Bloodlust

Consider that you are loved.
Even when people don’t know how to show it.
Even when you don’t know how to receive it.
Consider that you are loved.

There is a lot going on in this world. A lot of struggle. People are hurting in all kinds of ways. We all know this. We feel it deeply. In our bones. In our flesh. In our shortness of breath. The panic. We lash out. Bare our teeth. Snap and growl. Especially with those we love. We snarl. Spit. Act nasty. Get ugly. We bottle up our emotions and explode.

We have this tool. The internet. To reveal our happiness. Our scorn. Our absolute disgust. Our love and relationships. We tell little lies and noble truths to garner scraps of attention. We fumble and flop and flounder
biding our time until what?

What is more intimate and revealing than feeling safe to express our darkness, our hatred, our anger? To be listened to in silence. Ears big as elephants. Hearts large as houses. What is more intimate and revealing than the gesture of loving space held?

I spent a small bit of time with an Argentinian writer and anarchist outside of Buenos Aries. We talked about love. Amor y rabia. He disagreed vehemently with the idea that “all you need is love” in no roundabout words he called it shit. People need housing and healthcare. People need time to spend with their families. People need food. You can’t eat love.

I didn’t disagree with him. But our conversation was loud and passionful because we still need love.

We still need love.

We live in greedy times.
The days are eaten up by work.
Why?
Work is eaten up by bosses.
How come?
The vicious cycle plays out from the time we hit the alarm clock to the time we clock out. Labor is stolen. Time is stolen. Where does that leave love? Love is not a currency. Love is not quantifiable.

Still…

Love gets shoved into a box and wrapped as a present to give a few times a year. Love gets a hallmark card scribbled on at the last minute the barcode succinctly ignored. Love gets pushed around yelled at stomped on used like a doormat ripped out of the chest tossed in the gutter and rained on.

I love the rain.

Love gets the brunt of the anger and rage. The hatred swirling in the short breaths taken without acknowledging we are actually living blood pumping hearts stomping out of the chest into the streets to scream at whoever will listen.

Love. We are mourning. We are grieving. We do not always mean what we say. We may believe in the moment the harshness. The fuck you. The curses swelling like waves. But we are a loud cry from those who deserve it.

The rule makers have no peace in their hearts. Only greed.

The greed trickles down
turns us all green
we puke our disgust
onto one another.
We are covered in the anger
meant for another
meant for the collective
to wield as a weapon
to recall times of the guillotine
pulling down figure heads
and holding them up for show.

Consider
Consider that you are loved.
Consider you are powerful
yet humbled.

Consider that you are hurt by a loved one. It is true. We hurt one another. There is no excuse. There is no retribution for unthinkable transgressions. We are forced into situations by circumstances systemic. We cannot become alienated and isolated over minutia. We cannot spurn one another without cold reason. We must take up our chains. We must take up our anger and rage.

We must…

As I finish this poem
I overhear lyrics spoken

“I never had healthcare
just a pistol on the waist
for the people”

It gives me a moment of pause and contemplation.

There’s no denying these times are dire.
The fire burns.
The fire burns.

Consider that you are love.
That you are
another piece of the puzzle.
Without you
the big picture crumbles at the feet of tyrants. Full of greed. Full of unknowing.

We all deserve better. So much better.

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Sometimes I romanticize the proletariat revolution. Folks waking up whistling slinging a shovel over the shoulder digging and building. I imagine people working with the earth, closely, sometimes with machines, but mostly with hands & tools. Shovels, axes, picks, hammers, saws. Constructing the world majestically, with the utmost patience & craft, slowly cultivating strength, resistance, and local food-producing gardens. It’s a dream. I know. Maybe that’s what the commies had in mind. Marx, Mao, Castro. But they got corrupted like any man in power, and what’s their lasting legacy?

What does it mean – Workers of the world unite?

I would love for people to wake up voluntarily to build schools, sturdy housing, without argument or shootings. Feed the starving. Teachers teaching without such constraints on curriculum, doctors healing, billionaires donating, and the government doing its job aka handling authority humanely, rotating positions turning over quickly, quit making careers out of politics aka cease & desist warring on the people from perched up on that capitol hill. We are all on the work & grind every damn day. We even got a hustle on the side. Whether it be two jobs three jobs going to college serving food or in an office. It can be sickening. Where is the trickle down? There is none. It’s all bullshit coming from above. Nothing real is happening in the politics of this country. It’s all symbols. A flag got taken down. Great. A relic of the past spitting in the flames.

What about the homeless? And PTSD veterans? Women’s healthcare? Public education?

A mountain gets its name reinstated. Great. Honor the slaughtered. I’m not trying to minimize it. Denali is monstrous. Our apologies should be equally as large.

What about the southern portion of the USA that once belonged to Mexico? Immigration? Should we really expect fictional borders drawn across flimsy paper to withstand culture & time? Shit, America was stolen in the first place.

Where is our common ground in the States?

Guns & prayers.

People want 2nd amendment rights… Quit using The Gun against your neighbor and start fighting those tyrants ruling in the elite. That bastard over at Nestle? He’s stealing our water and selling it back to us for a price. And Flint with lead in their water? That governor is running a filthy regime, disabling whole cities, destroying infrastructure, letting houses crumble. These are crimes against humanity.

We need Unity woven through the hearts of people, siding with one another to fight the maelstrom of media and corrupt politics trying to divide us at the seams. We are the real change. No promise from politicians is going to work. People need to see eye to eye. We need to acknowledge, now more than ever, we live in a global mind, and working all of us simple folks with many cultures is the daily routine. We need to turn our collective eye on those who are corrupt and topple them with our rage.

Corporate welfare is taking our money one tax season at a time. Places like Walmart need to pay their employees a living wage, i.e. education through college for their families, full coverage healthcare, vacation time, sick leave, and maternity leave should all be normalized for employees who work full time.

From there, we can start talking about working fewer hours on a weekly basis. Providing We the people with the American Dream. Extended leisure time. What was the Industrial Revolution all about? And the Tech Boom? There are machines and computers that can do and should be doing a whole lot of our work for us. What is the point of Being, if we are just coerced into endless days of labor with no reward? When do we have time for actually living? And I’m not talking about the weekends. Or that token of two weeks vacation.

I used to have dreams I was sitting on the moon looking down at the earth. Our green and blue planet was always on fire, looking more like a raging sun. It would implode in on itself, and start growing anew.

I think it’s an apt image for what’s occurring in the larger collectivity of consciousness. Our world is burning in more ways than one. Ideologies that once made sense are now dissolving rapidly, and people are desperately grabbing onto anything to stave off the fire.

But, what is so scary about getting licked up by the flames and becoming ash & dust? After all, it’s the source of life & power for the phoenix.

We’re human though, not some mythological creature. We have to get real- There are people dying, there is mass oppression. What of the continuous violence?

People are still being abused by police. And police are still getting off without being held responsible. It’s madness. It’s both infuriating and sad. I’d venture to say, it is important to shed light on police brutality, but, it’s a catch-22: Does sharing videos of police violence proliferate it in both our imaginations and reality too?

It’s important to maintain awareness, but at what cost? Is this the old metaphor of growing from the muck like a lotus? We ought to maintain a finger on the pulse of reality, but if we cease to dream, if we have no vision of utopia, we are lost to a ruthless system. I am not asking for outright ignorance as a means to bliss. What I’m saying, with all the corruption we see today, it’s necessary to stay on the creative side of destruction.

The Mayan prophecy swept through the consciousness of people like a great tide flooding biblical earth in the early 2000s, destroying old thoughts and out-moded paradigms. Remember Katrina? El Nino? The tsunami in Japan?

When the Europeans invaded South America years and years ago, the indigenous quite literally absorbed the customs & language of white people only to spit it back out with their own flair & anger. Guerrilla warfare. Che. The Sandinistas. The Zapatistas. Picking up spare shovels, hoisting up their guns, shaking raging fists at warhawks & imperialist pigs. We can relearn; we need to protect the land and build community with heartfelt visions of the future.

I remember learning about Martin Luther King Jr. in high school, and did some of my own reading in college. I knew he was a leader of the Civil Rights movement, a powerful speaker and organizer. But I didn’t realize the extent to which he practiced civil disobedience. In a way, at least for me, his legacy was kind of whitewashed.

Now, I’m about 3/4 of the way through reading a book he wrote called “Why We Can’t Wait,” and I’m struck by the number of quotable gems dispersed throughout his writing. I shouldn’t be all that surprised because I see so many memes spreading his words around the internet… I guess what I find interesting, those gems that people quote, they kind of miss what he’s actually talking about. Don’t get me wrong, the quotes are good, but they don’t really drive home the fact that he was waging a crusade for freedom. The man was militant. He spoke of revolution and sparking radical transformation in society by uplifting the spirits of the oppressed and downtrodden. And he didn’t just speak about it, he did it. He made an army of nonviolent protesters. I’m not being hyperbolic. This is the kind of language he used.

What’s more, he had his fingers on the pulse of oppression; he knew its history so well. The way in which he described the lingering effects of slavery, it’s not all that much different than what I hear about the prison industrial complex today. We hear it all too often, “If people only obeyed, they wouldn’t get put in their place.” It recalls a slave/master mentality.

He also writes poignantly about tokenism. To boil it down, he describes a token as a way to keep people under the illusion that change is occurring. For instance, when people say, “There’s no racism, look, we have a black president.” That’s a token, or a small offering to placate the restless masses. It’s an attempt to convince people that equality exists across the board. It doesn’t amount to sweeping transformation though, it’s only a symbol that says, “Look, we gave you this, so calm down and be happy.”

The title of the book is worth repeating here “Why We Can’t Wait.”

Right wing propaganda jumps on tokenism very quickly. So be wary. Any time there is a black person who says something, for instance, to derail Black Lives Matter, they jump on it right away. This is dangerous, because it is exploitative, divisive, and creates a sense of complacency for those who still subconsciously support oppression. It says, “Look, this black person agrees with us, why don’t you?”

I’m also curious if this book is taught in high school? I imagine it would create tension, but King Jr. speaks to that too, that tension, especially within a community is ultimately necessary, because it so often serves as a catalyst for constructive thinking, conversation, and most importantly, a breaking point for direct action.

In the past, I wanted to be a leader in some way, shape, or form. I’m not so sure I have it in me in the same way that so many prominent leaders do. Rather, I’m convinced that I don’t. I think that’s why I’m drawn to reading books about rebellion & revolt, whether it be the Sandinistas in Nicaragua or the student-led protests in China. It’s an important history to keep alive. All too often, we forget how radical change really is. It always happens at the root, and we usually only catch it on a second or third wave, when it’s been somewhat diluted and regurgitated for the faint of heart. We have that privilege, to sit in our ivory towers and be critical of those who are fighting tooth and nail for progress and basic civil rights, without realizing that change looks exactly like that- radically different, and maybe even offensive, because it’s so new to our senses.

Just some impressions.

One last thing, MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is brilliant in its own right. Another piece of writing everyone in our country ought to read, and it’s framed out so well in “Why We Can’t Wait.” The context provided helps to bolster and illuminate his words. Same goes with all those quotes and memes. They’re important, and for those who are interested, a little research helps them truly come alive.

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Sometimes I romanticize the proletariat revolution. Folks waking up whistling slinging a shovel over the shoulder digging and building. I imagine people working with the earth, closely, sometimes with machines, but mostly with hands & tools. Shovels, axes, picks, hammers, saws. Constructing the world majestically, with the utmost patience & craft, slowly cultivating strength, resistance, and local food-producing gardens. It’s a dream. I know. Maybe that’s what the commies had in mind. Marx, Mao, Castro. But they got corrupted like any man in power. What does it mean – Workers of the world unite? I would love for people to wake up voluntarily to build schools, sturdy housing, without argument or shootings. Feed the starving. Teachers teaching without such constraints on curriculum, doctors healing, billionaires donating, and the government doing its job aka humanely handling authority aka cease & desist warring on the people. We are on the hustle & grind every damn day. We even got something on the side. Whether it be two jobs three jobs going to college serving food or in an office. It can be sickening. Where is the trickle down? There is none. It’s all bull shit coming from above. Nothing real is happening in the politics of this country. It’s all symbols. A flag got taken down. Great. A relic of the past spitting in the flames. What about the homeless? And PTSD veterans? A mountain gets its name reinstated. Great. Honor the slaughtered. I’m not trying to minimize it. Denali is monstrous. Our apologies should be equally as large. What about the southern portion of the USA that once belonged to Mexico? Should we really expect fictional borders drawn on flimsy paper to withstand culture & time? The Mayan prophecy of 2012 swept through the consciousness of people like a great tide flooding biblical earth, destroying old thoughts and out-moded paradigms. When the Europeans invaded South America, the indigenous quite literally absorbed the customs & language of white people only to spit it back out with their own flair & anger. Guerrilla warfare. Che. The Sandinistas. The Zapatistas. Picking up spare shovels, hoisting up their guns, shaking raging fists at warhawks & imperialist pigs. Where is our common ground? Y’all want 2nd amendment rights, quit using it against your neighbor and fight the tyrants ruling over the land. That bastard over at Nestle is stealing our water and selling it back to us for a price. And corporate welfare is taking our money one tax season at a time. We need Unity woven through the hearts of people, siding with one another to fight the maelstrom of media trying to divide us at the seams. We are the real change. No promise from politicians is going to work unless people can see eye to eye. We need to acknowledge, now more than ever, we live in a global mind, and working all of us simple folks with many cultures is the daily routine.