Thursday, January 12, 2006

DISSENTER'S NOTEBOOK: So What Is Really New?

These few yeaars are perhaps the worst in our history, more dangerous than the Civil War. But today, looking through some old files I came on these two items from the 1970's. Makes you wonder what's really new, how long we've been in this difficulty, how long we've been asleep while the smart guys, lacking both intelligence and scruples, steal our country and endanger people everywhere.

THREE DREAMS

I dreamed the CIA
is not spying on us,
that we have a government
unequipped with lies;
that oppression does not stare
from the iron gate;
that grazing’s good,
children never empty,
mothers fleshed and milky
and hunger anywhere
easily assuaged
with a burger and some fries.

ςςςςςςςςς

Kev and Steph
I see you in the spring meadow
green and playful on your knees
rocking in the Beartooth wind,
the sweeping rye.

You stretch, touch hands, laugh,
roll over and over under your
nuclear future, already falling
from the a sun light years
from this fearless grass.

I climb the hill,
your photographic faces
small white moons upturned
in a darkness black
as a shadow burned into a wall.

ςςςςςςςςςς

I dreamed my life
does not create the day
a child ignites
in that white light
breaking
from the sun,
falls hidden, absorbed
by that non-mushroom cloud.
-- 1978

And this:

D-BASED AMERICA

I
Except for music
all counting is deadly.

Be assured:
what appears uncountable
immeasurable
will soon be counted
and measured; our auditors
are looking into it now.

Though we know
what is counted is doomed
(trees as board feet)
we have reason to believe
what is countable
will be counted
(water by acre-foot).
Victory is everything
to us.

We will tell you
when we have won –
as soon as we have
counted the bodies.

We have numbered you all.
In you we will find
our final solution.

II

We are happy to announce:

If you measure up
Everything
Will be yours!

We are counting on you
but your allegiance to us
is always in doubt.

We have ways to measure
Your devotion: the value
of your house. Your wage.
Whatever you fail to acquire
may be used against you.
Our “Survey of Acquisitions”
will measure your allegiance.

We are the numerators
the people of power.

We are here to tell you
our wealth is your obligation.
If you too become rich
the taxes you avoid
will be a sign unto you,
your contribution to what counts
in our culture.

We will keep track for you.
Your spreadsheet is in the mail.
You will be billed for it.

Though we cannot be held
accountable for any action
it is for you we count.
We want you to believe it is
in order to be fair: You are
one people, like-minded
accountable to us.

Forgive us our counting
as we forgive those who
count against us.
-- 1976