Mostly Poetry — Poetry Mostly

"I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack"

Microbeads

The Calchas of the zooplankton clan speaks:

“Listen, Iphigenia. The humans, through their exorbitance, have begun to include microbeads in their scrubs. For them, the benefit is rejuvenation; for us, the opposite is true. Their extravagance brings our demise. The polyethylene beads they have created possess toxinssuch as phthalates, added for malleability; colorants; polybrominated diphenyl ethers, added for heat resistance; and plasticisersthat can directly harm us. Further, because these evil globes are hydrophobic and possess a large surface area relative to their volume, they are likely to acquire additional poisons, such as those present in our ocean: polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbonsas well as toxins from common sources such as coolant fluids, automobile grease, copy paper, flourescent tubes, and industrial waste. These chemicals can cause us great harm such as disrupting our endocrine system and growth as well as causing cell mutation, fecundity, and even death…

I see it now: the stomach pain, the writhing. Yes, this will destroy you. Your body will mercifully stop functioning, butbeforeyou will suffer. The beads will adhere to your antennae and your swimming legs on the outside of your body and to your gut on the inside. You will not movenot even from a predator; you will not eat; you will not mate; you will not feed. You will die.”

“And this is necessary?” Iphigenia, albeit raising the pitch of her voice at the end of her sentence, meant it as a statement of fact, not as a question.

“I’m afraid so, my dear. But think of what your sacrifice will do. Think of what it will show.”

“The humans will see. They must. They have toor else my life will be wasted for nothing.”

“Don’t worry, my child, they will hurt; then they will see. Humans are that way; they must be affected. But, as I have said, once you ingest the accursed beads, you will die. Then your body will be consumed by a small fish; then that fish will be poisoned by what will poison you. The small fish will be eaten by a larger fish. The larger fish will be caught by a human. The human will fall ill. He will face endocrine and nervous system disruption, and cell mutation, among a range of other health defectsperhaps even death.”

“‘What if the fish escapes the human,’ they all ask me. But I believe in your vision, Calchas. You have seen the truth.”

“You are wise, young one. That is why you must be the one to go; you understand. You understand the damage the bio-accumulated toxins will do to the human’s body: that the land-dwellers will realize that the human has been poisoned. But they will not know why at first. Once they seek the answer, though, they will find it. And once they know that the damage they are doing to our ecosystem also affects theirs, they will ceaseslowly, but they will cease.”

“It will take a long time do reverse what they have done here, even once they stop washing microbeads down their drains, through their water treatment plants (which cannot even catch the evil spheres), and into the ocean. Our ocean.”

“Yes, it will, and that is inescapable. But our clansuperior, it iswill move to better waters, which I hope to exist beyond these. We will warn the other clans of our kind, who already consume the counter-food, for they do not possess the knowledge that I do. Then, we will leave. We will avoid the microbeads while we can, but only our millionth decedents will see even a slight drop in the evil floating in our waters. But the healing must begin now.”

“Yes. I am ready.” Iphigenia, unafraid, ingests one, then another, and so on. Until she cannot fill her body anymore, she ingests the poisonous sphereswelcoming death. And life. Not for herself; for those to come.

the woman is worth millions… and what she

the woman is worth millions… and what she does for a living is make videos–such as the parody in which she kisses an elderly woman.

dear god, why?

is hard work is no longer valued? i understand that filming, editing and uploading videos may be time consuming, but so is teaching high school english–so is treating cancer patients–so is putting out house fires… and yet, those who spend their lives doing something that is actually worth spending time doing are not as valued as those who amuse? that’s the conclusion that entertainers’ salary lends.

i call them entertainers, but, really, this is not the case. their fans may enjoy watching them, but they are not paid explicitly for this reason. they are paid to allow advertisements to be shown on their channels and to sponsor products–which, to me, is even worse.

i live in a time in which advertisements reign, perpetuating consumerism.

the fact discourages me, but it also reinforces my values: that that kind of life is one that i would never seek, that–if given to me–would never bring me enjoyment, a life to which i would never fall prey; for what good does it produce? now, i’m not saying that making money is wrong–if it is earned, or at least if doing so fulfills the person. really, who am i to press my views onto these people? perhaps advertising really does give their lives meaning. or maybe they don’t see it that way. maybe, to them, the advertising is just a means for them to live so that they can really do what they desire–communicate with the masses. i will never know, though. i cannot understand.

i wonder what ayn rand would say about this. would she call it frivolous–disgusting? or would she claim that they have earned their money and that they are entitled to it? in atlas shrugged, she implies that one deserves the money he makes only when he has given is best effort in exchange for another man’s best effort (which brought the other man the money with which he pays the first). is uploading beauty, comedy, or music videos truly exerting the best of one’s faculties? she did suggest that advertisements are good and vital when dagney missed them on her road trip, though. i believe that she would support the video bloggers.

but i cannot. again and again, youtubers–though not all–have been faced with a decision: give up the careers they had planned in order to focus on making videos–or begin working. one woman studied to become an architect; she turned down jobs for which she interviewed. in an interview with another youtube channel, she hesitatingly admitted that she could, indeed, make a living off of posting videos. when asked about her future plans, she stated that, although she was unsure about what she wanted to do, she wanted to ensure that it was something about which she would be passionate–something upon which she could build for the rest of her life. thus, video making does not fulfill her? i would contest to this, but she did say that she wanted to continue with her “brand.” another lady graduated from the university of massachusetts with a psychology degree. one man graduated from suffolk with a degree in pre-medicine.

wouldn’t they rather spend their lives designing buildings, fighting diseases and counseling patients?

is having thousands–millions–really worth giving that up?

of course, there are some who had no major plans. one man, for instance, did not know what he wanted to do with his life. then, he became famous on youtube and quit graduate school. he said that he traded making money–through a job–for the happiness that filming brought him. but making videos, to my knowledge, could potentially bring him an exponentially higher salary than a masters-level job. by giving up school for happiness, did he mean the happiness he finds in youtube or the happiness he finds in designer suits, luxurious greek resorts and trendy gadgets?

perhaps i’m being too judgmental, but the fact that reality–real people posting videos to help or teach or entertain other real people, while actually, truly, making money off of the whole thing–is so unreal (more specifically, artificial) just depresses me.

i will not succumb to this.

but why, then–oh why–did I even consider posting this on the internet? . . .

sources:

http://adage.com/article/digital/meet-youtube-s-demand-brand-stars/145844/

http://www.youtube.com/

Donald Oswald Alexander was his name

but his coworkers just called him by his initials–D O A

because they didn’t bother

no one bothered

 

Every day he drove to work alone

remained in his cubicle, alone–except for the phone calls he made

drove home alone

to his apartment, alone

 

He really was a good person

but no one bothered to notice,

just left him alone

 

One day he decided to walk to work

for a change

for fresh air

to see other people walking

 

He saw a little boy too

crossing the street

he fell

Donald Oswald Alexander ran to help

he stopped to pick the boy up

the bus didn’t stop

 

An ambulance came–

eventually

the boy was fine

 

When Donald Oswald Alexander was finally wheeled into the hospital

he was still

just

D. O. A.

 

Each morning I walk on sidewalks

wait for green lights

just to see it–

just to see the monument–

of him.

Each morning I stand in awe

One morning, with the sun

just right, I saw

the reflection

of the eyes

in a mirrored skyscraper.

I cannot admire that which worships itself

The flower does not wilt, no.

But she struggles.

She sucks water from the ground, of course,

but she needs more.

She needs rain.

She asks not that the water fills her veins for her–she can do that herself–

She merely asks for the means.

To fill her veins to turgor.

Turgor, she needs.

displacement

I have some underwear somewhere under here

 

I have here

some under wear some where under

 

Under here, have some where I wear

 

I have here

some some under under wear where

 

here under somewhere underwear some have I

Two men are watching the news:
war, rape, murder, theft, homicide, abuse, arson, suicide, tsunamis, eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, racism, sexism, homophobia, debt, politicians, ideas, questions, no solutions.

“God is dead.”
“I’m not sure he was ever alive.”

The Youth Minister

Oh God
She’ll take dick anywhere
I wish my wife would do that for me
Oh God that would feel so good

“Honey, what are you doing in there?”
“I’m preparing my lesson for Wednesday. It’s about the dangers of lust.”

I am a fish.

A sole–yes, a bottom feeder,

Living in scum, eating scum…I am scum

Hopelessly, I look up

Finally, a wriggling escape–though not a painless one

Ceasing thought, I bite.

Freudian Slip?

“______, you made a 98 on your speech.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m so proud of you. You’re one of the shyest students I’ve ever had, and your public speaking skills have improved tremendously. You’ve really learned how to take command while you’re up there. I’m goodI mean good job.”

“Thank you.”

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