"Take a moment. Step back from the abyss. Think about what you are doing."
This is what one of the protesters called out during the Senate session in Wisconsin last night, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online. What eloquence and wisdom, amazing under the pressure of protesting the powers that be. Let the people be heard, and let this wonderful change in our country happen without violence.
Oh, I do hope we can find a way to work together in cooperation and collaboration, with fair wages and salaries, living wages and salaries, health care for all. Why can't we? We've been a proud, industrialized country for years, admired for our freedoms and our working democracy, a haven for so many. Why fall down now into a land of petty mini-tyrants? And greed. Well, alas, we know why. The money and power question always answers itself. It's the "business as usual" answer.
Still, I think we are more creative than that. I think we can find solutions, shift to sustainable living (to use the new jargon), and be proud of ourselves again. It will mean providing and encouraging real education, not teaching to tests. It will mean real American workmanship again, not manufacturing intentionally disposable products. It will mean supporting a real economy, not an economy that depends on endless consumption of intentionally disposable "goods" many of which are bad for us (bad foods, products made with toxic materials, etc.) Sigh...
Now I will stand up in my own field and sing out some good fortune:
--3 poems in the new blossombones, just out--by coincidence, in sparkling white against a black abyss
--2 poems out soon (April) in Right Hand Pointing, a hilarious place to do business
--a poem in the new issue of After Hours
--a poem in the new issue of Ekphrasis (poems about paintings)
--a poem in the new (print) issue of Burnt Bridge
--work forthcoming in Adanna and Poetry East
--work in the anthologies Brute Neighbors (just out) and Solace in So Many Words (soon to be out)
Sometimes I wonder if I am speaking out enough, but I see I have been doing my own proper work and speaking in my quiet but steady voice all along. I hope so.
More from Jonathan Koch Galleries.