Dear Dirty America

DDA

A Sad Business

A Sad Business
October 11
16:22 2016

ERIC CHAET

(original post from The 100 So-Called Poems)

It’s a sad business
having one’s work rejected, ignored, overlooked, forgotten
& oneself underestimated
no demand for what one has to offer
having to make do with less than what one would eat
& not the foods one desires, either
or the company of girls or of intelligent boys
girls, then women, boys, then men
good shoes that fit well
warm, dry rooms in winter
with something to look at that’s not discouraging—

it’s a sad business to be sad
in such a glorious world
sunrise & all
flowers, fragrances, children’s songs, Bach & Beethoven
the colors
getting up & walking around
seeing ripples & waves on water surfaces
the beautiful flight of birds
pure water when you’re thirsty
cool water on a hot afternoon
work you’ve done just right, you’re sure of it—

to wake up well, full of confidence & anticipation
it doesn’t matter what others think of you
what the hell do they know?—

&, if you’re sad, so what?—
it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong
&, as for the past
you’ve always done your best—
you didn’t always have the best information
or equipment, or cash, or understanding, or connections
with sane & useful people
& you’re not dead yet—

&, truly, there’s plenty to be sad about—
greed, violence, lies, such lack of consideration
crazy people in positions of authority
& crazy people you have to find shelter & sustenance among
& all the so-called ordinary people in between
grabbing every consolation prize that isn’t nailed down
then spending the rest of their lives trying to maintain
this or that little hoard
& some of them even swaggering as tho they’re victors
& trying to convince you that they outrank you, somehow
& people you care about giving up & dying, & all.

SEE ALSO

Satyagraha

Anthem for Humanity

Dragon

We get used to

 

Eric Chaet, born Chicago, 1945, South Side, beaten, denigrated, sinking, swimming—servant of a refractory nation and species, sweating laborer in factories and warehouses, wearing jacket and tie in offices and classrooms—”so-called poems” published and posted around the world, sporadically, for decades—author of People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways (read a review) and How To Change the World Forever For Better—perpetual polymath student, synthesizer of specialists’ insights and methods, solo consultant regarding space exploration and accidents involving obsolete industrial machinery—album of songs Solid and Sound—hitchhiked back and forth between the Pacific and Atlantic, sleeping out for years and subsisting on water and sunflower seeds, stapling a series of 1500 posters he made to utility poles, inciting whoever saw them to seize the responsibility for their own lives—governing without coalition or means of or inclination to coerce or confiscate, from below, approximately invisible.

[Sad man by hearth image, coloured etching by G. Cruikshank, 1835, from Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons]

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