Saturday, March 18, 2017

Waking the Sandman 5

The Sandman whispered
into the ears of the Bear and the Bull,
suggesting that uniting as one
would create a new country,
and in the process they discovered
a new world, and that was a beginning, too,
and the end of a different history,
and everything in between,
which I think is
the definition of dreams

Friday, March 17, 2017

Waking the Sandman 4

In the beginning,
the Sandman had a dream,
and then he woke up,
and when he had done so
he realized he forgot
what the dream had been about,
so eventually he became
so determined to remember
that he slept so much
that he was never awake again,
and that's how everything started

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waking the Sandman 3

It's hard to remember
just when the Sandman began,
when he took up his duties,
when his dreaming
conjured America
from a handful of dust

Some will argue
Chinese or Vikings
but if we're being honest
it was that bastard Columbus,
who made an epic blunder
and then thought he'd landed
in India (and yeah, that's why there's
"Indians" here, too),
Columbus who set sail
from the age of Shakespeare,
who climbed aboard the stage
and let loose a tragedy
and a miracle, made something
out of nothing (except for those
pesky "Indians"),
a pattern replicated and echoing
throughout the rest of history,
but a matter of history
that seems childish now
to our more sophisticated age,
when we can insult each other
at the speed of sound or worse,
thoughts that can be transmitted
around the world in the blink of an eye,
a regular whirlwind of depravity
in which salt is rubbed in every wound
and maggots fester, infinite jest
and most excellent fancy,
faster than three little ships
and withering looks cast between
William and Mary, or William and Kate
(I don't know),
Ferdinand and Isabella, a bull and a bear,
maybe (I still don't know),
sound and fury signifying nothing, most of all

Wait, did I just say Columbus
hailed and sailed from the Age of Shakespeare?
A tale of a fool, told by an idiot, perhaps,
and I apologize and sympathize
and bastardize,
same as everyone else,
except the Sandman,
who was sleeping at the time
and so he's not to be blamed
for the sorry mess

Or is he?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Waking the Sandman 2

The American Dream...

What's to say
about this peculiar institution,
anyway?

This Dream that entices
so many,
draws in
so many,
drowns
so many,
ruins and makes
so many?

They say if you work hard enough
the Dream is real,
and I really don't know what to say
about that,
because is a dream real?

Does it conform to expectations?
Does it satisfy your every need?

More and more I think of it
as the Dream of lunatics
and small children,
too blissful in their ignorance
to care about what's real.

This is not to say it's not
achievable,
but then it's no longer a Dream,
is it?

That's the quandary,
the riddle at the heart of a dream,
the riddle that is a dream,
synonymous and perhaps a sin, too

I call it less Dream than Myth,
personally,
but that's not what the Sandman thinks,
the founder of the feast,
the Aeneas or perhaps Brutus
(which is it? I can never tell),
the Washington crossing the Delaware,
surviving a brutal winter with disgruntled troops,
chopping down cherry trees,
a pariah until a hero
and then a legend forever emblazoned on history
unassailable, unassailable, unassailable to all

And yet,
it's time to wake the Sandman,
at last,
wake him because it's morning
in mourning and warning
and he's going to wake anyway
so it's best just to get it over with
and have it on our terms

That's the idea,
anyway

Monday, March 13, 2017

Waking the Sandman 1

It's only natural to be
ethnocentric,
and so I hope you'll forgive
an indulgence
as I take a look
at the American Dream
from the viewpoint
of the Sandman

The Sandman
is in control of this Dream
and he always was,
and I think you'll agree
that it's probably best that way
but the problem is,
the Sandman is always asleep
and so it's hard to tell
how much he really understands
about the Dream

I mean,
when you dream,
do you understand
what's happening?

The Dream is much like that,
and the Sandman is much like you,
and maybe that clarifies things,
and maybe it makes
the Dream more like
a Nightmare

We'll see...

Friday, March 10, 2017

XXVIII.

I've said this before?
It's not a choice.
It's not.
Not a choice.
No, definitely not.
Not ever, not since
we started living in
communities.

That's just a plain fact.

So maybe it's time
to wake up...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

XXVII.

Morality is
less concerned with the details
than you'd think;
it's more forgiving,
more understanding,
and more universal than
culture can comprehend;
it in fact isn't a function
of culture at all,
and if you're confused on that point
you aren't thinking of morality
at all

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

XXVI.

Morality
exists at a level
such as you don't realize
how important it is
until you think about it,
how it's the glue that holds
everything together,
and is far easier to see
once you stop looking for it,
like the air you breathe,
or the nourishment you take,
or sleeping,
or finding love

Morality,
comes to think of it,
is a lot like love;
you know it by its absence,
you know when it is corrupt,
you know when it's hollow,
you know when you feel it

Morality is love,
perfect love,
the ability to find peace
in the midst of chaos,
the eye of the storm,
order when there seems to be none,
the natural balance of existence,
protecting that which needs protecting,
protected and cherished

loved

An animal kills to survive,
and we are all animals
and we are all processing the world around us,
creating it anew every day,
except some of us are cursed to think,
to consider the impact we have;

Morality is the ability to accept
that which we cannot change
but still hold it accountable;
it is judgment without error,
perfection,
that elusive element
thought lost from the world
yet at the center of all things

love

To consider morality
is to risk everything,
like love,
to reach and fall,
to fail,
to fail and fail endlessly fail,
because that is what makes life
bearable

Wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

XXV.

Morality
is a trickster god;
it wears many hats,
is the common denominator
in all equations
and the hole in things

It's the quintessential
blessing and curse
of humanity;
you can interpret
all our failures
and triumphs
by its subtle art

Friday, March 3, 2017

XXIII.

Morality is
a cat (or a dog)
that's loyal
to its owner
(or, companion),
having formed
an unshakable bond

Thursday, March 2, 2017

XXII.

Morality isn't
a judgment call,
it's not subjective,
it's not relative,
and it's not a cultural norm

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

XXI.

Morality isn't
a set of rules

Morality is
a means of growth

Morality is
a learning process

Morality is
to be frustrated
but in a weirdly good way