Article in Arts / Literature / Poetry
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Afraid in America


Afraid

to live a life not a copy
of someone else’s life, “Oh, don’t mind me,
“I’m just your average …” [Mark only one box please |x| ] …

Afraid

to live a life others would share
as paths of kindness, not tatters of envy,
nor burning rubber to sicken our breath,
but healing the planet to save our air,
our water, our biosphere — so fragile,
extinction smokes your every engine-rev …

Afraid

to admit religion functions
to justify your pleasures, not your “soul,”
which needs no luxuries to serve some god
other than the god you adore in your toilette
where Narcissus’s kiss prisses you up …

Afraid

to tell yourself the truth you know
only too well, that you believe in no truth
you didn’t invent just this morning
or buy into a while back since the price was cheap,
everybody else agreeing to the lie
making it safe for you to hide in numbers
the way schooling fish sacrifice fringes …

Afraid

to admit you’re intelligent life
who owe yourself more than hatred and greed
which ventriloquize you to dumb-scoff those
who dedicate themselves to experiment,
giving their all to better understand
a world they did not choose but still must live in,
bequeathing discoveries you slur or steal
but have no right to, for all your rapine …

Afraid

just so, to consider quantum physics,
though you worship your cell-phone and URL,
your t.v., music files, and porn-hot hotels,
unable to acknowledge your body
which, out of that very arrogance, you abuse
as if it were the culprit and not your rage
that you hardly matter in a cosmos where
matter is but one of the masks energy wears …

Afraid

to reach down your hand to lift up
the helpless, crucifying Yeshua yet again,
then cursing government for damming your greed,
as if you had license for holocausts
to torture and gore such as expect the law
or, worse, respect the law as covenant
(even in this doomsday of the Supreme Tort)
since all other power is denied to them …

unAfraid

you’ll ever be the one they wake up
(you’re so truly rich!) to whip you off to X
where, after they torture you, they torture you —
that only happens to the other poor shit,
and you “hell-yeah’d” when they tore down the law,
exposing your own backside as well as his …

Afraid, Afraid, Afraid, Afraid, Afraid, Afraid, Afraid

of the savagery from which you evolved —
that you are not beast enough to swallow
the utter self-loathing you’re choking on,
then vomit it up to swill it down again
as your reasonableness and righteousness …

Given this Day of Doom in the Year of our Shame
In the land of the me and the home of the slave.

 

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About the Author 

R Allen Shoaf
EROTIC RECKONINGS, my second volume of poetry, can now be purchased from New Plains Press or from Amazon. My third volume, PIED-PIPER PHILOL

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