Heart-held Truth

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In your heart you know what is right and wrong, fair and unfair, kind and unkind. All the rest is just choice on how to deal with that heart-held truth, whether acknowledged or denied. Your choices here are the day-to-day and minute-to-minute reflections of your true worth, your character. A clear-eyed self-regard is always better than acclaim and career success, because success in our society is an uncertain superficiality dependent on the whims and wiles of the entertained, the opinionated and the opportunistic; while gaining a justifiable self-regard is the only way to peacefully live with yourself, whom it is impossible to ever sanely escape.

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Poverty Draft

B-25 (WWII medium bomber) in 1987.

I don’t think that poor young men and women should have to risk their lives to increase the fortunes of rich old men and women. The G.I. Bill of a bygone era was a just and kind gesture of gratitude by the USAmerican nation to its surviving veteran warriors. Today, that gesture has been prostituted into an unjust and dishonest baiting of the hopes-for-their-futures of our youth, to drag them down into a militarized indentured servitude – a term of slavery – with the possibility of gaining funding for a modest education if they survive to request it. A better nation would fund the education of all its youth lavishly, and fund its war industries and their speculators poorly if at all. Today, it isn’t that educational and medical costs are “high,” it is that moral standards are low.

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Tony Judt was on it (the failure of neo-liberal “globalization”) in 1997.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/1997-09-01/social-question-redivivus

Today’s belated admission of what has been obvious for 38 years (at least):
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/14/globalisation-the-rise-and-fall-of-an-idea-that-swept-the-world

MG,Jr. was on it (the failure of neo-liberal “globalization”) in 2003:
http://swans.com/library/art19/mgarci66.html

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Mazurka Beans

Mazurka Beans

I look down into a pot of beans, shaking oregano,
sunlight shines through the trees and fills the house,
the music of Chopin Mazurkas fills the air,
spilling out the open door diffusing into the streams of light.

I look down into a pot of beans – black beans –
the food of Cuba, of Puerto Rico,
the dish I loved my mother to make.
Below the carpet of basil, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper,
the black beans soak, their skins browned in garlic olive oil,
mingling with chopped ham and onions,
caressed by diced stewed tomatoes,
all blending into a nectar of the earth,
a nourishment, a celebration, an essence of a culture –
sabor.

I look down into that textured herbal blanket
waiting to see the eruption of bubbles signaling a boil,
a brown boil with blood red flashes rending the herbal shroud
and issuing billows of aromatic steam,
the taste of the south like the spirit of its people –
rising, rising –
to overwhelm with luxuriant sensuality
the thin dryness of a pallid north.

I look down into that pot of black beans in this perfect moment
and I see the entire world radiating out –
the entire interpenetrating web
created and unfurled beyond the edges of infinity –
like the eightfold rays of Buddha truth,
flung from the vortex-eye of a Tibetan sand mandala.
Time evaporates, mind is one, “I am who am.”

Outside, I hear my little girl,
babbling and toddling like a little sparrow sifting through the leaves,
as purple florets of lantana sway in the mazurka breeze – music,
the kiss that transcends time,
the breath that transcends death –
and little Ella’s arrow gaze and impish smile
are my eternal rebellion’s salute to a narrow sleeping world.

I am the pepper in your pot of beans,
the heat rising from below,
the browned garlic olive skin rubbing up against you,
the nectar blended from many fine extracts and cultivations,
heir of an ancient and unending impetus,
the innocence and adventure of eternal experience –
an enticement, a flood –
the love-child of revolution and sustenance –
sabor.

19 May 2001

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My Excellent Independence Day Rant, 2017

John Kennedy’s grave, April 1964

My Excellent Independence Day Rant, 2017

Bigotry lets stupid people feel powerful. They are bigots because they are greedy, and they are greedy because they are fearful. They are fearful because they are hollow, and desperate for their materialism and worship of power to fill the void of their lack of character, to mask their internal weakness with an illusion of external power.

In American politics: bigotry is allowed to shape the arguments, and money is allowed to control the voting. Hillary Clinton had the most well-deserved electoral defeat in American history; Donald Trump, the most undeserved win. It’s not Trump’s fault, the preference for TV over books inoculates ignorance and bigotry against learning and knowledge.

The corporate-owned politicians lie because lying is the sound of theft. They are the agents of those who think: “The purpose of life is to enrich yourself without being impeded by the needs of others.” The news media propaganda industry is rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people, who middle class people are joining. The lie being pushed is that fulfillment is to be had in a system of economic apartheid without economic security and without personal freedom.

Suffer we must, for billionaires’ money lust depends on it. For consolation we can have: clueless comforting happy talk, or searing bitter bigotry, unless we choose better.

In systems of patronage capitalism it is necessary to sell out your integrity and moral character in order to advance a financially rewarded career. You have to go along to get along. It’s like the perpetuating of physical-sexual abuse through the generations: as a child (or young worker starting out) you are abused by your seniors who demand you loyally cover their asses and slavishly submit to their demands – you cannot be impeded by moral principles or self-respect; as a rising star you find even bigger abusive tyrants to follow while recruiting your own ass-kissing minions to expand your power base; and finally as (and if) a successful pharaonic mega-abuser yourself you get to beat up multitudes, remotely, by using your army of slave-drivers and aspiring tyrants. The seed of all this is weak character, the lack of courage and/or strength to maintain personal integrity regardless of the costs in terms of comfort, money, social position, recognition, and acceptance by the herd.

Q: “Why spend $600B a year on a military to protect us if you Trumpsters and Corp-pols are willing to let us die of treatable diseases and ailments?”

A: You miss the point. The purpose of the US military is to protect Big Capital (corporate assets and operations, and plutocrats’ take), not the public. Also, the economic policy of the U.S. (i.e., the corporate-owned government and economy) is militarism: the big insiders’ war machine / finance capital profit cycle. “The people” are just an excess labor mass from which to extract wealth, and on which to dump the toxic wastes and financial costs (“socialized losses”) of exploiting and privatizing the commons. The graveyards of our war dead are garbage dumps for capitalist expansion. The U.S. is neither united nor a nation, it is a colony. “We the people” are expendable commodities steadily being programmed for slavery. The American Dream: commercializing life and death, and cornering the market.

America has a capitalist system whose foreign policy is imperialism, domestic policy is colonialism, economic policy is militarism, and management policy is patronism.

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Passing Thoughts

Everybody I know looks older now,
much older,
and many have fallen away
like last year’s autumn leaves.
I walk through the noisy light of day
wrapped in a quiet mist of memories
rebounding from the unhearing
as wasted words, phantom vibrations.
Silence is best as I watch your sorrows unfold.
After decades I realize it is not my help that matters,
but my empathy,
and have come to be resigned
to its being as unknown as I am unseen.
Perhaps I, too, walked blindly through kind knowing
by souls of living history in my time,
trailing eddies of wasted empathy
in the wake of my blazing urgency.
So now, I look back with understanding and see,
but can only shout to your budding future as silence.
It seems our lives must be this way
so you can discover your anguish
with the same freshness as I did mine.

25 June 2017

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SAME OLD, SAME OLD

SAME OLD, SAME OLD

I have given you the secrets of the human universe.
Did you notice?

You can’t change people,
only they can change themselves,
though they usually would prefer to die
than have to.

It’s not Trump’s fault,
the preference for TV over books
inoculates ignorance and bigotry
against learning and knowledge.

In American politics:
bigotry is allowed to shape the argument,
and money is allowed to control the voting.

Everything you know is wrong,
and you know everything.

It drives me crazy and breaks my heart
to see so much stupidity and cruelty
in our human world.
That is why I hate people.

The graveyards of our war dead
are garbage dumps for capitalist expansion.

I think back to all the times I was kind and unkind,
and I wish I could go back and fix half of them.

21 June 2017

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