Dear Dirty America

DDA

Without Camouflage

Without Camouflage
August 20
18:12 2017

ERIC CHAET

(originally posted at The 100 So-Called Poems)

I didn’t choose camouflage or invisibility.
I’ve tried, all along
to make what I think manifest
to behave as I think I should
however contrary to custom
to let everyone who wished
see that I was pursuing goals
they believe are unattainable.

But I was only one
& how I appeared was discounted
as an imagined figment
or temporary insanity
or an instance of this or that
doomed religion or political movement.

Without shaving my beard
or changing into more conventional clothes
I find myself allied with brown sparrows
who duck out of sight
among shadows, leaves, & branches
with rabbits, mice, deer
& timid boys & girls
& intimidated subordinates everywhere
engaged in every occupation
with all who have failed
or feel they’re failing—
& the stampeding so-called successes
talk clever bullshit on TV
& allocate resources
to maintain the current
& develop the next round of outrages
as tho I’d never struggled or spoken.

You see a bit of me here & now
but soon you’ll be otherwise occupied.
If you remember, then, what you’ve seen
& decipher (which is easy) what it means
I’ll gladly be of greater service to you
than those blinded by what they expect
can imagine.

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.
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