Dear Dirty America



August 28
11:00 2012

Picture: Bhaktivedanta Institute

(originally posted at 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems)

There is a corner
where 2 concrete walls come together
upon the driveway’s gravel
& packed-down concrete dust
like physics axes x, y, z—
the image of such a corner occurs to me
tho I’m mapping no object in space
no function of forces or phenomena, either
only, there is a corner—
& likewise in half-sleep
I seem to be pulling back very fast from everything
or maybe everything is accelerating away from me
no matter what I’ve ever found to do—

I can rarely think what I might do—
the world evolves as tho I’d never lifted a finger
& I’m more & more aware of skills
I’ve neglected to train my neurons & fingers to do—

everything including the misunderstandings
that compose the noetic matrix
of human infrastructure, reactions, & deeds
& the predations of this or that molecule or being
& the particular tyrannies
of this or that individual
or group organized conscious or unconsciously
the elements no longer coherent independently
& the complex interaction of tyrannies
& excuses & pretenses
that they are public services
& the consequent suffering—

I lay down all I’ve tried to do—
lay it down, & lie down—
I don’t mean to die—
tho some time I won’t re-group & rise—
I mean going on would be mere posing & perseverating
counterproductive or, at best, futile:

Arising to attempt once more
to find & address you
here’s what I hope:

to become aware of how I might otherwise behave—
to comprehend & have the courage & stamina
to change sufficiently—
to start again
from where x, y, & z meet
in what, for lack of more precise understanding
I continue to refer to as my mind & heart
in the time remaining to me
& build on
what I’ve managed to achieve so far that’s lasted
& may yet become as was intended
with the resources I control
to the extent that I control them
& however slight they seem
relative to what others control & to my expectations.

Eric Chaet, The Turnaround Artist, born Chicago, USA, 1945, raised on rough South Side, pre-computer factory, office, & warehouse jobs. Some teaching, some independent self-taught technical consulting. 1974, Old Buzzard of No-Man’s Land, poems, Toronto, Canada. 1977, Solid and Sound, vinyl LP of songs, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA.  Mid-80s to mid-90s, silkscreened, hitchhiked, & stapled 1500 cloth posters to utility poles along American highways.  1990, How To Change the World Forever For Better, brief prose philosophy, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, USA; 2nd edition, 1994.  2001, People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways, mostly narrative prose, De Pere, Wisconsin, USA.  Lives in Wisconsin, industrialized dairy farms & cows, remnant cheese & paper factories & factory hands & outlaw mammals & birds, post-construction boom, reactionary politics & obsolete machinery, a smattering of professionals & millionaires.  Poems published, over 50 years in many USA states, plus Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, India, China, Singapore, Korea, & Taiwan, often in translation. 

You can contact him at the Leave a Reply box on each page of his website, 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems, <>.

Find Chaet’s book, People I Met Hitchhiking USA Highwaysand read a review written hereSee also, There’s still a little breath in the old American RevolutionOn Job Creationand Stalin.

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