Mental Illness: But I Digress [poem]

It travels with us all, to death from birth

in ponderously slow progress

Unless light skin protects your worth,

a worth universal – but I digress.

 

And so, we carry truth silently

Spines charged 1-million volt

For value is in the visual –

to be Fine is to appropriate the Folk.

 

Based on relative importance

the rules we live by morph

rationalizing violence and

Dissonance in due course.

 

And off of progress we’re often thrown

by family, those close to us,

often with a groan

— and, again, we regress.

 

Mental illness is a shared thang

Capitalism certainly takes the blame*

I try changing for the better

but it’ll never help if we all stay the same**

 

 

 

*I’m pretty sure our economy needs to be more holistic/sustainable – avoiding that social, environmental and economic collapse, yo.

(I’m right there with you. I’m certainly not doing the greatest job of contributing to meaningful/sustainable change in the current economy either – well, maybe you live a 100% sustainable lifestyle, but for the vast majority relying on current economic infrastructure, larger change – on the federal level perhaps? – needs to be made before the Earth will start healing…

 

**Your silence will not protect you – Audre Lorde

(we need to change verbal/linguistic tools [words!] we ALL work with before we’ll see any real change – words got so much harder for me after the injury, but here’s to constant growth!)

 

 

WORKS REFERENCED

     Melamed, Jodi. Represent and destroy: rationalizing violence in the new racial capitalism, Difference Incorporated/University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

     Leguizamo, John. Latin History for Morons, Netflix, 2018, https://www.netflix.com/title/80225421

     “The Gang Turns Black.” It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. January 4 2017. 3 Arts Entertainment. Amazon Prime.

     Kroesbergen, Hermen. (2014) Ecology: its relative importance and absolute irrelevance for a Christian: A Kierkegaardian transversal space for the controversy on eco-theology. HTS Theological Studies, 70(1), 01-08.

 

{EDIT 11/19 – this post was edited to include works referenced}

Traffic on the 880 south due to an unforeseen closure

2400

Sitting in heavy 880 South freeway traffic due to an unforeseen closure.

In gridlock on a closed 880 South

Left out at 2130. Stopped at 2145. Haven’t moved since then. It’s now 2304.

 

Asphalt grinds as headlights glow and fade; cars about face on a closed freeway as I grow impatient.

 

I call a loved one for advice in this gridlocked traffic I’ve never encountered – maybe I can glean comfort from somewhere, anywhere? This sea of autos holds no respite from my frustration and uncertainty.

 

2330. I should ridden the BART into work tonight, right? Except I’d have to sleep in a noisy, lit environment.

 

But I wouldn’t be the only package handler under cover from fluorescents that seep through eyeshades and guide employees through hallways. Not the only one using public transportation who needs to grind to pay bills.

 

Too late now for making this shift. I’ll certainly make my 0330 shift.

 

But will I even make it there by 2400?

 

(note: 2400 = 12:00am in military time, which is how FedEx employees use time on timecards, etc. Noting here that in standard usage we revert to 0000 after 2359, at FedEx at least. Also, ended up calling in sick that day.)

Ode to the Street Canvasser

A Canvasser’s Rapsody

We rap for the Streets and

the World, to the beats

of that Universal

Drum

and the powerlines we strum

as sun shines down

kindles warmth in our words

read the fire, take heed

and your shiny oxfords

will pale when compared to

blazes that ensnare you

are you feelin’ it?

’cause we killin it

street-wise and intentional

slick, unconventional

Arsonists of Justice

know it’s never “just us”

This is why we fight.

Don’t ‘just do it’ – do RIGHT.

 

TJD

 

The above poem is inspired by my past eight days of canvassing. The fiery souls I’ve befriended this past week have changed my life for the better, and their strength and penchant for justice inspires me beyond measure.  ~peace~