Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Darkness on the Edge of Town

I have not written anything in a great long while except a single poem. This poem is significant for numerous reasons, but the most significant aspect is the things I was thinking about when I wrote the poem. When I was younger, I hid my pain, my battles, my arguments within poems because I knew poems were safe; no one reads poems, and if they do, they won't get mine, and if they do, then they're just like me, and I'm in love.

But that negates everything.

The sharing negates everything because it changes the initial reason the bastard poem was composed in the first place, and this kind of thinking is why I quit writing. But here me out.

I'm obsessed with the movie Serpico. You know. 1973 Al Pacino: the first true good cop against every bad cop in New York. 

He just wanted to do the right thing. He just wanted to be free to be. I am obsessed with the movie Serpico, but it is mostly only one part that plays over and over again in my head. See, Serpico knows the cops are going to hunt him down. And he is rightfully fearful, but he doesn't falter; he keeps on keeping on. When he comes home to his nurse girlfriend and vents about it all, she tells him a story. It's that story that constantly plays in my mind. Here's the story:

In a small village, there was a King that was hated by a Witch; she lived at the edge of the village, in the woods, where all witches seem to live. One day, she was so angry with the King, she went to the river and poisoned the water. Everyone in the village drank the water, and everyone in the village went crazy. However, the King did not drink the water. He was the only one that did not drink the water, and everyone thought he was crazy. So the next day, he drank the water, and everyone in the town said, "Praise God, the King's sanity is restored!"

I think about this at least ten times a day, and I get angry at myself.

I get angry because it is romantic to think about this. It is romantic to not name the problem, but to instead create a symbol for the problem. 

I hate my romanticism because it is not true. It only exists because I am too scared to say what I mean, for fear of hurting someone's feelings. I stayed up all night thinking about this last night. So I am going to be honest, right here:

There are people I worry about. There are people I love so much, and I worry about so much, but they are not near me. There are people that are living in those crazy villages, having children in those crazy villages, buying clothes and drinking the water in those crazy villages, and it's happening. 

It's like in 1972, when R.D. Laing held a seven-week, radical experiment where he sectioned off a part of London, and side by side, the extremely mentally ill lived with their doctors. There were no white coats, no interviews; they played cards. They argued. They let the inmates run the asylum. And at the end of the experiment, the doctors were sure they were crazy too.

Is that romantic? I'm not sure.
I blame a lot of things on this crazy village mentality.

I watch the news a lot. The other day, I was watching the news, and there was a member of the CBS press, wearing a bullet proof vest and helmet, standing in the middle of a bombed out market place. It was during a cease fire, a short one, a cease fire long enough to gather the food available for a religious holiday. 

In the front of the frame, a young man ran by hurriedly. He was wearing a bright green shirt, and in huge, white bold letters, the shirt said



Since I saw this man in this shirt two weeks ago, I have felt guilty. I look for him every morning on the news. 

And here we are in America, hurting each other and hurting our children, watching these cycles continue and claiming our innocence because we are part of the cycle; we were born into it. 

This suffering we cause is not our fault. It's our parents. It's our parents' parents. 

He's just a baby. He has no idea what's going on. 

It's a joke. A joke. It was nothing but a joke.

I'm sick of the American self loathing. The American romanticism, narcissism; I'm sick of the bullies and the seriously bad American ideas. I'm sick of the hurt Americans cause for personal preservation. I'm sick of the BUT statements. The assumptions. The people that can read but choose not to. I'm sick of the WELL IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T LOOK American argument. 

I'm sick of this stupid, crazy village that appears to support the sacrifice of some humans for the entertainment of others. In America, we are devouring each other, and a lot of people seem to think that is okay.

I want to pummel these people. 
I want to shake them awake. 
I want to slap them around. 
I want to put them in R.D. Laing's Asylum.
I want to send them to the witch.

1 comment:

From the Woods to the Wild Unknown said...

As Heller observed in his novel Catch 22, "Everyone in my book accuses everyone else of being crazy. Frankly, I think the whole society is nuts – and the question is: What does a sane man do in an insane society?"