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Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Year Letter, January 1, 2017

To the human kind
on our birthday –
a time to blow out our candles
and make wishes –
to say one thing
and do another. To
reach for the stars and
settle for Jersey Shores,
Paulie Shore would have sufficed;
and you can believe us, now,
anytime, about the disappearing ice –
it may have dissolved in sweating drinks
at public fundraisers for private interests,
where all the wait-staff wear microphones
and communicate via handshake
details nobody yet knows because
they haven’t seen Brad Pitt
play it in a movie, and nobody famous
is dying, or it wasn’t adopted by the
public craze for phat-bottomed socialites
suffering Stockholm Syndrome, fixing to
be First Lady to President Kanye…
Let’s all head west until we fall screaming
like bitches into the sea, while looking back
to see the fire consume
our hemp sneakers by the door
to the sauna, where hot-bored mom fell asleep
with the under-age pool boy
and spent the next morning in church, telling
herself he was almost eighteen –
another laughing matter for a lunch of clichés
on the patio by the car-park,
beside the street where buses continue
to advertise a better watch, a nicer smile,
a prettier bride than the one you got,
avenues of advertisements, each one a better version
than the one you’re turning out to be;
Don’t worry, nobody has time to be sentimental,
that’s the last purpose of Christmas since everybody
knows that mall Santas are played by unshaven drunks
who dispensed Tic-Tacs to Kevin McAlister,
and Christmas cards are only shared because
of a built up year of ignoring one another,
until a glass of egg nog and rum allows you
to say all the things you can’t
normally yell at children,
even if their parents continue
to hide behind iPads and think
supervision is just casting a few glances.
On our birthday, by which I mean
we are still here…
still fighting, arguing, killing, planning to kill,
confusing winning with earning,
finding wisdom in electing the ignorant
rich to feed the poor,
it’s like trying to imagine the UN
without the veto;
who’s showing who the door?
Shall we just jump off the tip
of the iceberg now, and wait
for the tidal wave to drown the village
and cut us off and make the government
pay for all the houses to be carted over the
hills where the people can meet
their new neighbours, who are stuck
forever inside, choosing, every time,
a scripted Hollywood ending to
the view from an open window; Netflix did
not produce this view that you see
from the place you stand, but they are
selling it to you in TV families with
one smart kid and two dumb ones and
a patriarchal grandfather who’s rich
and often drinks whisky but nobody seems
care how often people stare at the chest
of his much younger wife, and leaves
me with a suspicion that
you can only find ugly on reality shows
and documentaries by actors
who protest at exclusive parties
attended by one million channels of television
making the world think it should run on Nike
and drive cars that sell clean sheets to the homeless
while they autonomously swerve around the
Syrian refugee trying to sell his story
for a month of rent while he swings and hammers
and points out all the things that are the same
back home, except now he’d developed a fear of
small boats and government-issued life jackets
they only supply when the aim is to temporary
suspend your liberty and call it “detention”
because you crossed a line nobody can see
somewhere in the middle of the water,
which can’t tell the difference which legs you
swim with, in fact, come and learn in our
national fitness program where everybody
who isn’t affected by killing will be assembled
to bring peace to a world preferring to go
to pieces because some other white-racist will
sit with parishioners and then kill them,
across the street from a cop killing a driver
over a tail light which turns out not to be the
only light lost in that night,
as two more eyes close upon the conclusion
that their wish won’t come true.   

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