Bookstore Poem #126. Revolutions are in/convenient

Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park. Despite the title, this ended up being a general rumination on war and violence.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

The disarray and chaos stirred up by the revolution,
if done right, will be sucked up and swept away
in the aftermath. A new sense of order, with calm
taking place of the disquiet that once reigned,
will settle in. We can again sleep soundly
through the night.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

But the call is difficult to make.
For the many willing to answer, there are many
who will pass up no opportunity to disrupt
lines of communication, take up arms, and stand
with the powers that be and all they stand for (against).

Revolutions are in/convenient.

In every class, there are those guys who love nothing
more than trouble—causing it, making it
themselves, joining in, or cheering it on.

These are the guys who know that blowing up stuff
is fun—and the bigger the blast the better. These are
the guys who become cops so they can use guns,
tasers, and night sticks, and legally fuck with people.
If they had their way, they’d nuke everything
and start over—with themselves in charge this time.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Some know that war means both sides lose—people die.
It’s true that buildings and roads are destroyed, water and air
are poisoned and polluted, but people die. That’s something
that cannot be ‘fixed’.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Unrest and discard provoke artists to make great art
of beauty, ugliness, and truth; and writers and poets to record
the innermost thoughts of perpetrators and victims.
Creation and catharsis from suffering, fit to frames and pages.

The true masterpiece will go undiscovered for decades—
perhaps millennia—discovered one day in an old, dusty attic,
a partly disintegrated box, or under layers of dirt at an archaeological dig.
A missive from time, carrying warnings for the future.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

A years-long war ends atrocities overnight, but those who committed them
had families and friends and accomplices and sympathizers, and they passed
down what they knew through action and inaction—and DNA.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Everyone remembers something—from books and letters,
from what they learned in school. But some schools are run
by the defeated, so the war was not really about what the war was
really about, and though the men who waged the war were men
of their time, their intentions were pure—at least three-fifths pure…

Revolutions are in/convenient.

If you don’t like the way things are, change the laws.
Run for office.
RESIST!
But remember that the other side may learn
from your example.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

The moral arc of the universe may indeed bend
toward justice—but the fact that it bends at all
means that it can also bend the other way.

Revolutions are in/convenient.

Tactics are always a sticking point; the fight soon becomes one
between the purists and the pragmatists, until all the infighting
means the end of the real fight, the one we all signed on for—
and this time the tank doesn’t stop
for the lone protester.

(14 February 2018)

 

Advertisements