hum

drowned out by some

subway-track run

sleepwalks; the bum:

unseen alum,

veteran “scum”,

they’re us — the sum

of what’s been done

to all and one:

wrapped up in some

TV person…

…the flickering figures on the silver screens

become playthings of subconscious dreams;

the silence becomes deafening, so we preen

and strive, so to run away,

thus the daring boy, brave,

who was afraid,

accomplished more than they.

 

This pattern I see

repeated, as I flee,

for each alienatee:

from the creep of TV

to “Acme users, we”

to “our Acme family”

to fences enclosing the exclusive station

to neglect of neighbors, self-preoccupation

to “Who’s that guy next door — do you know his name?”

to “That music he plays, it all sounds so strange…”

to “He might fit that profile in the paper today”

to “His kind can’t live here, let’s send him away”

then converting the fence into a high wall

and place gunners atop it, artillery install.

 

It is not love of place by which we affiliate so;

we’ve cannibalized the forum: the radio

has become where we meet,

where our fellows we greet.

 

9 thoughts on “Bridges, IV

  1. Complacency is the worst form of ignorance
    It take back bone to even envision crossing the bridge
    Your words are were wake up call too me
    I was feeling weak defeated
    I needed this this morning Mr G
    The Sheldon Perspective

    Liked by 2 people

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