Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
The man in the driver’s seat of the minivan is just short of backhanding his wife
but screams instead. The contractor towing a backhoe shouts at a woman
who has crossed against the light. A man leans on his horn because the woman
in front of him is not turning fast enough. The weather is warm
and their windows are open and we can hear everything. Once again
the indifferent machine is closing on the soft human flesh it feeds on.
It is not 1930 and people are not yet cutting steaks from the draft horse
that has fallen in the streets, are not yet rolling a wheelbarrow
of Deutchmarks to buy a loaf of bread. At the factory, a boss rides a machinist
until he quits, having no other job to go to. The machinist gets drunk
on the way home and his wife shouts at him and he hits his wife and the wife
hits the daughter and the daughter goes down the street where there is heroin.
A man sits in his room all day with his demons and talks to them.
They have been fouling their cages. They have been jeering at his dreams.
He goes to the basement and loads his assault rifle and then emerges
from his cave and you know the rest. The politicians scan
the surface for the bubbles of rage coming up from below, sing their
feral songs of blame and wrong and create phalanxes of hate.
They trot out the usual suspects: foreigners, people of color, homosexuals,
artists, and anyone who presents in this batholith of hate the soft belly
of vision that is indigestible by the machine and whose songs
do not rhyme with the hard bells being rung to rally legions.
We are at the cusp of the eternal return one more time and the momentum
headed toward the cliff is terrifying. Those who do not join are dragged along.
Here is where God might step in but does not, once more,
but stays in the shadows of the scaffolds being thrown up in every town square.
Copyright 2016 Doug Anderson