Polar Bears, Optimism, My Dead Uncle, and a Poem About Imminent Risk

So, I have reflected a lot on my last post…my doom and gloom about the polar bears.
I remembered something very important:
It is entirely likely that the current and economy and its associated industries will prove to be untenable in the relatively near future.
I mean, c’mon, gas is almost 4.00 a gallon and people don’t have jobs and it’s cold and stormy.
The government is, like, a trillion dollars in debt.
Isn’t it true that dysfunctional systems often destroy themselves?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
There is no telling what else will be destroyed in the process, by men who have bombs.
No, sillies, I’m not talking about terrorists. I’m talking about presidents.
That won’t happen. It is entirely likely that, almost as if in a dream, the sleeping hearts will awaken and people will have no choice but to see and feel some truth…and in their awe and in their grief, they will see that we are all the same.
…because, if nothing else, we’ve all been hurt by history.
Even the privileged have been hurt…because they are also trapped, written by the forces of their father’s father’s father’s dealings.

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It has been about a hundred years since my great-great grandfather, the judge and the klansman, decided that my favorite dead uncle, who was then alive and then his son, was a disgrace for breaking people out of jail, and that he’d have to go to military academy, in spite of the fact that he was an artist that wanted to be an architect.
…so much of this is about his story.

He is one of my favorite relatives, a close ghost.

scan0030At a prominent turn in the series of events and experiences that led to me completely jumping script, I was inspired to open the letters that have been saved for a hundred years.

Everything became very strange and intense. The scanner was malfunctioning, I was crying, my bones hurt like I had shellshock.
So, all that being said, anything can happen. Why, it is entirely possible that next year will be a completely different world.
This year is different than last year, which is different than the year before.

In 2011, at this time, I was still a neuroleptic wreck. I wasn’t writing here. Those are the missing months. They are filled with letters that I didn’t opt to publish.
…but, my heart lit up…and then it lit up more…and so anything can happen.
Here’s to polar bears…

cut like the edges of a wing

Speaking of neuroleptics, here’s a brief poem about “imminent risk of harm to self” and forced treatment:

If You Didn’t Really Want to Die

If you didn’t really want to die
they will hold you down
and
if you didn’t really want to die
they will not speak to you
only to each other
small talk with the syringe from one hand to another
like a shaker of salt
at a lunch table
that you won’t be sitting at
and in that moment
you die a little
even if
you didn’t really want to die
before

the door locks behind you
people come and go
you stay
and the light is thin through

thin windows
always the same behind glass
you don’t even have shoelaces
only socks
rubberized
so you don’t slip
and stumble
your way into line
“Take this,”
if you didn’t already
want to die

They don’t tell you what it does and so you stop asking.

You swallow the pills
because you have to
and you wonder,
dimly,
why you want to die now, when you didn’t really want to die before
when, really, you were
just trying to explain that it was hard to live

 

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