Friday, November 13, 2020

Elegy for the Quiet | Protest Poem Against the Destruction of the World by Its So-Called Most Intelligent Species

Beneath the chatter of these twisting, spastic days ...
beneath the toxic tweets
and the hateful reshares
the blaring memes
and the naked revelations
multiplied by millions
as people reveal who they truly are,
what they are truly made of,
the slow, thick sludge of it,
the poison of it,
poison like a great cloud of chlorine gas
filling the lungs ...

Beneath it all is what I call the Quiet.

It's always been here.
It always will be here.

It tells me that this age will pass.
It tells me that what these people truly cherish most--
the corporatism, the racism, the exclusivism ...
suburban enclaves and fast shopping and plastic-wrapped everything ...
ten easy steps, coghood and cog jobs and cog thinking ...
mindless consumption, receipts thrown away mindlessly,
credit debt and mortgages, mergers and acquisitions,
health care not as a human right, as it in fact is, but as a privilege,
celebrity "leaders" and Jeff Bezos and Elon fucking Musk,
billionaires and yachts and designer water,
"reality" TV and Kardashians and the National Enquirer,
mainstream media, materialism, consumerism, nihilism, fundamentalism ...

It's all going to go away. Soon. Very soon.
Before these cogs' kids even get to middle age.
That's what the Quiet tells me.

It tells me that we will grow up,
we will evolve,
we will change--radically--each and every one of us,
or we're going to pollute and hate and tweet and troll
and consume ourselves out of existence.
It tells me that the vast majority of humanity is already dead.
It tells me that most have sold themselves,
have destroyed themselves,
have destroyed their souls--the most real and actual part of their beings.
It tells me that on that once-great tree called humanity
are left only a few remaining leaves at the ends of a few rotting boughs,
struggling to stay alive,
struggling to grow and live and breathe,
struggling to be their own unique and irreplaceable selves
in a world that hates with all of its corporate, herdistic power the unique and irreplaceable,
for those who are unique, are irreplaceable, are those who refuse
day-to-day to destroy themselves as almost everyone else has.
It's a miracle that we still live.

The Quiet tells me that it's now a binary choice.
Change ... or die.
The world of the future--
the one with humanity still in it--
looks nothing like those depicted in Westworld or The Expanse.
Corporations will no longer exist.
Not, at least, as they exist today.
Not even close.
Nationalism will no longer exist.
Fascism will no longer exist.
Suburbanism will no longer exist.
Suburbia will no longer exist.

The commonwealth and the commons will return.
Democracy will expand. Will thrive. Not a shell of it. Not a fa├žade of it.
Authoritarianism will perish.
Basic income will be available for all worldwide.
Health care will be available for all worldwide.
The world's armies will be reduced to almost nothing,
the planes and guns and bombs all but gone.
Oil and its oily-slick profiteers will be left, or put, in the ground.
The great nation-states will no longer exist.
Yeah, that's right--the one you're living in right now.
It'll be gone.
Humanity's chief concern will be healing this broken and burnt world,
and to spread out in peace and fellowship among the stars.
The violent, the sociopathic, the fascistic, the corrupted will no
longer get to lead--anything.
Governments will truly work for the people.

That's what the Quiet tells me.

It tells me we have a very, very slim chance of getting there--
one chance in four hundred. Maybe. Optimistically.
It tells me that the cogs and the Trumps and the mindless suburbans
and the fascists and nationalists and the indifferent--oh, the indifferent!--
are almost certainly going to get their way,
are going to "win,"
which means their kids won't get to live to old age.
That in the smoking wreckage of the planet,
and the billions dead,
and the innumerable wiped-out animals and trees and coral reefs
and rivers and forests,
that their "victory" will be written upon the foul, hot winds that race between
crumbing, teetering skyscrapers, seen by no one, celebrated by no one,
instantly vanished forever and ever more.

And when we have passed, and the earth begins to heal,
when the world swallows up our hubris and ego and ignorance and apathy,
the Quiet will remain.
It will always remain.

For me, in the end, that is truly all that matters.
For I hear it.
I--one of the very few.
I--one of the struggling leaves at the end of the dying tree.
The Quiet will remain.

The Quiet.